Monday, August 16, 2004

Mad Jack Fuller's Obituary

Gentleman's Magazine
July 1834 pp 106 - 107

April 11. In Devonshire place, aged
77, John Fuller, Esq. of Rose Hill, Sus-
sex, formerly M.P. for that county.
This gentleman was the son of John
Rose Fuller, esq. He succeeded in es-
tate his uncle Rose Fuller, Esq. M.P.
for Rye (ob. 1777) who was the younger
son of Mr. Thomas Fuller, the purchaser
of the estate, and builder of the house,
Rose Hill, by Elizabeth, daughter of Mr.
Rose, of Jamaica.
Mr. Fuller was first elected to Parlia-
ment for Southampton in Feb. 1780, and
having been rechosen at the general elec-
tion of the same year, he sat for that town
until the dissolution in 1784. He served
the office of Sheriff of Sussex in 1797.
In 1801, on the elevation to the peer-
age of the Rt. Hon. T. Pelham (by the
title of Earl of Chichester), Mr. Fuller
became a candidate for the representation
of the county of Sussex, and was success-
ful after an arduous contest with Col.
Sergison, which lasted sixteen days, and
cost him 20,000 l. in addition to a sub-
scription purse for 30,000 l. made by the
county. He was re-chosen in 1802, 1806,
and 1807, and sat until the dissolution of
1812. He generally voted with Mr. Fox;
and is said to have indignantly refused
the offer of a peerage from Mr. Pitt,
deeming it a trial of his integrity. It is
related that he threw the Minister's
into the fire, in the presence of a large
party of friends, declaring "I was born
Jack Fuller, and Jack Fuller I will die!"
In 1810, during the inquiry on the
Walcheren expedition, Mr. Fuller got
embroiled in an insane contest with the
supreme authority of the House of Com-
mons. On the 22d of Feb. he was re-
peatedly called to order; but on the 27th
no appeal from the Speaker or remon-
strances from his friends, could restrain
him within the bounds of propriety.
The House was in consequence resumed
from the Committee into which it had of
resolved itself, and Mr. Fuller was
immediately voted into the custody of
the Sergeant at Arms; when he vio-
lently rushed into the House, vehemently
asserting that the Speaker, whom he
designated as "the little insignificant
fellow in the wig," was the servant of the
House, and had no authority over the
Members, who had converted him into
their Master. He was at length carried
off the field by the united efforts of four
of the messengers of the House. He
remained two days in custody; and was
then discharged with a very severe repri-
mand from the Speaker, who threatened
him with summary expulsion on a repe-
tition of his offence. After this memo-
rable scene, he was not returned to ano-
ther Parliament.
Mr. Fuller was distinguished through
life by much eccentricity; but it was
mingled with a kind heart, that displayed
itself in deeds of princely munificence.
The favourite object of his liberality was
the Royal Institution, where he first
founded a Professorship of Electricity,
in the year 182.., and subsequently, a
few weeks before his death, a Professor-
ship of Comparative Anatomy and Phy-
siology. He also gave the Institution at
the same time the sum of 3000 l. to accu-
mulate in the funds; making the sum
total of his benefactions amount to
10,000 l. On the 24th of March last the
members were specially convened to
thank him; and it was resolved that a
age of the Rt. Hon. T. Pelham (by the
subscription should be made for a Bust
of their munificent Patron, to be placed
in a prominent situation in this Institution.
Mr. Fuller erected an observatory at
his house of Rose Hill About twenty
years ago it was expected that he would
promote the publication of a history of the
three Eastern rapes of Sussex; for which
it was supposed that the large collections
of the Rev. Mr. Hayley, which were in
his possession, would furnish very exten-
sive materials.
Mr. Fuller has died extremely rich.
The bulk of his fortune, consisting of
estates in Sussex and in the island of
Jamaica, are left to Augustus Elliot
Fuller, esq. brother to Capt. Fuller,
R.N. and a nephew of the deceased, as
also of Lord Heathfield. The estates in
London are left to Sir Peregrine Palmer
Acland, Bart. another nephew. He has
also left very numerous legacies. His
remains were taken to the family vault at
Brightling in Sussex for interment, at-
tended out of London by twenty-four pri-
vate carriages.

Corrections by Annette Lloyd Thomas: Jack Fuller's Father was the Rev. Henry Fuller (1713-1761). Rose Fuller (1708-1777) was the son of John Fuller (1680-1745) and Elizabeth Rose (1681-1726). Thomas Fuller (1655-1720) bought the mansion at Brightling c. 1697. He left the property to his nephew John Fuller (1680-1745) who named the estate Rose Hill in honour of his wife Elizabeth Rose, the daughter of Dr. Fulke Rose of Jamaica.
Jack Fuller founded the Professorship of Chemistry in 1833 (not of Electricity) and the Professorship of Comparative Anatomy and Physiology in early 1834. The observatory at Brightling is not at the mansion at Rose Hill but nearby on the Brightling-Burwash road. Augustus Elliot Fuller was not technically a nephew - he was the son of Jack Fuller's first cousin John Trayton Fuller.
Sir Peregrine Palmer Acland was the son of Jack Fuller's sister Elizabeth and her husband Sir John Palmer Acland.

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