Richard Assheton Cross, 1st Viscount Cross(1823-1914), Politician; Home Secretary
Sitter in 28 portraits
Cross was called to the Bar in 1849 and entered Parliament as a Conservative MP in 1857. Appointed Home Secretary (1872-80) by Disraeli, Cross played a large part in the social reforms of the time. In 1875 he brought in The Cross Act, empowering municipalities to buy and demolish slums and to build housing for rental; the Factory Act, regulating the employment of women and children in textile mills; the Public Health Act, a comprehensive sanitary code; and two statutes reinterpreting Gladstone's trade-union legislation. Cross returned to office 1885-86, but was given the lighter duty of Secretary for India, (1886-92). A close friend of the Queen, he was an able and popular parliamentarian and administrator.
Watch our playlist exploring scientific techniques used by the Gallery to unlock the secrets behind our Tudor portraits.
Subjects and themes
Search the collection by themes - from pets to weddings!
Black History Month
Take a tour exploring our Collection created by Alayo Akinkugbe for Black History Month in 2020.
A Picture of Health
Learn about pioneers in medicine, health and social reform from 1840 to 1920.