The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Frank Crossley M.P.

Frank Crossley M.P.

A carte-de-visite portrait of the carpet manufacturer and philanthropist Sir Francis (Frank) Crossley who, together with his father, John Crossley, and his brothers, founded the firm of John Crossley & Sons.

Encouraged by George Collier, Francis developed the power-loom and the company pioneered the use of such machinery for carpet-making, thus replacing the earlier handlooms and subsequently making the company the largest carpet factory in the world.

He was the MP for Halifax (1852-1859), for the West Riding (1859-1865) and for the northern division of the West Riding (1869-1872). His legacies to Halifax include the Crossley Almshouses in Margaret Street, the Crossley Orphanage and the People's Park. A Carrara marble statue of the seated Crossley by Joseph Durham was unveiled on 14 August 1860 and stands in the pavilion at People's Park.

In 1845, he married Martha Eliza Brinton at Kidderminster. The couple had one son, Sir Savile Brinton Crossley, born in 1857.

He lived at Belle Vue until 1861 when he moved to the Somerleyton estate in Suffolk. When he was in London, he lived at 60 Eaton Square.

In 1863 he was created Lord Somerleyton in recognition of his ‘acts of noble munificence’. He died at Belle Vue on 5 January 1872, at the age of 54. His estate was valued at £800,000.

Photographed by Camille Silvy of London on 30 June 1862.

Code: 124617
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