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10 surprising facts... about Cox & Kings

Cox & Kings has come a long way since 1758. Find out our company’s connections with such great figures as Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and Sherlock Holmes…

1. Richard Cox was a great friend of the famous actor David Garrick and was a founding investor in the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

2. Henry S. King & Co. were noted as the first bank to employ women as typists, as early as 1887, whereas most banks did not do this until the First World War.

3. In 1887, Henry Seymour King, a keen mountaineer and founder of Henry S. King & Co. (which subsequently merged with Cox & Co.) made the first ascent of the Engelhoerner (8,615 ft)  in the Swiss Alps. The mountain came to be known as Kingspitze in honour of his climb.

4. Winston Churchill had a bank account with Cox & Kings.

5. During the First World War Cox & Co. was known as ‘Uncle Cox’, the company even featuring in popular music hall song The Young Man with the Cox’s Cheque.

6. During the First World War, Cox & Kings offered 24-hour banking in its Charing Cross headquarters, to enable soldiers returning from the Western Front to cash cheques any time of day.

7. Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Problem of the Thor Bridge (1922) is the story that sets the scene for every other Sherlock Holmes tale as told by his colleague, Dr Watson. In it he says: “Somewhere in the vaults of the bank of Cox and Co., at Charing Cross, there is a travel-worn and battered tin dispatch-box with my name, John H. Watson, M.D., Late Indian Army, painted upon the lid. It is crammed with papers, nearly all of which are records of cases to illustrate the curious problems which Mr. Sherlock Holmes had at various times to examine.”

8. Mahatma Gandhi travelled with Cox & Kings on his visit to Europe in 1931.

9. In 1971, Cox & Kings organised a party to launch the company’s new elephant-motif logo and to show off the company’s new offices in Charles II Street in the West End of London. They hired Bella, a 600-pound Indian elephant from Chessington Zoo, to come to the drinks party.  She was duly photographed outside the offices with a warden attaching a parking ticket to her ear.

10. In 1976 Anthony Good became Chairman of Cox & Kings, a position he still holds after 42 years. Mr Good was the founder of the Good Relations PR agency, now part of the Chime Communications plc.