Crowther Surname Me3aning, History & Origin
from crowder, a musician who played a 14th century three string
violin called a crowd or crowthe.
- Huddersfield Crowthers.
Descendants of John Crowther.
- Crowthers in Marsden.
Crowthers as mill owners.
England. The West Ridings
of Yorkshire, especially Huddersfield where the name is believed to
have originated, has by far the greatest concentration of
Crowthers. A novel, The
Crowthers of Bankdam, written in 1940, describes the woollen
industry of Huddersfield in the 19th century.
made his money as a mill-owner later in the century. He used
his wealth to buy Yorkshire football teams.
There are also clusters of Crowthers in and around Halifax, dating from
1500’s. A Crowther family held lands in Elland nearby and Jane
Crowther founded the local almshouse in
1610. Another Crowther
family lived at the Steps in Sowerby
Bridge in the late 1500’s. And a Crowther family in Cleverly can
be traced to the
The 19th century records one sad Crowther story. Philip
Crowther, who had fought in the Peninsular War, had met and married an
Irish Catholic girl. This aroused much hostility in his home town
of Todmorden. One day around 1839, he was walking to Rochdale to
collect his army pension, but never returned home. Many years later, a
dying man confessed that he and another worker at the Summit tunnel had
lured him into their huts, robbed him, and left his body hidden in a
There were a
number of Crowthers who emigrated from Yorkshire in the 19th
Thomas and Sarah
Crowther from Worcestershire, who had converted to
Mormonism, set off west for Utah in 1855. Sarah died enroute but
Thomas and his young daughter Mary Ann made it to Salt Lake
valley. Thomas was the forebear of the Fountain Green Crowthers,
including the present-day Mormon writer Duane Crowther.
Africa. We find Crowthers
also in Africa. Samuel Adjai Crowther had
escaped from slavery and, in 1825, was
converted to Christianity, taking his name from the Anglican minister
in Sierra Leone. Some twenty years later, he became the first
African to be consecrated as a bishop. All of his children
inherited his adopted Crowther name.
The Crowther name lives on in what is now a war-torn country.
American news reporters encountered John Crowther, aged 68, ruefully
surveying the wreckage of his house in Freetown after it had been burnt
down by anti-Government forces with his sister and children
William Crowther embarked for Australia in 1825
he settled in Hobart
to pursue his profession as a doctor. However, he was a man of
violent temper who got into fights and this blighted his career.
His son William was more even-tempered and prospered as a medical
practitioner. He had a fascination with Aboriginal skins and
skeletons and achieved a minor celebrity with his exhumation of the
last full-blood Aborigine in Tasmania (her skeleton became the most
popular exhibit in the local museum).
Eliza Crowther from Halifax emigrated to New Zealand in 1841. Two
Crowther brothers from Bradford came in the 1860’s to be sheep
farmers in Wainuiomata near Wellington. There is a Mary Crowther
Park there today. However, this Mary Crowther grew up when it was
still a rather isolated community and she complained about the lack of
Select Crowther Miscellany
|Family Location||Forebear||Birth Date|
|England – Claverly||Matthias Crowther||1612 circa|
|George Crowther||1665 circa|
|– Halifax||Samuel Crowther||1772 circa|
|– Sowerby||James Crowther||1786|
|– Huddersfield||John Crowther||1811|
|America – Utah||Edward Crowther||1535 circa|
|– Pennsylvania||James Crowther||1765 circa|
|New Zealand||Samuel Crowther||1805 circa|
Jane Crowther’s Almshouse. The almshouse and school in Halifax, near the parish church, was founded by Jane Crowther and her sister Ellen Hopkinson in 1613 for the residence of 21 widows and a schoolmaster. Jane Crowther had left five pounds per annum in her will to be paid to a schoolmaster for instructing the children.
Two shillings and six pence were to be paid each month to the widows out of church rates and they were each to receive a gown once every two years.
Crowthers, Mill Owners in Huddersfield. The Crowther wool company was founded by John Edward Crowther in
1902. But it traces its roots back to 1840 when John Crowther of
Golcar set up a carding and spinning business in Linthwaite. He
founded a dynasty that was to dominate the woollen industry in the
Colne valley. In 1867 he had established Bank Bottom Mills.
Over the years, the company opened many mills in Marsden and the Colne
valley. In the 1920’s, Bank Bottom covered 14 acres, used 680
43 carding machines, and was employing 1,900 people. However, the
slump of the thirties hit the company hard and JE Crowther shot himself.
The history of the Crowthers is believed to have inspired Thomas
Armstrong’s dynastic saga, The
Crowthers of Bankdam.
The 1947 film, The Master of Bankdam,
had its northern premiere at the Ritz in Huddersfield. The film starred
such stalwarts as Dennis Price, Jimmy Hanley, and David Tomlinson.
The real Crowthers were as colorful as their screen
counterparts. In his book Colne
Valley Folk, Ernest Littlewood wrote: “Among all the families
concerned with the development of the woollen industry in Colne valley,
that of Crowther must take prominence because of the many offshoots
that had sprung from the original founder.”
However, this history is now coming to a close. Staff
at John Edward Crowther were left reeling
when the company announced its plans to sell the business. There
also fears that the Marsden company would close if a sale could not be
Samuel Adjai Crowther. Samuel Crowther was born Adjai in the Egba group of the Yoruba people
in what is now Nigeria. When he was about fifteen he was
captured by slave traders. But the slave ship was intercepted by
a British warship. Adjai was taken to Sierra Leone where he was
converted and baptized, taking the name Samuel Crowther.
He became convinced that evangelization of inland Africa
must be carried out by Africans. Ordained in London in 1843, he
was appointed to a new mission in his own Yorubaland. Among the
first converts were his long-lost mother and sister.
Crowther achieved mush as evangelist, translator, and
negotiator. He impressed many, including Queen Victoria, when he
visited England. The story of his life has been recounted in John
Milsome’s book, From Slave Boy to
Bishop: The Story of Samuel
Arnold Crowther and the Prediction. In the late 1930’s, the magician Arnold Crowther became friends with
Gerald Gardner whose interest was witchcraft. Rubbing shoulders
with him, Crowther soon became interested in the craft himself.
However, Gardner’s coven was wary of any possible adverse
publicity. They felt that Crowther might use their craft
information in his act. Consequently they refused to accept
him. Gardner did predict that “a very special person with fair
hair” would initiate him when the time was right.
Twenty years later, while travelling to perform his act, Crowther met a
lady “with fair hair,” Patricia Dawson. She was performing in the same
show and they soon discovered a mutual interest in witchcraft.
Crowther offered to introduce her to his friend Gardner. Over the
following two years and regularly meeting with him, Gardner initiated
Patricia on June 6, 1960 at his home in the Isle of Man. Patricia
in turn initiated Crowther and the prediction that Gardner had made to
Crowther many years before had come true.
Select Crowther Names
John Crowther was a wealthy Huddersfield mill-owner who acquired
Yorkshire football clubs in the 1920’s.
Arnold Crowther was a stage magician with interests in paganism and
witchcraft. His career peaked in 1938 when he was invited to
Buckingham Palace to entertain the Princesses Elizabeth and
Geoffrey Crowther from Leeds
was the editor of The Economist
from 1938 to 1956 and later the author of the Crowther report (which
raised the school-leaving age to sixteen).
Leslie Crowther, born in Nottingham, was a popular British TV
presenter from the 1950’s to 1980’s.
Select Crowther Numbers Today
- 16,500 in the UK (most numerous
- 1,500 in America (most numerous
- 3,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)
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