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

On the 4th of August 1862, James travelled overnight by railway to London, accompanied by his 22-year-old daughter Clementina and 11-year-old son Edward. The journey was cold and uncomfortable but took only 17 hours, as opposed to the sea voyage from Dundee to London, which three years earlier had taken three and a half days.

The trip is described in some detail by James in his journal and most of it is transcribed here.

1862 Exhibition Building in Cromwell Road
Copyright: RBKC Libraries
Visited by the Cox party on 7th August 1862

The Tower of London, circa 1893
Visited by James Cox and party on 8th August 1862

Packet Boat off Folkestone, 1861
From the Illustrated London News dated 21 Sep 1861
This shows the type of boat and sea conditions in which
the Cox party made the crossing to Boulogne in 1862.

L'Arc de Triomphe, Paris
James writes that they climbed the 272 steps to the top
and much enjoyed the view of Paris when they got there.

Hotel Le Meurice, Paris
A 5-star luxury hotel dating back to 1835
The Cox party stayed here 11-15th August 1862

Sevres pair of vases
An example of Sevres porcelain, much admired by
James Cox during their visit on 13th August 1862.

Military Review in front of the Tuileries Palace
Although this depicts the Review of 1810, the Cox
party would have witnessed something similar in 1862.
The Tuileries Palace was demolished in 1883.

Mont Blanc
The Cox party were not tempted to ascend!

SOURCE: The James Cox Journal


We reached London 11½ forenoon and drove to Randalls Hotel. A little incident befell us here - the letter ordering our beds had not arrived and we had difficulty in settling down. However, a gentleman gave up his bed to Edward and myself and took the half of the bed of his friend. Clementina got a sofa.

After breakfast we went to the Exhibition,The Great London Exhibition held 1st May - 1st Nov 1862, on a 23-acre site in South Kensington (where the Natural History & Science Museums are now) accompanied by Mr Bird, and stayed only for two hours. We then went to that new temporary restaurant opposite for the accommodation of visitors and had dinner. After this we walked through the Park to the Colosseum and enjoyed the dissolving views and diving bells etc, etc, and reached the Hotel before 11 pm.

Next morning we started about 8 o'clock, though tired from wanting the previous night's rest, and made a few business calls. Clementina and Edward, accompanied by Mr Morley, walked over St Paul's Cathedral up to the Whispering Gallery. After returning from here we all walked down to see the Tower of London, along with Mr Bird. Here it came on to rain in torrents, that a cab had to be got to drive us to Randalls where we remained until time to take rail for Folkestone. We dined at Randalls before leaving, but as they could only give us cold meat and I felt not very well, Bird and I went to Crawfords and got a steak.

After that we all proceeded to London Bridge Station, took 1st class tickets for Boulogne at 25s each and booked our luggage for Boulogne. Before taking our seat I showed Mr Bird a pocket pistolA novelty hip flask as large as my arm, to stow away into the sleeve of my extra top coat. The pistol was made at the works by our own tinsmiths from tin plate, with a small screw at the edge of one end for filling or emptying. Bird said he would take it away to get it labelled, which he did to be sure, into a druggist's shop over the street. On one of the druggist's labels thus 'Medicine, a wineglass full of this mixture to be taken every night before going to bed in boiling water sweetened to taste.'

When we reached Folkestone we found the steamer could not venture out, the sea was so high and rough. However, at 6½ evening for the first time that day they got up steam and made an attempt and proceeded so that we got it in awful violence. The passengers were very many, between 200 and 300 and nearly all were sick. All of my party held out nobly and assisted those who were ill and unable to support themselves.

SOURCE: The James Cox Journal

Boulogne and Amiens

On landing at Boulogne we got a cab and had no difficulty in getting to our friends, James CarmichaelFather-in-law of James Cox and family who were staying at Rue de la Hopital. Our luggage was sent to Custom House to be examined. A commissioner got the keys and soon had our portmanteaux brought to us (for which a charge of 2 francs was made for delivery and 30 cents for commissioners fees) at the Hotel de Boulogne and de Albion to which we adjourned after bidding our friends a bonjour. Here we continued until Monday afternoon spending the days with our friends.

On Friday evening Mr C and I took rail for Amiens, stayed at night at a hotel. Mr C left very early in the morning and sent his carriage for me, and after driving through the City, the boulevards and walking through the principal buildings we left for Boulogne.

Amiens is a beautiful city, very clean, with fine squares nicely ornamented with trees and shrubs, surrounded by a magnificent wood, the trees of which are planted with the greatest regularity and care. Tastefully formed avenues for carriages and foot passengers, the trees are in a straight line everywhere you look.

