Savile Crossley, 1st Baron Somerleyton

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The Lord Somerleyton

Savile Brinton Crossley, Vanity Fair, 1888-11-17.jpg
"Lowestoft". Caricature by Spy published in Vanity Fair in 1888.
In office
11 March 1902 – 4 December 1905
Monarch Edward VII
Prime Minister Arthur Balfour
Preceded by The Duke of Marlborough
Succeeded by Richard Causton
Personal details
Born 14 June 1857 (1857-06-14)
Died 25 February 1935 (1935-02-26) (aged 77)
Nationality British
Political party Liberal Unionist
Spouse(s) Phyllis de Bathe

Savile Brinton Crossley, 1st Baron Somerleyton GCVO PC (14 June 1857 – 25 February 1935), known as Sir Savile Crossley, Bt, from 1872 to 1916, was a British Liberal Unionist politician who served as Paymaster General from 1902 to 1905.


Crossley was the only son of the businessman and Liberal politician Sir Francis Crossley, 1st Baronet, and his wife Martha Eliza, daughter of Henry Brinton.[1]

Political career

Crossley was elected to parliament for Lowestoft in 1885, as a Liberal. In 1886 he joined the Liberal Unionists and held the seat until 1892 when he chose not to stand again for Lowestoft.[2] In 1897 Crossley stood as a Liberal Unionist in a by-election for Halifax. He failed that time but stood again in Halifax in the 1900 general election and won the seat. [3] He was appointed High Sheriff of Suffolk for 1896-97.[4]

Crossley was involved in work regarding the National Coronation gift from the people to their new monarch King Edward VII, and was present as it was awarded to the King two days after the coronoation, on 11 August 1902. For his service, he was invested as a Member (fourth class) of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO).[5][6]

In August 1902 he was appointed Paymaster-General[7] in the Conservative government of Arthur Balfour and was admitted to the Privy Council in December of the same year.[8] He remained as Paymaster-General this post until the government fell in December 1905, and lost his seat in the 1906 general election that followed shortly after. Crossley was never to re-enter the House of Commons.

However, in 1916 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Somerleyton, of Somerleyton in the County of Suffolk.[9] Two years later he was appointed a Lord-in-waiting (government whip) in the coalition government of David Lloyd George. The coalition fell in 1922, but Somerleyton remained as a whip also in the Conservative administrations of Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin. However, after the first Baldwin government fell in 1924, he was never to hold ministerial office again.

Military and civic appointments

Crossley held the appointment of honorary major in the Army. He was on 2 April 1893 appointed a captain in The Prince of Wales's Own Norfolk Artillery, a Militia Battalion stationed at Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.[10] He volunteered for active service in South Africa during the Second Boer War, and was on 10 March 1900 appointed captain in the Imperial Yeomanry and attached to its 18th battalion.[11] In early May 1902 he was back as a captain in the Norfolk Artillery.[12] He was promoted to the substantive rank of major and honorary lieutenant-colonel of the battalion later the same month,[13] and later served as lieutenant-colonel commanding the Battalion.


Lord Somerleyton married Phyllis de Bathe, daughter of General Sir Henry Percival de Bathe, in 1887. He died in February 1935, aged 77, and was succeeded in the baronetcy and barony by his eldest son, Francis Savile Crossley. His younger son, John, was the father of Belinda Douglas-Scott-Montagu, Baroness Montagu of Beaulieu. Lady Somerleyton died in 1948.[1]


  1. ^ a b Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990,[page needed]
  2. ^ House of Commons: London University to Lymington
  3. ^ House of Commons: Hackney to Harwich
  4. ^ "No. 26720". The London Gazette. 10 March 1896. p. 1596.
  5. ^ "Court Circular". The Times (36844). London. 12 August 1902. p. 8.
  6. ^ "No. 27467". The London Gazette. 22 August 1902. p. 5461.
  7. ^ Peerage: Slim to Stamfordham
  8. ^ "No. 27504". The London Gazette. 16 December 1902. p. 8663.
  9. ^ "No. 29651". The London Gazette. 4 July 1916. p. 6597.
  10. ^ Hart′s Army list, 1901
  11. ^ "No. 27172". The London Gazette. 9 March 1900. p. 1630.
  12. ^ "No. 27431". The London Gazette. 6 May 1902. p. 3016.
  13. ^ "No. 27471". The London Gazette. 27 May 1902. p. 3462.

External links

  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Sir Savile Crossley
Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Lowestoft
Succeeded by
Harry Foster
Preceded by
Alfred Billson
Sir Alfred Arnold
Member of Parliament for Halifax
With: John Henry Whitley
Succeeded by
John Henry Whitley
James Parker
Political offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Marlborough
Succeeded by
Richard Causton
Preceded by
The Lord Herschell
The Lord Stanmore
The Lord Ranksborough
The Viscount Valentia
The Lord Hylton
With: The Lord Herschell 1918–1919
The Lord Stanmore 1918–1922
The Lord Ranksborough 1918–1921
The Viscount Valentia 1918–1924
The Earl of Jersey 1919
The Earl of Bradford 1919–1924
The Earl of Onslow 1919–1920
The Earl of Lucan 1920–1924
The Earl of Clarendon 1921–1922
The Earl of Malmesbury 1922–1924
The Earl of Albemarle 1922–1924
Succeeded by
The Earl De La Warr
The Lord Muir-Mackenzie
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New creation
Baron Somerleyton
Succeeded by
Francis Savile Crossley
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