A SHORT HISTORY
Ancestry of John Crossley, Carpet Manufacturer,
Halifax, who was born at Halifax 1772 and died at,
Dean Clough, Halifax, 17th January 1837 aged 64
My grandfather’s name was Thomas Crossley, he lived at King Cross, near Halifax. He was born of respectable parents and had a good education, but he was not fond of business, and cared much more about hunting and shooting, and if my grandmother had not been much the better manager there would not have been much comfort for my father at home, but my grandmother, who was born of respectable parents and had a good education, was not only able to keep herself, but also her husband and that by money earned and not by money left. She kept one of the best boarding schools for young ladies in the neighbourhood of Halifax.
My father’s name was John Crossley, he was brought up to carpet manufacturing and worked for Mr. Webster of Clay Pits and married Mr. Webster’s daughter, who was a very good woman but of delicate health, she had many children and died when my brother Isaac was born. When my mother died I was only 16 years old and was put apprentice to my uncle, Mr. John Webster of the Clay Pits, to learn carpet weaving. He was a very good man and did me a great deal of good and always said that he had cured me because he had had me under his care whilst I was in my veal bones.
When I had finished my apprenticeship I went to weave for Mr. Currie, a large manufacturer of carpets at Luddenden Foot. He made both square carpets and yard wide Scotch to a very great extent and built the largest carpet weaving shop that had ever been in Yorkshire up to that time, and which is now used in the worsted trade – it is on the left hand side of the road coming towards Halifax at Luddenden Foot and has cottages underneath.
Whilst I was at Mr. Currie’s an accident happened to me that I have ever since believed to be a turning point in my history and was, under God, made a blessing, not only to myself but to thousands who have benefited by my prosperity in after life. One evening I was taking my drinking out of a black bottle whilst in the loom and in putting it down the bottle fell and broke and in attempting to save it the tendons of my wrist were completely cut, so that the blood flowed to such an extent that it was supposed if the weavers had not been there to bind it up I might have bled to death, and it was exceedingly difficult to stop it, and as I was a long time walking about with my arm in a sling doing nothing, my master said it was a great pity I should be so long out of work, did I think I could manage to tie up a loom? I replied that I had no doubt of it if he dare try me. He at once set me to the work, and so well and so quickly did I accomplish it that when my wrist was better he would never allow me to go to the loom again. I left Mr. Currie to go to take the management of Mr. Job Lee’s carpet factory, Lower George Yard, Halifax, and was a partner with him up to the time of his death.
(For rest see Mrs. Crossley’s narrative)