Alexander Cruden

1699-1770. Scottish author of the famous Concordance which is still the standard reference guide to the King James Version. Shortly after graduating from Aberdeen he suffered a mental breakdown and was confined to an asylum (1721-22). Upon his release he went to London, where at first he was a tutor, but later opened a bookstore and did proofreading. The first edition of his concordance appeared in 1737. It was not a financial success, and the pressure of the work caused him to suffer another attack of insanity (1738). Confined again, he escaped after a few weeks and issued an indignant account of his experience entitled The London Citizen Exceedingly Injured, or a British Inquisition Displayed. He then sued for damages, but lost the case. Confined a third time in 1753, he was released by the following year and once more set to work on his concordance.

The appearance of the second and third editions won Cruden considerable recognition and profit. Influenced by the preaching of Wesley, he came to think of himself as the public guardian of the nation's morals. Calling himself “Alexander the Corrector,” he was especially concerned with swearing and Sabbath-keeping. He ran for Parliament in 1754, and unsuccessfully sought to marry the daughter of the lord mayor of London. He published also a Scripture Dictionary and an index to the works of John Milton. A great deal of autobiographical information is in his three pamphlets, The Adventures of Alexander, the Corrector (1754- 55).

See E. Oliver, The Eccentric Life of Alexander Cruden (1934).