Francis Augustus Cox (1783 -
Cox was born in Leighton Buzzard on the 7th March
1783. His grandfather was a well respected, wealthy, local baptist.
Francis was an only son and inherited a sizeable estate from
He was baptised in Leighton Buzzard just before his
thirteenth birthday and was preaching by his mid-teens. In 1798
he entered the Bristol Baptist Academy and in 1800 he entered Edinburgh
University. In 1802 he took an M.A.
Afterwards he assisted Isiah Birt at the
Baptist church in Devonport before becoming the pastor at Clipston,
Northamptonshire. On the 4th April 1804 was ordained.
In 1806 he moved to Cambridge, becoming pastor of
St Andrew's Street Church, but in April 1808 he resigned and returned
to Clipston. In February 1811 he moved to take the post of pastor
at the church at Shore Place, Hackney. He remained here for over
two years. During his time in Hackney the church moved to Mare
Street and was enlarged several times, with the congregation increasing
6 fold over the period.
During his life Cox was
- Baptist Union president 1834,
1835 and 1852
- Baptist Home Missionary Society joint secretary
- Promoter of the Baptist Irish Society
- Promoter of the Bible Translation Society
- Secretary of the Baptist Continental Society from 1831 for five
- Chairman of the Baptist board on colonial apprenticeships in
- One of the founders of the
Baptist Magazine in 1809
- Examiner and mathematics tutor at Stepney College 1813 - 1822
- Committee member of the Baptist Missionary Society for forty
years and wrote their jubilee history
- Secretary of the General Board of Dissenting Ministers of the
Three Denominations for those residing in or near London and Westminster
1838 - 1841
- Instrumental in the campaign for the repeal of the Test and Corporation
- Founder of The Patriot newspaper, 1832
- Associated with the Society for Promoting Ecclesiastical Knowledge
- Associated with the Protestant Society for the Protection of
- Associated with the Religious Freedom Society
- Associated with the Evangelical Voluntary Association
- Helped found the Anti-State Church Association in 1844
- Led the opposition to the state support for the Catholic Maynooth
College in 1845
- Instrumental in the founding of University College, London in
the 1820s and was librarian there for a time
Francis published a number of religious works as
well as publishing numerous articles in journals.
Cox married in 1809 to Elizabeth King of Watford,
and after her death he married Sarah Savery in 1821. His third
and final wife was the widow Hephzibah Hannah Finch Jones who he
married in 1847.
Francis had a total of seven children by his marriages.
Of these, four died before Francis, and the three remaining emigrated
Australia for health resaons. Francis died the 5th September
1853 at his home in King Edward's Road, South Hackney and was buried
in Mare Street Chapel graveyard.