Catalogue description Charles Fox of Gloucester, (1861-1939)

This record is held by Gloucestershire Archives

Details of D8246
Reference: D8246
Title: Charles Fox of Gloucester, (1861-1939)

Newscuttings and memorabilia

Date: 1891-1939
Held by: Gloucestershire Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Fox, Charles, 1861-1939, of Gloucester

Physical description: 2 files
Immediate source of acquisition:

Document given by Mr P Crane

Custodial history:

Charles Fox's daughter Mrs Gardner lived at 79 Stroud Road at one time where the volume was discovered by Mr Crane. Copies of his obituaries published in the local newspaper were obtained from Gloucester City Library.

Administrative / biographical background:

Charles Fox was Sheriff of Gloucester, 1932-1933. He was the first Parliamentary Labour candidate in Gloucestershire when he stood for the Tewkesbury Division in 1910 and was the Labour candidate for Gloucester City in the 1931 election.


Born in Brunswick Square, Gloucester in 1861 he was educated at the Quaker, Sidcot School, Winscombe, Somerset. He was a younger son of George Fox who had established one of the first dental practices in Gloucester. His father died when he was only 15 and so he left school and joined the Gloucester firm of Sessions & Sons, manufacturers and importers of building materials. An elder brother carried on the dental practice.


Charles was not physically strong and suffered a serious breakdown when he was 20 and worked on a smallholding in Wiltshire while he recuperated. Whilst there he was greatly influenced by Samuel Saunders, a pioneer in dietetic reform and the Co-operation movement which combined with the Quaker influences of his education coloured the rest of his life. For example, he became associated with the foundation of the Whiteway Colony near Stroud, (see also D5574 and D5847), and always advocated a vegetarian diet. He nursed and relieved the poor of Gloucester in the small-pox epidemic of 1895-6. During his time in Wiltshire he acquired a tremendous repertoire from the writings of Shakespeare and Dickens which enabled him to join concert parties for seaside summer seasons. He was founder member of the Dickens Society.


In his early thirties he returned to Gloucester, qualified as a dentist, entered the family practice and eventually set up his own practice in Clarence Street. He settled at Church Cottage, Upton St Leonards for a time but later moved to 1 Spa Villas, Gloucester where he died in March 1939.


His association with progressive movements brought him into contact with the early Labour movement and in the early years of the 20th century he frequently entertained the leaders of the Independent Labour Party including Keir Hardie and Ramsay MacDonald when they visited Gloucester.


He was a pacifist in the First World War. As the war progressed he made a study of Gloucester's slums and was greatly involved in slum clearance when the war ended. He gave lectures and lantern shows especially in public institutions including Gloucester Prison and made his presence felt through the columns of The Citizen newspaper. He was a prodigious cyclist and walked an average of 3000 miles per annum.

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