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Crew, Nathaniel Crew

CREW, NATHANIEL CREW, 3rd Baron (1633-1721), bishop of Durham, was a son of John Crew (1598-1679), who was created Baron Crew of Stene in 1661, and a grandson of Sir Thomas Crew (1565-1634), speaker of the House of Commons. Born on the 31st of January 1633, Nathaniel was educated at Lincoln College, Oxford, and was appointed rector of the college in 1668. He became dean and precentor of Chichester in 1669, clerk of the closet to Charles II. shortly afterwards, bishop of Oxford in 1671, and bishop of Durham in 1674. He owed his rapid preferment to James, then duke of York, whose favour he had gained by conniving at the duke's leanings to the Roman Church. After the accession of James II. Crew received the deanery of the Chapel Royal. He served in 1686 on the revived ecclesiastical commission which suspended Compton, bishop of London, and then shared the administration of the see of London with Sprat, bishop of Rochester. In 1687 he was a member of another ecclesiastical commission, which suspended the vice-chancellor of the university of Cambridge for refusing the degree of M.A. to a monk who would not take the customary oath. On the decline of James's power Crew dissociated himself from the court, and made a bid for the favour of the new government by voting for the motion that James had abdicated. He was excepted from the general pardon of 1690, but afterwards was allowed to retain his see. He left large estates to be devoted to charitable ends, and his benefaction to Lincoln College and to Oxford University is commemorated in the annual Crewian oration. In 1697 Crew succeeded his brother Thomas as 3rd Baron Crew, He died on the 18th of September 1721, when the barony became extinct.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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