Crossland, John Michael

  John Michael Crossland

1799 - 1858

Portraitist - Yorkshire to South Australia

This is a work in progress and I would love to hear from anybody who has more information about this Crossland family in York, London and South Australia. I am also researching the families who are connected along the way, please follow this link for many more family names.

Please email me here, or right click to copy email address. 

 

My great-great Grandfather John Michael Crossland was born in York on 29th. September, 1799 and baptised at St Michael le Belfry on 27th. November, 1799. He was the first of the four children born to John Crossland and Ann (nee Jefferson).

John Crossland snr., son of John and Jane Crossland, was a drummer, sergeant and sergeant major in the 31st. Regiment of Foot and Lieutenant Adjutant in  the City of York Militia. He died in 1813, aged 53.  His fellow officers had a plaque made and  placed on the wall of St Michael le Belfry in his memory. (Click here for service details)

John Michael's mother, Ann, died in 1808 aged only 34, so that after his father's death John, then aged 13, and his surviving sibling(s) were orphans. Nothing is known about where they lived after their parents' deaths but the second child, William, died at the York Union Poorhouse in 1845, aged 43. The youngest child, Charles, died aged 2 1/2 years in 1805 and nothing more is known of the 3rd. child and only daughter, Diana, who was born in 1804. To date it has not been possible to identify just where John Michael's paternal grandparents were from but probably they lived in the vicinity of York.

Ann Jefferson's father was a tailor who purchased his right to trade as a Freeman within the city walls of York. (further details coming) He married  Ann Spence and they had Ann and 3 other children. 

 

At the moment nothing more is known of John Michael until he started to study and exhibit portraits in London at The Royal Academy and The Royal Society of British Artists in 1832 (References).  He is recorded as having exhibited 5 portraits in 1832, 1833 and 1844 at the Royal Academy and one in 1845 at The Royal Society of British Artists.. As several of his paintings of that era are of Italian subjects it may be that John had at some time in the intervening years travelled and painted in Europe. (In 1844 a baby son was baptised with the very exotic name of Jerome Ambrosini - rather out of character with the names of the other siblings - however he was almost certainly named for another portraitist, James Parker Jerome who changed his name to Ambrosini Jerome, and who was working in London at the time. The 2 artists were probably well known to one another. Italian artists were very highly considered in London at the time and there were good economic reasons to appear to have Italian connections.

John married Jane Clarke Worledge, the daughter of Samuel Worledge and Sarah (nee Pool) in London in 1833 and the couple went on to have 10 children over the next few years, 4 of whom died in infancy. Over this time they are known to have lived at 77 London Wall, 103 London Wall, 69 Newman Street, Pool Street Shoreditch and 21 Shaftesbury Terrace. According to details given at the time of the children's baptisms John additionally worked as an accountant and clerk.

In 1851 John and Jane and 7 children arrived in South Australia on the barque "Slains Castle". The story of this trip and passenger list can be viewed by clicking here. They lived in Adelaide near the corner of King William and Waymouth Streets and later in Halifax Street during which time John gained commissions to paint portraits of notable South Australians of the time.

Later the family moved to Encounter Bay (now part of Victor Harbor) where John died in 1858, probably from tuberculosis. Jane taught at local schools in the area before moving back to Norwood & Goodwood later in life. She lived to be 92 but died in tragic circumstances when she lit the stove in her house in Leader Street, Goodwood and flames caught her clothing. She was admitted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital with severe burns and died several days later. 

John's eldest son, also named John Michael, purchased land at Waitpinga and had a contract for supplying fence posts for the new Encounter Bay Cemetery. He is believed to have died at Albury, NSW, occupation Cook. 

Sons William, Henry & George all joined the Police Force but only William stayed any length of time. William later worked for a cordial/ginger beer factory in Gawler, Sth Aust and died tragically when he was run over by a wagon at Burra, aged 40. He left a widow and one daughter. George also died at Burra in 1918, aged 70 and unmarried.

Francis and Henry reputedly worked as surveyor's assistants on the Overland Telegraph Line and this is quite possible as Henry's wife was related to Charles Todd, Postmaster General and Superintendant of Telegraphs, Adelaide. Henry died on the goldfields at Sandhurst, near Bendigo, Vic, aged 47, leaving a wife and 4 children. Francis died at Port Adelaide, aged 86. 

It seems that only 3 of John and Jane's children married, - 2nd son William Walker, my great-grandfather Henry Barker and Emilie Jane and I believe that no male descendants carried on the family name beyond the next generation. There are however a number of descendants, although it's not known if Emilie had any children.

