The COX Family - in Angus and Perthshire

Born:
27 Sep 1820 at Foggyley
Christened:
27 Dec 1820 at Invergowrie
Father:
James Cock 1776-1848
Mother:
Helen Scott 1787-1824
Brothers:
James, David, William, Robert, Henry, Thomas, Edward
Sisters:
Jean 1806, Helen 1824
Married:
26 Jun 1848 at Abbotshall, Kirkcaldy
Spouse:
Eliza Methven, daughter of David Methven
Sons:
James, David, George, Alfred, Charles, Edmund
Daughters:
Jessie Methven 1854
Died:
6 May 1899 at the Calverley Hotel, Tunbridge Wells
Buried:
Western Cemetery, Dundee

George Addison Cox was the seventh son of James Cock and Helen Scott, the first of their children to be born at Foggyley after the family moved from Lochiefield. He was named George Addison after his godfather, the Reverend Dr George Addison, Parish Minister of Liff and Benvie from 1817 until his death in 1852.

Like his older brothers, George would have attended a local elementary school in Lochee, followed by the Parish School of Dundee and the Dundee Academy. By the time he left school, his older brothers were already working together, developing new production methods and broadening the customer base for their increasingly wide range of textile products. He almost certainly joined the family business directly after leaving school.

Although very young, his contribution to the business was significant and his talent as an engineer was evident to his older brothers. So when Cox Brothers was formed in 1841, George was included as an equal partner, even though he was only twenty-one at that time. He was responsible for all aspects of engineering and machinery within Cox Brothers and developed many innovative processes for the automated manufacture of their products.

In the late 1840s, Cox Brothers began to plan the development of the new Camperdown Linen Works, and George was largely responsible for the design and layout of the works. In this he worked closely with Peter Carmichael the active managing partner of Baxter Brothers, another textile mill in Dundee. Peter was married to Margaret, sister-in-law of James, the eldest Cox brother.

Peter also assisted George with later construction projects at Camperdown, including the building of the High Mill, completed in 1857. A few years later George worked with James MacLaren on the design of the elaborate 300ft chimney, known today as Cox's Stack.

In all probability George continued living at Foggyley with his father and unmarried siblings until his marriage to Eliza Methven in 1848. The 1851 Census shows him with Eliza and two small sons, living not far from Foggyley at Wellhead House (where his brother Thomas lived a few years later).

After this, according to the Dundee Directories 1853-1859, he lived at Wellbank Cottage, another property in the same neighbourhood. Around 1860, with three sons and a daughter, the family moved into Beechwood, a large new house built alongside his brothers' mansions in Harefield Road. Three more sons were born at Beechwood.

About 10 years later George bought the estate of Invertrossachs on the southern shore of Loch Venachar, now part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, Scotland's first national park. Invertrossachs House, where Queen Victoria once stayed for 10 days, was destroyed by fire in 1910.

In 1872 George's wife Eliza died at Beechwood, aged 45. Her death certificate shows the following entry in the column entitled 'Cause of Death and Duration of Disease':
'Change of Life, 18 months; Obscure affection of brain, 3 weeks'.
Presumably this was a severe case of menopausal depression, for which there were no effective treatments at the time.

George himself lived to the age of 78. He died in 1899 at the Calverley Hotel in Tunbridge Wells, Kent where, suffering from liver cancer, he may have been visiting for the sake of the mineral spring waters there.


Abbotshall Parish Church
George Cox and Eliza Methven were married here in 1848.


Camperdown Linen Works in 1885
George Cox was architect-engineer for the Works.


Camperdown Linen Works in 2009
The High Mill and Cox's Stack are landmarks in Lochee.


Uniforms of the Volunteer Battallion Royal Highlanders
George Cox was an officer in the Lochee Volunteer Rifle
Corps, part of the Royal Highlanders (Black Watch).


Grouse Shooting
One of George's favourite pastimes


Loch Venachar
The Invertrossachs Estate, once owned by George Cox,
occupies most of the southern shore of Loch Venachar.


The Calverley Hotel, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Engraving by Rock and Co. London dated 1860
George Cox died here in May 1899.

SOURCE: The Family of Cox by Henry Kinloch Cox

On George Addison Cox

He joined his three brothers in 1841 in the firm of Cox Brothers and took in hand the manufacturing, particularly the spinning. He took little part in public affairs or politics but made his influence felt in whatever he did.

