Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Fox, Ebenezer

FOX, EBENEZER (d. 1886), journalist, was born in England, and practised his profession in the north until he had nearly attained middle age. For several years he was chief reporter on the ‘Manchester Guardian.’ His account of the great floods at Holmfirth in 1852 was widely quoted. Delicate health induced Fox to emigrate to Australia. In 1862 he went to Dunedin and joined the staff of the ‘Otago Daily Times,’ being associated with Sir Julius Vogel and B. L. Farjeon, the novelist. When Vogel established the ‘Sun,’ Fox assisted him. The two friends moved to Auckland, and soon after Vogel joined William Fox's ministry in 1869 as colonial treasurer, Fox became his private secretary. In 1870 he was appointed confidential clerk and secretary to the treasury, which position he held up to his death. For sixteen years he was implicitly trusted by successive ministries. In the columns of the ‘New Zealand Times’ Fox wrote a series of articles on the denudation of the forests, which attracted much attention. Fox, who was kindly but eccentric in character, died of muscular atrophy at Wellington in January 1886.

[New Zealand Times, 9 Jan. 1886; Phonetic Journal, 20 March 1886.]

G. B. S.