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For the descendents of Richard Dearie and his son John Russell


Annie Fox nee Dearie 

4 April 1842  - 8 May 1916


Compiled by Claire Grey, with information from Truda McNeill and Honor Newman.

Annie Alexandrina or Alexandra Dearie was the daughter of Richard Dearie and Elizabeth Hogg.  Her parents married in London but she was born in New York, America on 4 April 1842. Her mother Elizabeth Hogg was her father Richard’s second wife and Annie had 5 half brothers living in New Orleans, three of whom died young.

America

Annie had one older sister, Maria born in 1838 in America and an older brother called George, born in 1841, possibly in Philadelphia. She also had an older half sister Jessie, her mother, Elizabeth Hogg’s daughter, who was 3 years old at the time of her mother’s marriage.

 Annie’s younger sisters were Bessie and Mary also both born in America. Her family tree written on the back of a picture shows her parents; 3 Aunts, 2 uncles and her brothers and sisters.

Her mother had 3 more children born in the UK who all died as babies.
Her father was a wine merchant, customs house agent, and innkeeper, although he occasionally called himself a "gentleman" which is what she chose to put on her marriage certificate. We know very little about her childhood except that there is a story that she and her sister Mary went missing as children and the search party was told to look for two small boys because of their short hair. 

They were still living in America when her sister Bessie was born in 1843.  By 1844 we know that her mother was staying with her mother who taught at a school called Belgrave Lodge in Chiswick, (part of London now but still a village then.)  Between June and October 1844 her mother gave birth to her brother Donald who died 4 months later. By 1845 they were back in America for her sister Mary’s birth.



London

In 1846 they were back in London. Between 21 June and 19 November 1846, when her brother Archibald was born, the family lived at 60 Warren St, London. From at least December 1850 to March 1851 they lived at Guildhall Chambers in the City of London. 

At this time both Mary and Bessie can be found at a boarding school in Croydon; but it is not known where Annie, Maria or George were educated. During 1851 and 1852 they lived at 10 King Square in Islington, and from 1852 to 1855 at Nichols Square in Hackney.

Her half brother Jack was born at 115 Nichols Square a result of a relationship between her father and her half sister Jessie. It may have been at this point that she was taken away from her family to be brought up by her Aunt Georgina Rough. Or she may have accompanied the family to Glasgow where her father ran three pubs. In March of 1856 her oldest sister Maria married Henry Bury at St. Mary’s Church in Glasgow. 

In May of that year when she was 14 her father was fined a huge sum for running an illicit still and by March 1857 he was in debtors prison. Perhaps it was at this point that she began to live with her Aunt.

Eventually released from prison her father Richard left for America with Bessie and Mary to return to New York on 15 August 1859. Neither George, Maria and Henry or Elizabeth, her mother, are on the passenger list. We know that Maria died young so she may have died in Scotland.

Brought up by the Roughs


Annie can be found on the 1861 Census at No.5 Ludgate Hill, City of London, aged 19, living with Robert and Georgina Rough. (Aunt Georgina was her mother Elizabeth’s sister)  Robert was an upholsterer.

They have 4 children: Robert 15, John aged 11, Delia aged 8, Frederica aged 2, and two nieces called Burr aged 19 and 21 and their father? Thomas Burr. There is a servant, cook and housemaid.

A family story says that she was in love with her cousin Robert but decided she could not marry him because the family had done so much for her already.

Myth says that she was spotted by her future husband Charles Fox while working in a hat shop. The photograph we have of her from 1863 may have been taken for her wedding with Charles.

The photographer’s address is 55 Grace Church Street and 187a Piccadilly. Gracechurch Street would have been within easy reach of Ludgate Hill.

 

 

 



Marriage and Children

On the 16 April 1863 Annie, aged 21, married Charles Fox at St Brides in Fleet Street.

The church is a short walk down Ludgate Hill across New Bridge Street.

In the same year one of her half brothers was killed during the American civil war.

Annie and Charles lived in Islington in a house called Roslin, Lordship Lane Stoke Newington, and also at 7 Clephane Road Islington.  

Charles owned a small furniture manufacturing business in Eldon Street, City of London, which was called C. and T. Fox.

