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COX, Sir Percy Zachariah (1864-1937)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0402 PZC
Held at: Royal Geographical Society
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Full title: COX, Sir Percy Zachariah (1864-1937)
Date(s): 1894-1906
Level of description: Collection level
Extent: 4 journals of varying sizes; 1 folder
Name of creator(s): Cox | Sir | Percy Zachariah | 1864-1937 | Knight | Major General | Colonial Administrator and Diplomat


Administrative/Biographical history:

Sir Percy Zachariah Cox was born on 20 November 1864 at Herongate, Essex; educated at Harrow School and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. Cox obtained a commission with the 2nd Cameronians, stationed in India in 1884 and in 1889 joined the Indian Staff Corps. In 1893 Cox left India for the protectorate of British Somaliland; was appointed assistant political resident at Zeila, transferred to the principal port of Berbera in 1894, and in May 1895 was made Captain of an expedition against the Rer Hared clan, which had blocked trade routes and was raiding coastal groups. Given the expedition's success, he was promoted assistant to the viceroy's agent in Baroda.

In 1899 the new viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, offered Cox the chance to become political agent and consul at Muscat. In 1904 Cox was promoted as Acting Political Resident in the Persian Gulf as well as Consul-General for the Persian provinces of Fars, Lurestan, and Khuzestan. He became resident in 1909. Cox became Secretary to the Government of India early in 1914, but the outbreak of war saw his dispatch back to the Gulf as chief political officer with the Indian expeditionary force. He was promoted to honorary Major-General in the course of the war, and saw some action with Major-General Charles Townshend, but his main role was administrative and political. In November 1918 Cox became acting-minister in Tehran, where he negotiated an Anglo-Persian treaty, but in June 1920 was made high commissioner in Iraq. Cox arrived in Baghdad in October 1920 to replace Sir Arnold Wilson and embarked on the most important work of his career, setting up a council of state under the venerable naqib of Baghdad.

In 1902, Cox was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire; Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire, 1911; Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India, 1915; Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire in 1917 and Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George, 1920. Cox received honorary degrees from the universities of Oxford, 1925 and Manchester, 1929; was Fellow of Royal Geographical Society, 1895-1937; President of the Royal Geographical Society, 1933-1936 and chairman of the Mount Everest committee. He died on 20 February 1937 while hunting.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir Percy Zachariah Cox, 1894-1906, comprise two journals describing expeditions to Somaliland in 1894 and 1898-1899; the folder contains correspondence on the later journey; two journals describing visits to Persian Gulf sites and routes into the interior of Oman (1902-1907).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English, and some notes in Arabic.

System of arrangement:

Journals are arranged chronologically

Conditions governing access:

Accessed via the Foyle Reading Room. Free of charge for Fellows, Members and those with valid academic identification. All other users pay a charge and must bring identification in order to register on arrival.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopying at Archivist's discretion, and subject to completion of 'application for copies' form. No reproduction or publication without permission of the RGS-IBG Archivist.

Finding aids:

A detailed description can be found online at Access to Archives and a card index is available in Foyle Reading Room.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Presented by Lady Cox in 1939.

Allied Materials

Related material:

RGS Archives - Correspondence blocks 1881-1910, 1911-1920, 1921-1930 and 1931-1940 Cox, Percy. Geog. Jnl. Ms. Middle East 1902.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online.
Prepared by David Tatham, Archives Volunteer using existing finding aids and edited by Samantha Velumyl, AIM25 cataloguer.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
27 November 2000 and modified May 2008.

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