Archives of the Fox family of Falmouth, incorporating the archives of G. C. Fox and Company

Item date: 18th-20th cent.
Grant Value: £5,000
Item cost: £30,000
Item date acquired: 2014
Item institution: Cornwall Record Office - Kresen Kernow
Town/City: Redruth
County: Cornwall

The Fox family of Falmouth are unparalleled within Cornwall for the breadth of their commercial activities and personal interests. This collection documents the full range of the family’s activities and incorporates the surviving archives of their principal business, G. C. Fox and Company, from its foundation in 1762 to its eventual sale in 1999. Over time this firm held interests in shipping, mining, engineering, fishing, signals and travel agency. Its partners acted in a consular capacity for countries throughout the Europe and the Americas.

Highlights include letter books and accounts spanning the eighteenth century kept by George Crocker Fox, the founder of G. C. Fox and Co, as well as his father George and sister Tabitha. They reflect many of the trials and tribulations incumbent upon trade including vagaries in the weather and the effects of war. The firm’s diverse interests in the 19th and early 20th centuries are reflected in records for Perran Foundry, the Lizard Signal Station, the Falmouth Docks and Engineering Company and the Cornish Sardine Company. More personal records include two commonplace books kept by George Crocker Fox, containing an account and sketch of his visit to Plymouth in 1815 to view the captured Napoleon Bonaparte.

Letter book of George Crocker Fox, 18th century. Image: Cornwall Record Office.
Letter book of George Crocker Fox, 18th century. Image: Cornwall Record Office.