John Henry Cox 1867- 1923
Banburyshire Family History

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John Henry was born on the 12 November 1867 and baptised a Catholic five days later. His godparents were John Sole (i.e. his step-grandfather) and Margaret Mulligan. 1867 was also the year that Bismark united Germany, the British created the Dominion of Canada, and Russia sold Alaska to the USA for 2 cents an acre.

His sister died when he was three, and his father when he was 24, a considerably less traumatic childhood than his ancestors. He benefited from a proper education and the 1891 census describes him as a "Town Postman", a job requiring reasonable literacy skills, and more importantly, a job that would not have existed if literacy levels in Banbury hadn't risen considerably. Gladstone's Education Act only passed in 1870 was already having the desired affect!

On the 6th July 1895 he married Emily Elizabeth Boyles, a cab driver's daughter (presumably horse drawn!) from Croughton.

Their first child was born nine months later and named Winifred Ellen after his sister, but she died aged 6 on 23 March 1902 of scarlet fever after 16 days in Neithrop isolation hospital.

Dorothy was born in 1989; and by 1901 the family was living at 33 Bridge Street. Emily converted to Catholicism and was conditionally baptised on 24th May 1902, two months after Winifred died. John Arthur was born in December 1902. By 1911 they had moved to 23 Bridge Street.

When the First World War broke out, John Henry was 47, and so old enough to avoid conscription, which only applied to those under 41 - including married men from May 1916. The 1911 census records that some 170 Coxes were living in Banbury so it is perhaps surprising that none was killed in the war. But the wider family was not so fortunate:

Two of Caroline Cox's grandsons, William Alfred and Charles George Pearson, both of 11 Cherwell Street were killed in action. Helen Cox's son (John the sawyer's grandson) Francis Thomas Busby died aged 31 of disease whilst serving with ASC MT 56 Mech. Trans. Coy. His last address was The White Horse Hotel, High Street Banbury. (No longer there but used to be at 55 High Street).

After the war, Dorothy worked as a jeweller's assistant, she still lived at home, by then 55 North Bar Street and remained a spinster - perhaps there were no eligible young men left after the war, or perhaps she was suffering from health problems because, after a 3 month illness, she died aged 24 on 27th March 1922 of acute nephritis (kidney failure).

John Henry, by then an "inspector of postmen" died aged 55 on 10 Aug 1923 of carcinoma of oesophagus, cachexia. Emily Elizabeth survived him by 9 years, until December 1932 when she was 57.

Contributed by Nicholas Cox
Email: cox_family(@)
To contact Nicholas, copy and paste the address and remove the brackets around the @ - thank you.