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William Crosthwaite Esquire

William Crosthwaite, an Englishman, became a merchant and manufacturer of bleached and brown linen in Dundee. At the time of pledging a subscription, he occupied a factory in Cotton Road with an office and warehouse in St. Andrew's Street Dundee.

Subscription value in 1863:


Relative to inflation up to 2024:


Relative to income compared to 2024:


Personal details and history

Full name

William Crosthwaite

Date of birth

circa 1800[1] baptised 20-01-1800[2]

Place of birth

England[3] - Crosthwaite, Cumberland[2] (see Comments)



Marital status


Name of spouse

Married twice: (1) Elizabeth Alicia Jane Powell, (daughter of Caleb Edward Powell, Solicitor to the Mint). d. 26-04-1856:[4] and (2) Emma Waller (married in Kingston on Hull, 25-11-1857):[5] - (2nd daughter of the late Major Waller, 21st Scots Fusiliers):[5]


William Waller b.10-12-1858:[6] Louisa Edmondson b.09-05-1860:[7] Emma Saint Barbe b.17-10-1861:[8] Octavia Stopford b.18-10-1863:[9]

Home address

1 Victoria Street, Dundee (1840-41)[10]
58 Magdalen Yard Road, Dundee (1842-43)[11]
57 Magdalen Green, Dundee (1845)[12]
Craigie House, Dundee (1846-47)[13][14]
King Street House (4 King Street), Dundee (1853-54)[15]
Ferrybank House, Cupar, Fife (!864-68)[16][17]

Age at death:

73 years[1]

Place of death:

Bridge of Allan, Logie, Perthshire[1]

Date of death:



Western Cemetery, Perth road, Dundee[1]

Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers

Religious affiliation


Political affiliation

Liberal - William Crosthwaite, while living at Ferrybank, was reported to have been a supporter of Sir Robert Anstruther, in his attempt, as a candidate, to become the Liberal representative in Parliament for the County of Fife.[18]

Clubs / societies

Anti Corn Law League - William Crosthwaite gave a subscription of £6 towards the cause:[19] Caledonian Union Golf Club - William played and came 2nd in a competition at Carnoustie:[20] Total Abstinence Society - William Crossthwaite donated to the Abstinence Society and Reading Room in Pitlessie, Fife:[21]

Public offices


Related subscribers

Career and worklife


Merchant and manufacturer of bleached and brown linen[16][14]



Place of work

31 St Andrew's Street, Dundee (office and warehouse):[22] factory (tenancy), Cotton Road, Dundee:[23]

Work address

31 St Andrew's Street[16]

Cotton Road[23]

Career to date:

William Crosthwaite was born In England c.1800 and so was not native to Dundee. He was living in Dundee from c.1840 where he initially established himself as a merchant with an office in St Andrew's Street.[10] On expanding his business to become, in addition, a bleached and brown linen manufacturer,[14] he had by 1865, at the latest, acquired the tenancy of a factory at 23 Cotton Road. Dundee was not the only site of his business ventures however. The Valuation Roll for 1855 in Angus indicated that William Crosthwaite was the tenant for a "house, garden and manufacturing premises and field of land" in Letham.[24] Curiously, his given residence, in one intimation, at the time of his marriage to Emma Waller in 1857, is listed as Kirkbuddo House,[5] not far from Letham. It is possible that the 'house' at Letham was occupied by his clerk and manager, Mr Alexander Warden - the fellow who, in 1859, "was imprisoned for defrauding the weavers employed by him, of part of their money due them."[25] Similarily, the Valuation Roll for 1865 in Fife indicated that William Crosthwaite had become the proprietor and tenant of "warerooms and warping premises in Pitlessie.[26] The Voter Lists of 1863-64 also stated he, a merchant in Dundee, was also proprietor and occupier of a house, factory and garden, east end of Pitlessie. All the while, William maintained his operations in Dundee.

More information

Wiliam Crosthwaite was born in England c.1800.[3] His death certificate lists his parents as William Crosthwaite, farmer, and Jane Edmondson.[1] The Ancestry website provided the transcript of a baptismal entry for a William Crosthwaite, father William and mother Jane Edmundson, 20th January 1800, at Crosthwaite, Cumberland.

By 1841, the  census recorded William as having lived at Albert Street, Dundee and is shown in the Dundee Postal Directory, 1840-41, as a merchant, living at 1 Victoria Street (probably the same address). He had a number of home addresses in Dundee in the years following, ending up by 1853 in King Street House (4 King Street) where he stayed before moving to Fife. William’s home of King Street House was advertised for sale in 1863. The properties comprised – “King Street House and Dwelling Houses, Counting Houses and Warehouses for sale by Public Roup.” The advert went on to define the boundaries – “King Street House and Ground attached, situated on the North side of King Street all as presently occupied by William Crosthwaite Esq. The ground attached extends from King Street, North to the Bucklemaker Wynd.”[27]

The Dundee Postal Directories note that his office was in St Andrew’s Street which is confirmed by the 1855 valuation roll. The valuation roll for 1865 shows that, by then, he rented a factory in Cotton Road. This was later to be let in 1871, as advertised in the Dundee Advertiser – “To let, the Handloom Factory at No 23 Cotton Road, presently occupied by William Crosthwaite, Esq. Apply to Mr McLauchlan, manager, Dens Road Factory.”[28]

