Love and marriage at Fyne Court

Andrew Crosse married twice © Somerset Wildlife Trust

Andrew Crosse married twice

Despite the controversy in Andrew Crosse's life, he seems to have managed two very happy marriages.

His first wife was Mary Anne Hamilton, with whom he had 7 children. His second wife, Cornelia Berkeley, was scandalously his junior.

Crosse mourns his first wife

Mary Anne died in 1846 and, four days later, so did Andrew’s brother, Richard. Understandably Andrew, who was devastated, left Fyne Court for London. The house fell into disrepair and the gardens became overgrown.

A second marriage and return to Fyne Court

In 1850, three years after Mary Anne's death, the 65-year-old Andrew married the beautiful 22-year-old Cornelia Berkeley. They moved back to Fyne Court.

They went on to have three sons before Andrew’s death following a stroke.

Crosse's life in print

It's largely due to Cornelia that we know so much about Andrew Crosse. She recorded his life in detail in her books ‘Memorials, Scientific and Literary, of Andrew Crosse The Electrician (1857)’ and ‘Red Letter Days of My Life’.

On his death bed, Andrew changed his will, leaving Fyne Court to his beloved wife, Cornelia.

His eldest son, John, was left the organ from the music room.

After Andrew’s death, Cornelia gave the estate to John and his family.

Family scandal

Andrew is thought to have introduced his eldest son, John, to Lord Byron’s daughter, Lady Ada Lovelace.

The two, both married, embarked on an affair brought together by a shared obsession with gambling.

Ada lost huge amounts of money and John pawned the family jewels on her behalf.