Paintings attributed to John Michael Crossland

 - exhibited at The Royal Academy 1832 

Portrait of a Gentleman

Bandit Chief destroying his child, fearing that it's cries might lead to a discovery of his place of retreat

Italian Peasants

- exhibited at The Royal Academy 1833

Medora 

- exhibited at The Royal Academy 1844

E.F. Leeks Esq., Secretary to the St. Ann's Society 

- exhibited at The Royal Society of British Artists 1845

Rev. David Laing, MA FRS, Honorary Chaplain to the St Ann's Society

- reported in the Adelaide Observer 12.3.1853

Captain Charles Sturt (to hang in the Legislative Council Chamber of SA - later gifted to the Art Gallery of South Australia)

- National Portrait Gallery of London

Charles Sturt

- reported in the Adelaide Advertiser 18.3.1911  (part of late Hon. Alexander Hay's collections and sold to Mr. McDiarmid for 31 guineas)

A Waterfall, Windermere

- Art Gallery of South Australia

John Brown (Emigration Agent - c 1855)

Judge Charles Cooper (1853)

Captain Charles Sturt x 2 paintings

- National Gallery of Australia

Staffordshire bull terrier belonging to the Rev. John Gower (1851)

- National Library of Australia 1854 (on loan to the National Gallery of Australia: Rex Nankivell Collection)

Portrait Of Samuel Kandwillan, a pupil of the natives' training institution, Poonindie, South Australia

Portrait of Nannultera, a young Poonindie cricketer

- commissioned for Parliament House, South Australia,  December 1854

Portrait of Sir James Hurtle Fisher

- other persons known to have sat for J.M. Crossland portraits

Thomas Gilbert (Colonial Storekeeper)

George Fife Angas

William Giles (second manager South Australian Company)

Governor and Mrs. Young

Reverend Thomas Quinton Stow

Reverend James Farrell

- exhibited at South Australian Society of Arts First Exhibition 1857

Captain Sturt - the hero of Australian Exploration

 

Design & Art Australia website gives a good summary of John Crossland - see the article at http://www.daao.org.au/main/read/2023

Bibliography

Nancy Benko, Art & Artists of SA, Lidums, SA, 1969

Algernon Graves, The Royal Academy of Arts 1769 -1904, London, 1905

C. Wood, Dictionary of Victorian Painters, Woodbridge Suffolk 1978

R. Ormond, Early Victorian Portraits, London, 1973

R. Radford, Visions after Light, AGSA catalogue, Adelaide 1971

Maurice Bradshaw , Royal Society of British Artists Exhibitors 1824 1962. 5 Vols. F.Lewis Pubn. 1973 1977.

 

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John Crossland Senior (1759 - 1813)

John was a drummer, sergeant and sergeant major in the 31st. Regiment of Foot and then Lieutenant Adjutant in  the City of York Militia. He died in 1813, aged 53.  His fellow officers had a plaque made and  placed on the wall of St Michael le Belfry in his memory.

He joined the 31st regiment of Foot when in his very early teens and for many years served in Quebec, and probably Ireland, West Indies and France. During the regiment's tour of duty in the West Indies they lost large numbers due to disease - this possibly explains John's promotion  direct from Drummer to Searjeant in 1795.

The muster rolls for the 31st Foot 1774-1797 are monthly but  the following serve as examples:-

January 1774 - Tynemouth Barracks, Northumberland, England - John Crossland Drummer

August 1775 - Morpeth, Northumberland, England - John Crossland Drummer

February 1778 - St John's - John Crossland Drummer

November 1782 - Quebec - John Crossland Drummer

January 1785 - Quebec - John Crossland

July 1789 - Hilsea Barracks, Portsmouth, England - John Crossland Drummer Recruiting

October 1792 - John Crossland Drummer Recruiting (possibly Ireland)

July 1795 - John Crossland Drummer (No place noted - possibly West Indies)

Apptd Serjeant - 1st September 1795 -

1796-1797 Serjeant (recruiting)

1802 - Based in Portsmouth, Hampshire where son William was born then the Channel Islands

 Last Entry August 1804 - discharged to promotion in City of York Militia. He is listed as Serjeant Major

There was an overlap where he was on the rolls of both the 31st Foot and the York City Militia.  He appears on the Muster Rolls of the latter from 1803 and does not exit the Muster Rolls of the31st Foot until August 1804. He transferred to the Militia in a paid position at the level of Lieutenant. This was unusual as militia were usually volunteers.

 1804 Publication War Office List of the Officers of the Gentlemen & Yeomanry Cavalry & Volunteer Infantry (War Office 1804) Entry York (W Riding - City of York), Adjutant, John Crossland, Lieutenant, 29/11/1803

1805 Publication War Office List of the Officers of the Gentlemen & Yeomanry Cavalry & Volunteer Infantry (War Office 1805) Entry York (W Riding - City of York), Adjutant, John Crossland, Lieutenant, 29/11/1803

1807 Publication War Office List of the Officers of the Gentlemen & Yeomanry Cavalry & Volunteer Infantry (War Office 1807) Entry York (W Riding - City of York), Adjutant, John Crossland, Lieutenant, 29/11/1803

1810 Publication - List of the Officers of the Local Militia of Great Britain Entry York (W Riding - City of York), Adjutant, John Crossland, Lieutenant, 24/09/1808 (an error! see below)

1811 Publication - List of the Officers of the Local Militia of Great Britain Entry York (W Riding - City of York), Adjutant, JohnCrossland, Lieutenant, 24/09/1808 (an error! see below)

These lists were published annually - the above years are the only ones in the National Archives Collection. The date of seniority of 29/11/1803 makes more sense as his date of commission as it fits in with the muster rolls for both 31st foot and York City Militia. We have no idea why the date of seniority later changes to 24/09/1808.

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These pages prepared by Diana Comley.

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