Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Hon. Maud Isabel Fuller Acland Hood

The Hon. Maud Isabel Fuller Acland Hood, great-great-granddaughter of Jack Fuller's sister Elizabeth,  was born 22 November 1892 in London.  She never married, died on 15 February 1977 and is buried at St Audries, Somerset. The above photo of her is dated June 7 1926.

In 1933 she travelled extensively in Canada and the United States for several months, part of the time by car with her brother Lord Alexander Peregrine Fuller Acland Hood 2nd Baron St. Audries (1893-1971).

The Gazette, Montreal, Thursday, November 30, 1933, page 11

Lord St. Audries, Here on
First Visit, Intends to
Make Second Soon

So impressed with his first visit to Canada that he is already planning to return again before long, Lord St Audries, British peer who served in the Grenadiers during the war, left Montreal last night en route for Quebec to sail for home this morning in the Canadian Pacific liner Duchess of Richmond.
During his ten weeks’ stay, Lord St. Audries and his sister, the Hon. Maud Acland-Hood, covered a good deal of Ontario by car and travelled quite extensively in the United States. “I bought a car in Toronto,” Lord St. Audries told interviewers,”and we have travelled about quite extensively. Our last trip was up into the Ontario north.  We went as far as Kirkland Lake and were taken down 2,000 feet in the Lake Shore Gold mine.”
“Conditions seem to be much better here than in the United States,” Lord St. Audries said, “although it is hard for a superficial observed to notice much evidence of depression. What did strike us particularly was the evident individual cordiality that exists between Canada and the States.”
Canadian roads came in for a measure of praise.  “Your main roads are very good,” the soldier-peer said “and the system of stop signs on roads entering a main road speeds up traffic tremendously.  Police direction of traffic both in Canada and the United States is remarkably good.”
The Hon. Maud Acland-Hood who has been in Canada since May was delighted with the autumn coloring of the woods  “I have never seen anything like it anywhere,” she said, “ and this is my second visit to Canada.”
They left Montreal by the Duchess of Richmond special train at five last night. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Cobham Wood and the Darnley Mausoleum

John Bligh, the 3rd Earl of Darnley left detailed instructions in his will about the pyramid he wanted built on his estate at Cobham, Kent as a final resting place for himself and his family members. Designed by James Wyatt and built by George Dance Jr in 1783 the mausoleum was never consecrated and so no one is actually buried there.
It has endured a sordid past as the setting for porn films and black masses. Now restored and managed by the National Trust the mausoleum is open to the public on Sundays. Cobham Wood has been designated an "area of outstanding natural beauty and is open year round.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Jesse Gregson Charity

Jack Fuller did much to help relieve poverty in Brightling. Another means of assistance was the distribution of bread to those in need on Sundays by a charity founded by Brightling born Jesse Gregson.

"Another quaint custom connected with the church, is the giving of charity bread.  This charity was instituted for the benefit of the seven poorest people of Brightling with the largest families, each family receiving a loaf of bread from the church vestry at the conclusion of the Sunday services. The donor was a Mr. Jesse Gregson of Moor House in the parish of Hawkhurst, one of the Deputy-Lieutenants for the county of Kent.  He died in 1821.  Almost five years ago the distribution was transferred from the church to a neighbouring shop."  - The Sussex Agricultural Express October 18, 1929 – Page 12.

31st August 1825 - Extract of the Will of the late Jesse Gregson Esq Interest of 180 £ for Bread for the Poor of Brightling
Bequest was 200
Deduct Duty   20
                  £ 180

Gregson's Charity
"I give to the Rector and the Churchwardens and Overseers for the time being of the Poor of the Parish of Brightling aforesaid, where I was born the sum of two hundred pounds to be invested by them at Interest or in or upon any of the Government or Parliamentary Stocks or Funds of Great Britain or upon real Security in either of the said Counties of Sussex or Kent And I direct that the Interest thereof shall form time to tome for ever be laid out in the purchase of Bread to be distributed every Sunday to and among poor persons of the said last mentioned Parish who shall not receive alms or Parish Relief as the Rector or Minister Churchwardens and Overseers thereof for the time being shall think Proper.

J.B. Hayley, Rector"

The Jesse Gregson Charity still exists today and "makes grants to individuals".

