Samuel Middleton Fox

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Samuel Middleton Fox (1856 – 1941) was an amateur writer and dramatist, who also charmingly documented the life of the wealthy, Quaker Fox family of Falmouth during the latter years of the 19th century.

Birth and parental families[edit]

Samuel Middleton Fox was born 16 March 1856, the son of Rachel, daughter of Sarah and Alfred Fox, of Falmouth and Samuel Lindoe Fox (1830–1862),[1] son of Maria Fox (born Middleton) and Samuel Fox (1794–1874) [2] of Tottenham and of the Wellington branch of the Fox family.[3][4] The two Quaker Fox family branches has separated in the 18th century.

He was the first of many grandsons of his maternal grandparents.[5] His sister, Charlotte Maria was born in December 1857. His father died in November 1862 and his mother, Rachel Fox married again to Phillip Debell Tuckett,[6] and they had three further sons, the first given the same name as his father, the second, was Percival Fox Tuckett and the third, Ivor Lloyd Tuckett.[7]


Two homes[edit]

S.M. Fox describes his happy childhood visits to his relations in Falmouth and legends about their family history in Two homes, by a grandson (privately printed, 1925).[8]

The two homes belonged to his Falmouth grandparents, Sarah (born Lloyd) and Alfred Fox, who had a house in Falmouth called Woodhouse Place and a coastal residence and garden called Glendurgan (now a National Trust property). His grandfather's brothers also had houses and gardens nearby at Trebah and Penjerrick.

His aunt, Lucy Anna Hodgkin, objected strongly to his negative account of Uncle Joshua Fox of Tregedna, in Chapter 11 of Two homes.[9]


He was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge,[4] where he graduated BA in 1881 and LL.B in 1883. He was also admitted to the Inner Temple in 1880.[10]

Marriage and family[edit]

He married Adelaide Eliza Bell (13 September 1859 - 16 June 1922), daughter of James Bell [11][12] and Mary Ann Spencer,[13] of Fawe Park, Keswick, Cumberland,[14] on 21 Jul 1887 at the Friends Meeting House in Westminster.[15][16][17]

They had four children:[18]

  • Helen Juliet Rachel Fox, born at Reading, 1 June 1890 and married Roger Ernle Money-Kyrle[19]
  • Frederick Middleton Fox, OBE, 1962,[20][21] born at Albury, Surrey 7 May 1892 and married Helen Case, whose father Howard Brown Case was a 1st class passenger on the Titanic. He died in the disaster.
  • Viola Constance Fox, born at Albury, Surrey 22 Jul 1894, died 29 Oct 1918
  • Cyril Spencer Fox, born at Albury, Surrey 10 Jun 1896 died 31 May 1948

Adelaide Fox inherited Fawe Park, after her parents and brother's death and passed it to her son, Frederick in the 20th Century.

In 1877, the family closed the footpath's on the Fawe Park estate. There was mass public opposition to the closure and the protestors won a court case, declaring the footpaths open to the public.[22]

Military service[edit]

In 1899, a Samuel Middleton Fox was reported as promoted to Second Lieutenant in the First Cumberland Volunteer Battalion of the Border Regiment [23] and in 1908 as Lieutenant in the Fourth Battalion of the Border Regiment.[24] This activity would not have pleased his local Quaker Meeting, if he was still a member of the Religious Society of Friends.


  • Our Own Pompeii: a romance of to-morrow, Edinburgh : W. Blackwood & Sons, 1887. Published anonymously, in 2 volumes [25]
  • George: A story in drab and scarlet, London : D. Stott, 1890. 3 volumes, published anonymously "By the author of Our own Pompeii".
  • Verses for Granny: Suggested by the children ... Illustrated by Dorothea A. H. Drew. London : T. Burleigh, 1899.
  • A Child of the Shore: a Cornish romance . London & New York : John Lane, 1905. 307 p. ; 8º.
  • "Some lessons from Japan" in Transactions and proceedings of the Japan Society, Vol.VII, Part 1, (1906), p. 60-79 [26]
  • The waters of bitterness; a play in three acts and The clodhopper; an incredible comedy, Series: Plays of To-day and To-morrow, London, T.F. Unwin (1912) Review: " I am inclined to think that we shall hear a great deal of Mr. Fox supposing that Mr. Fox writes other plays as clever as The Waters of Bitterness, and supposing that managers think the public clever enough to appreciate them. Anyhow his is a strong and bold debut." Max Beerbohm in The Saturday Review.
  • This generation : a play New York, Duffield and London, T F Unwin (1912)
  • A Barca Boy: a story of Venice London, Heath Cranton: London, (1925)
  • Two homes, by a grandson, Plymouth, William Brendon and son, Ltd, Printers - printed for private circulation - copies obtainable (in 1925) from the Friends Bookshop, Bishopsgate, London (1925)
  • Goethe: a play in four acts by S. M. and C. S. Fox, London, Rich and Cowan, (1934)[27]

Theatrical performances[edit]

