Saturday, December 27, 2014

Fishing in Bodiam Castle Moat

Sussex Advertiser July 13, 1829
pike - latin name Esox lucius
Last Tuesday the Bodiam Castle Moat was fish-
ed in the presence of the proprietor, John Fuller,
Esq. and a crowd of spectators, when a great
number of fine carp, tench, eels, and pike were
taken; one of the latter weighed upwards of thir-
teen pounds, and we hear, was sent by Mr. Fuller,
as a present to the Lord Mayor of London [ John Crowder].

John Crowder, Lord Mayor of London Wall Art & Canvas Prints by Sir William Charles Ross
Portrait of John Crowder (1756-1830), 
Lord Mayor of London 1829
 by Sir William Charles Ross

The Annual Register of World Events: A Review of the Year Volume 72 (1830)

2. At his house at Hammersmith, aged 74, John Crowder, esq. alderman of the ward of Farringdon Within and the late Lord Mayor of London.  Alderman Crowder was a native of Buckinghamshire, he was originally brought up as a printer, and was for some time employed in his majesty's printing-office, under the late William Strahan, esq. About fifty years ago he obtained an engagement in the printing office of Francis Blyth. esq. printer and proprietor of the "Public Ledger," a daily morning paper much encouraged by persons concerned in commerce and shipping, and the "London Packet", an evening paper, published three times a week.  In the year 1717, Mr. Blyth died, when Mr. Crowder, who the year before had married Mr. Blythe's neice (Mary Ann James), succeeded to the management of the whole concern. This he carried on for upwards of thirty years, with the greatest impartiality, diligence, and integrity; and during this period was frequently employed in printing valuable works for booksellers.  He did not finally quit the printing business until about ten years ago, when he had amassed a considerable fortune.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Fuller's Christmas Generousity

In keeping with the tradition that the local landed gentry and squires share their abundance with the poor at Christmas, Jack Fuller made the following acts of charity: 

Sussex Advertiser - December 25, 1815

               LEWES, DEC. 25, 1815.
This being the day on which the Nativity of
our blessed Saviour is celebrated we hope the
deserving poor, throughout the United King-
dom, will be made partakers of the grand Fes-
tival, through the bounty of their more fortu-
nate neighbours
One day last week, two fat oxen were slaugh-
tered, by order of Sir Godfrey Webster, and,
with a proportionate quantity of bread, distribu-
ted to the poor of Battle, that they might enjoy,
in plentitude, the comfort of a Christmas din-
John Fuller, Esq. of Rosehill, has also dis-
pensed his Christmas bounty in beef and bread,
to the poor of the parish of Brightling; to
which the principal inhabitants added a very
liberal subscription.

Sussex Advertiser - December 29, 1823

Last Thursday, being Christmas-day, the same
was observed here with all the solemnity of the
Sabbath.  In the afternoon the tables of hospi-
tality were smoaking (sic)with the good old English
fare - Roast Beef and Plum-pudding.
     John Fuller, Esq.  of Rose-Hill, and the prin-
cipal inhabitants of Brightling; gave beef and
bread on Wednesday last, to their poorer neigh-
bours for Christmas-day's dinner; and at the same
time distributed the following rewards:                 

£  s  d
To William Russell for having in 1823 supported his family with the smallest proportionate assistance from the Over-seer
2  0  0
To Thomas Perry, as the next person who had received the smallest assistance
1   0   0
To George Freeland, for having lived ten years in one service
1   0   0
To Thomas Veness, for living nine years in one service
0  10  0
To Judith Clapson, for having lived fifteen years in one service
1   0  0
To Susanna Pitt, for living nine years in one service
0  10  0
Rewards like the above, cannot fail of giving
a stimulus to the industry and morality, and we feel
pleasure in noticing the circumstances, as an exam-
ple worthy of imitation.

Sussex Advertiser - December 29, 1828

John Fuller, Esq. we are happy to learn, is in
excellent health, enjoying his Christmas at Rose-
Hill; and with is accustomed liberality ordered
a hundred stones of good beef to be distributed
among the poor of the parish of Brightling, for
their dinner on Christmas-day.

Sussex Advertiser - January 28 1833

John Fuller, Esq., of Rose Hill, in addition to his cus-
tomary donation of Christmas beef to the poor of Bright-
ling, is now distributing amongst them the very seasonable

and acceptable present of a large quantity of blankets.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

36 Devonshire Place, London

I've often wondered how much time, particularly in later life, Fuller spent in London. Over the next few weeks I'm going to focus my research on this topic. I'm currently reading "Georgian London: Into the Streets" by Lucy Inglis to help provide some context. 

