The Admirable Crichton refers to James Crichton of Eliock and Cluny, a sixteenth century polymath who lived in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland. He was renowned for his learning in many fields, but lost his life after being stabbed by a university student. A memorial to him can be found in the church of St. Bride's in Sanquhar.
The Admirable Crichton is a play written in 1902 by J. M. Barrie.
The title character is the butler to Lord Leams, a British peer. Leams considers the class divisions in British society to be artificial, but Crichton considers them "the natural outcome of a civilised society".
When Leams, his family, and Crichton are stranded on a deserted island Crichton is the only one of the party with any practical knowledge, and he assumes, initially with reluctance, the position of leader. His social betters refuse to accept this state of affairs, but are driven to acquiescence by the practicalities of their situation. Crichton sets himself up in his new position with the trappings and privileges of power, just as his master had done back in Britain.