Edward Crossley


Edward Crossley was the eldest son of Joseph Crossley.

At the age of 27, he became chairman of the family business – John Crossley & Sons Limited.

He was Liberal MP for Sowerby [1885-1892].

On 20th July 1865, he married Jane Eleanor Baines.

Jane Eleanor was the 3rd daughter of Sir Edward Baines, of Bawtry Hall, Doncaster and St Ann's Hill, Leeds, who was MP for Leeds [1859-1874]

He lived at Ravenscliffe.

He demolished the house and built Bermerside House where he lived with his wife. He had a summer home at Ryde, Isle of Wight.

In 1882, a published a work entitled

Gymnastics without Apparatus

He also wrote several religious tracts.

He was interested in astronomy. He was a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. In the grounds of the house, he erected a large astronomical observatory. In 1885, he bought a 36" reflecting telescope by which its maker, Newcastle astronomer Andrew Ainslie Common [1841-1903], had won the Royal Astronomical Society's 1884 gold medal for his photographs of the Orion nebula. He employed Joseph Gledhill full-time to make observations, and took an active part in the process himself. With Joseph Gledhill and Rev James Maurice Wilson, he co-wrote A Handbook of Double Stars [1879].

He also published several religious tracts including What is the Atonement? and Who is the Man of Sin?.

In 1889, he had a disagreement with Rev E. A. Lawrence – over the doctrine of the Atonement – and left Square Congregational Church to help build Heath Congregational Church [1890]. He became disillusioned with Congregationalism. In 1893, he established an independent Evangelical Protestant Chapel near his home on the Isle of Wight.

He was Mayor of Halifax [1874-1876] and [1884-1885]

He attended Park Congregational Church and Square Congregational Church. In 1869, he completed the Arden Road Almshouses which had been started by his father.

Possibly due to ill health – and the smoky conditions in Halifax – by the summer of 1895, which he spent at Southfield, Ryde, on the Isle of Wight, he made arrangements to donate his telescope and its observatory to the University of California, where he hoped conditions would be more favourable for astronomy than the overcast and industrially-polluted skies of Halifax. With philanthropy which was typical of his family at that time, he also contributed financially to the observatory's painstaking dismantling and shipment to San Jose. Now known worldwide as the Crossley reflector, this huge telescope is still in use at the Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton, California.

In 1903, he was one of the first people to be granted a car registration and a motor drivers' licence.

Jane Eleanor died 17th September 1898 (aged 54).

She was buried at Lister Lane Cemetery [Plot 150]. Edward died suddenly at his home at Bermerside [21st January 1905].

Probate records show that he left an estate valued at £108,462.

He was buried at Lister Lane Cemetery [Plot 149] and remembered at Plot 147

See Boothtown Methodist Church, Grantham Road, Joseph Gledhill, Walter Greaves and Moor End Congregational Church

© Malcolm Bull 2023
Revised 13:27 / 29th September 2023 / 6417

Page Ref: QQ_153

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