FOX, ROBERT WERE (1789–1877), English geologist and natural philosopher, was born at Falmouth on the 26th of April 1789. He was a member of the Society of Friends, and was descended from members who had long settled in Cornwall, although he was not related to George Fox who had introduced the community into the county. He was distinguished for his researches on the internal temperature of the earth, being the first to prove that the heat increased definitely with the depth; his observations being conducted in Cornish mines from 1815 for a period of forty years. In 1829 he commenced a series of experiments on the artificial production of miniature metalliferous veins by means of the long-continued influence of electric currents, and his main results were published in Observations on Mineral Veins (Rep. Royal Cornwall Polytech. Soc., 1836). He was one of the founders in 1833 of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society. He constructed in 1834 an improved form of deflector dipping needle. In 1848 he was elected F.R.S. His garden at Penjerrick near Falmouth became noted for the number of exotic plants which he had naturalized. He died on the 25th of July 1877. (See A Catalogue of the Works of Robert Were Fox, F.R.S., with a Sketch of his Life, by J. H. Collins, 1878.)
His daughter, Caroline Fox (1819–1871), born at Falmouth on the 24th of May 1819, is well known as the authoress of a diary, recording memories of many distinguished people, such as John Stuart Mill, John Sterling and Carlyle. Selections from her diary and correspondence (1835–1871) were published under the title of Memories of Old Friends (ed. by H. N. Pym, 1881; 2nd ed., 1882). She died on the 12th of January 1871.