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CHARLES JAMES FOX (1749-1806)

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Originally appearing in Volume V10, Page 762 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CHARLES JAMES FOX (1749-1806), British statesman and orator, was the third son of Henry Fox, 1st Lord Holland, and his wife, Lady Caroline Lennox, eldest daughter of Charles Lennox, 2nd duke of Richmond. He was born at 9 Conduit Street, Westminster, on the 24th of January 1749. The father, who treated his children with extreme indulgence, allowed him to choose his school, and he elected to go to one kept at Wands-worth by a French refugee, named Pampelonne. In a very short time he asked to be sent to Eton, where he went in 1757. At Eton he did no more work than was acceptable to him, but he had an inborn love of literature, and he laid the foundation of that knowledge of the classic languages which in after years was the delight of his life. The vehemence of his temper was con-trolled by an affectionate disposition. When quite a boy he checked his own tendency to fits of passion on learning that his father trusted him to cure his defects. That he learnt anything, and that he grew up an amiable and magnanimous man, were solely due to his natural worth, for no one ever owed less to education or to family example. The relations of Lord Holland to his sons would be difficult to parallel. He not only treated them, and in particular Charles, as friends and companions in pleasure from the first, but he did his best to encourage them in dissipation. In 1763 he took Charles for a tour on the continent, introduced him to the most immoral society of the time and gave him money with which to gamble. The boy came back to Eton a precocious rake. It was his good fortune that he did go back, for he was subjected to a wholesome course of ridicule by the other boys, and was flogged by Dr Barnard, the headmaster. In 1764 Charles proceeded to Hertford College, Oxford. At Oxford, as at Eton, he read literature from natural liking, and he paid some attention to mathematics. His often quoted saying that he found mathematics entertaining was probably meant as a jest at the expense
End of Article: CHARLES JAMES FOX (1749-1806)
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