Webpage created: October 01, 2019
Webpage updated: January 04, 2020
THOMAS WERE FOX (c1793-1860)
Mr Thomas Were Fox was for a long time one of the principal merchants in the Town of Plymouth. His firm were Consuls for America, Chili and Turkey and Vice-Consuls for Austria, Brazil, Bremen, Denmark, Greece, Guatemala, Hamburgh, Lubeck, Mexico, Oldenburgh, Peru, Bolivia and Tuscany.
He married Miss Eliza Grigg at Saint Andrew's Church, Plymouth, on May 3rd 1814.
Prudent and careful in his affairs, he well knew the value of money and was adept in matters of bargaining and sales. However, as "The Plymouth, Devonport and Stonehouse Herald" commented: 'He would have scorned the "sharp practices" and "clever deceits" which in these latter days have brought discredit upon too many of the commercial class.'
He was a Magistrate for the County, an Alderman of Plymouth and attended meetings of the Improvement Commissioners and other public bodies. But when he was put forward as Mayor, and later as a candidate for Member of Parliament, he declined both honours. He disliked hasty legislation.
Mr Fox was a liberal benefactor to the Plymouth Public Free Schools, the Ragged Schools, the hospital, the Town Mission and any matters which improved the sanitary condition of the Town (e.g. the baths and washhouses).
He purchased the old Hoe Gate but when strenuous efforts were being made to preserve it, he could not be persuaded and sold the materials for £44.
At the time of the 1851 census, his two sons, Arthur and Septimus, were clerks in the business, while his eldest son, Thomas W Fox, who was 33-years old, was in charge in his apparent absence. There were also two daughters, Adeline and Eliza, and four female domestic servants.
Mr Thomas Were Fox died on February 5th 1860 at his home, Hoe House, Plymouth. He was 67 years of age. Although he had never adopted the dress or manner of the Quaker religion, he was connected with the Society of Friends and was buried on Friday February 10th 1860 in their burial ground.