He sharedRecords suggest that the Library and Baths were the particular gift of George's brother, Thomas Hunter Cox. with the family in giving the Public Reading Rooms and Baths, also the Public Recreation Park to Lochee. He was a director of the HansfordA ranching operation centered in Texas, founded in 1882, directed and financed by Scottish capital, with headquarters in Dundee. Land and Cattle Company and Queen Insurance Company.

In his early days he was an officer in the VolunteersThe Scottish Volunteer Force, a large territorial force created in 1859 including cavalry and engineers. It was the template for the Territorial Army., and took a great interest in this patriotic movement. He was a keen shot and loved to be out on the moors and to entertain his friends. He was a JP for Angus and DL for the City of Dundee.

SOURCE: Dictionary of Scottish Architects

Biography for George Addison Cox

George A Cox was the engineering partner of Cox Brothers (originally Cock: Cox was adopted in 1845) a family engaged in linen and bleaching in Lochie from the 17th century. In 1819 their lease of Lochiefield from the Duncans expired and the firm moved to Foggyley.

Construction of completely new works, ultimately the largest in the world began in 1850 to George Cox's design in consultation with Peter Carmichael of Baxter Brothers who was relatedPeter was married to Margaret, sister-in-law of James Cox, the eldest Cox brother. by marriage. Cox's role as architect-engineer is less well-defined than Carmichael's at Dens,Dens was the textile mill owned by Baxter Brothers. as the Cox family's architect James Maclaren designed the decorative aspects of Cox's stack and may have had a hand in other details.

As at Dens, there were Upper and Lower Factories but the sites were much flatter to ensure efficient production units. The works were predominantly single-storey. Cox may also have had some hand in the remarkable concrete steading of 1884 on William Cox's Snaigow estate but mass concrete does not seem to have been used at Camperdown.

SOURCE: The London Gazette, 15 May 1868

Patents Section

Patent Law Amendment Act 1852.
Office of the Commissioners of Patents for Inventions.

Notice is hereby given, that provisional protection has been allowed -

1385. To George Addison Cox of Lochee, Dundee, in the county of Forfar, North Britain, Jute and Flax Spinner and Power Loom Linen Manufacturer, for the invention of 'improvements in carpets, sackings, checks, bed-ticks or tickings, and other similar textile fabrics.'

SOURCE: Woods, Forests and Estates of Perthshire

On Invertrossachs (by Thomas Hunter)

Invertrossachs, the property of George Addison Cox, brother of Mr Cox of Cardean and Mr Cox of Snaigow, is not only an exceedingly pretty place, but it illustrates in an eminent degree, what has been done to improve the country by planting within recent years.

It extends along the greater part of the southern shore of Loch Venachar, or for about 4.1 miles out of the 5 miles to which the loch extends. The road from Callander leads directly to Invertrossachs House, where it ends, the road to the Trossachs being on the northern side of the loch.

SOURCE: The Versatile Scot by James & Malcolm Ferguson

A Day at Glenfilas

Sometime after the Queen's visitIn September 1869, Queen Victoria stayed at Invertrossachs House for 10 days. the Invertrossachs Estate was purchased by G. Addison Cox Esq, of Dundee, and a considerable addition was then made to the house. I had occasion to be in the house both before and after it was enlarged, but the Queen's bedroom had never been used or altered in the slightest way since the Queen left.

On the early morning of the 15th January 1910, Invertrossachs House was burned to the ground. Mrs Cox,This was 52-year-old Sarah Annie Cox, widow of George's eldest son James who died in 1901. a pretty stout, middle-aged widow, owner of the Invertrossachs Estate, made a very narrow escape with her life, she having to make a hurried exit by her bedroom window in her nightdress, and down a long ladder.

Unfortunately, I believe, a rung of the ladder gave way, at any rate the lady fell 9 or 10 feet to the ground, and was much hurt and bruised. What a terrible experience and shock to the well-known and much respected lady of Invertrossachs.

One of the maids, named Christina McDonald, a native of Lochalshside, Ross-shire, perished in the raging flames. Her charred remains were not recovered from the huge pile of ruins for several days, and were buried in Callander Cemetery.