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

At 2pm on Tuesday 1st June 1859, James departed by steamship for a 3-week trip to London, accompanied by his 22-year-old daughter Grace. The voyage became increasingly difficult, with nearly all on board suffering sea sickness from the outset, and a violent storm on the second day at sea. As a result, they didn't arrive at Downes Wharf in London until the early hours of Saturday 5th June. The journey had taken three and a half days.

Once in London, they based themselves at Randalls Hotel in King Street, EC2 (now occupied by Barclays Bank) and during the next three weeks they met up regularly with Grace's two younger sisters, 20-year-old Ellen and 19-year-old Clementina, who were at Miss Blyth's Boarding School, in Avenue Road, St Johns Wood.

Although James conducted a certain amount of business during their stay in the city, a great deal of sightseeing was also undertaken - in order of appearance in his journal: the Zoological Gardens, St Pauls Cathedral, Bank of England, Kensington Museum (now the V & A), State Opening of Parliament, Tower of London, Old Royal Naval College at Greenwich, London Colosseum, Kew Gardens, Royal Mint, Madame Tussauds, Houses of Parliament, Hampton Court, and the Crystal Palace Handel Festival. The sightseeing party usually included Ellen and Clementina.

To fit all this in they had to rise early and didn't generally indulge in evening entertainment. On just one occasion they went to the theatre but it was not at all to their taste. To quote: 'We went for a short time to the Adelphi, but did not like this sort of enjoyment, it appeared as if we were committing a sin and ashamed to be seen in such a place as a theatre'. Around the middle of their stay, James and Grace went to see the sights in Brighton. They travelled down by train, stayed overnight with an aquaintance, and returned the following day.

James wrote about all their excursions with varying degrees of interest. He was clearly not much impressed by art and architecture but was very enthusiastic about anything of a technical nature. The highlights of his trip appear to have been the visits to the Bank of England and the Royal Mint. It's also worth noting that every Sunday (always called Sabbath) he went to at least one church service. He doesn't always specify the church but always gives the name of the preacher and comments on the quality of the sermon.

The Bank of England
Visited by James Cox and family on 6th June 1859

The Duke of York's Column
Engraving by J Woods, published 1837.
Meeting place for the Cox family on 7th June 1859
prior to the Opening of Parliament.

The Royal Procession passing Whitehall, 1854
The Cox family would have witnessed a similar
procession for the Opening of Parliament 5 years later.

The Painted Hall at Greenwich Old Royal Naval College
Visited by James Cox and daughters on 8th June 1859

The London Colosseum
Built in 1827 on the edge of Regents Park, demolished 1874
Visited by James and his 3 eldest daughters in 1859

The Royal Pavilion, Brighton
Built between 1787 and 1822 for King George IV
Visited by James and his daughter Grace in June 1859

The Royal Mint at Tower Hill, London
Visited by James Cox and his 3 eldest daughters in 1859

The Great Vine at Hampton Court
Planted by Capability Brown in 1768
Described by James Cox as 'the old black Hamburg vine'.

Surrey Chapel, Blackfriars Road, Southwark
Established 1783 by Rev Rowland Hill, closed 1881.
Later became a boxing arena. Destroyed in the Blitz.

Reverend Dr. Christopher Newman Hall
On Sunday 19th June 1859, James Cox went to hear
Rev Newman Hall preaching at the Surrey Chapel.

Crystal Palace, Sydenham Hill

SOURCE: The James Cox Journal

The Bank of England

Afterwards we went to the Bank of England, presented our business card with a view of the works (our works) on it, to be sent into the Governor for the purpose of receiving an order to see the different departments of the Bank, but orders are only granted at the request of a London firm well known to the Bank. Notwithstanding that, the Governor so deviated from their fixed rule and gave me an order and not only that but sent a person to conduct me and my family over the whole bank. We were much pleased and delighted at this, to be led through the different departments of the bank by a gentleman selected by the Governor was more than we could expect.

We were first shown into the deposit room for old notes and received in our own hands for inspection a note for one million granted by Governor Abraham Newland.Chief Cashier, Bank of England, 1782-1807 Afterwards we got presented to us a bundle of old notes value five millions. We were then taken to the paper ruling and printing and book binding and then to the printing of notes. One machine throws off 10,000 per day of notes, and tells the number the same as a gas meter. We then went to the bullion room where we saw large masses of gold laid on hurlies.pallets on wheels One of the ingots they said cost £800. The value altogether was very great.