We returned to Boulogne on Saturday evening. On Sabbath we saw the country people cutting down wheat as we went to the French Independent Chapel. Took a long walk over the camp of Napoleon 1st when defending Boulogne in 1805 against the English, dined at table d'hote at 6 o'clock and went to the English Methodist in the evening.

SOURCE: The James Cox Journal


Next forenoon at 8.50 o'clock we left Boulogne and reached Paris at 4 afternoon. Next day with Otto JaffeOtto was included in the party as translator since none of the Cox family spoke French we went first to the Garden of the Tuileries,The Palais des Tuileries was a royal palace next to the Louvre. It was destroyed by fire in 1871 and the ruins were finally demolished in 1883. next to the Tuileries, then the Louvre. After this walked to the Arc de Triomphe. We went upstairs, 272 steps, paid half a franc. The view from the top is very splendid, the plan or design on which the streets of Paris are being laid out by Napoleon 3 is very grand and shows him to be a man of ability and taste. After this we visited the chapel of the Madeleine and in the evening went to the Circus and returned from thence to the Hotel MeuriceLe Meurice is a 5-star luxury hotel overlooking the Tuileries Gardens. Originally built in 1817, it was relocated to the present site in 1835. for the night.

Next morning Wednesday 13th, we started at 8¾ by the train for Versailles and after walking over part of the gardens and the Palace we returned part of the way back to Paris as far as Sevres, the village where the Sevres china is made. The establishment belongs to the Emperor. The articles we saw were of the most exquisite description, cups and saucers 60 francs and upwards and some of the vases as high as £15. From this we walked over the grounds of St Cloud,Chateau de Saint-Cloud was a residence of royal and imperial families. It was finally demolished in 1892 but the gardens are still maintained. then home by rail in time for table d'hote.

Next day, Thursday 14th, we had a grand round seeing all and sundry, amongst the principal, the church of the Pantheon where lie the remains of the great Voltaire, the Zoological and Botanical Gardens which are not worth going to see. We then went to the Tomb of Napoleon 1st, but it was shut. After this we went to the reviewThe Grand Review of the Imperial Troops was held on 14th August 1862 in which 80,000 troops were reviewed by Napoleon III of the French soldiers. The review was over but we saw them all separating and returning and in my opinion it was the grandest sight we had seen in Paris, the numbers were so great in men and horses and large guns on carriages.

Friday 15th we were to take it easy, for we felt very tired the previous days and as we had engaged to dine with Jaffa and to see the illuminations and fireworks in the evening, the other part was spent driving and walking. This was Napoleon's fete day which our friends the Jaffes would have us to stay and see. We consented and were well repaid for our waiting but for one incident which gave us great trouble and concern at the time.

The crowd was so enormous, past all our calculation. The fireworks had to be seen, no description could be sufficient and the decorative designs of the illuminations on the front of the houses and high up in the trees, formed by parti coloured glass lamps were so gorgeous, that a person only sees once in a lifetime.

In the midst of this enormous mass of human beings, near to the Arch of Triumph at about 2 o'clock in the morning, my son Edward, about 11 years of age, was carried away from betwixt his sister and me by the pressure of the people moving along and search as we could he was not to be found. It appeared to prove the truth of the old proverb as well search for a needle in a hay stack as for small a boy amongst so large a mass of people.

What a state it put us all in, we did not know what to do. We pushed our way as quick as we could through the living crowd to the Hotel Meurice to consult with the Proprietrix, who we should apply to and to get someone to accompany us, when we were quietly told that our young man made his appearance an hour ago, went straight to bed and is sleeping soundly. This was joyful news to us and told us plainly that a higher power was watching over us.

SOURCE: The James Cox Journal


Next day we started by railway for Geneva, where so many watches and musical instruments are made. The hotels in this famous city are large in the extreme. We only stayed two nights here and one of the days was a Sabbath, but it appeared to be ended when morning prayers were over, so different from what it was after the Reformation.

Now the mountebanks of all kinds came out for the purpose of amusing the inhabitants and drawing in money for themselves. We left in the morning for Chamonix, the starting point for Mont Blanc. We did not ascend the mountain though the sight of it was very tempting. At the same time a party of ladies and gentlemen with guides carrying everything they thought necessary started for the top as we were leaving for elsewhere.

We four spent this day pleasantly enough, for you must know we brought Otto Jaffe with us purely for the language, but we had not gone far when we discovered that a party purely English get on better by themselves than a mixed party from different nations.