A few years ago on a trip to London, I went to take a look at his house at 36 Devonshire Place, where he died on 11 April 1834. One flat in that house is currently valued at about £1.8 million.

By searching historic newspapers, I have been able to put the following pieces together:

August 29 1825 – Sussex Advertiser, Lewes
John Fuller arrived at his country seat Rose-Hill on Saturday se’nnight [archaic form –seven night or week]
September 07, 1825 – Morning Post
Mr. John Fuller from Brighton, for Rose Hill near Roberts Bridge, in Sussex
August 03, 1826 – Morning Post, London
Mr. John Fuller for Rose Hill, Robertsbridge, Sussex
January 30, 1827 – Morning Post, London
Mr. John Fuller, in Devonshire-place, from Rose Hill
November 26, 1827  – Sussex Advertiser, Lewes
John Fuller, Esq. has left Rose-Hill for this Town House, in Devonshire Place
April 07, 1828 – Sussex Advertiser, Lewes
Last Tuesday, John Fuller, Esq., left his town-house, in Devonshire-place, on a short visit to his country seat, Rose-hill, where, we were pleased to hear, it was observed, that Mr. Fuller never appeared in the enjoyment of better health and spirits.
October 13, 1828 – Sussex Advertiser, Lewes
John Fuller, Esq., late one of the representatives in Parliament for this county, on Tuesday last, paid a visit to our town in his carriage and four, and it gave us much pleasure to see the Hon. Gentleman in the enjoyment of perfect health and spirits.  The next day, Mr. Fuller returned to his delightful country residence, Rose-Hill
July 08, 1829 – Morning Post, London
Mr. John Fuller, from Devonshire-place, for Rose Hill Sussex
January 11, 1830 – Morning Post, London
Mr. John Fuller M. P. in Devonshire-place
December 30, 1830– Morning Post, London
Mr. John Fuller for Rose Hill, Sussex
September 20, 1832– Morning Post, London
Mr. John Fuller of Rose Hill, near Robertsbridge, in Sussex [arrived in London]
October 13, 1832 – Morning Post, London
Mr. John Fuller has arrived at the Albion Hotel from Rose Hill, in this county.
October 17, 1832 – Morning Post, London
Mr. John Fuller,(the eccentric John) took his departure from the Albion on Friday, for Rose Hill.
December 26, 1832 – Morning Post, London
Mr. John Fuller for Rose Hill near Robertsbridge, Sussex
September 26 1833 – Morning Post, London
BRIGHTON, SEPT 23. Mr. John Fuller, of Rose-hill, who is well known for his eccentricity, is one of the most philanthropic Gentlemen in Sussex.  Some time ago he built a life-boat at Eastbourne, which was instrumental in saving the lives of the passengers and crew of the Isabella West Indiaman, wrecked off that port, and he has now built a carriage for the better conveyance of the boat to any distance required.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Lady Acland-Hood's Children

Caption: LADY ACLAND-HOOD'S CHILDREN - MAUD, AUDREY, AND ALEXANDER, Lady Acland-Hood is a daughter of Lord Ventry and wife of Sir Alexander Acland-Hood.
Source: The Tatler [No. 102, June 10, 1903], page 404
These three youngsters are the great-great-grandchildren of Mad Jack's sister Elizabeth Fuller. Their brother Hon Arthur John Palmer Fuller Acland Hood, is the father of the current Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, Lady Elizabeth Gass.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Vale of Pevensey From Rosehill Park by JMW Turner

The Vale of Pevensey From Rosehill Park is one of several of JMW Turner's works that once belonged to John "Mad Jack" Fuller. In 1908, it was sold by Alexander Acland-Hood the grandson of Mad Jack's nephew and heir Peregrine Palmer Fuller Palmer Acland. It is currently in the collection of the Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge. 

Read more here.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

High Sheriff of Sussex

John "Mad Jack" Fuller was High Sheriff in 1797, at the age of forty. Several of his ancestors and many other members of Fuller's family tree also served their county in this capacity.

The office of Sheriff of Sussex became obsolete in 1974 when the county was divided into the counties of East Sussex and West Sussex. The current High Sheriff of East Sussex is Christopher J M Gebbie and of West Sussex is Jonathan Charles Lucas.

