Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Henrietta Marie: setting the record straight

The Henrietta Marie was a slave ship that sank in the Florida Strait in June of 1700. Her wreck was discovered by treasure hunter Mo Molinar in 1972 but not identified until 1983 when a group of marine archaeologists revisited the site. In 1992 journalist Michael H Cottman started investigating her history. He published an article "The Ghosts of the Henrietta Marie" in the Washington Post on Sunday 7 February, 1999. Cottman writes that, "The Henrietta Marie also carried eight large cannons, commissioned by John "Mad Jack" Fuller, a wealthy arms dealer and Jamaican plantation owner who had a lucrative investment in the slave trade." The John Fuller (1680-1745) who was iron master at Heathfield, where cannons were made, was Jack Fuller's grandfather.
There is no doccumentation to support the notion that John Fuller ever went to Jamaica. His son Stephen (1716-1799), "went into the sugar trade, and from 1760 until his death in 1799 he was the agent in London for the Jamaica assembly." Crossley & Saville, pp. xxv. "Thomas Fuller, named after Thomas Isted [his uncle], was established as a sugar-baker in London , and eventually conducted a wide trade with the island." Crossley & Saville, pp. xxv. Rose Fuller's involvement with the Jamaica Plantations is detailed in this September 14, 2004 blog post.

To set the record straight: Jack Fuller could not have "commissioned" any cannons in the 1690's as he was born in 1757. He did not have any children so was not the father of Stephen and Rose.

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