FOX, CHARLES JAMES, was born on the 24th of January 1749. Ile was the third son of tho Right Hon. Henry Fox, who in 1763 woe created Lord Ilollaud, end of Lady Georgiana Carolina, the eldest daughter of Charles, second duke of Richmond.
Having commenced his education in a preparatory school at Wands worth, Fox was 'sent at the age of uine to Etou. Here his progress was very rapid : and while he thus early gave unequivocal indications of the powers of mind which afterwards yielded so rich a harvest, he was not less distinguished among his school companions for that warmth of feeling and amiability of character which through life served to make men his friends and keep them so. Ilia education was interrupted before he was fifteen by a three months' trip to Paris and to Spa, in %bleb ha was accompanied by his father; and the inter ruption is of more consequence than otherwise It could have been, if it be true. as is represented, that to the misplaced indulgence of the father during this tour is to be traced the devotion to the gaining Wile which ever after was the principal alloy of Fox's happiness. "Ile had left school a boy," says Mr. Allen, in bin biographical sketch in the ' Encyclopedia Britaunica; "ho returned to it with all the Mlles and fopperies of a young man." lie continued at Eton but one year longer, and in the autumn of 1764 entered at Hertford College, Oxford. flare, as during the latter part of his course at Eton, learuing as l pleasure were lila pursuits in turn. lie left Oxford in the autumn of 1706. Ile then went abroad, and having passed two years chiefly In Italy, returned to England in August 1768. In his absence, and before he was yet of age, he had been elected member of parliament for Ilidhurit.
Fox took his seat in parliament as a supporter of the Duke of Oration's ministry. his father, who had entered public life uuder the auspices of Sir Robert Walpole, had in the progress of time become estranged from the Whig party ; and It was from the opinions of the father, at this period iu favour of the court, and of an administration whoa:strength was in the court, that the beginniog of Fox's political career derived its character. Fox made his first speech on the 15th
of April 1763, ou the subject of the famous Middlesex election, sups portiog the decision in avour of Colonel Luttrel and against Mr. Wilkes. In February 1770, when the Duke of Grafton was succeeded by Lord North as premier, Fox was appointed a junior lord of the Admiralty. He resigned this situation two years after in consequence of some misunderstanding with Lord North, but in lent thou twelve months he was brought back into the ministry, being appointed iu January 1773 one of the lords of the Treasury. In February of the next year he was again dismissed from his situation, and that somewhat unceremoniously. The immediate cause of the dismissal was the following :—A motion had been made In the House of Commons that Mr. Woodfall, the printer of the ' Public Advertiser,' be taken iuto the custody of the aerjeauteat-arms, in consequence of some remarks ou the Speaker which had appeared In that newspaper; when Fox, thinking this punishment ineufficieut, without consulting Lord North moved an amendment to the effect that Mr. Woudfall be committed to Newgate. Lord North, being compelled, or thinking himself corn• pulled, to support the amendment against the original motion, was left in a minority on a division. There had previously been some coolness between Fox and the premier. The defeat which Lord North con sidered had been brought upon him by an act of inaoleut temerity on the part of Fox did not of course tend to diminish it; and a few days after, as Fox was sitting in tho Ilouse of Commons on the ministerial bench, he received front the hands of one of the doorkeepers the following laconic note :—" Sir,—Ilis Majesty has thought proper to order a new commission of the Treasury to be made out, in which I do not perceive your name. North." In a very short time Fox was in opposition.