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British Industrial History

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Fox Family

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Business interests of the Fox family of Cornwall

In several ventures, the Fox family worked in partnership with other Quaker families, Tregelles of Falmouth, Price of South Wales and the Methodist family of Williams.

1762 G. C. Fox (Shipping Brokers) was a major shipping agency and broker in the growing freight port of Falmouth. The company was established in 1762 and passed out of family control on 30 September 2003. It remains the oldest ship agency company in Falmouth

Alfred Fox was heavily engaged in the pilchard industry of Cornwall. Much of the output was salted fish for export to Catholic Southern Europe.

1780 Robert Were Fox (1754 - 1818), son of George Croker Fox ( - d.1807) became principal partner in the family firm, G. C. Fox and Sons, which position he held until 1810.

1788 Robert Were Fox married Elizabeth (1768–1849), the daughter of Joseph and Sarah Tregelles of Falmouth, with whom he had six sons, the eldest being the geologist and physicist Robert Were Fox FRS (1789–1877), and the younger was Charles Fox (1797–1878) mine owner and writer.

1791 The Fox Family were major partners in Perran Foundry, of Perranarworthal, which they established in conjunction with other Quaker business families, especially the Tregelles Family[1].

1793 The Perran partners acquired the Neath Abbey Iron Works

1812 With John Williams, the Foxes contracted with the government to build the breakwater at Plymouth, employing John Rennie (the elder).

1813 In partnership with the Williams Family, the Foxes developed the harbour at Portreath and a trackway to the mines from there. Portreath became of strategic importance in the trade of copper ore and coal between Cornwall and south Wales.

1794 Robert Were Fox (1754 - 1818) was appointed consul to the USA for the port of Falmouth, a position he held until succeeded by his son Robert Were Fox FRS, in 1815.

1825 Charles Fox became General Manager of the Perran Foundry in succession to George Fox the Second; he was also a partner in the family shipping brokerage G. C. Fox at Falmouth.

1842 Charles Fox's nephew, Barclay Fox, became General Manager of Perran Foundry.

1844 The South Maria Mine was opened and worked by George Croker Fox and others under the name of Tincroft.

The Foxes had interests in Tin and Copper mining – supplying credit, pumping engines, imported materials: timber balks, coal - and Coal Mining - Neath Abbey Coal Co (in partnership with the Price Family and the Tregelles Family).

1856 the Gunnislake Mine was formerly worked by Mr. John Williams, of Scorrier, and Mr. Fox, of Falmouth but is now worked under the name of Gunnislake mine[2].

1874 The Fox and Price families withdrew from the engineering business.

In 1882 Howard, George and Robert Fox formed the Falmouth Fishery Co, which also purchased G. C. Fox's ship towage business; in 1893 it was transformed into the Falmouth Towage Co

For 200 years, the Fox family carried out the timber trade, with depots at Penryn, Falmouth, Truro and Grampound Road. In 1957, the business was merged with Harveys of Hayle.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Biography of Edwin Tregelles, ODNB [1]
  2. 1856 Mines in Devon and Cornwall
  • [2] Wikipedia
  • Biography of Robert Were Fox, ODNB [3]