By the late 1960s Bob and Carole Pegg were already well-established singers and musicians on the British folk scene based in Yorkshire. In 1969 they moved south and played London folk clubs, where they met Ashley Hutchings, who had recently left Fairport Convention and was attempting to form a new group involving members of the Irish band Sweeney's Men including Terry Woods. They took part in rehearsals but the embryonic band soon broke up and Hutchings went on to form Steeleye Span with Woods and his wife Gay. The Peggs were approached by record producer Bill Leader. He secured them a contract with Transatlantic Records. For their first album they recruited Alun Eden (drums), Barry Lyons (bass), Andrew Massey (cello) and John Myatt (woodwinds) and adopted the name Mr Fox, the title of one of their songs and a nod towards one of the recurring figures of folk lore.
The group's first eponymous album released in 1970, was in some ways very similar to the work of Steeleye Span, but, consisted largely of original compositions, mainly by the Peggs, with a Dave Mason tune, 'Little Woman,' and the songs 'Salisbury Plain' and 'Mr Trill's Song' with lyrics by Hutchings. The use of classically trained musicians and the wide variety of instruments used (including organ, melodeon, tin whistle, terrapin, fiddle, cello, flute, clarinet) made for very complex arrangements and sounds. It was well received by the music press and was made Melody Maker album of the year.