Wilhelmina Fox
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Captain John Foxton RN (husband) Ann Foxton  (daughter) John Greenlaw Foxton (son)
Rev. William Hopkins Fox' headstone (father) George Foxton (son) William Hinde Foxton (son)
John Hopkins Fox (uncle)    

Wilhelmina Fox was born in London on 8 Aug 1793, and died in Sydney in 1868, aged 74.  WilheminaFoxton.JPG (52085 bytes)

Her grandfather was Rev. William Hopkins Fox.  At the time of his death, he was the Rector  of Ruckinge, Vicar of Lynsted, Kent. Read the inscription on his headstone in the church of St. Peter & Paul, Lynsted, Kent. 

Her father was Surgeon-Major William  Hinde Fox. She met her husband, Captain John Foxton R.N., on board ship accompanying her parents to America where her father was taking a posting at Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was about 16 years old.

She was married in 29 Mar 1810 at the age of 17 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her first son, John Greenlaw Foxton was born the following January, and a sister in December of the same year, 1811, both at sea. Two other sons were born- George in 1814,  and William Hinde in 1816 - but both died in 1817, within the same month.   Her husband died at St. Helena in 1817 as Captain of the "Hyaena", accompanying the "Northumberland" with Napoleon on board. Her father's bereavement letter is an interesting study of the times. 

She subsequently married Robert Jones, and migrated to Sydney, Australia, in the late 1820's or 1820 with her daughter Ann. It is unsure whether Ann married James Robertson in England or Australia, but it is probable she met him in Sydney.

Wilhelmina had several more children:-

  • Edward (1831), Charles (1833) and Wilhelmina Grace (1836)
  • and probably William, Wattie, Emma, Charlotte and Ettie (according to a letter  regarding JG Foxton's half-brothers and sisters in Sydney.)
  • Three of the Jones' children (2 girls and a boy) married three children(2 boys and a girl)  of the Dawson family of Sydney.  
  • Emma Jones married John Dawson, solicitor
  • Wilhelmina Grace Jones married Henry Dawson
  • Ettie and Charlotte Jones lived at "White Lodge", Toorak, Melbourne.   
  • On her death certificate it states she had 15 children, with 4 boys and 4 girls living at the time of her death: - John G Foxton, William B Jones, Edward Jones, Charles Jones, Wilhelmina G Jones and MaryAnn Jones.

She died in 1868 at Crown Street, Surry Hills, Sydney, and is buried at Haslem's Creek Cemetery.

Read the note regarding her family, possibly written by one of the children of Edith Marley nee Foxton.


Following is a note written by her son, John Greenlaw Foxton, regarding his mother, Wilhelmina, and the events of his life. (Unknown date)


I will say something about my Mother. Her grandfather, Rev Hopkins Fox, Dean of York, died, leaving two sons. The eldest inherited 3 estates in Yorkshire – “Bellwood”, “Littlethorpe” and “Bradfields”, said to be worth at that time, 4000 pounds a year. The younger son, my grandfather, entered the Army as soon as he obtained his diplomas and became Surgeon-Major, was present at the taking of all the West India Islands from the French, and in 1809 was appointed to the Staff of Sir George Provost, commander in chief of forces in North America. He and his staff with their families were ordered to repair on board the “Hyaena” frigate, which my father was commanding to be taken to Halifax – the headquarters. (My mother used to say she was reared in a forest of cocked hats.)


Of course Captain Foxton, aged 32, fell in love with the eldest daughter of Staff Surgeon Major Fox. She was Wilhelmina, and her sister was Priscilla. They were married at Halifax in 1810. Hence as the nigger said came this white man on this circular globe. In 1811, I was born at sea, christened at Port Royal in Jamaica, registered at Deptford, and belong to the Parish of Stepney, each a few miles from London.


My father Captain Foxton, was badly wounded in the Battle of the Nile, sailed under the flag of Lord Nelson for 7 years, only missed being in the Battle of Trafalgar by being sent to Gibraltar in charge of a prize which had been taken shortly before the French fleet hove in sight. He was at Cadiz and Calir with Nelson and several times slightly wounded. When Napoleon surrendered to Captain Maitland on board the "Bellerephon", peace was declared. Sir  George Cockburn (a great friend of my father’s) had to take him to St Helena, and the “Hyaena” went with Sir George’s ship,  the “Northumberland”. There is a beautiful picture in Greenwich Hospital showing the “Northumberland” with Napoleon on board, and the “Hyaena” at anchor ready for sail to St. Helena.


I remember quite well about 80 years ago, coming home from Mrs. Le Crem’s preparatory school and finding my mother crying bitterly. I went to her knee and asked why she was crying. She said “Oh dear Papa has been killed, we shall never see him again.” Then of course I began to roar.