Our next movement was to the room where the gold and notes for circulation was laid up until required by the Banking Department. This room was entirely surrounded by iron presses from floor to ceiling except the doorways, divided into small divisions and these were filled with bags of gold of a thousand sovereigns each and notes tied up in bundles of 500,000. The room contained value to an enormous amount. We were each presented with a bundle and a bag of gold, for which we thanked them very much and said we had not seen such an amount before, far less having it in our hands, but witness our astonishment when they took it all back again. It was no joke to part with so much. This shows the vanity of riches. After all, what is it, a slip of paper and a few glittering wafers, that might be consumed by the fire in a moment. Far better to seek that better part which cannot be taken from us nor be consumed by any heat.

SOURCE: The James Cox Journal

Opening of Parliament by Queen Victoria

Next morning, Tuesday 7 June, was the opening of parliament by the Queen in person. We took a bus for St James Park where we were to meet with our two girls, at the Duke of York's column, and at the time fixed, say 12½ o'clock, they made their appearance.

We then moved along in the drive the royal carriages would proceed to the House, and when we got a situation to our mind we halted and waited the approach of Her Majesty. We waited about an hour when the Police No. III of the F division, with whom we made friends, told us that the procession had left Buckingham Palace, and shortly after we saw the carriages in the distance, five carriages beautifully decorated in red and gold, fine brown horses, four in each, very gorgeously caparisoned.Clothed in an ornamental covering

The next came with six blacks, afterwards the Horse Guards, about 100 in number, then footmen called Beefeaters made their appearance, most grotesquely dressed in frills round their necks, etc, etc, then came the Queen in the state carriage, supported by four enormous dolphins.

From the Park of St James's, we went to the Houses of Parliament and on our way met with Lord Kinnaird of Rossie Priory who acknowledged us very kindly. We then wended our way to Westminster, but as worship was going on we only got through part of the building. From Westminster we proceeded by bus from Charing Cross to King Street to dinner.

SOURCE: The James Cox Journal

The Colosseum

After dinner, at which we were joined by Mr Boyack, went to see the Colosseum at which we were delighted and at the same time astonished at what we saw and heard, especially at a young woman who was mesmerised. She told the names of everyone present and what they held in their hand. This we did not understand, unless the operator had been a ventriloquist and pretended to speak himself.

SOURCE: The James Cox Journal

The Journey to Brighton

On Monday, 13th June, we went to Brighton, 50 miles south from London, beautifully situated on the Downs overlooking the English Channel. Accordingly we left by appointment with the 9 o'clock train - excursion it turned out to be. Our cab put us down at the door of the office in the station issuing these tickets, and as there were a thousand people waiting admittance and as many more following behind us, everyone shoving and pushing who would be the first, you may fancy the fix we got into.

Well, the crush got so very great that we were carried forward through the booking office into the station, that I called an officer, gave him a sovereign and asked him to get tickets for us, but he said they would not give them to him. I then applied to the policeman in the station who asked us to take a common ticket with return for next day as being the cheapest and the best, he having understood that we intended to return not sooner than Tuesday. This gave us the privilege of returning by any train. Well, he showed us the office and we took two 3rd class for two, cost 15s in all. So we joined the excursion train after all and got down at about noon, an hour and a half after time.

SOURCE: The James Cox Journal

The Royal Mint

We devoted the first half of the day to business and after one we went to the Mint, the ticket of admission as kindly procured for six by Lord DuncanAdam Haldane-Duncan, 2nd Earl of Camperdown (1812-1867), MP for Forfarshire 1854-1859 and kindly sent to me at Randalls. The wording of the order of admission to the Mint is as follows:

'Not transferable and available only at the time specified.
See instructions on the back.
No 378. Admit James Cox, Esquire, of Randall's Hotel, 7 King St, EC, and a party of 5 persons to view the Royal Mint on Thursday, 16th June, 1859, between the hours of 10 to 1 and 2 to 4.
To the Officers in Charge of the Operation Department of the Royal Mint.
Signed Tho Graham, Master of the Mint.

