Southampton bookbinder Henry Daubney Cox was born near Lymington in 1869. His father died when Henry was just one year old and he and his mother moved to Southampton to live with relatives. After leaving school, probably in c.1884, he became an apprentice bookbinder at the established firm of H. G. Cawte and Sons who had once occupied part of Tudor House in St Michael’s Square, but who in 1883 had moved to new premises at 5 West Street. After completing his apprenticeship in 1900 he continued working for Cawte until 1912, when he bought the business. Cox built up trade by obtaining work for the local corporation and library service. He also did work on books in the libraries of the transatlantic liners that called at Southampton Docks. The business survived two world wars but succumbed to post-war urban redevelopment, during which West Street was widened and no 5. West Street demolished. Henry Cox died in 1960, aged 91.

Further reading:
'Henry Daubney Cox and the Bookbinding Business at 5 West Street', by Gordon Cox in Southampton Local History Forum Journal No. 11, Winter 2003, p19-20. (HS/h)


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