It would appear that, by the mid 1860s, William’s dealings in trade took place in Dundee and Pitlessie in Fife. His will stipulated that by his death in 1873, he had an office and stock in Dundee, manufactories in Fife (at Collessie and Pitlessie) and interests in Perthshire also.[29] Curiously, another Crosthwaite (Thomas) also operated as a linen manufacturer in Pitlessie. No mention was made of any other Crosthwaite in William’s will, his estate going to his immediate family only.[29]

Although, doubtless, there is a likelihood of a connection between the two (William and Thomas), it has not become immediately evident (Thomas was the son of Thomas Crosthwaite). A piece of evidence which does suggest a connection is the fact that Thomas’ daughter, Elizabeth subsequently resided at a house she named ‘Ferrybank,’  39A Mains Loan in Dundee – the very name of William’s home near Cupar, Fife. Thomas also had a son named William – the name of the informant on William’s death record.[29]

No children have been traced from William’s first marriage to Elizabeth Powell whose father was Caleb Edward Powell, Solicitor to the Mint.[4] Elizabeth died 26 April 1856, aged 48, cause of death dropsy.[4] He married his second wife, Emma Waller (many years his junior), in 1857 in Kingston on Hull[8]. At the time of the 1861 census, Emma was staying in lodgings in Bridge of Allan with her ten month old daughter, Louisa. In his later years the family lived at Ferrybank House in the parish of Cupar, county of Fife. The household included a governess (his will indicated that his children were to be educated at home) together with servants.

William Crosthwaite died at Bridge of Allan, aged 73.[1] At the time of his death, William left a relatively young wife, together with a young family of 4, to mourn his loss. For his wife Emma, this was not to be her only brush with grief. She outlived two of their children. Their daughter Louisa Edmondson Crosthwaite died, aged 28, in 1888. Their only son, William Waller Crosthwaite died in 1890, aboard the Royal Mail steamer “Merkara” at Suez, while on passage home from Australia.[30] He was merely 30 years old.[30] Only their daughters Emma and Octavia outlived their parents.


  1. Statutory Registers. Logie, County of Perth. Deaths. (1873). 374/11. ScotlandsPeople website.
  2. England Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975. FHL Film No. 0926148-149, 0924744. Ancestry website.
  3. Census Record. 1861. Dundee. 282/ 113/ 1. ScotlandsPeople website
  4. Statutory Registers. Dundee. Deaths. (1856). 282/1 406. ScotlandsPeople website
  5. Yorkshire Gazette. 28 November 1857. Findmypast website.
  6. Statutory Registers. Dundee. Births. (1858). 282/ 1 1646. ScotlandsPeople website.
  7. Statutory Registers. Dundee. Births. (1860). 282/ 1 612. ScotlandsPeople website.
  8. Statutory Registers. Dundee. Births. (1861). 282/1 1506. ScotlandsPeople website.
  9. Statutory Registers. Dundee. Births. (1863). 282/ 1 1590. ScotlandsPeople website.
  10. Dundee Postal Directory, 1840-1. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
  11. Dundee Postal Directory, 1842-3. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
  12. Dundee Postal Directory, 1845. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
  13. Dundee Postal Directory, 1846-7. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
  14. Dundee Postal Directory, 1850. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
  15. Dundee Postal Directory, 1853-4. Dundee Central library, Local Studies.
  16. Dundee Postal Directory, 1864-5. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
  17. Dundee Postal Directory, 1867-8. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
  18. The Scotsman. 20 November 1868. p5. Findmypast website.
  19. Dundee, Perth & Cupar Advertiser. 26 January 1844. p.2. Findmypast website.
  20. Montrose, Arbroath & Brechin Review. 31 October 1856. p.5. Findmypast website.
  21. Fife Herald. 1 June 1854. p.3. Findmypast website.
  22. Valuation roll. Burgh of Dundee. 1855. ScotlandsPeople website.
  23. Valuation roll. Burgh of Dundee. (1865). ScotlandsPeople website.
  24. Valuation Roll. (1855). VR008800001-/109. Angus (Forfarshire). ScotlandsPeople website.
  25. Montrose, Arbroath & Brechin Review. 5 August 1859. p.4. Findmypast website.
  26. Valuation Roll. (1865). VR010100011-/43. (Fife County). ScotlandsPeople website.
  27. Dundee Advertiser. 8 January 1863. p.1. Findmypast website
  28. Dundee Advertiser. 7 April 1871. p.1. Findmypast website.
  29. Legal Records. Wills and Testaments. Cupar Sheriff Court. (1873). SC20/ 50/ 46. ScotlandsPeople website.
  30. Manchester Times. 29 August 1890. p.8. Findmypast website.

The information above about William Crosthwaite has been collated from a range of digital and hard copy sources. To the best of our knowledge it is correct but if you are relying on any information from our website for the purpose of your own research we would advise you to follow up the sources to your own satisfaction. If you are aware of an inaccuracy in our text please do not hesitate to notify us through our Contact page.