Sunday, November 11, 2001

If not Mad Jack then who?

[update: This was Mad Jack causing mayhem - to quote Geoff Hutchinson (page 49) "in 1796 (Fuller) was given one of the most prestigious offices available to a country gentleman - High Sherrif of Sussex, the king's legal representative for the county." Hardly surprising as he was a staunch monarchist with the wealth to carry out his duties in style.]

It is always interesting to hear from various people who, like myself, are investigating the lives and works of men and women who have made lasting contributions to the arts and sciences. Recently I was contacted by a gentleman named Brian Robins who is researching the catch and glee club culture in the 18th century. In addition to being a music historian with a special interest in England during the 18th Century, he is also an adult education lecturer and reviewer for Fanfare (US) and Goldberg Early Music Magazine (Spain), of which he is the UK Editor.

In a recent e-mail message he wrote:

I'm the editor of the Journals of John Marsh (1752-1828) (pub. 1998), who was a gentleman composer who spent much of his life in Chichester. Marsh includes two references to a rather eccentric Mr Fuller. I think this probably not 'mad Jack' but wonder if you have any idea if was a member of the family. The two references are pasted below:

About an hour after dinner the Duke retiring, Col Pelham took the opportunity of going to pay his respects to the gent'n at the other inn, & deputed Mr Fuller, the High Sheriff, from thence to take his place at the Dolphin,who being afterwards desired to give us a song, sung so very obscene & blackguard a one, as was noticed by many people & occasion'd some to withdraw sooner than they otherwise wo'd have done, amongst whom I took the opportunity of going & went with Gen'l Jones to tea at Miss Poole's.

p.614 (1796)

Hearing here a person near the orchestra making a great noise I soon found it to be Mr Fuller late of the Sussex Militia, who sung the curious song at the election dinner at Chichester when High Sheriff & who now on Salomon leading a symphony of Haydn with great rapidity, exclaim'd "too fast too fast, it's all confusion" etc. & on my agreeing with him, on meeting him when the act was over, as to the matter of his criticism, he immediately brought me into the scrape, by calling out to Salomon & saying that I "who was a great musical amateur & critic" was of the same opinion with him. And on young Pinto finishing his Concerto in the 2nd. act he was in such raptures as again to burst out into exclamation vociferating "Bravo, bravo, Pinto, you co'd not have played it better Salomon yourself by G- ".

p.692 (1799)