James Crofton

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JAMES CROFTON. Irish, Planxty. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Composed by blind Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738). The melody appears in Dublin publisher John Lee's A Favourite Collection of the so much admired old Irish Tunes, the original and genuine compositions of Carolan, the celebrated Irish Bard (1780). James Crofton, who died in 1755, was the third son of Edward Crofton, "a kinsman of Sir Edward Crofton of Mote and head of the Sligo branch of the family," finds O'Sullivan. Father Edward had a large family of fifteen, and was a Catholic landowner, holding the estated of Longford House [1], on the northerly slope of the Ox Mountains, a few miles west of Ballysodare. In the late 1720's son James fell in love with Elizabeth, daughter of Captain Edward Robinson, of Sligo (for whom see "Mrs. Crofton"). Unfortunately, she was a Protestent, and the scoins of both families were vehemently against the union. They were determined to be wed however, and James decided to convert, causing his father to threaten to disown him if he did. The son countered that, if he were cut out of the family estates then he would denounce his father in court and demand the family property. It transpired that this was exactly what happened, with the court delivering the deed to the property "which he alleged was withheld from him in order to deprive him of his rights." With his fortune in hand, James wed Elizabeth, and James' two elder brothers, dispossesed, fled to France, where one is said to have become an Archbishop and the other Governor of La Hogue (according to the Crofton Memoires).

Source for notated version: John Lee's Favourite Collection of the so much admired old Irish Tunes [O'Sullivan].

Printed sources: Complete Collection of Carolan's Irish Tunes, 1984; No. 23, p. 37. O'Sullivan (Carolan: The Life, Times and Music of an Irish Harper), 1958; No. 23, p. 115.

Recorded sources:




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