[With thanks to Nicola Courtney Bennett]

Brightling's Barrel Organ: Quaint Feature of Historical Church

The Sussex Agricultural Express October 18, 1929 – Page 12

Mr. Henry Croft how has turned the organ every Sunday for 42 years.

The quaint old parish church of St. Thomas A Beckett at Brightling, is one of the most interesting country churches in the county.  Over 900 years old, it has undergone many alterations through the ages but there still exist traces of the very early work, including a fine Norman doorway, to which about the 17th century porch was added.  Part of the west and south wall still remain, and in the latter are the remains of an ancient water stoup.
Across the west end of the nave there extends a fine gallery, erected about 1750, which is approached by a winding stairway.  The feature of the gallery is a barrel and wind organ which was given to the church by Mr. John Fuller about 1810.  It is believed there is only one other like it in the country, and that is at Windsor.  This unique instrument contains two barrels and a few pipes each barrel containing twelve tunes.  One consists of hymns for Lent, Easter and Christmas, with a few general hymn tunes, and the other double chants, psalms and voluntaries. 
The organist with his right hand turns a crank handle to revolve the barrels, with a foot pedal he supplies the air to the bellows and with his left hand he manipulates a set of six expression stops, the various tunes being changed by means of a slide.
The organ has been in use for over a century and is still sending forth its melodious tones at the Sunday services.  For forty years Mr. James Croft was the organist, and just before his death he was succeeded by his son, Mr. Henry Croft.  This interesting old gentleman was born on February 4th 1859  at Snail Farm, where he has lived all his life.  He was christened by the Rev. John Burrell Hayley, and was married in 1881 by the Rev. Thomas Burrell Hayley.  He has been connected with the church since he was twelve years old, when he was a choir boy.  He recalls the time when Robert Stapley, Henry Winchester and John Dale led the singing, using a tuning fork to give the keynote.  Then came the first musical accompaniment about 50 years ago, provided by six or seven fiddlers.  After that came the harmonium, then the American organ, which was used til about ten years ago, when a small modern pipe organ was placed in the chancel, which is used for the services to-day.  But all this time the barrel organ was used and was doing duty.  Every Sunday for 42 years Mr. Croft has played the voluntaries at the commencement and conclusion of services and the special festival hymns.
Another quaint custom connected with the church, is the giving of charity bread.  This charity was instituted for the benefit of the seven poorest people of Brightling with the largest families, each family receiving a loaf of bread from the church vestry at the conclusion of the Sunday services. The donor was a Mr. Jesse Gregson of Moor House in the parish of Hawkhurst, one of the Deputy-Lieutenants for the county of Kent.  He died in 1821.  Almost five years ago the distribution was transferred from the church to a neighbouring shop.

In the tower there is a fine peal of eight bells and in the churchyard is a huge pyramidal tomb, in which the donor of the barrel organ was buried.  

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Three time organ donor?

Looking at the timeline, one can't help question why John Fuller would purchase three barrel organs within a five year period. Where is/was the Flight & Robson organ? Did Fuller take delivery of it or was the purchase cancelled? Was it used in Brightling church or elsewhere? It is certain that the Nicholls' barrel organ, thought to be the largest of its type still operational in the UK, replaced an earlier instrument. What is not clear is whether there were one or two previous barrel organs purchase by Fuller and who made them.