Performed at Stockport Garrick The Waters of Bitterness première of three-act version S M Fox (author present) The Clodhopper première S M Fox (author present) .[28]


Middleton Fox died 12 March 1941. His executors were his half-brother Phillip Debell Tuckett and his son, Frederick Middleton Fox [29]


  1. ^ Middleton Fox's wife's father, Samuel Lindoe Fox's vital dates are from The Biographical Dictionary of British Quakers in Commerce and Industry 1775-1920, by Edward H Milligan, Sessions of York (2007) ISBN 978-1-85072-367-7, p.186.
  2. ^ Middleton Fox's wife's maternal Grandfather, Samuel Fox's vital dates are from The Biographical Dictionary of British Quakers in Commerce and Industry 1775-1920, by Edward H Milligan, Sessions of York (2007) ISBN 978-1-85072-367-7, p.186.
  3. ^ Revised genealogical account ... Francis Fox ... (1872) - Wellington Foxes p.9, Alfred Fox's family p.12.
  4. ^ a b Photographic pedigree of the descendants of Isaac and Rachel Wilson compiled by Robert Seymour Benson, Middlesbrough, William Appleyard & Sons printers (1912) p202: Samuel Middleton and Adelaide Eliza Fox, available online at Internet Archive
  5. ^ Two homes . . . p.19 -Sarah and Alfred Fox had twelve fecund children. See also Revised genealogical Account ... Francis Fox p.12
  6. ^ Revised genealogical Account ... Francis Fox Tuckett family p.20
  7. ^ Ivor Tuckett is not mentioned in the Revised genealogical account ... Francis Fox. Two homes, p.102 mentions I. L. Tuckett as a "brother" and the text, p.32 mentions Middleton's brother, Ivor. I.Ll.Tuckett, M.D. was the author of The Evidence for the Supernatural: A Critical Study Made with Uncommon Sense (1911). His obituary appeared in The British Journal of Ophthalmology 1943 27: 143 which showed his lifespan from 1873 to 1942.
  8. ^ Authorship of Two homes, by a Grandson (1925): The list of people mentioned in the final pages of Two homes makes it clear that the author was Samuel Middleton Fox, the subject of this article. On p.70 of the text, the author refers to himself as "Elton". "Elton", could be a babyish mispronunciation of "Middleton", which he was probably called, as his father and several other members of the Fox family were called "Samuel Fox".
  9. ^ Her objections to his libel of her brother, Joshua, are noted in her copy of Two homes.
  10. ^ "Fox, Samuel Middleton (FS877SM)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  11. ^ James Bell and his wife were licensed to change their name to "Spencer-Bell" on 29 January 1866, according to the London Gazette 2 February 1866, page 585 of issue 23065.
  12. ^ James Bell was MP for Guildford (UK Parliament constituency) 1852-1857.
  13. ^ Mary Ann Spencer Bell died 16 August 1891, according to Probate notice in the London Gazette 8 January 1892, page 162 of issue 26243
  14. ^ Aerial view of Fawe Park on this page, describing Beatrix Potter's visit.
  15. ^ Descendants of William Braithwaite pp81-85
  16. ^ The Times, Monday, July 25, 1887; pg. 1; Issue 32133; col A: Marriages
  17. ^ Their photographs appear in The photographic pedigree of the descendants of Isaac and Rachel Wilson, p.202
  18. ^ More information about the children, their spouses and grandchildren is given in The descendants of Henry Tregelles
  19. ^ Roger Money-Kyrle was a member of the Klein Group during the Controversial discussions of the British Psychoanalytical Society. Archives of the BPA have more about him.
  20. ^ London Gazette Supplement 2 June 1962 Page 4318 of issue 42683
  21. ^ He was High Sheriff of Cumberland in 1956 (London Gazette 13 November 1956, p.1
  22. ^ Keswick website: Footpaths - Choose the Rawnsley Trail pdf file for information on the controversy.. Article in The Manchester Guardian; 7 October 1887; Page 8: "The footpath dispute in the Lake District" , Letter in the The Manchester Guardian; 22 October 1887; page 8 "Rights of way in the Lake District" from Henry Irwin Jenkinson.
  23. ^ London Gazette 29 December 1899 Page 8661 of issue 27149.
  24. ^ London Gazette 6 November 1908 Page 8039 of issue 28193
  25. ^ see entry in Science Fiction Encyclopedia: Fox, Samuel Middleton
  26. ^ cited and quoted by John Walter de Gruchy in his thesis (1999) in partial fulfilment of his Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia: "Orienting Waley: Japonisme, orientalism, and the creating of Japanese literature in English". Fox quoted on p.36. The thesis was published in 2003 by the University of Hawaii press ISBN 0-8248-2567-5.
  27. ^ C. S. Fox was probably Cyril Spencer Fox of Harpenden in Hertfordshire, (a translator from German).
  28. ^ Stockport Garrick Archive: première performances of two of Fox's plays.
  29. ^ London Gazette page 3860 of issue 35208: 4 July 1941