Note on back: 'The names of all the party accompanying the holder of this order of admission to be written in the space indicated. The person named in the order to be responsible for those accompanying him. The order to be presented in the Hall of the Mint Office. No money to be offered by visitors to the servants and workmen of the Mint, who are strictly forbidden to receive it.
Names of party - John Birrell, London, Canada West,Renamed Ontario in 1867 James Cox, Mrs John Birrell, Miss Cox, Ellen S. Cox and Clementina Cox.'

Mr & Mrs John Birrell of Canada West accompanied us and made up the six. We were all much pleased with what we saw, and the party who showed us through were most particular and careful in describing what we saw. A dye only lasts one day and a machine throws off 60 to 65 per minute and of the smaller coins 70 per minute. The metals went through many processes and different machines from the raw materials to the current coin, all of which we saw, and were much interested in them all.

SOURCE: The James Cox Journal

The Houses of Parliament

After dinner at King St went to Madame Tussauds and were amused at some of the figures. We left that for the House of Commons, as Sir John OgilvieMP for Dundee 1857-1874 had so kindly put down the name of Miss Cox in the book for the Ladies Gallery and mine for the Speakers for this night, but most unfortunately the House had adjourned just at the time Sir John appointed us to come, 5½ o'clock, being the first meeting after the formation of the new Ministry.

Nevertheless, Sir John was waiting for us and took us through the Library, which was crowded with members writing their private letters at the table in the centre of the room. After that we walked through the House of Commons. Miss Cox was placed in the Speaker's Chair. Sir John pointed out where the different parties sat and also his own seat. We then went to the House of Lords, where we saw the Lord Chancellor (who retired also) Lord BroughamHenry Peter Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux (1778-1868), Lord Chancellor 1830-1834 and a few others were lingering about the House conversing with one another. The opinion I have heard expressed in the City about the new Ministry is that it is the best and strongest that has been for a long time past.

SOURCE: The James Cox Journal

Hampton Court

Ellen and Clementina had not arrived until time for the two o'clock train for Hampton Court where we arrived after the long ride of 1¼ hours, making it 3¼ before we got to the Palace. The consequence was we had no time to dine but went direct to the gate, and then the Palace. The state rooms were the first we visited, then the garden and grounds.

The old black Hamburg vineThe Great Vine - the oldest grape vine in existence, planted by Capability Brown in 1768, it produces about 600lb of grapes each year. was magnificent, said to be over a hundred years old, planted on the north east corner of the house with a hard beaten walk 20ft broad close to the house so that the nourishment must be obtained from beyond that distance. The weight of grapes sent to the Queen's table in the year 1848 was ? lbs and this year from the present appearance the crop would be equally large. From this we went to the Maze and went round it very quickly and correctly.

SOURCE: The James Cox Journal

Rev Newman Hall at Surrey Chapel

Next day, Sabbath, we went to hear the Rev Newman HallRev Dr Christopher Newman Hall was pastor of the celebrated Surrey Chapel from 1854 at Surrey ChapelAn independent Methodist and Congregational church which had numerous foundations and charities associated with it., who preached from Isaiah 28 Chapter 28 Verse 16, the first text the Rev Rowland Hill first preached in that chapel, and being the anniversary of Mr Hill's opening of the Surrey Chapel, he, Newman Hall, gave a short biography of Mr Hill's life after which he proceeded with the discourse.

He said Rowland HillFounder and resident pastor of the Surrey Chapel, a popular evangelical preacher and an influential advocate of small-pox vaccination. had most probably preached from the subject from one to two hours but as his time was limited, and the heated atmosphere, he would limit his to about not more than 45 minutes. After the sermon he announced a debt due by the Church for sundry repairs etc, and trusted it would be met next Sabbath liberally, so as it would be paid off all at once. Mr Hall is an earnest preacher and very impressive. The church was crowded. The collection was made by laddies.

SOURCE: The James Cox Journal

The Handel Festival at Crystal Palace - 20th June 1859

On Monday morning prepared for Crystal PalaceOriginally built in Hyde Park for the 1851 Great Exhibition, relocated to Sydenham Hill 1854 . We were met by the Avenue Road folks and also Mrs Dodwell from 25 Benfield Road at 10 o’clock and assisted by Mr William Simmington, we all went down by train to hear the musical festival from about 4,000 voices and instruments which was very grand, past all my description, the music was the MessiahThe Crystal Palace Handel Festivals began in 1857 and continued, usually every 3 years, until 1926. in all its parts. The words and music I bought for future guidance.