A large and impressive portrait of Viscount Cross. Oil on canvas in original frame. Richard Assheton, was first viscount Cross (1823-1914) He was responsible for the first urban renewal authorization in Great Britain, the Artizan's and Labourer's Dwellings Improvement Act 1875 (known as the first Cross Act) A lawyer and banker, Cross was a Conservative member of the House of Commons from 1857 to 1862 and from 1868 until 1886. The Cross Act of 1875 empowered municipalities to buy and demolish slums and to build housing for rental. Also in 1875 Cross carried through Parliament the 'Factory Act', regulating the employment of women and children in textile mills.