Rugby Memorabilia Society

Francis Hugh Fox

12th June 1863 – 28th May 1952

Rugby Memorabilia Society - F H Fox (2)
Francis Hugh Fox in England Colours

Francis Hugh Fox played club rugby for Wellington RFC, the Marlborough Nomads, Somerset (45 appearances, Captain 1888-93) and was one of the original members of the Barbarians Football Club. He lived in the Somerset country-house of Woolcombe, near Wellington (now a hotel) then later Tone Dale House which is still occupied by the Fox family, he was educated at Marlborough College, a school which had a pedigree for producing England Rugby Internationals during the late nineteenth century.

Cap - SCFU Cap - Unknown (1) Cap - Unknown (2) Cap - Unknown (3)
Four Caps awarded to Francis Hugh Fox (We are unsure of the identity of these Caps)
If anyone can help identify four of the Caps please get in touch.

Fox was awarded his England Cap in 1888, even though no international matches were played that year. A dispute between the RFU and the other home unions in relation to a body being appointed to arbitrate on matters arising from international matches, When the ‘International Board’ the name of the committee set up to discuss dispute and policies concerning International matches first met the RFU boycotted the meeting in 1886 and again in 1887, this prompted the other home unions to take action by refusing to play the senior rugby nation until a four nations board was established. Fox received his England Cap in 1888 when a team was selected by the RFU and all players were awarded an international Cap in a team that never played. Of the XV selected two members ‘Robert Robertshaw and Harry Eagles’ would never play in a full England International, but were awarded an England Cap.

Cap - England Trials - NvS Cap - England
North v South ‘England Trials Cap’ & England Cap awarded to Francis Hugh Fox

Two years after receiving his England Cap Fox was selected to play in his first International against Wales in Dewsbury 15th Feb 1890, Wales won the match in windy/snowy conditions thanks to a try by William ‘Buller’ Stadden.

Rugby Memorabilia Society - England v Wales (Dewsbury) Feb 15th 1890
England Team Photo vs Wales played at Crown Flatt ‘Dewsbury’ 15th February 1890

The following month he was again picked for England against Scotland in Raeburn Place ‘Edinburgh’ 1st March 1890, England would win the match 6 points to nil.

Rugby Memorabilia Society - F H Fox (Jersey)
England Jersey worn by Francis Hugh Fox
(This Jersey is different to the one in the England Team photo vs Wales ‘with no collar being worn by Fox in that match’, so one would presume it was worn against Scotland in 1890)

Fox's England experience was curtailed when sadly he declined the offer of a third International cap due to commitments with the family mill - a woollen and worsted clothing mill operating since 1772.

A founder member of the Barbarians RFC he would represent them on two occasions 1st April 1891 vs Devonshire and 26th Dec 1891 vs Devonshire.

Rugby Memorabilia Society - Barbarians Team Photo

Barbarians Team Photo including Francis Hugh Fox dated 1890-91

He was President of the RFU from 1900-1902

Baines Card - FH Fox (1) Baines Card - FH Fox (2)
Baines Cards

This collection was sold by Roger Jones Auctioneers (Cardiff) for £24,500 hammer - £30,282 (inclusive of buyer’s premium) on Friday 15th September 2017
The items sold included 6 Honours Caps, England Jersey & Team Photograph from the 1890 England v Wales International.

Rugby Memorabilia Society - F H Fox (Jersey Badge) Rugby Memorabilia Society - F H Fox (Jersey Manufacturer) Rugby Memorabilia Society - F H Fox (Jersey)

Rugby Memorabilia Society - F H Fox
If anyone can help identify four of the Caps please get in touch.

The Book of English International Rugby 1871-1982 ‘John Griffiths’
Barbarians Football Club 1890-1955

Peter Douglas-Davies