The COX Family - in Angus and Perthshire

Born:
1776 in Lochee
Christened:
16 Nov 1777 at Invergowrie
Father:
James Cock 1739-1816
Mother:
Helen Smith 1750-1826
Brothers:
none
Sisters:
Helen 1771, Rachel 1781, Isobel 1784
Married:
3 Sep 1807 in Dundee
Spouse:
Helen Scott 1787-1824
Sons:
James, David, William, Robert, Henry, Thomas, George, Edward
Daughters:
Jane 1806 (out of wedlock), Helen 1824
Died:
16 Jul 1848 in Lochee
Buried:
Invergowrie Old Churchyard

Following the fire at Lochiefield, James decided not to rebuild the bleachworks but to concentrate instead on the manufacture of the coarser type of linen goods for which the area was well-kown and for which there was a stronger market.

He built a new house at Foggyley nearer the centre of Lochee, where he was better placed to develop a business based on the new fabrics. He established a weaving factory there and employed teams of textile workers to produce linen yarn and warps (the framework of lengthwise threads used in weaving) and these were supplied to a widespread network of weavers - see map. This strategy enabled James to control the exact specification of the cloth he required for the market.


Map showing the area covered by the new business


Etching of a Weaving Shed by William Hincks
On the right is a warping frame preparing a
warp for attaching to the warp beam of a loom.
On the left is a loom weaving plain linen.


Example of a Warp

SOURCE: The James Cox Journal

Development of the New Business

As the lease of Lochiefield had now only two years to run and the trade changing so quickly from fine bleached goods to coarse, and these coarse goods were produced some from bleached yarns and then finished or sold unfinished as wanted, and others from green yarns as spun and others from mill washed yarns, Father made up his mind to leave that end of Lochie where our forefathers had lived since before 1600.

He built a house on Foggyley, our ancestors acres (as Mr W BoaseManager of the Dundee Banking Company called it) and commenced making the new description of goods now being made in this district. That was accomplished and we got into the new house by MartinmasSt Martins Day, 11th November 1818 and Father began at once to arrange for future operations.

A very good man was recommended as Foreman named Wm McFarlane. Then he wanted yarn men and warpers.Textile workers employed to wind warp ends in preparation for weaving. The yarn men shifted about but there was one staunch-hand who knew when he had a good master and said so. His name was John MacIntosh. The warpers were Peter Mitchell, Ian Mitchell, Robert Eassie and some half dozen others, the most of whom died in our service.

Father established branches in different towns around, where the best weavers were to be found, adapted for the various fabrics wanted, viz, in Cupar, Auchtermuchty, Newburgh in Fifeshire. The yarns were sent from thisfrom Lochee to these towns in the bundle ready for winding and in Coupar Angus he had premises attended to by a man of his own who made the warps ready for the weavers. To Blairgowrie, Bankfoot, Kirkinch and several other places, warps were sent by the regular weekly carrier. With what he did in supplying weavers here and elsewhere, it was a large business.

SOURCE: The James Cox Journal

The New Business Flourishes

Father began the new business, or rather I should say, began to weave the new fabrics, common to this district, taking in weavers as they presented themselves, and by the time he had to leave the works at the Bleachfield which was May 1819, he had a goodly number of looms on these fabrics.

That with what came in weekly from the agencies established in the different districts, kept him pretty busy. The business went on increasing year by year until he had nearly recovered the great loss he had sustained during the continental wars and from the long continuous state of bad trade and bad debts thereafter, not mentioning nor including the enormous loss sustained by the burning of the works and warehouses at the Bleachfield which he did not expect could be made up for generations to come.