Records of John Crossley and Sons, Carpet Manufacturers of Dean Clough Mills, Halifax

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Corporate records: Agreements, articles and share formation 1802-1969; minutes 1865-1981; Board and Committee papers 1882-1978; AGM papers 1864-1981; correspondence 1805-1978, copy out-letter books 1859-1946, miscellaneous 1805-1978). Share records: share transfers 1864-1979; dividend books and warrants 1897-1953; other share records 1864-1977.

Financial records: Profit and loss accounts 1865-1940; balance sheets 1865-1947; annual accounts - related papers 1893-1974; private ledgers 1856-1892; private cash books 1863-1961; private journals 1894-1959; journals 1864-1973; ledgers 1865-1944; cash books 1879-1970; sales day books 1925-1935; bill books, etc 1818-1975; solicitors' bills 1846-1950; debentures 1866-1936; banking records 1868-1940; agents' and branch accounts 1872-1975; investments 1904-1938; cash paid books 1926-1933; cash received books 1928-1933; petty cash accounts 1928-1975; miscellaneous 1830-1978.

Stock records 1814-1978.

Production and sales records (home and overseas): business reference books 1850s-1930s; print registers 1860s-1927; costs and calculations 1865-1952; warp order books 1878-1931; pattern books 1888-1968; print order books 1896-1919; [order books] 1921-1931; returns and credits 1927-1931; canvas and roller accounts 1929-1932; mercerising department 1946-1948; terms of payment books 20 century; miscellaneous 1851-1977; America 1855-1979; Australia 1885-1974; France 1895-1969; New Zealand 1914-1943; Canada 1922-1972; South Africa 1940-1968; Crossley Carpets (Western Germany) Limited, etc 1957-1978; Crossley Carpets (Scandinavia) 1961-1976; miscellaneous foreign trade 1853-1973.

Plant and property records 1853-1978 (plans 1855-1937; insurance and valuations 1878-1978, and miscellaneous records 1853-c1972).

Legal records: title deeds 1621-1978;executorship records 1807-10-6; patents, licences, etc 1833-1973

Employee records: personnel records 1839-1978; wages and salaries c1865-1980; staff associations and services 1844-1969 (including Mutual Benefit Society 1844-1914; Dean Clough Library and Institute 1859-1941; Union records 1919-1965; Dean Clough Mills Welfare Society 1929-1938; Canteen 1941-1968; Male Staff Association 1950s-1963; Crossleys Carpets Works Band 1950-1969).

Promotional material: photographs and illustrations 1803-1960s; exhibitions and awards 1853-1967; brochures, articles, etc 1903-1964).

Crossley and Porter Orphanage c1842-1893

Halifax Light Operatic Society 1924-1972

Hebble Brook Owners and Occupiers 1925-1957

Ovenden Worsted Company Limited: Articles and minutes 1871-1906; correspondence 1872-1904; share records 1874-1906; cash books 1866-1904; sales books 1866-1900; purchase books and invoices 1866-1901; petty cash accounts 1866-1900; copy invoice books 1889-1903; stock records 1867-1901; cost books 1866-1897; worsted spinning accounts 1866-1901; yarn orders 1871-1902; agents' accounts, etc 1876-1902; piece order books c1879-1897; returns and credits books 1884-1903; spinning sales books 1889-1903; mill order books 1891-1897; Manchester orders, etc 1891-1898; plant and property records 1867-c1903; legal records c1803-C1914; employees' records 1866-1904).

Sharleston Coal Company Limited/New Sharlston Collieries Company Limited 1850s-1947.

Robert Crossley and Company 1861-1866.

Russian Carpet Company 1887-1933.

Spur Doubling Mill Limited, Stockport, 1919-1968.

W and R K Lee Limited/John Crossley and Sons (Croslee Yarns) Limited/Crossley Yarns Limited, Sowerby Bridge 1936-1982.

Kosset Carpets Limited, Brighouse 1954-1981.

Other companies 1957-1980.

Administrative / Biographical History

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.

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, ETC 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

Conditions Governing Access

These records are available from the Calderdale Office by appointment. WYAS uses the CARN readers ticket system, please see our website at http://www.wyjs.org.uk/archives-carn.asp. Some records are subject to access restrictions DC:1498-1504, 1508

Acquisition Information

Accession number 1520 deposited 2 December 1992

Custodial History

Accession number(s): 1520

Date(s) of accession: 2 Dec 1992 (from WYAS, HQ)

Catalogued: 8 Feb 1994/PS

Last updated: 15 Sep 2004/PS

Related Material

See also S:56; V:41; CRO; MP:11; MISC:1019; MIC:28; MISC:807; MIC:22; HAS/B;24; WYC:1410

Bibliography

See Transactions of the Halifax Antiquarian Society, 1950-1953, for articles by R.Bretton on the "Crossleys of Dean Clough"

Personal Names