John Wilson Croker (1780-1857), politician and writer, was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and studied for the bar before moving to London. He was appointed as Deputy Chief Secretary for Ireland when Sir Arthur Wellesley took command of the Army in Portugal, and subsequently became Secretary to the Admiralty, an important role in wartime. He was noted for his efficiency and honesty, and held the post until 1830, despite changes of government. He was a prolific letter-writer, on both professional and personal matters, and almost all his correspondents were men of importance in their field. This three-volume edition of his papers was published in 1884. Volume 2 covers the period 1829-42. Catholic emancipation and parliamentary reform dominated the political agenda in the earlier years, while the years 1841-2 were notable for the cause celebre regarding the marquess of Hertford's will, which, perhaps unfairly, damaged Croker's reputation.