 

 

 

 

 





The family moved to a second house called Roslin, at 14 Rectory Road, Beckenham, Kent. 

The house is now demolished.


They had 5 children. Many of the photographs of their children were taken at a studio in Upper Street, Islington.

On March 6 1864 Annie Gertrude was born at Canonbury.

On February 13 1865, Charles James was born.

On January 21 1867 May was born (Mary Madeleine), at 7 Clephane Rd, Islington

On November 1 1869 Robert Frederick was born.

All the children were christened at St Paul’s Church, Balls Pond Road, Canonbury.

Their last child Frank Ernest was born on July 7 1872 and christened at St Johns Church Blackheath.


Charles Fox, Annie’s husband was described as mean and strict. He had a painting made of Annie but refused to pay the artist the extra money it cost to paint the hands, so they were never done.

They had servants, at least a housemaid and a cook.  Gertrude (Truda) McNeill (nee Fox) her grand daughter recalled the last man and his wife going off with the silver.

Charles wouldn’t let his children play with their friends, so Annie would let them out of the back door.

 


In 1887 on April 26 her daughter May married Henry Mossop at the parish church in Beckenham.

Annie's oldest son Charles fell in love with a Jewish girl but his father refused to let him marry her. He was sent to Australia where he committed suicide, killing first his dog and then himself in Stanton, Tasmania on 6th March 1891.


At some point, possibly in protest, his younger brother Robert left the country and went to live on a ranch in America becoming a cowboy; Annie had to persuade him to return home.


The 1901 census shows Charles Fox aged 62 living with his wife Annie aged 58 with their daughter Annie Gertrude aged 37 and Robert aged 31.

Robert married Nellie Smart in 1902.

Left: The family outside the front door at Roslin.


By the time of the 1911 census Charles and Annie and Gertrude have Robert Fox’s daughter Gertrude (Truda) Fox aged 6 staying with them. 

Charles went blind in his old age and mellowed and Gertie, unmarried, stayed at home looking after him.

Top left: Tennis party at Roslin

Top right: Annie on left and Charles on right

Bottom pictures show the side and back of the house

 

 


Annie, Charles and Frank are buried together at St Luke’s cemetery on Magpie Hall Lane, Bickley, Kent.

Annie had a great sense of humour and was remembered by Truda as doing the Sir Roger de Coverly down the drawing room at Roslin.

When her husband retired she got fed up with him being around the house and would give him his hat and tell him she didn’t want to see him again till lunch time. If he was mean she would say ”I will pay you back for this Charlie” and she would go up to town and spend money on clothes. She propped the bills on the mantelpiece and they were left there until he paid them.

She was supposed to be so very beautiful that Charles would take her out with a veil on. Her granddaughter Madeleine was also considered a great beauty and Madeleine looks like Annie in the photograph taken of her wearing puff sleeves.

Annie didn’t like the photograph of herself taken at Madeleine’s wedding and in her copy she scratched out her face. She was particularly fond of her son Robert. She called herself Alexandra or Alexandrina and associated herself with Princess Alexandra who was married in the same year as she was.

Bottom right: 4 generations: May Mossop, John Russell, Madeleine Russell and Annie Fox.

 

Her son Frank died 6 years later in 1922 aged 49.

Charles died in1924.

Annie died in 1916 at the age of 74.

From left: Gertie, Charles and May

From left to right: Robert, Frank, Annie

On left: Robert and Frank in 1881

Annie seated on the left with her sister Mary Cluff, centre, who lived in New York. Annie's daughter Gertie Fox seated right with May Mossop's daughter Theo; who Gertie brought up. Standing behind them is Phillip Russell.

Below the same group standing in Roslin garden.

Above:Annie with Robert in 1869, on right Annie in 1878

Rectory Road, Beckenham is now a busy road used to bypass Beckenham High Street. It connects the WW1 war memorial on its roundabout to the railway station. There are only two houses left which look a bit like Roslin. All the other large houses with their generous plots of land have been replaced with blocks of flats. Although Annie, if she was still with us, might appreciate the fact that there is a Waitrose next to the station. Right: colour photos taken by Claire Grey in January 2016.