Some of the functions of the office of High Sheriff are:

    The badge of office of a High Sheriff
  • representing the sovereign in all judiciary matters
  • maintenance of law and order
  • supporting the Lord-Lieutenant on royal visits 
  • acting as a returning officer for Parliamentary Elections
The appointed person serves a one year term.  
You can read the full list of High Sheriffs on the website of the Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex here.

Monday, September 01, 2014

"Mad Jack" Premium Apple Lager

In our neighbourhood, we noticed a billboard for a new beverage called Mad Jack and wondered what it was. Turns out it's a  "Premium Apple Lager", with 5% alcohol, brewed by Molson Coors. It was released in Quebec in June of this year and is sold in beer and liquor stores in four-packs of 473 ml cans and six-packs of 341 ml bottles. It is also now available at Beer Store locations here in Ontario for $2.60 (£1.43) a 473 ml can, $14.95 (£8.21) for a six-pack and $56.95 (£31.26) for a case of twenty-four. 

Of course, we had to try it.  I was expecting an "alcopop" or "cooler" type drink with an artificial aftertaste. Surprisingly, it was more like a shandy or lime & lager with a crispness to it.

I asked Molson Coors how they came up with the name of this product. They replied, " Mad Jack refers to both our crazy obsession for creating quality brews with a subtle nod to Molson Coors founder John Molson (sic)".


Memorial to John Fuller of Catsfield

Located in St Laurence church, this memorial to John "Mad Jack" Fuller's maternal uncle John Fuller reads:
Near this Place are deposited the Remains 
of Catsfield House in this Parish
who died March the 11st 1810, in the 85th year of his Age
He acted as Magistrate in this county, for fifty Years of his Life, 
and was of a most humane, benevolent, and pious Disposition.
This Tablet is inscribed to his Memory 
by is grateful and affectionate Nephew,

John Fuller died unmarried and without issue. "Mad Jack" was his principal heir and so inherited Park Gate (also called Catsfield House) and School Hill House in Lewes, among other properties. 

On the Sussex Record Society's church memorial website, Professor Nigel Llewellyn describes the memorial: "In white marble; rectangular panel set landscape-wise with trophies in relief...Signed NOLLEKENS Ft'".  

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Visiting the Désert de Retz

The Désert de Retz at Chambourcy, France is an Eighteenth Century folly garden now only open  to the public for guided tours.  I had wanted to visit ever since I started correspondence with Ronald Kenyon, a kindred spirit, who has spent years researching and writing about the life and works of the folly garden's creator  François Racine de Monville.  Visit Kenyon's website here.

In a way, I was disappointed that the garden's centerpiece, the Column House was scaffolded and off limits due to ongoing renovations. Then I realized that it's better that it is being preserved rather than left to the ravages of time. 

Like Fuller, Monville was independently wealthy and had a pyramid, temple and obelisk constructed on his property. Fuller had a townhouse in London and Monville a home in Paris. Both were keenly interested in music, art and science. Read my comparison of the two here. 

Another highlight of our visit to France was meeting Ronald Kenyon in Paris. We had been corresponding since 2002 and it was a pleasure to finally meet him and find out about his latest research. We both wonder whether Fuller ever visited France or knew about the Désert de Retz. Both Monville and Fuller knew Henry and Hester Thrale so one can't help asking what other connections they may possibly have had. 

 Our guide explains how Monville's pyramid ice house was constructed. 
The recently renovated Temple of Pan.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Shropshire Follies

Blogger YMGW recently visited the home of The Folly Fellowship's Alan and Clair Terrill in the Hope Valley, near Minsterley, Shropshire. Unsurprisingly, the garden is home to follies and whimsical metal animal sculptures.

Read more here:
Photo by YMGW

Ruin Lust: exhibit at Tate Britain, London

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 'The Chancel and Crossing of Tintern Abbey, Looking towards the East Window' 1794Ruin Lust, an exhibition at Tate Britain from 4 March 2014, offers a guide to the mournful, thrilling, comic and perverse uses of ruins in art from the seventeenth century to the present day. The exhibition is the widest-ranging on the subject to date and includes over 100 works by artists such as J.M.W. Turner, John Constable, John Martin, Eduardo Paolozzi, Rachel Whiteread and Tacita Dean.

