Fox, Charles James


Fox, Charles James

biographical name

(born Jan. 24, 1749, London, Eng.—died Sept. 13, 1806, Chiswick, Middlesex) British politician. He entered Parliament in 1768 and became leader of the Whigs in the House of Commons, where he used his brilliant oratorical skills to strongly oppose Britain's policy toward the American colonies. Almost always in the political opposition, he conducted a vendetta against George III and was later an enemy of William Pitt. He served as Britain's first foreign secretary (1782, 1783, 1806). He achieved two important reforms by steering through Parliament a resolution pledging it to end the slave trade and by enacting the 1792 Libel Act, which restored to juries their right to decide what constituted libel and whether or not a defendant was guilty of it. He is remembered as a great champion of liberty.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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