Grave Intelligence
Richard Crossley's tombstone
           

Though Richard Crossley was arguably one of the most important manufacturers of flatware in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, very little is known about him.

 

Asked by an interested collector what it was possible to find out about him, I started from his Will, a complicated document some sixteen pages long. It gives many details concerning his estate but, perhaps more interestingly, specifies that ‘I desire that my body may be buried at Wooburn in the County of Bucks near to the remains of my first wife and daughter & that my funeral be organised in such manner as my trustees and ex[ecut]ors hereinafter appointed shall think proper’.

 

After some trouble finding the church, now seldom used, we stumbled on the ivy-covered tomb [photo]. Though much worn, enough of the inscription remained to identify the tomb as that of Richard Crossley.  Crossley’s executors had followed his wishes, erecting a substantial monument to him and his wife Sally. 

 

Ongoing research may provide a fuller transcript   there are many points of interest in what we were able to decipher:

 

Sacred to the memory of Richard Crossley of Paradise House Islington
in the county of Middlesex
and formerly of London, Goldsmith, and son of John Crossley of Wooburn
in the county of Bucks also of ….

 

29th April 1815

  aged 72.

 

 

And on the other side   the inscription to his wife:

 

Sacred to the memory of Mrs. Sally Crossley
the wife of Richard Crossley Esq. Of London, Goldsmith
and daughter of Mr. Christopher Wildman
and Sarah his wife formerly of this parish.
She departed this life the 10th day of April 1780 aged 19 years.

 

Also of Miss Sarah Crossley
the only daughter of Richard and Sally Crossley.
  She departed this life 10th February 1794 aged 14 years and ten months.

 

 

Subsequently a visit to Buckinghmashire Record Office provided the following from a full transcript made of the tombs in Wooburn Church Yard in the first half of the nineteenth century: 

 

Richard Crossley Esqr late of paradise

House Islington in the parish of Middlesex

and formerly of London Goldsmith, the third son of

John Crossley of Hilton in the County of Derby

who by Persevering Industry with the Strictest Integrity

realised considerable Property which he bequeathed

amongst his collateral relations and departed this life

a Widower without leaving any Issue Surviving him

on the 29th day of April 1815

aged 75 years.

 

 I am hoping that a forthcoming visit to Hilton may reveal further information from local archive material  and perhaps more informative gravestones...      

 

Luke Schrager


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