Re the estates referred to:-

When my grandfather retired from his appointment at Halifax and returned to England he found his brother had been dead six years and the estates in possession of one Helen Glew, his brother’s housekeeper, and a village attorney named Barker, by a will of no value as the estates were entailed for ever.


He filed a bill on chancery to recover them but it worried him into his grave. His son, Uncle Gilson, always in affluence, would not attempt to recover them, and he being lost at sea, 7 years had to elapse before I could claim them. Then Edward Wilson sent a lawyer into Yorkshire to investigate my claims. He said it was quite clear, but the Statute of Limitations was against me. It would be useful to proceed further. 


So you see what an unfortunate devil I have been all through life. Of course, my first misfortune was losing my father at 5 years of age, for his death altered the whole course of my life, as Sir Geo. Cockburn, who became one of the Lords of the Admiralty had promised him the first vacancy as superintendent of a dockyard, which meant 1000 pounds a year and a beautiful house. I should have entered the Navy and perhaps been an admiral years ago.


When I was 10, Sir Geo. Grey, whose daughters used to nurse me when I was a baby, wrote to my mother offering to educate me in Portsmouth College, of which he was Governor, and put me in the Navy in due course, but she declined his offer as she did not want me to go to sea.


Then came my mother’s disastrous second marriage, her husband embarking the thousands of pounds my father had fought and bled for, and saved for our benefit, in the business (brewing) of which he knew about as much as a cow does of a side pocket, and lost every shilling of it. Then came Uncle Gilson’s loss at sea. Ship and all hands never heard of after entering the China Sea.


JG Foxton,  Esquire



Notes on the Fox Lineage:

  • The Rev. William Hopkins Fox, Dean of York, had two sons,  the eldest, John Hopkins Fox, who inherited the estates, and William, who became Surgeon-Major William Hinde Fox. A daughter, Elizabeth Mary Fox, died in infancy.

  • William Hinde Fox had a son, Gilson, who was lost in the China Sea, and two daughters, Priscilla and Wilhelmina. 

  • Wilhelmina married Captain John Foxton R.N. , then Robert Jones after Foxton's death. 

  • Wilhelmina and John Foxton had four children - John Greenlaw, Ann, George and William Hinde.

  • Wilhelmna and Robert Jones had 11 children (presumably); two in England, and the rest in Australia.

Rev. William Hopkins Fox B.D.

Here lyeth the Remains of The
Revd. HOPKINS FOX B.D. Rector of
RUCKINGE in this County, and Vicar
of this Parish. He departed this life on the
3rd Jan, 1793 In the 57 Year of his Age.
 Here also lyeth the Remains of
ELIZABETH FOX, the Wife of the said
HOPKINS FOX, and Daughter of
WILLIAM  HINDE of B...sou? in the County
of York Esq., she died the 7th of
July 1771, Aged 37.
 Also the Remains of ELIZ. MARY FOX
the infant Daur. of the said HOPKINS FOX and
ELIZ. FOX who died on the 19th Sept 1768
Also the Remains of the Rev. JOHN HINDE
A.M. of St. John College (?) Cambridge.
 and Bro. of the said ELIZ FOX.
 he died on the 17th June  1781 Aged 41
Underneath the Gallery in this Church
 lies the Remains of HOPKINS FOX.
 an Infant, the son of JOHN HOPKINS FOX
Eldest son of the said Revd. H. FOX
he died on the 21st Novr. 1789
Requieseant in Peace Amen
SACRED to the Memory of FRANCES FOX
Posthumous Daughter of the late Revd. HOPKINS
FOX and MARY his Wife who Died August 25th
1796, Aged 3 Years and 5 Days

John Hopkins Fox

John Hopkins Fox was the brother of Dr. William Hinde Fox. He was born about 1766 and died before 1816. He married Jane Brounton or Boughton at St Brides in London in 1788. Their son, Hopkins Fox, was born in 1789 and died in infancy. He is buried with his grandfather at St. Peter And St Paul, Lynsted, Kent, England. (See above inscription). His wife, Jane died in 1794 on the Brig Hero headed from Liverpool to Baltimore. He is noted as being at the Anne Arundel Co. Maryland, on a plantation known as Utopia,  and owned by a Hopkins family.

In December of 1794, he remarried to Elizabeth Johnson, a wealthy Baltimore Maryland woman. In the marriage papers, John Hopkins Fox is referred to as a counsellor-at-law. They had one known daughter, Ann Augusta in 1803. Elizabeth Johnson died in October 1841 at the home of her daughter, Ann Augusta Sperry Pinkney in Washington DC.

In some papers, he is listed as a Member of Parliament in England.

It is unknown at the present, what happened to John Hopkins Fox from that point.

(References: Julie Bright)