The COX Family - in Angus and Perthshire

23 Feb 1812 at Lochiefield
James Cock 1776-1848
Helen Scott 1787-1824
James, David, Robert, Henry, Thomas, George, Edward
Jean 1806, Helen 1824
1. 20 Mar 1854 in Fife --- 2. 22 Jun 1864 in Angus
1. Robina Methven --- 2. Elizabeth Boase
William 1865, Arthur 1866, Albert 1868
Jessie 1855, Florence 1856, Annie 1870, Rosamond 1872
Died of a stroke on 7 Sep 1894 at Snaigow
11 Sep 1894 in the Western Cemetery, Dundee

William was the third son of James and Helen Cock. With no evidence to the contrary, we can probably assume he attended the same schools as his two older brothers, beginning at the local nursery and elementary schools in Lochie and progressing to the Parish School of Dundee and the Dundee Academy. On leaving school he served an apprenticeship with Robert Nicoll, a grocer in the Nethergate, Dundee, and then joined his brother James in the family business.

In 1854 at the age of 42, William married Robina Methven, daughter of David Methven whose family owned the Links Brick, Tile and Pottery Works in Kirkcaldy. Robina was nearly 20 years younger than William and they had two daughters, Jessie Flora who died in infancy, and Florence Ellen. When Florence was 5 years old, Robina died, leaving William a widower after only 7 years of marriage.

Three years later he married again. His second wife was Elizabeth Boase, daughter of Henry Samuel Boase, originally a medical practitioner from Cornwall, who became renowned as a geologist with the publication in 1834 of his book 'A Treatise on Primary Geology'. In 1838 Henry Boase became a partner in a firm of bleachers in Dundee which later became Boase & Company.

The newly married couple moved into a new house at Foggyley which William built to replace the one originally built there by his father and in which he and his siblings had grown up. At the time of his second marriage he was aged 52, and his wife Elizabeth, like his first wife, was about 20 years younger. They had five children - three sons followed by two daughters.

A wealth of information about William Cox is to be found in his grandson Harry's book on the Cox Family - see below.

Duntrune - a 3-masted iron full-rigged ship
Built in 1875, owned by the Dundee Clipper Line.

Bales of jute at Camperdown Pressing Co, Cossipore

North entrance to the Suez Canal at Port Said, c. 1880

Lord Palmerston, painted by John Phillip, 1863
Depicting the House of Commons debate in 1860
on the Cobden-Chavalier Free Trade Treaty.

An Old Postcard of Snaigow House

Victoria Bridge, Caputh
Built in 1887 using trusses salvaged from the old
Tay Bridge. In 1993 it was replaced by a new bridge.

SOURCE: The James Cox Journal

William and Riggie the Cow

My brother William came down one day to us. PeterPeter Finn was a cowherd with whom James spent much of his time as a boy. He later became a weaver and eventually a supervisor in the Linen Works. had gone out of the way for a little and I went up to the house. I met Mother coming towards me very quickly for she had noticed the cow Riggie, tossing William up in the air with her head. Fortunately, she noticed him so soon or he might have been injured.

SOURCE: The Family of Cox by Henry Kinloch Cox

On William Cox

William was born at Lochiefield in the old family house on 23/2/1812, not long before they removed to Foggyley.In fact they moved to Foggyley in November 1818, nearly 9 years later. He spent a great part of his early days with his aunt, Mrs William Archer,His father's sister Rachel Cock married William Archer in 1808, but was childless. at the farm of Auchterhouse. During that time he gained experience in arable and hill farming, which stood him in good stead later in life when he had the Snaigow home farm in his own hands.

On the retiral of his father in 1827, he and his elder brother James, carried on the weaving and bleaching business until 1841, when James, William, Thomas and George joined in partnership as Cox Brothers and started to build and equip the Camperdown Linen Works at Lochee, which eventually covered an area of 25 acres and employed 5,000 workers. The Partners had long hours, often waiting up all night for the London mail to arrive, so as to catch the early coach with a reply letter.

He had an inventive mind and made many improvements on various manufacturing machines, his cop former for shuttle weft being taken up by many others. He took a great interest in the fine ships of the Dundee Clipper Line and was a Director of the Dundee Seal and Whale Fishing Company and of the Dundee Perth and London Steamship Company.

He went to India with his brother Henry in 1863 and established the Camperdown Pressing Company to bale jute and ship full cargoes to the works at Lochee. This Company was the first to employ hydraulic presses for packing the bales, which had been done up till then by screw presses.

He visited India several times after this and often remarked on the improvement of travelling facilities in the steamers, and ease of the journey as compared with his first visit when he crossed the Isthmus of Suez by Camel car, before the canal was opened in 1869.

He was a member of the British Trades delegation which went to Paris in 1860, to negotiate the French Trade Treaty,The Cobden-Chavalier Free Trade Treaty which was accomplished, and for this work he received the thanks of the Government and a commemorative bronze medal struck by Napoleon III.

He built in 1864, a new house on the lands of Foggyley, and in 1874 bought the Estate of SnaigowThe Snaigow Estate is now home to Viscount Edward Chelsea, heir to the 8th Earl Cadogan. from the Grahams of Fintry to whom it had been left by Mrs Keay of Snaigow. Improvements were at once put in hand, and a new home farm steadingA farm building made of concrete was completed in 1883 from his own plans, and for his own successful use all his days.

It was on his own initiative that the Caputh Bridge scheme was started and carried out, with the valuable co-operation if Sir Alexander Muir Mackenzie of Delvine, and Reverend Theodore Marshall, Minister of the Parish of Caputh. (Afterwards Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland). This bridge formed a necessary link between the properties on the north side of the Tay, with the railway at Murthly Station, replacing the pictureque though inconvenient Boat of Caputh.

He was a member of the old Highland Road Board, and a Justice of the Peace for Perthshire and Angus. He died at Snaigow after a stroke, being only ill for a few hours, aged 82, keeping active in mind and body until the end.