Joseph Mallord William Turner
The Chancel and Crossing of Tintern Abbey, Looking towards the East Window1794
Pencil and watercolour on paper

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Watercolour of Rosehill by S.H. Grimm 1784

John Fuller's House At Rose Hill In Brig A north-east watercolour view of 'Mr Fullers house at Rosehill' (Rose Hill, in Brightling) in (East) Sussex, drawn in 1784 by S.H. Grimm. Source: British Library. Samuel Hieronymus Grimm was born in Burgdorf, Switzerland on 18 January 1733. He worked in oils until 1764 and chiefly in watercolour and pen and ink after that. Under the patronage of the Rev Sir Richard Kaye, Grimm travelled widely in England recording the landscape between 1768 and his death in 1794. The British Library has some 886 of his drawings of Sussex and 2662 works altogether.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Did You Know? EAST SUSSEX A Miscellany

51xLXXSEFlL._SL500_AA300_.jpg (300×300)
Compiled by Julia Skinner, page 44 

"The area around Brightling, east of Heathfield, is famous for a number of follies built in the early 19th century by John ‘Mad Jack’ Fuller (1757-1834), an eccentric local squire and ironmaster who lived a the Rose Hill estate, now Brightling Park. These include the Obelisk (or Brightling Needle) on Brightling Down, built to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, and the cone-shaped Sugar Loaf (or Fuller’s Point) that stands in a field north of the B2056 just east of Woods Corner, south-west of Brightling, which Fuller is said to have built to win a bet. The story goes that he made a wager with a friend in London that he could see the spire of St Giles Church at Dallington from his house, but when he got home he found the view of the spire was blocked by a hill. Nothing daunted, in order to win the bet he had the Sugar Loaf folly built as a spire look-alike on high ground between his home and Dallington, which accurately resembled a distant view of the church’s distinctive spire when seen from his house. He was delighted with his ploy, and claimed that ‘no one can tell one from t’other’."

The authors do not provide any references so it is not known where either their assertion that the Obelisk was built in 1815 to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo or the quote attributed to Fuller originate.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Rose Fuller Timeline

