Crosbie, Sir Edward William (1755?–98), 5th baronet and victim of a miscarriage of justice, was the elder son of Sir Paul Crosbie, 4th baronet, and his wife Mary, daughter of Edward Daniel of Freadsom, Cheshire, and was born in Co. Wicklow, probably at his father's seat, Crosbie Park, near Baltinglass. He entered TCD (3 July 1770) aged 15 and graduated BA (1774) after succeeding to his father's title and property (1773). He began reading law at the Middle Temple (November 1774), was called to the Irish bar (1778) and practised for about seven years, joining the lawyers’ corps of Volunteers. Possessing a ‘moderate fortune’ (Barrington, 301), he took up residence at Viewmount, overlooking the town of Carlow. In December 1790 he married Castiliana, widow of Captain Henry Dodd of the 14th Dragoons. She was the elder daughter of Warner Westenra (1706?–72) of Rossmore Park, Co. Monaghan, MP for Maryborough (1730–60), by his wife Lady Hester Lambart, daughter of the 4th earl of Cavan. Crosbie was a popular man of liberal views. Sir Jonah Barrington (qv), who knew him well, described him as ‘mild and well bred, tall and genteel’.
At 2 o'clock on the morning of 25 May 1798 some 1,200 United Irish insurgents assembled on his lawn and demanded that he lead them, but he refused to accompany, aid or abet them. They then attacked Carlow. The garrison, forewarned, routed the attackers, many of whom were captured and summarily executed. On or about 30 May, Crosbie was arrested at his home and on 2, 4 and 5 June was tried by a court-martial on charges of aiding and abetting rebels. Though the evidence was slight and circumstantial, he was convicted and sentenced to be hanged. Neither his social position, the representations made by his wife to Dublin Castle, nor the letter he wrote to a justice of the king's bench, his old friend William Downes (qv), prevented his execution, which occurred late on the evening of 5 June. His head was cut off, fixed on a pike and displayed with three others on the top of Carlow jail. According to Valentine Lawless (qv), he was ‘executed by torch light a few hours before the arrival of an order from the lord lieutenant for his transmission to Dublin’ (Barrington, 262).
It is possible that Crosbie had made enemies among the local gentry: a quarrel over a parliamentary by-election had resulted in a duel between himself and a local rival (1796), and shortly before the rebellion Crosbie had refused to attend the Carlow spring assizes, objecting that the county had been proclaimed. Crosbie was never a United Irishman, his house at Hacketstown was burnt by insurgents, and he was not attainted by parliament. His wife continued to protest vehemently his innocence. The couple had, beside a daughter, Hester, a son, William (1794–1860), whose godfather was Downes. Sir Edward's brother was Richard Crosbie (qv), the pioneer Irish balloonist.