John Greenlaw Foxton
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John Foxton, RN (father) Wilhelmina Fox (mother) J.G. Foxton's children


John Greenlaw Foxton was born at sea 1811, christened at Port Royal and his birth was registered at Dentford, the royal dockyard in the Parish of Stepney.  His father, Captain John Foxton RN was killed in 1817 at St. Helena, and his mother, Wilhelmina, with two young children aged six and five years, lived at Greenwich Road, Kent, at the time. He was at school in Greenwich, England  in 1819.  

In 1833, at the age of 22 years, he was the  navigating officer of an expedition to Antarctica that included two ships, a brig/schooner the "Hopewell" of 129 tons, and a yawl the "Rose" of about 100 tons. The "Rose" was abandoned when it was lost between two icebergs at about 70 degrees South, and all crew transferred to the "Hopewell".  The ship sailed tot the Falkland Islands, and discovered the murders at Port Louis. At the same time, Charles Darwin was on board  the "Beagle" in the Falklands, anchored in the next bay.       (More information about the voyage here)

In May 1834, he was the commander of the "Hopewell" when the ship returned to England. On their return to England,  it was suggested to the Admiralty that settlement of the Falklands should proceed . In November 1834, the "Hopewell" was sold in London. Foxton was Captain until its sale.

His mother, Wilhelmina, re-married, to Robert Jones, and moved to Australia some time in the 1820's. Her daughter Ann Foxton married James Robertson, of Sydney.  John Greenlaw came to Australia after his mother, as she bore a son, Edward Jones, in 1831 in Camden, NSW.

In 1841, at the age of 30 years, he settled in Melbourne, and occupied several positions, including as a Customs House Agent, Commission Merchant and Insurance Broker. In his time in Victoria, he was the First Treasurer of the Chamber of Commerce, the Founder of the original Argus newspaper, a Director of the Railway and Jetty Company, and raised funds for the founding of Wesley College.

Records show that he was in the Insolvency Court of Port Phillip in 1842 while a Customs House Agent; and in 1862 while the Chairman of The Provident Institute of Victoria, of 35 Queen Street, Melbourne. (Source: Creswick and Clunes Advertiser)

He married Isabel Elizabeth Potts in 1848 at St Peters, Melbourne, Victoria. His five children were born between 1849 and 1855 in Victoria.

He moved his family to Queensland, and in 1864, was in partnership with the legal firm - James Leith-Hoy - in Queensland.

In his retirement, he moved to Earls Court, London. 

In 1892, he wrote "Notes on a long forgotten Antarctic Voyage in 1833", held by the Trans. Royal Geographical  Society of Australia (Victorian branch).

His children remained in Australia.

In 1903, he died in Earls Court, London. It is uncertain when his wife, Isabel, died.