Crawford, Alexander (1754/5–1823), physician and United Irishman, was born at Ballytromery, Crumlin, Co. Antrim, youngest son of Thomas Crawford (1696?–1782), presbyterian minister there for fifty-eight years, and Anne Crawford, daughter of the Revd William Mackay of Vinecash, Co. Armagh. He may have been the Alexander Crawford who qualified MA and MD at Glasgow university in 1774. Crawford established an extensive medical practice at Lisburn, Co. Antrim. An active Volunteer until 1793, he associated throughout the 1780s and into the 1790s with William Todd Jones (qv) and other radicals in the town. There is a suggestion in letters from William Drennan (qv), who described him as ‘a talking democrat’, that he was implicated (April 1794) in treasonable activities with the French agent William Jackson (qv) (Drennan–McTier letters, ii, 48, 91, 107). He was arrested with other United Irishmen (September 1796) and released on a petition to the viceroy; but, probably on information given by Edward Newell (qv), he was rearrested (April 1797) in the ‘disarming of Ulster’. His part (if any) in the 1798 rebellion is unclear.
Crawford owned a vitriol factory (for bleaching linen), set up at Lisburn by Thomas Greg and Waddell Cunningham (qv). He married Anne Smyly of Camus, Co. Tyrone; they lived at Rose Lodge, Lisburn, and had two sons and two daughters. Crawford, the subject of a juvenile poem (‘To Dr Crawford’) by Thomas Romney Robinson (qv), died 29 August 1823, aged sixty-eight. He had three brothers: William (qv) (1740?–1800), a presbyterian minister and Volunteer; John (qv) (1746–1813), a surgeon with the East India Company and author of several medical works; and Adair (qv) (1748–96), also a medical doctor, who worked in England as a chemist and wrote several books, one of which, An experimental inquiry into the effects of tonics and other medicinal substances on the cohesion of animal fibre, Crawford edited for posthumous publication (1817). Crawford's son Alexander (1798–1873) took over the bleachworks and transferred it (c.1836) to Belfast; he also set up a chemical manufacturing firm. He became (apparently) a methodist, and was the grandfather of Frederick Hugh Crawford (qv) (1861–1952).