Andrew Crosse

  • Andrew Crosse’s memorial in Broomfield Churchyard. It says ‘He was humble towards God and kind to his fellow-creatures’

Dorothea Deer remembers …


‘…deer me …there I was, fast asleep in the middle of the night and I heard something trampling around in the bracken…and do you know, it was that Squire Crosse from Fyne Court, off on one of his early morning walks. He and his wife are always wandering around here, admiring the countryside. Sometimes he’ll be up at 3, when it’s still dark, talking to the squirrels!

Well I suppose the countryside is beautiful. And the Squire does love this part of the world. You know I once heard him say that he has a stake through his body that nails him to the Quantocks! Funny man. Folks round here think he’s a bit of a nutter, always disappearing off into his workshop to do his electricity experiments. I don’t know what goes on in there but there a lot of bangs and flashes, I can tell you. Scares the sparrows something silly. The farmers blame Squire Crosse and his experiments for all these storms we’ve been having lately. They call him the Wizard of Broomfield!

Well they’ve got him all wrong if you ask me. He’s always kind to us animals – some of the wilder ones go and live in his park, and he always looks out for them. He’s clever too. I hear he’s a magistrate, whatever that is, and a philosopher, and he owns a lot of the local houses as well. Some brave people even go to him for treatment when they get sick. Off they go into his laboratory, there’s a funny glow and a few popping sounds, then out they come looking right as rain! There are people around who’ve lived to 100 thanks to Squire Crosse…..’

Fact box

Name
Andrew Crosse
Birth and death
1784-1855
Lived at
Fyne Court, Broomfield
Occupation
Country squire, Magistrate, Scientist, Copper miner, Philosopher
Friends included
Tom Poole, Sydney Smith, Humphrey Davy, Parson Holland
Famous for
his experiments on electro-crystallization; his love of nature; his eccentricity, his fairness to his tenants

(Specially written for the Quantoxyclopedia by Hannah Shaw)