Charles James & Henry V. Fox
Born: 24 Jan, 1749
Died: 13 Sep, 1806
Field: Writer; statesman
Location in the Abbey: Nave, north transept
Type of memorial: Grave; statue
Type of material: Marble

Charles James Fox, statesman, was a son of Henry Fox, 1st Baron Holland and his wife Lady Georgiana Caroline Lennox. He became a well known statesman and Foreign Secretary and was an opponent of the American War of Independence. He also worked towards the abolition of the slave trade. His private life was scandalous and he left several illegitimate children. In 1795 he married his mistress, Elizabeth Armitstead. Fox died on 13 September 1806 and was buried in the north transept of Westminster Abbey (known as Statesmen's Aisle). His gravestone simply gives his name and dates.

Monument

A large white marble monument, by the sculptor Sir Richard Westmacott, was erected near the grave in the north transept in 1822. It is considered to be the sculptor's best work. A few decades later this was moved to its present position at the west end of the nave. It depicts Fox lying on a mattress, his head and shoulders supported by a figure of Liberty. At his feet kneel a mourning slave and a figure representing Peace. The inscription reads:

CHARLES JAMES FOX B: 24 JAN.1749 N:S: D:13 SEPT.1806.

(NS stands for New Style, referring to the dating).

Charles' elder brother Stephen (1745-74) became the 2nd Baron Holland and a younger brother, Henry Edward (1755-1811) was in the army.

Henry Vassal Fox, 3rd Baron Holland (1773-1840), Charles' nephew, was a statesman and writer and has a large monument (without inscription, by order of his son) behind that to his uncle but is buried at Millbrook church near Ampthill in Bedfordshire. His notable literary circle met at Holland House. His monument, by sculptor E.H.Baily, is often referred to as "the prison house of death" as it consists of a tall tomb with a closed doorway with life size mourning figures in front, surmounted by a bust.

Photographs of the monuments can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

Further reading on the family:

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004)

Sir Richard Westmacott, sculptor by M.Busco, 1994

© 2017 The Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Website design - Design by Structure