Homersham Cox

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Homersham Cox (1821–1897) was an English lawyer and judge, mathematician and historian.[1]


He was born at Newington, Surrey, the fourth son of Edward Treslove, and was educated at Tonbridge School. He entered Jesus College, Cambridge in 1839, graduating B.A. in 1844, and M.A. 1852. He was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1845, and was called to the Bar 1851.[1]

Made a County Court judge in Wales, Cox caused a furore by saying that perjury was endemic in Welsh courts. He was shortly moved to Kent.[2]

Cox died on 10 March 1897, at Marl Field House, Tonbridge.[1]


In the late 1840s Cox did theoretical work on the strength and elasticity of materials, following up experimental work of Eaton Hodgkinson.[3][4][5]

In The Institutions of the English Government (1863), Cox argued in terms of a constitutional "balance of powers", at variance with the contemporary theorists Walter Bagehot and A. V. Dicey.[6] A History of the Reform Bills of 1866 and 1867 was acknowledged by the author as a partisan Liberal work. It was brought out in time for the 1868 United Kingdom General Election.[7] He was a critic of the cross-party co-operation seen in passing the Reform Bill of 1867, arguing that democracy was being undermined.[8]

Other works were:

  • The British Commonwealth, Or, A Commentary on the Institutions and Principles of British Government (1854). In it Cox argued that the Norman Conquest led to attempt to break down the local Anglo-Saxon political institutions.[9]
  • Whig and Tory administrations during the last thirteen years (1868)
  • Antient Parliamentary Elections: A history showing how parliaments were constituted and representatives of the people elected in antient times (1868)
  • Is the Church of England Protestant? (1875)


Cox married Margaret Lucy Smith. They had five daughters and four sons:[10][11]


  1. ^ a b c "Cox, Homersham (CS839H)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ Patrick Polden (4 November 1999). A History of the County Court, 1846-1971. Cambridge University Press. p. 255. ISBN 978-1-139-43126-2. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  3. ^ T. M. Charlton (4 July 2002). A History of the Theory of Structures in the Nineteenth Century. Cambridge University Press. pp. 161–2. ISBN 978-0-521-52482-7. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  4. ^ Peter Eberhard (1 January 2007). IUTAM Symposium on Multiscale Problems in Multibody System Contacts. Springer. p. 174. ISBN 978-1-4020-5981-0. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  5. ^ Peter O. K. Krehl (1 January 2009). History of Shock Waves, Explosions and Impact: A Chronological and Biographical Reference. Springer. p. 295. ISBN 978-3-540-30421-0. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  6. ^ H. J. Hanham (1 June 1969). The Nineteenth-Century Constitution 1815-1914: Documents and Commentary. Cambridge University Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-521-09560-0. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  7. ^ Robert Saunders (1 February 2011). Democracy and the Vote in British Politics, 1848-1867: The Making of the Second Reform Act. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 13. ISBN 978-1-4094-1795-8. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  8. ^ Asa Briggs (1955). Victorian People: A Reassessment of Persons and Themes, 1851-67. University of Chicago Press. p. 280. ISBN 978-0-226-07488-7. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  9. ^ Tristram Hunt (30 December 2010). Building Jerusalem: The Rise and Fall of the Victorian City. Orion. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-297-86594-0. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  10. ^ Martin P. Starr (2003). The Unknown God: W. T. Smith and the Thelemites. The Teitan Press, Inc. pp. 3–5. ISBN 978-0-933429-07-9. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  11. ^ Morris, A. J. A. "Cox, Homersham". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/51995. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  12. ^ Stephanie Williams (27 April 2012). Running the Show: The Extraordinary Stories of the Men Who Governed the British Empire. Penguin Books, Limited. p. 451. ISBN 978-0-14-104121-6. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  13. ^ "Cox, Homersham (CS875H)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.