Crossleys Carpets

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This is a backup of the West Yorkshire Archive Service's "Off the Record" wiki from 2015. The live went offline in 2016 and remains unavailable.

The following source list was originally available only on paper in one of the West Yorkshire Archive Service offices. It may have been compiled many years ago and could be out of date. It was designed to act as a signpost to records of interest on a particular historical subject, but may relate only to one West Yorkshire district, or be an incomplete list of sources available. Please feel free to add or update with any additional information.

John Crossley and Sons

John Crossley, founder of Crossleys Carpets, was born in 1772. He became apprenticed to his uncle John Webster as a carpet weaver, and then went to work for a Mr William Currer at Luddenden. About 1800, he became manager of Job Lee's carpet factory in the Lower George Yard, Halifax. In 1802, John, together with his brother Thomas and James Travis took a lease on Dean Clough Mill. After 20 years the lease expired and the partnership was dissolved, John renewing the lease in his own name. The profit for the 20 years work was £1400 for each partner. In 1830, John Crossley bought out the only other carpet factory in Halifax, Messrs Abbott and Ellerton. John Crossley died in 1837, aged 64, and was buried at the Square Chapel, Halifax. At the time of his death 300 people were employed at Dean Clough. The business was carried on by 3 of his sons, John, Joseph, and Francis.

In 1864, John Crossley and Sons was formed into a joint stock company, one of the first in the country to take advantage of the Limited Liability Company legislation passed in 1862. Four fifths of the shares were retained by John, Joseph, and Francis. The prospectus indicated they had factories at Halifax and Kidderminster and warehouses at London and Manchester. By 1900, the employees numbered 5,000. Carpet production did not stop immediately, if at all, during the 1914-1918 war. Equipment was switched to produce webbing, blankets, and khaki yarn and machine shops turned over to shell production. In World War 2, carpet production went on for some time after 1939 but almost exclusively for export. Webbing was produced and the engineering shops were extended to produce ground equipment for the R.A.F., and torpedo motors for the Royal Navy. Sub-contract work for local machine tool firms was also done. The 1930s saw poor trading conditions and unemployment. It was at this time that Frank Lee became the Chairman at Dean Clough. He was already running his own company of W.& R.K.Lee, cotton doublers, at Sowerby Bridge. He brought in warp mercerising plant with the hosiery trade in mind. This proved very successful until mercerised cotton was supplanted by nylon after the Second World War. Foreign trade was conducted all over the world, and the firm had diverse other interests, including plantations in Louisiana, and coal mines, in the townships of Sharlston, Wragby, and Snydale.

In 1953, John Crossley and Sons Limited and Carpet Trades Limited, Kidderminster, were amalgamated into John Crossley and Carpet Trade Holdings. In 1969, came the merger with the Carpet Trades Manufacturing Company of Kidderminster into Carpets International. In 1970, Patrick Crossley, Chairman of Carpets International retired and the headquarters of the group was moved to Kidderminster. By 1974, the workforce was down to under 2000 for the first time. In 1982, the decision to close Dean Clough became known, and the last carpet stocks produced at Dean Clough were moved out in 1987. After 6 generations of Crossleys, carpet manufacture at Dean Clough came to an end.

Crossley family

The Crossley family played an important part in the development of Halifax. John Crossley was a Town Trustee in the 1840s and later Mayor. He was M.P. for Halifax from 1874 to 1877. The Crossley and Porter Orphanage was completed and endowed on land given by him. He bought and cleared the area where the Town Hall now stands, changing it from an area of backyards, stables and piggeries to streets of substantial buildings. There was no good hotel in Halifax until he built the White Swan Hotel for business men and others visiting the town. He was Chairman of the Halifax Commercial Banking Company from 1871-1877 and was a member of the Halifax School Board. Joseph Crossley was a magistrate and Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce established in 1862. He supported his brothers' schemes for Square Church and the Orphanage and founded the almshouses in Arden Road, Halifax. Francis presented People's Park to the town in 1857. In 1855, the Francis Crossley almshouses in Margaret Street were opened and he also financed a Loan Fund to which shopkeepers and tradesmen could apply. In 1852, he became Member of Parliament for Halifax and remained so until 1859, when he became Member of Parliament for the West Riding until 1867, and then for the North Riding. He was created a baronet in 1863, and died in 1872.

Directors of John Crossley and Sons Limited 1864-1981

John Crossley 1864-1877; Joseph Crossley 1864-1868; Sir Francis Crossley 1864-1872; Edward Crossley 1864-1905; Louis John Crossley 1864-1890; James Pardoe 1864-1871; George Dearden 1864-1877; Benjamin Musgrave 1864-1877; Henry Crossley 1866-1870,1878-1890; John Collier 1869-1877; John Lewis 1870-1872; George H. Crossley 1872-1873; John Leach 1878-1893; Giulio Marchetti 1878-1929; H.Norman Mellor 1890-1899; Godfrey B.Bird 1890-1902; George Collier 1891-1920; Sir Savile Brinton Crossley 1894-1918; Charles Wheatley Crossley 1901-1952; Henry Beuttell 1901-1903; Ernest Marchetti 1901-1936; William Fowler 1906-1920; Joseph Brooke Dewhirst 1919-1942; AWilson 1919-1929; J.W.Tillotson 1919-1930; Francis Savile Crossley 1929-1958; Frank Lee 1931-1950; Henry Digby Beuttell 1931-1937; John Dyson 1931-1952; Earl Jackson Bunney 1931-1936; P>John Roderick Giulio Marchetti 1931-1969; Charles Patrick Crossley 1931-1970; Thomas Vernon Laycock 1937-1964; Ernest Henry Appelt 1938-1946; Ian Albert Druce Maclean 1938-1968; Andrew Thompson 1946-1960; James Percival Musgrave 1946-1964; Robert Stephen Crossley Fletcher 1947-1968; James Charlton 1947-1961; George Bagrie Angus 1948-1962; Percy Walter Heaton 1953-1968; Cyril Scotts Newton 1954-1958; Alan Leslie Pyrah 1954-1958; Sam Fletcher Townsend 1955-1971; Viscount Garnock 1956-1979; Jonathan Patrick Crossley 1958-1981; A.C.Lister 1961-1977; J.M.Grant 1962-1965; G.N.Horton-Fawkes 1965-1973; R.Walton 1965-1977; E.Walker 1966-1977; C.W.Overin 1968-1981; C.G.Crossley 1968-1981; D.P.Davies 1971-1981; W.P.W.Anderson 1971-1976; G.C.Hamilton 1972-1977; G.W.Thornton 1972-1977; L.D.Maclean 1975-1979; A.Whitehead 1976-1980; D.J.Thomas 1976-1981; E.Spencer 1977-1980; Dr.E.J.McIver 1977-198.

Chairmen

John Crossley 1864-1877; Edward Crossley 1877-1905; Sir Savile Brinton Crossley 1905-1918; Giulio Marchetti 1919-1929; Francis Savile Crossley 1929-1931; Frank Lee 1931-1947; Charles Patrick Crossley 1947-1970; Sam Townsend 1970-1971; W.P.W.Anderson 1971-1976; Jonathan Patrick Crossley 1976-1981