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Augustus Fox

(active circa 1841-1849), Engraver

Artist associated with 4 portraits

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Napoléon II, Duke of Reichstadt, by Augustus Fox, published by  William Pickering, after  Sir Thomas Lawrence - NPG D15994

Napoléon II, Duke of Reichstadt

by Augustus Fox, published by William Pickering, after Sir Thomas Lawrence
line engraving, published 28 September 1830
NPG D15994

Henry Benjamin Hanbury Beaufoy, by Augustus Fox, after  Henry William Pickersgill - NPG D31586

Henry Benjamin Hanbury Beaufoy

by Augustus Fox, after Henry William Pickersgill
line engraving, (1845)
NPG D31586

Sir James Clark Ross, by Augustus Fox, published by  T. Fielder, after  Henry William Pickersgill - NPG D39880

Sir James Clark Ross

by Augustus Fox, published by T. Fielder, after Henry William Pickersgill
line engraving, published 9 January 1850
NPG D39880

Sir James Clark Ross, by Augustus Fox, after  Henry William Pickersgill - NPG D39881

Sir James Clark Ross

by Augustus Fox, after Henry William Pickersgill
line engraving, published 1850
NPG D39881

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Russ Wanta

05 January 2021, 17:13

Augustus Fox (1800-1876) Augustus Fox was born on March 23, 1800, in Marylebone Parrish, London, England to William and Elizabeth (nee Shaw) Fox. He was the sixth child of seven children. Augustus had four brothers and two sisters. (Charles, Robert, Edwin, and John. Elizabeth Ann and Elizabeth). Augustus Fox was an artist and engraver for most of his professional life. I have personally identified in excess of 150 engravings that are signed by him from 1824 till 1850. It’s evident that he had a close professional relationship with publisher William Pickering whose introduction of cloth and leather bindings to books made books affordable to the general public for the first time. Most of Augustus Fox’s engravings were done for books published by Pickering including the 1836 version of The Complete Angler and the 9 volume version of The Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare. Augustus Fox married Ann Alice Burnard on August 15, 1820, at the Anglican church of St. Anne, Limehouse in Middlesex London, England. Ann Alice was the fourth and final child of Daniel and Ann (nee Piper) Burnard. Ann had two brothers and a sister, John Piper Burnard, a local Architect, and amateur Botanist, Daniel Copcut Burnard, and Sara. Much has been recorded of J.P. Burnard as a surveyor/architect/botanist. Even today there a species of tulips, roses, and auriculas that bear his name. Ann Alice’s father Daniel was a “slater” (roofer) according to his last will and testament. The Burnard family had social standing in the community, as there were streets named after both the Pipers (Ann’s maiden name) as well as Burnard Terrace and Burnard Place. All of these street names are currently located in Islington London, England. Augustus and Ann had 8 children. Their first child Augustus Henry was an oil painter of some prominence. He studied at the Royal Academy and displayed a Portrait of J.P. Burnard (his uncle) and an untitled work associated with a Shakespearian quotation in 1838. In the census of 1841, George Walter, their second child and a twin of Augustus Henry was also listed as an artist. Edgar, became an importer/exporter and eventually ended up in Boston and married Elizabeth Whitney. A son, Alfred William died young and was followed by Frederick, Fanny, and Annette. The life of an artist/engraver must have been economically turbulent as census records show having servants and maids for some periods, however, twice Augustus served terms in debtor’s prison, once in 1825 when he was sued for abusing the Artist Annuity and Benevolent Fund by John Pye and once again in 1836 for an unknown offense. During Augustus’ engraving years he took on a young man as his apprentice. E.R. Whitfield apprenticed with Augustus and many of his works can be found online as well. In February 1843 Ann Alice Fox died at the age of 43. Augustus then remarried Elizabeth Denman (nee Windley) on December 17, 1843, and according to the 1851 census combined families. Elizabeth brought Walter, Theodore, and Henry along and join the rather full household of Augustus Fox. The new couple added to the family Edwin, Maria, Charles and Ernest in the following years. Elizabeth Fox died in 1857. Sometime between 1857 and the United States Census of 1860 Augustus Fox relocated to America with his 5 youngest children. Having one son already in the United States, Augustus first settled in Milwaukee Wisconsin, and eventually relocated near his son Edgar in Berlin Wisconsin. Edgar, Elizabeth, and the children came to Wisconsin from Boston because of Tuberculous. At the time medical professionals believed that fresh air of “the West” was the only treatment for tuberculous. Eventually, Edgar and Elizabeth fell victim to the disease and the two youngest girls returned to the Boston area to live with Elizabeth's parents. Augustus stayed in Berlin Wisconsin where he did odd jobs. He did some engraving, landscape painting, florist design, making use of his creative talents. Augustus Fox died on January 21, 1876, at the age of 75. He is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Berlin Wisconsin. His obituary in the Berlin newspaper was one sentence.

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