Papers of George Fox

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 UCC/2/8
  • Dates of Creation
  • Physical Description
      4 items Manuscript notebooks in poor condition.

Scope and Content

Four manuscript notebooks consisting of an extensive letterbook containing letters to Fox, a diary of his travels, an autobiography written for his sons, and an autobiographical sketch of his period at Mossley. There are also three letters from 1870.

Administrative / Biographical History

George Fox was born in London, the son of Robert Fox the Elder of the East India House and his wife Isaat (née Owen). He spent his early years in Taunton and London and in 1855 became one of the first students at the Unitarian Home Mission Board studying under John Relly Beard and William Gaskell. His first appointment as a Unitarian minister was in Mossley commencing in 1859, and he became secretary of the East Cheshire Christian Union in 1863-4. During the Lancashire cotton famine in the 1860s he was the only minister active on the committee of the local relief fund, and he used his contacts among wealthy Unitarians to raise funds. In 1864, he moved to Wigan to become the minister of Park Lane Chapel in Ashton-in-Makerfield near Wigan; he remained there until 1891.

Fox was active in the wider Unitarian movement, helping to establish chapels in other districts and between 1866 and 1870 he was the secretary of the Unitarian Missionary Conference, becoming its President in 1871. He established an undenominational day school to which he was secretary, and was one of the founder members of the local Co-operative Society where he was honorary treasurer for 17 years. He also established an annual Old Folks Tea Party and a Band of Hope Demonstration, as well as being active on the committee of the Ashton-in-Makerfield Charities. His Band of Hope activities included a large singing class, which he led for many years. In his retirement, he wrote The History of Park Lane Chapel (H. Rawson, 1897). He married Mary (nee Eyes) with whom he had two sons: Sir Robert Fox who became the Town Clerk of Leeds and the Rev. Arthur W. Fox of Todmorden. Mary died in 1867, and he married Beatrice Jane Gaskell in 1868. He died at Cheadle Hulme in 1916.


The collection has been divided into :

  • Correspondence (with contents of letterbook listed first).
  • Diary
  • Autobiography


Obituary, The Inquirer, 22 January, 1916.