Fox, Richard Michael

First name/s: Richard
Last name: Fox
Known names / nicknames: known as R.M.Fox
Date of birth:
Year of birth: 1891

Life before Ruskin

Date and place of birth Leeds, 1891

Mother Elizabeth (nee Rathmell), father Richard. 3 brothers. 1916 met Patricia Lynch, former suffragette, supporter of Sylvia Pankhurst, Sinn Fein supporter  and novelist /writer whom he married  in 1892.

metal factory and armaments factory in London (Tottenham and Erith)
Politics/Trade union activity

Co-operative Movement. North London Herald League. Around the SPGB.Speaking on socialism and women’s socialism in Wood Green and Highbury Corner. Started writing for radical press. Heard Connolly speak on the Dublin Lockout of 1913. Pro Easter Uprising of 1916. Opposed the 1914 -18 war as an imperialist war. Refused to serve in Army and remanded for 112 day, released and then again refused to serve so sentenced to 2 years’ hard labour. Released in 1919 but sentenced to a second term of two years. Undertook hunger strike and released in April 1919.


Trade Union membership (at time of entry to Ruskin)

Life at Ruskin

Dates at Ruskin

1919 – 1921 (?) and returns in 1922 – (1923?)
Source of funding

Scholarship from National Co-Operative Scholarship in 1914 but could not take up place until 1919. Second scholarship given by Middlesex County Council ‘ A senior county scholarship’
Campaigns/political activity

Joined Oxford University Labour Club and became editor of New Oxford. Spoke to Ruskin students of his visit to Russia and collects for famine relief. (Smokey Crusade p.328) Secretary to Ruskin debating group.  Attended lectures of visiting speakers to Oxford such as Rabindranath Tagore and Lord Asquith .‘ For the break-up social’ wrote a play called The Students’ Nightmare parodying the economists he had studied. ‘At Ruskin we had engineer, miner and docker students, many of whom had graduated in Labour politics, like myself, at the street corner’.(Smokey Crusade p. 302) During 1922 at Ruskin formed committee and sent out circulars against the Black and Tans attacks in Ireland.
Subjects studied at Ruskin

Economics and Political Science. Psychology in relation to industry. Outside lectures in psychology and literature
Diploma in Economics and Political Science

Life after Ruskin


Journalist including for Labour Press Service in mainland Europe and Ireland.
Politics/trade union activity

Invited to Soviet Russia in 1921 and travelled there with Isadora Duncan, meeting educationalist Nadezhda Krupskaya. Went to Dublin and met leading socialists and writers, including Erskine Childers. Visited Communist China and wrote about it in China Diary (1959).

Married Patricia Lynch October 1922
Place & date of death Lived in Dublin. Died December 1969

Date of death:
Year of death: 1969

Achievements / Publications

Published a number of books with the Hogarth Press  including Rebel Irishwomen (1935),James Connolly – The Forerunner (1943) and a memoir Smokey Crusade. According to Peter Beresford Ellis, Fox’s books ‘ were an essential first step in studies of the Irish left.’

Material in archives or already published articles

Peter Beresford EIlis ‘An influential historian of Irish labour’ Irish Labour History Society

Times obituary 30 December 1969

Ken Weller, Don’t be a Soldier  – the radical anti war movement in North London 1914-1918, 1985


Notes on Image/s

Comment of contributor/s and sources


Peter Beresford EIlis ‘An influential historian of Irish labour’ Irish Labour History Society

R.M.Fox Smokey Crusade Hogarth Press, (2nd edition) 1938


Hilda Kean

created 10/10/2013 at 2:32 pm, updated 17/08/2014 at 12:40 pm

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