Extra Information; Surnames - F (Information received from fellow genealogists is recorded here, as received)

FOX James

The following information is from Bob Couzens of Port Hedland. James Fox was his great, great grandfather. Contact Bob for further details; roden (at) kisser (dot) net (dot) au

James Fox (also known as Joseph) was born 3/3/1829 at Ashton Under Lyne, Lancashire, England. He died 4/5/1894 in Northam, Western Australia. At the age of 22 years and semi literate (a protestant, Church of England) he was convicted at Chester on a charge of rape and sentenced to 20 years transportation to the colonies; Prisoner number 233. He arrived at Fremantle, Western Australia via the Mermaid on 13th May 1851.He received a Ticket of Leave on 29/10/1852 and a Conditional Pardon on 3/5/1859 expiring on 28/3/1868 and a Certificate of Freedom on 10/11/1868. He was granted permission to marry (one/two year return) in 1854 and he subsequently married Mary Barry the same year. The marriage produced the following children: Joseph - 1855, Enoch James - 1859, William Thomas - 1862, Harriett - 1865, John Alexander - 1867 Henry - 1871, Esther - 1874 and Alexander - 1877. His trade was listed as a carter and labourer. His prison and transportation description has him listed with the following profile: Age - 22, Hair - light, Eyes - grey, Height - 5 foot 6 inches, Visage - round, Complexion - fair, Distinguishing Features - an apple on the left foot and a cast in the left eye. James Fox's death cerificate states he died of Paralysis.

"On the 3rd of July 1882 Fox was convicted on two counts of unlawful wounding causing grievous bodily harm. For this he was sentenced to two years with hard labour. Due to his partial paralysis the hard labour provision could not be imposed. This was in 1882 and as William Thomas was not killed until 1894 his death could not have played a part in Fox`s condition. Fox had complained to neighbours that his sons were conspiring against him and were guilty of selling his cows and horse and dray. His neighbours told him that this was not so and he was extremely lucky to have sons who worked so hard and long on his behalf. Fox would have none of it and said he was going to scald his sons as punishment. His neighbours told him not to be silly, and in any cas,e his two eldest sons (Joseph and Enoch James) were in Launceston, Tasmania at the time. Undaunted and unconvinced, Fox rose at about four am on the morning of the assault and went to the well where he drew enough water to fill a two-gallon container. Taking the container back to the house he then filled a large kettle (about 1 and ½ gallons) and built a large fire under it and left it standing until the water was boiling. When the water was boiling he then took the kettle to the bed where William Thomas lay sleeping and simply poured the boiling water over him causing him to endure very serious scalding and a long treatment and recovery in the Colonial Hospital. The neighbours notified the traps and Fox was subsequently arrested. He was remanded for eight days as a possible imbecile on the orders of George Leake. On the 30th March 1882 the Colonial Surgeon, Alfred R Waylen (the first person born in Western Australia to become a doctor; history has recorded that he was an exceptionally good physician), reported the following in writing to the Police Register:

“I have this day examined James Fox. He is the subject to partial paralysis which renders him unfit to earn a living. He has softening of the brain and is a possible imbecile but at the present is pretty well accountable for his actions. He wants taking care of, but I could not certify to his being a fit subject for the lunatic asylum”.

In his deposition William Thomas stated that had it not been for the want of his mother, brothers and sisters he would have left his father long ago. Fox by now was clearly demented and a danger to himself and others. How he came to be at Northam at the time of his death will remain a mystery. Just one of the many that surround the family".