Fox, Francis

, an English clergyman, of whose early history we have no account, was educated at Edmund Hall, Oxford, where he took his master’s degree, July 5, 1704. He afterwards became vicar of Pottern, in Wiltshire, prebendary of that prebend in the church of Salisbury, and chaplain to lord Cadogan. In 1722 he published “The New Testament explained,” 2 vols. 8vo. This work has the several references placed under the text in words at length, so that the parallel passages may be seen at one view; to | which are added, the chronology, the marginal readings, and notes on difficult or mistaken texts, with many more references than in any other edition then published, of the English New Testament. He likewise wrote “The duty of Public Worship proved, to which are added directions for a devout behaviour therein, drawn chiefly from the holy scriptures and the liturgy of the church of England; and an account of the method of the Common Prayer, by way of question and answer.” The fourth edition of this was printed in 1727, -and it is now in the list of books distributed by the society for promoting Christian knowledge. In 1726 he was presented to the vicarage of St. Mary’s, Reading. Having preached a sermon on moral obligations, from Matt, xxiii. 23, at the Reading lecture, he afterwards preached it as an assize sermon, at Abingdon, July 18, 1727. It was then printed, and dedicated to the chancellor. Some expressions in the discourse being liable to an unfavourable interpretation, it gave offence to several members of the lecture, and produced a controversy between the author and Mr. Joseph Slade, who had been curate of St. Mary’s, was then lecturer of St Lawrence’s, and afterwards vicar of South Molton. Mr. Slade published the letters which had passed between himself and the author; and preached a lecture sermon on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 1727, containing several severe strictures on Mr. Fox’s sermon, and some personal reflections, which he published. To this a reply was made by Lancelot Carleton, rector of Padworth, in “A Letter to the rev. Joseph Slade, &c.” printed at Reading. Mr. Fox published also a few other occasional sermons. He died at Reading in 1738, and was buried in St. Mary’s church. 1

1 Coates’s Hist, of Reading.