53 Facts About Percy Cox


Major-General Sir Percy Zachariah Cox was a British Indian Army officer and Colonial Office administrator in the Middle East.


Percy Cox was one of the major figures in the creation of the current Middle East.


Percy Cox was educated initially at Harrow School where he developed interests in natural history, geography, and travel.


In February 1884, being his father's third son and therefore without significant inheritance, Percy Cox joined the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and was commissioned as a Lieutenant into the Cameronians, joining their 2nd Battalion in India.


Percy Cox managed to successfully end French influence in the area; turning the subsidy around, and agreeing that Feisal's son could receive an education in England and visit the Delhi Durbar.


When Lord Curzon, visited Muscat in 1903, he judged that Percy Cox virtually ran the place.


Percy Cox was promoted to the rank of major on 6 February 1902, and was invested CIE; whereas Feisal was rewarded for loyalty with GCIE in Curzon's gift.

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In June 1904, Major Percy Cox was appointed first British Acting Political Resident in the Persian Gulf and Consul-General for Fars Province, Lurestan and Khuzestan and the district of Lingah, residing in the Persian side of the gulf at the city of Bushehr.


Percy Cox began a remarkable correspondence and friendship with Captain William Shakespear, appointed Cox's deputy Political Resident to Persia.


Percy Cox considered peace the priority, in the maintenance of good relations with the Ottomans, who held all the tribal loyalties, whilst prompting India to change policy towards Ibn Saud, the Wahhabi ruler of Nejd and later king of Saudi Arabia, from 1906.


Percy Cox was assiduous with his briefs: he prepared in great detail, in fluent Arabic, when he wrote Shaikhs.


Percy Cox promised Sheikh Khazal of Muhammarah that troops would protect when the Turks threatened to invade.


In 1910 Percy Cox wrote a full report on Shakespear's findings to India, which was passed to London.


Percy Cox promoted trade in the Persian Gulf which doubled between 1904 and 1914, suppressed the illegal arms trade; and improved communications.


On 16 July 1909, after secret negotiation with Percy Cox, assisted by Arnold Wilson, Sheik Khaz'al agreed to a rental agreement for the island including Abadan.


Percy Cox was confirmed as Resident, a post which he occupied highly successfully until 1914, when he was appointed Secretary to the British Raj.


Percy Cox feared reprisals in Arabia would make the tribes turn towards Germany.


The Turks signed a treaty in London on 29 July 1913 concerning Royal Navy patrols in the Persian Gulf littoral, when Percy Cox met then at the Port of Uqair on 15 December 1913.


Percy Cox noted their "intractability" and warned the Foreign and Commonwealth Office about Ibn Saud; the "increased authority of the Wahhabi Chief".


Shortly after his return to India, Sir Percy Cox was sent back to the Persian Gulf as Chief Political Officer with the Indian Expeditionary Force when World War I broke out in August 1914, still with a brief to prevent Turkish entry on the German side.


Percy Cox sent his deputy to protect Ibn Saud, whose army was attacked at the Battle of Jarrab on 19 January 1914.


Sir Percy Cox received immediate authorisation to draft a Treaty of Khufaisa with the Wahhabi ruler with the aim of forming a broader Arab alliance.


Percy Cox was Secretary to the Government of India, its chief civil servant, and third in order of precedence.


Percy Cox was despatched to the Gulf as Chief Political Officer with the rank of honorary major-general.


For want of a more bland administration, Percy Cox complained to Viceroy Lord Curzon that Barrett, whom Nixon replaced, had not wanted to go to Amara in pursuit of a policy of annexation.

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Percy Cox was not one for sentimentality: but the Turkic rulers had been guilty of several barbarisms: stoning women, and severing thieves' hands off; traitors and spies were buried up to their necks in sand.


Percy Cox left with Brigadier Leachman's cavalry brigade sent back to Basra.


Percy Cox was firmly against exposing them to the winter cold.


On reflection Percy Cox suggested that the 500 departing unit should turn back; but Colonel Gerard Leachman told him the roads being drenched and muddy were impassable.


Percy Cox was eager to work with the Imperial forces, but was deeply unpopular with local Shias.


Percy Cox ordered Talib and Nuri to be arrested; they were promptly deported to prison in India for treasonous attempts to stir up revolt.


Percy Cox was confident that "Qurna was strong" and would hold against an assault.


Percy Cox was well aware from his own experiences of the vulnerability of the frontier.


Percy Cox was highly respected as a quick, efficient, tireless and energetic soldier-diplomat, as well as being incorruptible.


Percy Cox held a genuine interest in local people, the Arabs and Persians, and was a shrewd and patient listener.


Percy Cox knew that Sir Mark Sykes was the champion of Sharif Husein, a rival candidate for the desert kingdoms.


The negotiations largely completed Percy Cox was installed as Britain's first ambassador at Tehran in November 1918.


Later, reflecting on Britain's new policy and the difficulties involved, Percy Cox wrote to Lady Bell:.


Percy Cox selected as president the religious leader Abd Al-Rahman Al-Gillani, the Naqib of Baghdad.


Council members were culled from local elites whom Percy Cox felt could be relied upon to support the British agenda.


The satisfactory functioning of this interim government allowed Percy Cox to attend the Cairo Conference, convened by the new Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill in 1921.


At the conference, the Sharif's son Faisal emerged as the preferred choice, with Percy Cox noting that Faisal's military experience in World War I as well as his vast political skills made him the most qualified to raise an army and rule Iraq effectively.


Sir Percy Cox is anxious to arrange a treaty between him and Faisal.


In perhaps the boldest action of his political career, Percy Cox seized control and instituted direct British rule.


Percy Cox was the acting British Minister in Tehran when the Anglo-Iranian Agreement was concluded on 9 August 1919.

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Shortly thereafter, Percy Cox utilized his good relationship with Ibn Saud at Uqair to establish the boundaries between the Saudi kingdom, Iraq, and Kuwait in order to ensure that Britain would not have to defend Iraq from the Saudis.


Percy Cox received a roving commission to be Plenipotentiary in the negotiations with Turkey over the border with northern Iraq.


Percy Cox though was in contact with Halil Beg Bedir Khan and members of the Society for the Rise of Kurdistan and argued the Kurdish demands should be considered as well.


Percy Cox worked with Lloyd George in May 1925 framing the legal parameters for illegal arms shipments known as the Convention for Control of Arms Traffic.


Lady Percy Cox was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1923 Birthday Honours.


Percy Cox devoted much of the rest of his life to the Royal Geographical Society, serving as its president from 1933 to 1936.


Sir Percy Cox died suddenly while out hunting at Melchbourne, Bedfordshire, in 1937.


Percy Cox apparently felt ill and dismounted, collapsing on the road beside his horse; by the time he was found by another huntsman, Lord Luke, he was already dead.