Charles Fox

August 17, 2021 at 12:24 am

Charles Fox Charles James Fox was firstly a Gentleman, a Gambler, and Statesman who lost vast sums of money to gambling. Just before his father passed away, his father paid off his gambling debts to the tune of £140 000 bearing in mind this was in the 1700’s so the amount was astronomical.

This honourable Whig Statesman has a parliamentary career that spanned 38 years. Educated at the fashionable Wandsworth School, he went on to study at Eton College. Fox was a gambling addict and a womaniser and many of his failings were forgiven because he defended civil liberty and he had an awe-inspiring charisma.

Gambling as a Pastime

Out of Government duties, Fox found other ways to occupy himself. He drank heavily and was bankrupted twice in early 1780. He then had to rely on friends and family to support him. One vice he eventually gave up was women, and he had many previous conquests which included the Duchess of Devonshire and the Prince of Wales former mistress Mary Robinson. In 1784 he settled down with the actress Elizabeth Armistead and remained loyal to her until his passing.

In 1806 Fox returned to Government, but he was ill with sclerosis of the liver and sick of politics. He spent 18 years doggedly defending civil liberties. Despite his weariness, he championed the abolition of the slave trade in the House of Commons. Sadly, Fox never lived to see it passed.

Conclusion

Charles Fox’s gambling debts and the enormity thereof never hindered his progression in public life. An interesting fact about Fox was he created an alter ego whom he called Carlino to whom he attributed all his addictions to and helped him absolve himself from any guilt he felt about his gambling and womanising. A great statesman and a man of the People who fought for many a good cause. He lost more due to his gambling debts, and the myth of the man in death as in life was larger than the sum of his achievements.