C. 1750
Gallery erected in Brightling Church[1]
John “Mad Jack” Fuller inherits Rosehill, Brightling, Sussex after the death of his uncle Rose Fuller.
30 Aug 1815
Performance given by Samuel Wesley on the organ Fuller ordered from Flight and Robson at their manufactory at 101 St. Martin’s Lane, London[2]
12 Sept 1815
Samuel Wesley writes to William Shield, “I have been informed by Flight & Robson that Mr. Fuller came one Day from the Country, for the express Purpose of hearing the Music I prepared for his Organ, & although the Barrel had not been corrected for he was there before I had heard a Note of it myself) he manifested the most unequivocal Signs of perfect Approbation. …He was partly expected to come & hear the Organ on the Day that several Professional Men were invited: the Meeting was afterwards noticed and described in the News Papers very soon afterward” [3]
C. 1818
Alexander Buckingham (c1777-1853) establishes his own barrel and chamber organ firm at 39 Frederick Place, Hampstead Road, London. He is commissioned to build a barrel organ, (later known as the Williams Organ ) for Brightling Church around this time.(?) [4] 
C. 1820
Fuller commissions William Alfred. A. Nicholls of 9 Stephen Street, Tottenham Court Road, London, to build a larger barrel organ for Brightling Church[5]
15 March 1821
W.A.A. Nicholls is bankrupt.[6]
Williams Organ shipped to Archdeacon Henry Williams and his brother William Williams when they were stationed as missioners at Paiha, Bay of Islands, New Zealand as a bequest from their Uncle John Marsh. It was the first barrel organ in New Zealand. [7]
April 1851
Williams organ installed in Holy Trinity Church at Pakaraka, Northland, New Zealand, which was a new church founded by Henry Williams [8]
Edward Marsh Williams inherits the Williams Organ from his father, Henry Williams. [9]
Rev. Alfred Owen Williams lends the Williams Organ to the Wanganui Museum, which he co-founded. The Williams Organ is restored to playing condition. [10]
Nicholls’ Organ repaired by Aubrey Allen[11]
Williams Organ repaired by Raynor White[12]
Nicholls’ Organ repaired by Harrison and Harrison of Durham[13]
Harrison and Harrison, of Durham restore the Nicholls’ Organ[14]
Zillah and Robert Castle renovate the Williams Organ. [15]
Nicholls’ Organ surveyed by the British Institute of Organ Studies[16]
Nicholls’ Organ restored by Dominic Gwynn for Martin Goetze and Dominic Gwynn of Worksop, Nottinghamshire[17]
Nicholls' Organ awarded Historic Organs Certificate (Ungraded) [18]

[1] French, Brian A., Brightling: Parish Church of St. Thomas à Becket, 1972, p. 5
[2] Morning Post, September 01, 1815 - Page 3
[3] Olleson, Phillip, The Letters of Samuel Wesley: Professional and Society Correspondence, 1797-1837,.pp. 248-9, Doctoral Thesis, OUP, 2001
[5] Boyd, Diana, Brightling Church Guide, Tea Brokers’ Publications Limited, 1979, p. 18
[6] Caledonian Mercury, March 15, 1821 – Page 2
[8] Ibid
[9] Ibid
[10] Holman, Anne, Of “Bruite beasts and Horses’ legs”: The Brightling Church barrel organs and country church music, S & P Printers, 2000, p.13
[11] Ibid, p. 21
[12] Ibid, p. 13
[14] Ibid
[15] Holman, p 13
[17] Holman, p. 14
[18] Holman, p 22

Record ImageLeft: Nicholls' Barrel Organ in the gallery at Brightling Church
Right: Williams Barrel Organ in the Wanganui Regional Museum, New Zealand                                                                                  

Friday, January 02, 2015

Sussex by Barbara Willard

Publisher: B.T. Batsford Ltd., London 1965
[My comments in brackets]

Page 179 - Mad Jack Fuller, descended from the ironmasters, lived at Brightling, born there in the eighteen century.   [JF was not born at Brightling; he was born at North Stoneham, Hampshire. He did not live a Brightling until he inherited Rosehill from his uncle Rose Fuller in 1777] He left pretty well as much of a mark on his slice of the county as the Prince Regent left on his.  He got himself elected to Parliament at great cost to himself and the county – £ 50,000 is the sum named.  According to tradition he had himself drawn to Westminster by a great team of his own horses.  Belloc makes good use of this affair in The Four Men—how on his way Fuller was cheered and applauded, and how in the ‘most detestable House of Commons’ he delivered so fiery an oration on the County of Sussex that ‘the Sergeant-at-Arms grew sick with fear, and the Clerk-a-the-Table wished he had never been born.’ [The author is forgetting the Belloc's The Four Men is fictional and not biographical] He sat in the House from 1801

