Fox, Charles James (1749–1806), an English statesman and orator. Although an outstanding leader in the House of Commons, Fox rarely held important cabinet posts, largely because of the personal antagonism of the king. He was hated by George III both for his dissipated life and his opposition to royal policy, especially in the American Revolution. Fox was sympathetic to all oppressed minorities and was a major influence in forcing the abolition of the British slave trade. He has been called “the first great liberal.”
Fox, the son of a wealthy lord, attended Eton and Oxford University. He entered Parliament in 1768, and held several minor cabinet posts under the Tory ministry of Lord North before breaking with his party in 1774 and joining the Whigs. Fox served as foreign minister in 1782–3 and again in 1806.