Joyce Little, Stained Glass Marks and Monograms (London: National Association of Decorative and Fine Art Societies, 2002), p. 34.
Thomas Cox founded a business as clerical tailors in 1838, trading as Cox & Son, church furnishers from c.1853 and generally as Cox & Sons after 1868. The business was located in Southampton St, Strand, London, a centre for the church furnishing trade, with stained glass works adjoining in Maiden Lane. It contributed to several international exhibitions and published a variety of illustrated trade catalogues.
Cox first appears as a glass stainer in 1862, about the same time that he also added metalwork to his company’s wares. From an early date, much of the company's success derived from its catalogues for what Thomas Cox called an Ecclesiastical Warehouse; the earliest known catalogue dates from 1866. Cox & Son commissioned furniture, metalwork, stained glass and ceramic designs from a number of leading designers including B.J. Talbert, S.J. Nicholls, G. Goldie, J. Moyr Smith, O. W. Davis, C. Rossiter and E. W. Godwin.
Thomas Cox was joined by his sons Edward Young Cox and Thomas Cox junior. At that time Cox and Sons’ address was Maiden Lane in Covent Garden, London.
Designers of church furnishings were a distinct group of people from those serving a domestic market. But Cox, Sons, Buckley & Co., were using domestic designers as well as ecclesiastical designers. In the 1870s they branched out into domestic art furniture, as it was called at the time, using well known domestic designers like Bruce Talbert and Moyr Smith.
In 1872, the firm was listing Gothic and monumental metalworks in Lambeth and stained glass works in Covent Garden, and described itself as an artistic furniture manufacturer, japanner and cabinet carver. The catalogue stated that the firm had acquired much of the stock of furniture and designs by E. W. Pugin for the Granville Hotel and working drawings from the Society of Decorative Art, of Great Marlborough Street, London. From 1870 to 1874 the silversmith John James Keith worked under the firm's name, producing prize winning designs principally by Talbert. Cox & Son were represented at international exhibitions in London in 1862, 187I, 1872, 1873; Paris in 1867; and Philadelphia in 1876; as well as later at the Arts & Crafts Exhibition Society. Christopher Dresser used Cox's stained glass at Bushloe House.
In 1876, Thomas Cox retired from the business, which was carried on by his son, Edward Young Cox (1840-1935), until 1880 when he entered into liquidation proceedings by arrangement with his creditors. In 1881 the business was purchased by M.J.C. Buckley and his partner A.S. Thomson of Buckley & Co, becoming Cox, Sons, Buckley & Co. Michael Joseph Cunningham Buckley (1848/49-1905) was of Irish birth and in part at least trained at Louvain, Belgium. He was in London, calling himself an artist in stained glass, in 1873 with an address in the New Road. Buckley was in partnership with Thomson at 72 Wigmore Street and 69 Wells Street. Nothing is apparently known about this brief episode, and in the following year he appears at the same Wigmore Street address by himself.
Subsequently the company became Cox and Buckley, and in 1891 Buckley was living as an unmarried lodger in Buckingham Street, Westminster, describing himself as 'in manufacture' and an employer. The firm again experienced financial problems in the 1890s. In 1893 Cox, Sons, Buckley and Co. merged with Curtis, Ward and Hughes, though the company maintained a separate identity at 10 Henrietta Street until 1921 and they are known to have supplied glass under their own name during the period. However, they concentrated again on church furnishings rather than glass. Between 1896 and 1903 James Keith, successor of John James Keith (above), was a partner in the company.
After it had been bought out, Buckley returned to Ireland and established a stained glass and metal works, using in part Belgian workers. A window of 1903 in Burgh Castle, Suffolk, is signed ‘M J C Buckley, Youghal’. The venture was cut short by his relatively early death.
118 George Street Edinburgh c1890; 28 and 29 Southampton Street Strand London c1890; 43 and 44 Maiden Lane London c1890 College Works Esher Street London c1890 , 18 Tavistock Street Covent Garden London c1900.
Listed in Post Office London Directory, 1900 as 'Art Metal Worker' and 'Wood Carver; “Monumental Sculptors” in Edinburgh & Leith Post Office Directory 1890-1891; “Sculptor” in Post Office London Directory, 1890. (these listings unverified)
Submitted by: Rona Moody (2015-01-23 15:58:39)
Editor's response: Many thanks for all this detailed information. One thing that puzzles me about the firm is that, in the few windows that I have seen by the firm, their windows have a similarity with those of T.F. Curtis, Ward & Hughes for a few years prior to its merger in 1893. I wondered whether they may have had links such as a glass painter who worked at both firms.
There are some super windows by Cox and Buckley in Coxwold church, N. Yorkshire. Some show signs of being influenced or even designed by C.E.Kempe, especially in the use of peacock feathers! Photos can be supplied if you are interested.
Submitted by: Martin Gorman (2016-07-14 10:01:55)
| The Crucifixion and Ascension |
firm/studio: Cox & Son
Church of St Thomas a Becket, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire
south wall of the nave
| An Angel Greets the Three Women at the Empty Tomb |
firm/studio: Cox & Son
Church of St Mary and All Saints, Conwy
east wall of the south transept
| Decorative Windows |
firm/studio: Cox, Sons, Buckley & Co.
Church of St Catherine, Old Colwyn, Conwy
| The Last Supper |
firm/studio: Cox & Son
Church of St Michael, Pembroke, Pembrokeshire
east wall of the chancel
| Jacob's Dream |
firm/studio: Cox, Son, Buckley & Co.
All Saints Church, Glasbury, Powys
north wall of the nave