Correspondence of W[illiam] J[ohnson] Fox

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Administrative / Biographical History

William Johnson Fox, (1786-1864), born near Southwold, Suffolk. He trained for the Independent ministry, at the Dissenting academy known as Homerton College (then in London). His tutor there was John Pye Smith, the Congregational theologian associated with reconciling geological sciences with the Bible, Repeal of the Corn Laws and the abolition of slavery.

Fox later seceded to the Unitarians, and subsequently established himself as a preacher of pronounced rationalism at the South Place Chapel, then in Finsbury but now better known as the South Place Ethical Society or Conway Hall. As a supporter of the Anti-Corn-Law movement, Fox won celebrity as an impassioned orator and journalist, and from 1847 to 1862 he intermittently represented Oldham in Parliament as a Liberal.