  1 Feb 1706
Rose Fuller’s elder brother John Fuller born at Brightling, Sussex
12 Apr 1708
Rose Fuller (RF) born at Brightling, Sussex. Baptized on 27 Apr 1708 at Brightling
28 Oct 1709
RF’s sister Elizabeth Fuller born at Brightling, Sussex
15 Jan 1713
RF’s brother Henry Fuller born at Brightling, Sussex
  2 Nov 1715
RF’s brother Thomas born at Brightling, Sussex
27 Nov 1716
RF’s brother Stephen christened at Waldron, Sussex
Ithamar Mill born at St Catherine, Jamaica
Richard Mill, father-in-law of RF, called to the Council of Jamaica
Richard Mill, father-in-law of RF, appointed Receiver General of Jamaica
RF trained as Medical Doctor at Cambridge; Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge
26 Apr 1729
RF studied medicine at Leiden, Holland (sometimes Leyden)
20 Apr 1732
RF made Fellow of the Royal Society
11 Dec 1732
RF sails for Jamaica when management of estates by attorneys resulted in loss of profits
RF arrived in Spanish Town, Jamaica
17 May 1733
Molasses Act passed by British Parliament to regulate trade by imposing a sixpence per gallon tax on molasses imported by the American Colonies from non-British sugar producing countries.  It was unsuccessful, however, as smuggling and bribing customs officials nullified the law.
RF elected member for St Catherine to the Jamaica Assembly
28 Jan 1735
William Fuller born in Spanish Town, Jamaica(son of Mary Johnston Rose and possibly Rose Fuller)
18 Apr 1735 
William Fuller baptized 
26 Apr 1737
RF married Ithamar Mill, daughter of Richard Mill
RF called to council and made supreme court judge in Jamaica
22 Apr 1738
Ithamar Mill, RF’s wife died in childbirth. The baby did not survive.
16 June 1739
Death of Richard Mill. Grange Penn and a house in Spanish Town left to his son-in-law RF “And lastly in regard to the Tenderness and affection with which my Son in Law Doctor Rose Fuller used his late wife my dearly beloved Daughter I do hereby give devise and bequeath All the rest residue and remainder of my Reall (sic) and Personal Estate whatsoever to the said Doctor Rose Fuller his Heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns forever”: Source -
23 Aug 1739
Richard Mill’s will proved at London
Disputes with Governor William Trelawny led to removal  of RF from the council
RF’s brother Thomas Fuller starts work as a sugar merchant in London
Mary Johnston Rose, a free mulatto, applied for herself and her mulatto sons, Thomas Wynter (son of Dr William Wynter?)and William Fuller (son of Rose Fuller?), “as if white” status.
Disputes with Governor William Trelawny led to RF’s removal from the bench
28 Nov 1746
English parliament confirmed an Act of the Jamaican Assembly granting Mary Rose Johnson and her sons “as if white” status.  
RF back in England
RF returned to Jamaica
19 Mar 1753
RF appointed Chief Justice of Jamaica and chief judge of the court of judicature sitting at St Jago de la Vega (Spanish Town) by governor Charles Knowles
31 Jan 1754
RF led a rally of several hundred people to protest the bid to move the capital of Jamaica from Spanish Town to Kingston near the building in which Governor Knowles was leading a session of the court of chancery. Fuller was charged with inciting a riot although no riot occurred.
7 Oct 1754
Knowles wrote to the Board of Trade ‘complaining of the “tyrannical proceedings of Dr. Fuller in his capacity of judge”. RF resigned as Chief Justice
  5 Feb 1755
Death of elder brother, John Fuller. Rose Fuller who now became heir of the Fuller estate, including Rose Hill, Brightling.
15 Feb 1755
In a letter to RF, brother Stephen Fuller writes of his preparations for RF’s return to England,
“I take it you will have no OBJECTION TO A Celler full of Strong Bere…and will take care to lay in a Proportionable Stock of wine.”(sic)
Aug 1755
RF arrives in England. There is no evidence that he ever returned to Jamaica.
Seven Years War aka French and Indian War
9 Oct 1756
Letter written to RF by his sister Elizabeth (Fuller) Slone thanking him for her long stay at Rosehill and saying of RF and brother Stephen Fuller, “'both run great risk of your healths with such riotous living'.
RF elected MP for New Romney.
20 Feb 1757
John “Mad Jack” Fuller born at North Stoneham, Hampshire.
23 Jul 1761
RF’s brother, the Rev Henry Fuller dies leaving his only son, John “Mad Jack” Fuller as sole heir.
RF’s brother Stephen Fuller becomes Jamaica’s agent in London, a post he held until 1795.
  5 Apr 1764
The Sugar Act passed by British Parliament.  It effectively halved the tax imposed by the Molasses Law and was meant to raise revenue as well as regulate the sugar trade.
  6 Feb 1765
Although he had supported it earlier, RF spoke out and voted against the Stamp Act
15 Feb 1765
Presented a petition against the Stamp Act on behalf of merchants trading with Jamaica
RF was MP for Maidstone
16 Mar 1768-1777
RF was MP for Rye
  8 Feb 1769
RF warned the House that putting pressure on America would have undesired consequences saying,”Where do gentlemen wish to end? Do they expect that before it is ended the Americans should in their assemblies declare the power of taxing them to be in this country?”
  5 Mar 1770
RF advocated for the repeal of the tea duty
In reaction to the Boston Tea Party, RF made a speech in the House of Commons offering his experience in trade with Jamaica and America to submit a plan to the house and stating that instead of going on European tours, young members might have better spent their time visiting America.
21 Mar 1774
RF said, “I am from the bottom of my heart convinced that if this bill passes as it now is it will ruin this country”, on the second reading of the Boston port bill.
American Revolutionary War
  7 May 1777
Death of Rose Fuller; Buried 15 May 1777 at Waldron, Sussex. John “Mad Jack” Fuller is chief beneficiary of Rose Fuller’s estate.  Spanish Town house left the lifetime use of Mary Johnston, Rose. 
15 May 1777
RF buried at Waldron, Sussex
20 Feb1783

Jamaica House of Assembly resolved to write to Stephen Fuller, RF’s brother and Jamaica agent in London, requesting he commission a sculptor to create a statue of Lord Rodney to commemorate Rodney’s victory over the French fleet on 12 Apr 1782.
19 Mar 1783
Mary Johnston Rose buried in St Catherine, Jamaica
Thomas Wynter died.
Slave trade abolished in British Empire
Slave Emancipation Act
11 Apr 1834 
Death of John “Mad Jack” Fuller at his London home, 36 Devonshire Place.
Apprenticeships end; true emancipation
William Rose Wynter, grandson of Mary Johnston Rose, died in Devon, England