Sir Savile Brinton Crossley


Sir Savile Brinton Crossley PC. GCVO. DL. was the only son of Sir Francis Crossley.

He was born at Eaton Square, London [14th June 1857] – the day that People's Park opened.

He was brought up in Suffolk.

He was educated at Eton and Balliol College Oxford.

He was an adventurer. The tweed overcoat and top hat, which he wore in an 1890s expedition to the Arctic, are held at Somerleyton Hall. During the expedition, at a point east of Spitzbergen, Norway, he shot a polar bear which is now in Norwich Castle Museum.

In March 1876, he was fined damages of £25. for violent assault of John Kimberley.

In 1887, he married Phyllis de Bathe.


  1. Francis Savile
  2. John de Bathe
  3. Phyllis Paty [b 1890] who married [3rd July 1917]  Lieutenant Evelyn Hugh Barclay of Colney Hall, Norwich
  4. Monica Victoria who married [19th September 1918]  Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur F. Smith DSO MC of Duffield  Hall, Derby
  5. William George Francis [1903-1903]

He was a Director and then, in 1905, he succeeded his uncle, Edward Crossley, as Chairman of John Crossley & Sons Limited.

He gave money [and his name] to the Crossley Ward at the Royal Halifax Infirmary of which he was the first president.

He donated the fountain statue in People's Park.

He was nominated as the Unionist candidate for Halifax in 1897, but was defeated. He stood as the Liberal-Unionist candidate in the 1900 by-election whilst he was serving in South Africa, and was MP for Halifax [1900-1905]. He was Tory MP for North Suffolk [18??]. In 1885, he was Liberal MP for the Lowestoft Division of Suffolk. He was Paymaster General from 1902-1905.

In 1902, he and 6 workers at Crossley's CarpetsB. Savile, T. Bottomley, P. Cox, R. Verity, T. Broadbent, and G. Fuller - were presented with a gold medal by their fellow-workers to commemorate their safe return from the Boer War.

On 19th May 1905, he broke his leg while playing polo at Wembley Park.

In 1907, he was appointed Knight of Grace to the Order of the of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem in England.

He was made an Honorary Freeman of the Borough in 1907.

On 28th March 1911, he gave three frescoes to Halifax Town Hall.

He was Chairman of the governors of Crossley Orphanage [1914].

He was badly wounded and was taken prisoner in World War I. He received a Peerage – Baron Somerleyton – in the king's birthday honours list for 1916. He was appointed Lord-in-Waiting – government whip – to the King [23rd May 1918]. He served under David Lloyd George, Andrew Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin.

In 1935, he succeeded to the title of Second Baronet Somerleyton.

He was one of the people to whom J. R. Smith dedicated one of his prints.

He was suffered a slight stroke while on a cruise and died 10 days later in a London nursing home.

Probate records show that he left an estate valued at £192,679

© Malcolm Bull 2023
Revised 02:53 / 22nd February 2023 / 6177

Page Ref: QQ_149

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