Headmaster from 1843 to 1852 - Edmund/Edwin Fox

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John Saunders
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Headmaster from 1843 to 1852 - Edmund/Edwin Fox

Postby John Saunders » Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:20 pm

The school history has the following to say about the headmaster of the school from 1843 to 1852...

History of the RGS by Ashford and Haworth, 1962 wrote:The new Master was Edwin Fox, who had been usher at Kingston College, Hull. He was presumably faced with the task of reanimating a school that was sadly run down. He stayed at the task for eight years, resigning in 1852. And that is all we know of him.

There are three references to him in total in the 1962 school history, all as Edwin Fox, including the the index, which refers to his years of office as 1844-1852. The source for this information would appear to be the book The Early Antiquities and History of Wycombe: In Buckinghamshire (by John Parker, 1878), where it gives in the list of RGS headmasters, simply: "Mr. Edwin Fox, 1843, resigned 1852."

However, both books appear to have got his name wrong. The correct name of the headmaster for this period was Edmund Fox. There is plenty of source evidence for him under this name. The 1851 Census record:


Census 1851 - Easton Street, High Wycombe

Edmund Fox, Head, Mar. 49, Schoolmaster, Royal Grammar School, born Middx, Hackney [hence born around 1802]
Emma R Fox, Wife, Mar., 36, born Salop [Shropshire], Claverley [hence born around 1815]
Margaret Punchall, Serv., Unm., 29, House Servant, born Ireland.

He married Emma Robeson Lea, daughter of William Woolryche Lea, of Ludstone, Shropshire, on 27 June 1844, at Claverley, Shropshire, in church (CofE). Edmund was referred to as the son of William Fox, gentleman. (source: BMD). There are a number of newspaper references to this wedding.

The Western Courier, 29 Jan 1851, had some details about the school during his headship.

Western Courier, 29 January 1851 wrote:High Wycombe, Bucks
Patrons. Corporation.
Free to thirty boys within the Borough.
Income from Endowment. £350. The Master receives only £100; but in a few years the endowment will be about £600.
Head Master. Mr Edmund Fox.
Scholars in 1850. Thirty.

York Herald, 16 December 1843 wrote:Mr Edmund Fox, late of Beverley, and now one of the assistant Masters in Kingston College, was elected on [30 November 1843], Head Master of the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. There were twenty other candidates.

Edmund Fox was in all probability born on 19 August 1801 in the parish of St. John, Hackney, Middlesex, the son of William Fox and Harriet, daughter of Thomas and Ann Hall. (Source: Nonconformist Register).

In the 1841 Census, Edmund Fox was lodging in the parish of St. Nicholas, Beverley, Yorkshire, where he was listed as a tutor.

Edmund Fox died on 8 December 1959, aged about 58, in Bath, Somerset. He left under £200 to his widow Emma Robeson Fox. The probate record refers to him as 'Gentleman' rather than citing a profession.
John Saunders
RGS 1963-70 (personal website http://www.saund.co.uk)