Educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, he became a schoolmaster in Norfolk for a year before going to Gloucester Hall, Oxford. After a year, he went to Ipswich, where he was a schoolmaster for five years. In 1581, persecutions increased after the death of Edmund Campion, so he withdrew to Cheshire for about two years.
In 1584, he left for France, and began studies at the English College then located at Rheims. He was ordained at Rheims in 1585, and continued his studies for a year, but his health being compromised, he asked to return to England. He and three other priests, Thomas Bramston, George Potter, and Edward James, left from Dieppe, but the ship ran ashore 19 April 1586 at Littlehampton, Sussex, a place aas carefully watched as any in the kingdom. All were sent up to London and committed to the Marshalsea 27 April 1586.
After the failure of the Spanish Armada, the English Government took severe measures against some of the Catholic priests in its custody. Crockett and James with two others, John Oven and Francis Edwardes, were selected for trial, which took place at Chichester on 30 September 1588. All were condemned to death, under 27 Eliz. c. 2, for being priests and coming into the realm; but Oven on taking the Oath of Supremacy was respited. The other three were drawn on one hurdle to Broyle Heath, near Chichester, where Edwardes recanted. Crockett ascended the scaffold and blessed the crowd in Latin which brought shouts of anger upon him, however he changed into praying in English whereupon the crowd cheered. James and Crockett faced their deaths without fear and were executed after absolving each other.
Blessed Ralph Crockett's father Adam, in his later years entered the Church on the Continent and his descendants remained recusant continued to practise their Catholic Faith in the face of continued persecution. In 1929 Ralph Crockett was beatified by Pope Pius XI. His feast day is 1 October.
- "Crockett, Ralph (CRKT568R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Hogan, Francis P., "Venerable Ralph Crockett", Lives of the English Martyrs, vol.1, (Edwin Burton and J.H. Pollen, eds.), Longmans, Green and Co., 1914, p. 473 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Wainewright, John. "Ven. Ralph Crockett." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 26 March 2020 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.