Robert Crosby was the second child of Mary Ditchburn & Robert Crosby born 1834 at Dawdon Hall, Seaham & christened February 25th, 1834 at St Andrew's, Dalton-le-Dale, Co Durham.
At the time of the 1841 census Robert was living with his mother & sister Jane at New Cassop where his mother was a publican. His father was visiting his aunt Elizabeth Earnshaw (nee Crosby) at Dawdon Hall, Seaham.
In 1851 Robert was an apprentice butcher for John Picken at Blackgate, Coxhoe.
By 1861 Robert had returned to live at home with his parents at Front Row, Cassop. He was now a butcher. In August 1861 Robert gave evidence at the Durham Crown Court in the case of a dispute over the sale of a pig which died shortly after the sale. Robert testified that the pig was diseased as seen in its liver & lungs & must have been so prior to the sale. (Durham County Advertiser, August 9th, 1861)
Robert married Mary Ann Brown in April-June 1866, the marriage being registered at Sunderland. Mary Ann was born at Sacriston & christened May 3rd, 1840 at Chester-le-Street, the daughter of Dorothy & Benjamin Brown, a butcher.
By 1871 Robert & Mary were living at High St, Sherburn, where Robert continued to be a butcher. They had a 4 year old son Benjamin Brown Crosby who they included on the census, but he was in fact visiting his grandparents at Front St, Cassop. Living with them was an apprentice butcher, Thomas Hutchinson.
Robert again had dealings with Durham County Court in 1879 when there was a dispute concerning non-payment of rent to him on a dwelling he owned at Cassop. The occupant was evicted but a quantity of furniture went missing from the house. (Newcastle Courant, November 28th, 1879)
In 1881 Robert & Mary were still at Sherburn, now at 10 Front St. At home were Benjamin, Mary J (9), Dorothy A (5) & Edith (10 months).
Robert was the owner of a public house, the Black Boy Inn, in Sherburn Hill as stated in the Durham County Advertiser of June 26th, 1885. He was in dispute with the landlord of the pub, John Rodgers, who leased the pub from Robert. The case concerned the costs of making 2 extra rooms & the painting & decorating of them which Rodgers stated that Robert should pay. However Robert disputed this as the rooms did not exist at the time the lease was made. Other newspaper articles indicate that Robert also bred greyhound puppies.
Robert & Mary were listed at 9 Front St, Sherburn in 1891 & Robert was now a butcher & farmer. Mary Jane & Dorothy Ann were the only children at home. Daughter Edith had died, aged 7, in 1888. Son Benjamin was living in Shadforth Village, Co Durham & listed as a farmer’s son. Living at the same address were Jane (23) & Agnes (17) Spedding, both general servants. Benjamin was to marry Agnes Stoves in Jan-March 1897 at Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Daughter Mary Jane was to marry Thomas James Peel in April-June 1891 at Sunderland. Sadly by 1901 Mary Jane was widowed & left to bring up their 2 sons & a daughter on her own. The 1939 register shows Mary Jane living at 1 Armstrong St, Hesleden, Co Durham with her son Wilfred who worked at the colliery.
Daughter Dorothy Ann was to marry William Henry Oliver in Jan-March 1895 at Sunderland. Dorothy Ann was living at 9 South Terrace, Hesleden, Co Durham in 1911with a boarder, Joseph Chadwick, a coal miner. It was noted that she had had 9 children, only 2 of whom were still alive. These 2 surviving daughters, Irene Crosby Oliver & Mary Ann Brown Oliver were with Dorothy’s husband William, a butcher & farmer at Croft House, Shadforth at the time of the 1911 census.
Mary Ann Crosby died on March 15th, 1899 at Wheatley Hill, Co Durham. Probate was granted on May 23rd, 1903 to daughters Mary Jane Peel & Dorothy Ann Oliver (wife of William Henry Oliver). Her effects were £1,103.19s.9d.
Robert died aged 69 & was buried on December 14th, 1900 at Shadforth, Co Durham.
The children of Robert Crosby & Mary Ann Brown were:
c.22.214.171.124 Benjamin Brown Crosby born October 26th, 1866 at Cassop, Co Durham; died July 23rd, 1908 at Durham
c.126.96.36.199 Mary Jane Crosby born Jan-March 1869 at Cassop, Co Durham; died at Sherburn Hill & buried February 28th, 1871 at Shadforth
c.188.8.131.52 Mary Jane Crosby born June 19th, 1871 at Sherburn Hill, Co Durham; died Oct-December 1939 in Durham East
c.184.108.40.206 Dorothy Ann Brown Crosby born Oct-December 1875 at Sherburn Hill, Co Durham; died Jan-March 1961 in Worth Valley, Yorks
c.220.127.116.11 Thomas Smith Crosby born July-September 1877 at Sherburn Hill; buried August 12th, 1880 at Shadforth, Co Durham
c.18.104.22.168 Edith Crosby born April-June 1880 at Sherburn Hill; buried February 8th, 1888 at Shadforth, Co Durham
c.22.214.171.124 Thomas Edwin Crosby born Jan-March 1882 at Sherburn Hill; buried November 14th, 1882 at Shadforth