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Samuel Emanuel (Sam) Cox (1773–1891)

Samuel Cox, the Tasmanian centenarian, died in the Launceston Invalid Depot yesterday, his supposed age being 117 years. From an account of Cox's eventful career furnished to this journal by Mr F. W. Monds on June 9, 1890, the following statements made by the man himself are gleaned:- Sammy Cox, whose real name was Samuel Emanuel Jarvis, was born at Shenstone Park, near Lichfield, England, on November 15, 1778. His father (Squire Jarvis), the owner of Shenstone Park, was killed by a fall from his horse whilst fox-hunting, when Sammy was about 10 years old. After his father's death young Jarvis was taken by his uncle, Captain Jarvis, on board ship, and he went to sea. He remained with his uncle some five or six years, voyaging to different parts of the world. During one of these voyages Captain Jarvis fell in with a pirate ship; an engageaent ensued, and the captain had one arm shot off, Sammy being by his uncle's side, holding his hand when the shot struck him. The last voyage Sammy made was with his uncle to the South Seas. Captain Jarvis at this time commanded a ship named the Regent Fox. During the voyage the boatswain of the ship informed the young fellow that his uncle intended to leave him on some uninhabited island, and then return to England and claim the property to which he (Sammy) was the rightful heir. This frightened the lad, and he resolved to escape from his uncle the first opportunity. It was some time in 1789 when the first land was sighted, and the vessel being short of water a boat was sent ashore to try and procure some. Sammy went with them, and they landed near the mouth of what is now called the river Tamar, in Van Diemen's Land. The lad being on terra firma and frightened to return to his ship, ran away from his companions and concealed himself in the bush. Soon afterwards he fell in with a tribe of aboriginals, and he used to state that he must have wandered about with them for many years. This assertion has been to a great extent doubted. In the course of their wanderings the tribe came upon the place now known as Hadspen, and here Sammy found some white people. He then left the natives and joined a family named Cox, with whom he remained for a number of years. Subsequently he worked, principally as a gardener, in the districts of Muddy Plains, Longford, Bishopsbourne, and Carrick. At the latter place and its neighbourhood he lived for upwards of 50 years. Of late years he has been an inmate of the Invalid Depot, where yesterday he died.

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'Cox, Samuel Emanuel (Sam) (1773–1891)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Jervis, Samuel Emanuel

15 November, 1773


5 June, 1891 (aged 117)
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

Cause of Death

general debility

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

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