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Sir Alexander Croke was born July 22, 1758. He was a British judge, colonial administrator and influential author in Nova Scotia of the early nineteenth century. Croke attended Oriel College, Oxford, where he earned the degree of Doctor of Civil Law. Practicing maritime law, he was offered his choice of appointments to the newly-established vice-admiralty courts in Nova Scotia or the West Indies. He chose Nova Scotia.
Croke's bench in Nova Scotia had considerable jusidiction. As the highest-ranking justice, Croke administered the colony while the lieutenant governor was away, from 6 Dec. 1808 to 15 April 1809 and again from 25 August to 16 Oct. 1811. His administration was marked with conflict with the Assembly, whose budget he vetoed.
Croke had an impact on the development of educational institutions in Nova Scotia. He was on the first board of King's College and was primarily responsible for drafting its statues, which required students to subscribe to the Anglican faith (as only a quarter of Nova Scotians did). When a strong movement to establish inter-denominational education appeared a few years later, Croke was among its most vocal opponents.
Croke published works of satirical poetry (which exacerbated his unpopularity in certain circles), a book on the genealogy of his family, and many letters. He was knighted on July 5, 1816 and died December 27, 1842 at Studley Priory, England.
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