Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Cox, Francis Augustus

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COX, FRANCIS AUGUSTUS (1783–1853), baptist minister, was born at Leighton Buzzard, 7 March 1783. He inherited much property from his grandfather, who was a leading member of the baptist congregation at Leighton Buzzard. After some study under a private tutor at Northampton, Cox went to the baptist college at Bristol, and thence to the University of Edinburgh, where he proceeded M.A. On 4 April 1805 he became baptist minister at Clipstone, Northamptonshire; afterwards occupied for a year the pulpit vacated by Robert Hall at Cambridge, and on 3 Oct. 1811 became minister at Hackney. Cox helped to found the 'Baptist Magazine' in 1809, and wrote largely for it. He was also secretary for three years to the general body of dissenting ministers of the three denominations residing in South London and Westminster. About 1823 he actively promoted the scheme for a London university, and came to know Lord Brougham. When Brougham was lord rector of Glasgow, the degree of LL.D. was conferred on Cox (1824). In 1828, when the London University was founded, it was decided that no minister of religion should sit on the council, and Cox was appointed librarian, but he quickly resigned the post. In 1838 he travelled in America as representative of the baptist union, and received the degree of D.D. from the university of Waterville. He died in South Hackney 5 Sept. 1853, after holding the pastorate of Hackney for forty-two years. Cox was thrice married, and had a family of five sons and two daughters. His works, other than separate sermons, were as follows: 1. 'Essay on the Excellence of Christian Knowledge,' 1806. 2. 'Life of Philip Melancthon,' 1815. 3. 'Female Scripture Biography,' 1817, 2 vols. 4. 'Vindication of the Baptists,' 1824. 5. 'Narrative of the Journey in America,' 1836. 6. 'History of the Baptist Missionary Society,' 1842. Cox contributed an article on Biblical Antiquities connected with Palestine to the ' Encyclopædia Metropolitans,' which he published as a separate volume in 1852.

[ Gent. Mag. 1854, pt. i. 323 ; Brit. Mus. Cat.]