Identity Statement for Cox Family

  • Reference code: IE UCDA P162
  • Title: Papers of the Cox Family
  • Dates: 1881–1978
  • Level of description: Fonds
  • Extent: 3 boxes
  • Context
  • Content and Structure
  • Conditions of Access and Use

Biographical History

Arthur Cox is probably the most well known member of the Cox family, having established a substantial and very successful law firm. He also had many distinguished friends including Kevin O’Higgins, Vice President of the Executive Council, and Richard Brown, the chairman of the Electricity Supply Board. He married Brigid O’Higgins, Kevin’s widow, after his assassination. He held many positions outside his firm, becoming a senator under the government of another of his friends, John A. Costello, and President of the Incorporated Law Society of Ireland in its centenary year of charter, 195253. After the death of his wife, Arthur joined the priesthood and spent the remainder of his life as a missionary in Zambia.

His father, Michael, was equally as distinguished. Trained as a doctor, he set up a practice in Sligo where he became involved in the Irish Parliamentary Party and was acquainted with Parnell among others. His closest friendship was with John Dillon MP, with whom he trained to be a doctor. On returning to Dublin, Michael was appointed a physician at St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin. He held many important roles including a position on the Senate of the Royal University and was a member of both the Royal Irish Academy and the Privy Council. His interests extended farther afield than medicine and politics; he had a strong interest in Irish literature and was acquainted with Douglas Hyde among others.

Archival History

This collection was deposited in UCD Archives by Una O'Higgins-O'Malley in 1998.

Scope and Content

The largest part of the collection covers correspondence between Michael Cox and John Dillon and his wife, Elizabeth. The subject matter ranges from Michael’s appointment to the Senate of the Royal University to the health of the Dillon family and invitations to call and visit. Other correspondents include Douglas Hyde and the Archbishop of Dublin, William J. Walsh with whom health and academic issues are discussed. Only a small amount relates to his wife Elizabeth, a cycling register from a family holiday in Donegal; and to his eldest son Aedan, for whom there are only a couple of pieces of correspondence.

The documents relating to Arthur Cox are sparse but wide-ranging in content, from sketch books of sketches that he drew as a boy, to cards celebrating his ordination as a priest at the age of 72. The most comprehensive group of documents is that relating to his time as President of the Incorporated Law Society of Ireland, and includes a scrapbook containing letters, place settings and newspaper cuttings and a photographic album. Also contained is correspondence from relatives who had immigrated to America, to Hugh Cox, Arthur’s grandfather, and Michael.

The collection contains a substantial number of photographs. They range from family snapshots of holidays and outings to formal studio portraits. There are many of Michael Cox and the brothers, Aedan and Arthur, as young boys as well as others of more distant family members.

  • Access: Available by appointment to holders of a UCD Archives reader's ticket. Produced for consultation in original format. Original material will be retrieved at 11am and 2pm only.
  • Language: English
  • Finding aid: Descriptive catalogue
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