For the descendents of Richard Dearie and his son John Russell

Charles James Fox

Born: 17 October 1811 at No. 1, Bennett Place, Bethnal Green. Died: 11 September 1885 at Oakley House, 317, City Road.

Cabinet maker

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

The Furniture Business

It is thought that Charles James Fox started the firm with his brother Thomas in the 1830s. His son Charles Fox continued the family business, and passed it on to his son Robert.

There are various addresses in street directories for the firm, which include the following locations:

1871 directory: Fox, Thomas and Co. Upholsterers and decorators, 77, Bishopsgate Within, 2 White Hart Court, ( North of St Botolphs Church, West of Bishopsgate just East of Liverpool Street.)

See right: The entrance is under the pub.

1-5 Peahen Court. Peahen Court no longer exists but was on the West side of Bishopsgate further south opposite St. Ethelburga’s church.

1875 directory: Fox, Thomas and Co. Upholsterers and decorators, 77, Bishopsgate within, 1-5 Peahen Court. Helmet Court (South of Wormwood Street, also demolished.) 12 Wormwood Street. Wormwood street has been completely reconstructed.

1876 Fox, T and Co. Upholsterers 2 Whitecross Street ,Fox Thomas and Co Upholsterers and decorators 77, Bishopsgate Street Within and 1-5 Peahen Court. Fox Thomas and Co. Cabinet makers 2 Whitehart Court and 12 Wormwood Street.

Three photographs of Matilda Waker exist and this note of her birthday.

It appears to be George Hamlin Fox (or Hamlyn) who first moved to London from Devon. He married Mary George who was from Hatton in Warwick on 11 December 1798 at St James, Piccadilly, Westminster.

Parish of St James in the Liberty of Westminster MARRIAGES 1798 No 876 George Fox & Mary George BOTH of this parish were married in this Church by Banns the Eleventh day of December in the Year 1792 By me Tho.s Bracken Curate This marriage was Solemnized between us George Fox: x mark of Mary George in the Presence of Sam.l Pride. Ann Wilson (COPY) ETRACTED from the Register –Book of Marriages, belonging to the Parish of St James, Westminster, aforesaid as WITNESS my Hand this Eleventh Day of December 1792 Tho.s Bracken CURATE. x Registrar

They would go on to have 10 Children, 6 of whom died young. Their first George was born in the Oxford Road, which may mean Oxford Street since he was baptised at St Georges in Hanover Square in 1800.




In 1801 he became an excise man:


Police Office, Union Hall, Southwark, Established pursuant to Acts of Parliament, 32 Geo III. Cap 53, and 36 Geo. III Cap. 75 Surrey. WE, Two of His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace in and for the said County, do hereby certify, that on this Twenty Second Day of December One Thousand Eight Hundred and One at the Police Office, Union Hall, in the Parish of St. Saviour, in the said County, George Fox of Harley Street in the Parish of Marylebone in the County of Middlesex Gentleman personally came before us, and then and there did take the Oaths of ALLEGIANCE and SUPREMACY, as settled in, and directed to be taken by an Act of Parliament made and passed in the first Year of the Reign of His late Majesty King GEORGE the First intituled “ An Act for the further Security of His Majesty’s Person and Government and the Succession of the Crown in the Heirs of the late Princess Sophia, “being Protestants; for the extinguishing the Hopes of the Pretended Prince of Wales, “and his open and secret Abettors”: AND ALSO the Oath for the true and faithful Execution of his Office as one of the GAGERS of his Majesty’s EXCISE, as is also settled in and directed to be taken by an Act of Parliament made and passed in the Twelfth Year of His late Majesty King CHARLES the Second intituled “AN Act for “taking away the Court of Wards and Liveries, and Tenures in Capite and by Knights “Service and Purveyance and for setting a Revenue upon His Majesty in lieu thereof.” Given under our Hands the Day and Year above written. R Smith ?P Broadley London 31 July 1802 Cut in the Auditor’s Office For Excise S. Webb.

George and his family appeared to have moved to Shoreditch by June 1801 since his first son, George died at the age of one and was buried at St Mathews Church, which was just south of the Bethnal Green Road. The next child Jane was born at Mark Street in 1807, which is south of Old Street, she died aged 17. Thomas born in 1809 was also born at Mark Street. By the time of the next child's birth the family had moved to No 1 Bennett Place in Bethnal Green, which was north of Bethnal Green Road. This was the birthplace of Charles James Fox in 1811. Mary Fox born in 1814 and Maria Fox born in 1818 were also born there.




The Fox Family came originally from Devon. George Fox's father was Samuel Fox

Samuel Fox was born on 10 November 1719 (new style) possibly in Totness Devon. He married Mary Hamling on 13 April 1760 at Totnes, Devon.(1)

According to the Fox family records they had 7 children, 3 of whom died young: Samuel in 1761, John in 1762, Samuel in 1763, John in 1764, Mary in 1768 and Mary in 1776 and George Hamling, in 1777. George was baptised in Totness and was the youngest child. So it is possible that all the children were born there.


St Botolphs Church and the White Hart Pub on the West side of Bishopsgate still remain largely unchanged, although opposite them the Heron Tower is under construction. Photos. Claire Grey 2010

Notes: Thanks to Katherine Guselle from Ontario who in 1995 sent the information about Samuel Fox marrying Mary Hamling, at St Mary's Church, Totnes. The witnesses were Wm. Carlile and John Fox.

Thanks to Julian Fox for the documents and painting on this page sent in April 2011

Charles James Fox's parents were George Fox and Mary George. He was born in Bethnal Green on 17 October 1811. His father George worked for the Excise, and paid £29 for his son to apprenticed as an Upholder in 1826 when Charles James was 15.

Upholder is the archaic name for an upholsterer.

