William Henry Crosfield

Donor to Antiquities and African Collections in 1861

William Henry Crosfield is the first donor of Egyptian antiquities to the museum. He owned a sugar importing and grocery business in Liverpool where he served as a Justice of the Peace. His father was also called William and was an anti-slavery campaigner and friend of William Lloyd Garrison. The Crosfields were Quakers and active supporters of the British Society for the Propagation of the Gospel Among the Jews. William married Fanny Elizabeth Job (born in Newfoundland) in Liverpool, in 1865. They had one child, Dora, born 1867. William was born into a commercial family from Lancashire. His father joined the business of George Crosfield & Co. William was educated at the Royal Institution, Colquitt Street. He focussed his attentions on religious and philanthropic activities particularly Sunday Schools and the Liberal Association. He became an important member of this institution and moved in the social circles of the Holts. He was a member of several associations including the Central Committee of the Congregational Union, the Mersey Dock Board and was deeply committed to improving the conditions of Liverpool's poor especially the Ragged Schools and the Poor Laws. He played an important part in the establishment of the Hospital Sunday. He contributed financially to the Liverpool University College and also Mansfield College Oxford. He served as an MP in several parts of the UK including Warrington and Lincoln. He lived in Annesley, Woodlands Road, Aigburth..

In April 1861 William Crosfield donated over 207 antiquities to the museum (accession numbers A letter dated 13 April 1861 written by Mrs Dora Philip of 32 Gayfield Square, Edinburgh, to Mr William Crosfield of Temple Court, Liverpool, reveals that that William Crosfield bought five cases of the Philip's collection of antiquities for the Liverpool Free Public Museum (now World Museum) as Dora and Hermann Philip were moving from Edinburgh and selling the contents of their own museum. Dora mentions Liverpool as her 'birth place'.

Photocopy of a photograph and biography in the Ethnology history files.
  • Gender
  • Relationship
    Collector, Previous owner
  • Nationality
  • Born
  • Place of birth
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: Merseyside: Liverpool: West Derby
  • Died
  • Place of death
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: Merseyside: Liverpool
  • Cause of death
    Unknown or unrecorded
Page load time: 250 ms