July 5th Robert Were Fox the Elder (Birth)

Fowey – born Robert Were Fox the Elder (1754 – 1818) was a Quaker businessman and shipping broker who played a major role in the development of Falmouth as Cornwall’s premier port.

Fox and his wife, Elizabeth Tregelles  (1768–1849), married in 1788 and had six sons and one daughter including Robert Were Fox the Younger (July 25th), Charles Fox (December 22nd) who laid out the gardens at Trebah and Alfred Fox (September 9th) who developed the Glendurgan estate’s garden.  Their daughter, Mariana Fox (1807–1863) was the mother of the famous mountaineer Francis Fox Tuckett.

Robert’s father, George Croker Fox, founded the family’s Falmouth ship-brokering business, G.C. Fox, which remained in family ownership until 2003 and remains Falmouth’s oldest ship broking company.   Robert ran the ship-brokering business and other family businesses but also expanded into copper mining, tin smelting and foundries. 

He greatly expanded the company’s position in the Gwennap copper mines, ‘Poldice’ and ‘Wheal Unity’ whilst, in partnership with another copper magnate, John Williams of Scorrier, he leased the mineral rights of the Duchy of Cornwall for a period of thirty-one years, operating as Fox, Williams and Co.

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