Text from the Guide to the Records of Merseyside Maritime Museum, volume 2: The Crosbie-Oates Family
An outstanding family and maritime collection relating to privateering, trade with the U.S.A. and Liverpool trade generally and palm oil trade with West Africa. It also contains details of Irish, ecclesiastical, political and domestic life, and the assassination of the British Prime Minister, Spencer Percival, in 1812. The archive contains an enormous amount of family and genealogical material and gives a fascinating contemporary insight into the natural events of the 19th century.
One of the most interesting of the family affairs is the undocumented first marriage of Sir Edward William Crosbie, Bart., to Margaret Ferguson at Drogheda. After she had borne him three children, he deserted her for a wealthy widow c.1790, but in 1798 he paid with his life for his part in the Irish Rebellion. His eldest son was apprenticed to William Rathbone, and two years later his mother is recorded as keeping a boarding house in Lancelots Hey, Liverpool. Edward’s only daughter, Elizabeth, married the Reverend Richard Oates in 1853, thus creating the Crosbie-Oates family.
The family were connected to James Otis, patriot of Boston and son of Samuel Oates who emigrated to America in 1724. Other notable names mentioned in correspondence with the Crosbie-Oates family are Aickin, Clare, Cronhelm, Forbes Smith, Gill, Halfpenny (this family emigrated to U.S.A.), Molyneux, Rea, Shaw, Singlehurst and Tardew.
Two volumes of original letters: subjects include William Oates' trade in oil on board the barque Sarah, West Africa, (1856). National events and family news, eg Edward Crosbie’s imprisonment in Mexico, (1854) and Sheldon’s death on the Lightning, a vessel belonging to the King of Siam, in Bangkok (1838), 1778-1870 and 1819-1923.
Letters of Marque against Spain and North America, 1779-1781.
Memorandums of Edward Crosbie, includes details of a voyage to Boston, U.S.A., 1805-1906.
Crosbie Family Bible with dates of family events, etc., 1821-1826.
Account books (family, freight and household), 1831-1841, 1844 and 1860-1893.
Journals of Henry Crosbie re family affairs, religion, politics, etc., 1840-1841, 1842, 1843 and 1844-1847.
Minute book for Christ Church Ragged School, Clare Street, Liverpool (1852-1856), given to Charles Robert Oates, ex Honorary Secretary on its closure, and used by him for recording family history notes, 1856-1878.
Journals of William J. Oates, trading master on voyages to Bonny, West Africa, including his first voyage on board the Hants of Liverpool, his return on the Celma (1852-1854), and his second voyage from Liverpool on board the Charles Horsfall (1856-1859), c.1852-1859.
Family scrap books, c.19th-20th centuries.