Page 180 - till 1812 and once, refusing to give way in debate, was carried from the Chamber.[JF was MP for Southampton from 1780 to 1784 and for Sussex from 1801 to 1812]  Pitt offered him a peerage, but it was not accepted. “I was born Jack Fuller and Jack fuller I’ll die.” [This apocryphal story remains unsubstantiated] His nickname, however, was Hippopotamus. [Joseph Jekyll MP 1752-1837 is credited with nicknaming JF The Hippopotamus].  The Fuller family as a whole seems to have had a rumbustious take-it-or-leave-it humour; their motto was Carbone et Forcipibus and you can see it inscribed under their coat of arms in Brightling Church.
Jack Fuller left his mark in practical ways, too.  He put a great wall round his estate of Rose Hill, now called Brightling Park, in order to give employment.  He set up an obelisk on Brightling Down.  He built The Sugar Loaf to win a wager—he had claimed he could see Dallington spire from his lawn and finding himself beaten on this point, he quickly ran up a mock spire to deceive his challenger.  He built The Observatory that stands high above the village.  This is now, after years of dilapidation, an elegant and original dwelling with stupendous views.  Across the road is a small piece of engineering that Fuller would have loved – a neat radio mast through which the A.A. transmit messages to their road patrols.

Page 181 - In the churchyard stands Jack Fuller’s last folly- and extraordinary pyramidal tomb, in which rumour long insisted that he was buried up right in an armchair.  The present church guide has a note about this indecorous notion, assuring the reader that Fuller lies under the floor of the pyramid, with a predictable verse from Gray’s Elegy inscribed above him. 
The church, the big house, the follies, the happy cottages, the Fullers Arms – these add up to Brightling.  [The Fuller's Arms, later called Jack Fuller's, closed on New Year's Eve 2004 and is now a private home] Leave the village by the steep little road to Mountfield and as you turn left at the hairpin bend you look down to the Darwell Reservoir.  The water completes the picture.  It is fed by the Rother, by Darwell and Glottenham steams that once worked for the ironmasters of this prosperous district.  By what one knows of the Fullers it seems likely they would look upon today’s use of the water as a waste of good working material.

Page 184 - North-east of Salehurst and Robertsbridge is Bodiam Castle. Sir
Page 185 - Edward Dalyngrigge started building in 1385, when he had received his licence for the enterprise from the King. …It was dismantled during the Civil War by Sir William Waller and his hard-working men, and it would probably have fallen to pieces if Fuller of Brightling had not bought it and saved it. [JF purchased Bodiam Castle, one of the most photographed castles in the UK,  on 18 September 1828 from a Hastings building firm for 3000 guineas]

Page 188 - Cobbett came to Battle in 1822, when he attended—and of course addressed—a meeting concerned with the corn laws, ‘Lord Ashburnham was called to the chair, and among others present was Mr. Fuller, who formerly cut such a figure in the House of Commons.’ By the time Cobbett was on his way home he was full of the opinion that ‘it will take a much shorter time than most people think to put out all the ancient families’. [See my blog post of 30 December 2004 here]

Page 49 - [In reference to the Grinling Gibbons Room at Petworth...]
Fuller—he comes later in his own part of Sussex—dismissing artistic fads and fancies, says that Petworth House was most famous for its stables –‘the best of any subject’s in the kingdom, for it affords stabling for three score horses’. [ I have often wondered if JF and JMW Turner first met at Petworth]

Page 141 - Uckfield was the home for three generations of the Fullers, ironmasters, and ancestors of Honest –or Mad—Jack Fuller, who is to be found later at Brightling.  John Fuller, gentleman, has his memorial in Uckfield parish church, dated 1610 and including a list of his charities.  He left ten shillings a year to Uckfield parish, in the confident expectation of being remembered by it.

Now I am dead and layed in grave
And that my bones are rotten,
By this I shall remember’d be
Or else I am forgotten.

Three-and –a-half- centuries have swallowed the shillings. [I have not been able to connect this John Fuller who is buried at Uckfield in 1610 to JF's family tree]

Page 160 - There are streams from the Cuckmere running by Chiddingly, the chief of them rising above Waldron, which is small and isolated, with good cottages and barns.  The church is built over a much older site… Fullers appear here, too, and have an extremely elegant monument, a shield mantelled and garlanded. [Memorial Major John Fuller of the trained Bands 1652-1722 is at All Saints Church, Waldron. This John Fuller is JF's paternal great-grandfather]. 

Page 161 - Heathfield had its iron works, and here again we find the Fuller family. [The Fullers produced cannon at their Heathfield furnace from 1693 - 1793]