The COX Family - in Angus and Perthshire

5 Jul 1808 at Lochiefield
James Cock 1776-1848
Helen Scott 1787-1824
David, William, Robert, Henry, Thomas, George, Edward
Jean 1806, Helen 1824
18 Aug 1834 in Dundee
Clementina Carmichael 1811-1888
James (1835), William, Charles, Edward, James (1853)
Grace, Ellen, Clementina, Beatrice, Adeline
1 Dec 1885 at Clement Park

Towards the end of 1855, James and his family moved into Clement Park. By this time their four eldest daughters were teenagers. Their sons William and Charles had died the previous year so there was a gap of eight years between the older girls and the three youngest children, 5-year-old Edward, 2-year-old James, and the new baby Adeline.

For the next ten years James would have been very pre-occupied in his position at the head of Cox Brothers, but there were several significant events in his private life during this period which are covered in separate pages:

01/06/1859: A 3-week visit to London with his eldest daughter Grace - see Page 11.
02/10/1861: Grace married James Low - see Grace Margaret Cox.
05/08/1862: Another extended trip to London and Europe - see Page 12.
02/02/1863: Beatrice travelled to India and married Charles Aitchison - see Beatrice Cox.
12/10/1863: James aged 10, died of scarlet fever - see James Carmichael Cox.
13/11/1863: Adeline aged 8, died of scarlet fever - see Adeline Roberta Cox.
19/06/1867: Clementina married William Tod - see Clementina Cox.

After nearly 30 years of marriage and the birth of five sons and five daughters, James and Clementina had lost four sons and one daughter to childhood diseases for which there was no treatment. Their four eldest daughters and one son Edward, survived.

In 1868 James travelled to Marseilles to meet up with his daughter Beatrice Aitchison and her three young daughters. They were returning to Dundee from India where she had lived since her marriage five years earlier. Edward, now aged 18, accompanied his father on the trip - see Page 13.

James was a staunch member of the United Presbyterian Church and was outraged that their Ministers were so poorly paid. In 1866 when he was Presbytery Elder, he devised a scheme to provide a minimum annual salary to all Ministers and this was duly adopted. In this endeavour he was backed by his pastor and close friend Dr James Reid McGavin, who had also been a source of spiritual support to the whole family through all their bereavements and difficulties. Dr McGavin was author of The Sailors Prayer Book, first published in 1852 and still in demand today.

Clement Park House
Photograph taken in 2010

Clement Park House interior
The ornate ceiling in the drawing room

Clement Park House interior
A ceiling rose in the dining room

Written by James Cox's close friend

SOURCE: The James Cox Journal

The Stipends of Ministers

For some years previous to 1866, a great feeling got up in the country amongst the members of the United Presbyterian Churches, of which I was one, that the Ministers were underpaid, and no doubt they were. Many of them had not so much as the wages of a common mechanic, yet they had to support their families in a genteel way and be clothed suitably to their station, while the mechanic wore his fustiansA strong coarse cotton and linen fabric, used mainly for cheap workingmen's wear which were most suitable for his work, from week's end to week's end at comparatively little expense. Their children too, working at service or in factories, could earn as much as keep themselves and if frugal, lay part in the Savings Bank or otherwise until it got to be a good nest egg to keep old age in comfort.

Nothing pleased me better than when any of the girls at Camperdown Linen Works consulted me how they should lay out their little savings to the best advantage, and I am delighted to say that some of them took my advice and have such sums that if you knew what they told me you would be astonished. These I took great interest in and encouraged them to save.

The poor Minister however, and his family can do nothing of that kind. For the greater part, the income is derived from the Minister's own exertions, and charity is expected by the sick, the poor and the needy. Besides, the family have to be educated according to their station. To do all this, and much more in some instances has to be done, the table has to be scrimped and many little things that should be within the reach of the family cannot be thought of.

Knowing all that to be the case, I took a great interest in drawing out a scheme whereby the poorest paid minister should not be under £250 a year. When I had my scheme finished I laid it before one of our Ministers and consulted him as to what he thought of my plan. He thought well of it but thought I never would carry so large a sum. I had great hesitancy about changing but he urged me so strongly that I consented and commenced new calculations for £150, the amount he recommended.

Being Presbytery Elder for that year, I purposed to read my paper at the board which met in February, but an incident happened which prevented me explaining my scheme to that board, but on 29th March I read it and got great encouragement to persevere. The Rev Dr McGavin, Tay Square (whose Ministry I sat under with much delight and profit) and myself were appointed to go round the Dundee and Perth Presbyteries and explain to the different congregations. We took the Dundee first and got such encouragement that we turned to the Perth and were equally so there.

SOURCE: The James Cox Journal

Proposal to the Dundee Presbytery

I was induced to make this motion by reading a circular sent out by Mr MacGill, our excellent Home Secretary, showing the miserable pittance many of our Ministers have to live upon. I hope someone will come forward to support my motion, that the Presbytery will carry it unanimously, and that all the Presbyteries and congregations of the United Presbyterian Church will adopt it, and every member give a helping hand to carry it out successfully for the good of their underpaid Ministers, many of whose incomes are less than our artisans and although their stipends should advance as well as the artisans wages, their profession forbids them even alluding to it.

We do not require a large fund to yield an amount sufficient to pay all the Ministers of the United Presbyterian Churches whose stipends are under £150 up to that sum. A little over a quarter of a million, if laid out at 4% interest, would be sufficient to yield the necessary sum of £10,102 yearly. I say that is not a great sum, looking at the large body that would be honoured by contributing to it. Nevertheless it is a very large sum, £252,550.

Even large as it is, it might be easily raised, if engaged in heartily and in a right spirit, it would only be £431.14.2½ to each of the 585 congregations of the United Presbyterian Church. I am aware each congregation could not give this amount, many not a tithea tenth of it, and some of them nothing at all, but there are other congregations that could easily make up their deficiencies without an effort. If you divide the sum among the membership of the churches, it is not so formidable, £1.9.7¼ from each would be sufficient to make up the sum. I will go still farther down, and if each member would contribute 6¾d weekly for one year, that would raise the sum required for the £150 stipend.

I have given this scheme great consideration and would rejoice to see it carried out to a £250 minimum, but for the present we will try the smaller amount - and if each congregation would come boldly forward and guarantee £100 a year for five years it would never be felt, even by the poorest of the flock - from each member one sixpence, 6d a month would be sufficient, but even if this small sum of 1½d a week was oppressive to any, as I said before, the strong would gladly assist the weak, and if this mode was adopted and carried out, the church might begin even now to supplement the tiny incomes of its more needful Ministers.