Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Crosse, John (1739-1816)

CROSSE, JOHN (1739–1816), vicar of Bradford, was the son of Hammond Crosse, esq., of Kensington. He was born in the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London, in 1739, and educated in a school at Hadley, near Barnet, Hertfordshire. When he was ordained does not appear, but his first curacy was in Wiltshire, whence he removed to the Lock Chapel, London. In 1765 he went abroad, and travelled for three years through a great part of Europe. A manuscript account of his travels is extant. It would seem that he had entered at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. on 18 Feb. 1768 (Cat. of Oxford Graduates, ed. 1851, p. 163). Soon after his return from the continent he was presented to the very small livings of Todmorden in the parish of Rochdale, and Cross-Stone in the parish of Halifax, where he continued for six years. He then became incumbent of White Chapel, Cleckheaton. In 1776 he was incorporated B.A. at Cambridge, and took the degree of M.A. as a member of King's College in that university (Graduati Cantab. ed. 1856, p. 97). His father having bought for him the next presentation of the vicarage of Bradford Yorkshire, he was presented to it in 1784 (James, Hist. of Bradford, pp. 209, 212). He was highly esteemed as an ‘evangelical’ clergyman by his parishioners during an incumbency of thirty-two years. Although in the latter part of his life he was blind, he continued to perform the offices of the church till a fortnight before his death, which took place on 17 June 1816.

By his will he made a bequest to George Buxton Browne, in trust, ‘for promoting the cause of true religion,’ and in 1832 three theological scholarships, called the Crosse scholarships, were founded in the university of Cambridge from the sum of 2,000l. thus bequeathed (Cambridge Univ. Calendar, ed. 1884, p. 349; Cooper, Annals of Cambridge, iv. 574).

A detailed account of his pastoral labours is given in ‘The Parish Priest: pourtrayed in the Life, Character, and Ministry of the Rev. John Crosse, by the Rev. William Morgan, B.D., incumbent of Christ Church, Bradford,’ London, 1841, 12mo.

He was the author of: 1. ‘A Letter to the Author of Remarks on Two of the Most Singular Characters of the Age,’ London, 1790, 8vo. This was in answer to an attack made upon him by ‘Trim,’ i.e. Edward Baldwyn [q. v.], and was printed with a reply by the latter. 2. ‘A Reply to the Objections brought against the Church of England, in a late publication entitled “An Answer to the Inquiry, Why are you a Dissenter?”’ Bradford, 1798, 12mo. His portrait has been engraved by Topham from a painting by J. Hunter (Evans, Cat. of Engraved Portraits, ii. 111).

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