Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Charles James Fox Papers, 1760-1837

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, July 2011

Summary Information
Title: Charles James Fox papers
Creator: Fox, Charles James, 1749-1806
Inclusive dates: 1760-1837
Bulk dates: 1783-1806
Extent: 0.25 linear feet
The Charles James Fox papers contain political and personal correspondence regarding British politics during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1929, 1991. M-4963, M-2680.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Charles James Fox Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Charles James Fox was born in London on January 24, 1749. After attending Eton and Oxford, his first political success came with his election to Parliament in 1768. Though he initially supported the government's efforts against the populist machinations of John Wilkes, Fox's political views began to shift after receiving and resigning a number of political appointments, leading him to increasingly ally himself with the Rockingham Whigs. During the early 1770s, Fox opposed the British economic policies that later sparked the American Revolution. In July 1780, he was elected to the first of many parliamentary terms representing Westminster, and from 1782-1784 he served in the ministry of Rockingham and Shelburne. After the failure of an unlikely coalition with Lord North in 1783, Fox's antipathy toward King George III increased dramatically, defining the remainder of his political career. During William Pitt's term as Prime Minister, Fox became an outspoken supporter of Irish Home Rule and a prominent opposition leader. He died on September 13, 1806.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Charles James Fox papers (54 items) contain political and personal correspondence regarding British politics during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Fox wrote the majority of the letters, which concern numerous domestic political topics. His letters pertain to many aspects of his parliamentary career, including his solicitation for support in an upcoming election (April 14, 1784). A strongly-worded letter to Sir Arthur Leary Piggott contains Fox's negative opinion of the Prince of Wales after a disagreement ([1787]), and a series of items from 1794 relates to developments in the ongoing war against France. Fox's strong political opinions are evident in letters such as that of December 16, 1783, when he stated, "The unconstitutional interference which has beat us in the H. of Lds. has been so indecent & notorious, that the immediate attendance of all real friends to the liberty of the Country is become absolutely necessary." Other items include 2 early letters by Henry Fox, Charles Fox's father; newspaper clippings about a dispute between Charles Fox and William Pitt, and a French-language letter by the Duchess of Devonshire.

Subject Terms

    • Anglo-French War, 1793-1802.
    • Great Britain. Parliament.
    • Great Britain--Politics and government--1760-1820.
    • Holland, Henry Fox, Baron, 1705-1774.
    Genre Terms:
    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   1  
    Charles James Fox papers,  1760-1836 and  Undated [series]
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    The following is a partial list of collections with material by, or related to, Fox:


    Mitchell, L. G. (2007). Fox, Charles James (1749-1806). In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press.