The apprenticeship was for 7 years.

This ancient livery company still exists and has a website here:

This Indenture Witnesseth, That Charles James Fox son of George Fox of Bennetts Place Bethnal Green Road in the County of Middlesex Excise officer doth put himself Apprentice to William Wright Citizen and UPHOLDER, of London, to learn his Art, and with him (after the manner of an Apprentice) to serve from the date hereof, until the full End and Term of Seven Years from thence next following, to be fully compleat and ended. During which Term the said Apprentice his master faithfully shall serve, his Secrets keep, his lawful Commands everywhere gladly do. He shall do no Damage to his said Master, nor see to be done of others, but that he to his Power shall let or forthwith give Warning to his said Master of he same. He shall not waste the Goods of his said Master, nor lend them unlawfully to any. He shall not commit Fornication, nor contract Matrimony within the said Term. He shall not play at Cards, Dice, Tables, or any other unlawful Games, whereby his said Master may have any Loss. With his own Goods or others during the said Term, without Licence of his said Master, he shall neither buy nor sell. He shall not haunt Taverns or Playhouses, nor absent himself from his said Masters service Day or Night unlawfully; but in all things as a faithful Apprentice, he shall behave himself towards his said Master, and all his, during the said Term. AND the said Master, in Consideration of the Sum of Twenty Nine Pounds of lawful Money of Great Britain, his said Apprentice in the Art and Mystery which he useth, by his best Means that he can, shall teach and instruct or cause to be taught or instructed, finding unto his said Apprentice, Meat, Drink, Apparel, Lodging, and all other Necessaries, according to the Custom of the City of London during the said Term. And for the true Performance of all and every the said Covenants and Agreements, either of the said Parties bindeth themselves unto the other by these presents. In WITNESS whereof, the Parties above named to these Indentures, interchangeably have put their Hands and Seals the Sixteenth Day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty six. W Wright. Charles James Fox. Signed Sealed and Delivered in the presence of E Tyrell Clerk of the Upholders Company.

With his apprenticeship completed in 1833, he married a year later aged 22.

MARRIAGES solemnized in the parish of SAINT GEORGE THE MARTYR, SOUTHWARK, in the COUNTY OF Surrey, in the Year 1834 Charles James Fox of this Parish Batchelor and Matilda Waker of this Parish Spinster were married in this Church by Banns with consent of - this Ninth Day of October in the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty Four By Me J Horton This Marriage was solemnized between us Charles James Fox Matilda Waker in the presence of Wm. Wright Maria Fox No 404.

Matilda was from Bethnal Green according to the 1841 and 1881 census but from Lambeth according to the 1861 and 1871 census.

They had 7 children who survived: Matilda born in 1836, Charles born in 1838, Thomas born in 1840, Maria born in 1843, George born in 1845, Louisa born in 1846 or 51, (perhaps there were 2 Louisas?) and James born in 1854.
In 1839 Charles James Fox was given the Freedom of the City: "Charles James Fox, son of George, & late App. of William Wright City ? Upholder of London was admitted into the Freedom aforesaid and sworn in the Mayorally of Samual Wilson Esq. Mayor and Sir James Shaw Bart Chamberlain and is entered in the book signed with the Letter ? h ?relating to the purchasing of Freedoms and the Admissions of Freeman (to wit) the 6th day of Nov in the 3rd year of the reign of Queen VICTORIA, And in the Year of our Lord 1839 In Witness whereof the Seal of the office of Chamberlain of the said City is hereunto affixed Dated in the Chamber of the Guildhall of the same City the day and Year abovesaid".
Above: neither of these photographs are labeled; but the likeness to Charles James Fox seems strong. One of them was taken in Fleet Street.

In 1871 he was still at Oakly House which was between St Mathews School house in Nelson's Place and number 315 City Road which was a pub called the “The Sportsman” occupied by a licensed victualler. He was aged 60 retired from business, Matilda his wife was 61, Thomas his son, aged 29 upholsterer, James, son aged 17 Louisa, daughter aged 20 and two servants.

By the 1881 census he was aged 68 living with Matilda at Oakly House St Luke, with their son James aged 27, who was a clerk to a cotton broker.

He died in 1885 at Oakley House aged 73. His total assets when he died were £43,694 17 10.

In his will written in 1878, he set up a trust to provide an income for his sister and his wife and divided the money between his 7 surviving children. He also left money to Isaac Camegh "my old and faithful foreman when I was in business the sum of fifty pounds in recognition of his past services. I also give to George Tyrrell, now in the employ of my sons as salesman fifty pounds I also give to Lydia Herring (a Cook in my domestic service) the sum of twenty five pounds. I bequeath to the Treasurer or other proper officer of the Infants Orphan Asylum at Wanstead in Essex the sum of fifty pounds." His will stipulated that his wife Matilda should be able to continue to live a Oakely House if she wished

Charles is on the 1841 census living at Eldon Street, St Leonard Shoreditch. He was aged 30, with his wife Matilda, 30, daughter Matilda aged 5, son Charles aged 2 and son Thomas aged 1. Also visiting Arthur Waker aged 35 born in Middlesex. (His wife’s brother?)

On the 1851 census he was still at Eldon Street living at Nos. 7 and 9 aged 41 cabinetmaker, wife Matilda 43, daughter Matilda 13, Charles 11, Tom 9, Maria 8, George 6, Louisa 5 and one servant.

By the time of the 1861 census they had moved north out of the city to nearer the Angel on the City Road at Oakly House, City Road, St Luke. The census shows Charles James aged 49 cabinet maker, with wife Matilda aged 51, son Charles aged 22, partner with father, Thomas Fox, 22 clerk to father, Maria 18, George, aged 16, a salesman, Louisa 10, James 7 and 3 house servants.