Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Fox, Charles (1794-1849)

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FOX, CHARLES (1794–1849), line-engraver, born on 17 March 1794, was the son of the steward to Lord Stafford at Cossey Hall, Norfolk, where he was brought up in the gardens, spending his early years in agricultural and horticultural occupations. An accidental visit from William Camden Edwards [q. v.], the engraver, led to young Fox being placed by his father as a pupil with Edwards at Bungay in Suffolk. He had already received some instruction in drawing from Charles Hodgson at Norwich. On the completion of his engagement with Edwards, Fox came to London, and became an inmate of the studio of John Burnet [q. v.], the engraver, who was then engaged on his large plates after Sir David Wilkie's pictures, in which Fox assisted him. Fox's most important plates, of his own execution, were from pictures by Wilkie, viz. ‘Village Politicians’ and ‘Queen Victoria's First Council.’ He also engraved some illustrations by Wilkie for Cadell's edition of Sir Walter Scott's novels. He was employed on the annuals, then so much in vogue, Stark's ‘Rivers of Norfolk,’ and other works. Among other engravings by him were the full-length portrait of Sir George Murray, after Pickersgill, in which his best work was shown, ‘A Cauchaise Girl,’ after G. S. Newton, &c. He also painted in water-colours, mostly portraits of his friends. During his whole life Fox never ceased to take interest in floriculture, and was considered one of the best judges of flowers. When Dr. John Lindley [q. v.] was appointed superintendent of the Horticultural Society, Fox was chosen as judge and arbitrator, in which capacity he gained universal esteem. He superintended the illustrations of the ‘Florist.’ While on a visit to a friend at Leyton in Essex, Fox died from an affection of the heart on 28 Feb. 1849. He was engaged on an engraving of Mulready's ‘The Fight Interrupted,’ which remained unfinished at his death. A portrait of Fox was etched from a drawing by W. Carpenter, jun. for publication in the ‘Florist.’

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Ottley's Dict. of Recent and Living Painters; Cunningham's Life of Sir David Wilkie; Gent. Mag. (1849), new ser. xxxi. 434; Florist, 1849; other obituary notices.]

L. C.