Friday, February 20, 2015

Happy Birthday, John Fuller

On this day in 1757, John Fuller was born in North Stoneham, Hampshire to the Rev Henry Fuller and his wife Frances, née Fuller. 

I recently acquired this exquisite silver pounce pot. It bears the Fuller of Sussex family crest and was made by Jonathan Hayne of London in 1833. Pounce, often made from powdered cuttlefish bone, was sprinkled on unsized paper before writing. It is approximately 4.3 cm / 1.7 inches in diameter and 8.5 cm / 3.3 inches tall.

It was very possibly owned by John "Mad Jack" Fuller. It was definitely purchased by a member of his family during his lifetime. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Obituary of Peter Fuller Who Claimed the Fuller Estate

HASTINGS AND ST. LEONARDS OBSERVER, Saturday, May 19, 1917. - Page 3

DEATH OF CLAIMANT TO ESTATES. -- News reached Heathfield yesterday (Friday) that Mr. Peter Fuller had died suddenly at Tonbidge at the age of 72 years.  The deceased was the eldest son of the late Mr. Isaac Fuller, who resided at Heathfield for many years, and who claimed to be a descendant of the late Mr. John Fuller, of Rose Hill, Brightling, and made several unsuccessful attempts to establish his rights to the ownership of the extensive Brightling estates in East Sussex.  Mr Peter Fuller also followed up the claim.  He leaves a son, who is in a Colonial Regiment.


The Courier, October 24, 1913 – Page 2


A claim to immensely wealthy estates is being made by Mr. Peter Fuller, of 55, Priory Road, Tonbridge, a jobbing engineer, at present in lowly circumstances.
The estates in question are those in Sussex and Jamaica, which once belonged to the Sussex Fullers, a famous family, once wealthy ironmasters, but now scattered and impoverished.
On Friday a public meeting was held at the Bridge Hotel[i] to promote a company for the purpose of initiating legislation on behalf of Peter Fuller to recover the estates.
There was a good attendance largely consisting of members of various branches of the Fuller family.  Mr. George Webber was elected Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN said that it was a question of right against might.  He had been working for Mr. Peter Fuller for over 15 years.  He was convinced that Mr. Fuller’s claim was just, but the claimant was a poor man and not in a position to help himself.  Hence the meeting.  Mr. Fuller had borne any amount of ridicule in the case, but had still persisted.  He went on to say that he had trespassed on the Sussex Fuller estate and had dared the present holders to touch him.  He maintained that they could not interfere with him rightly, and if they did they must fail.
Mr. Edward DAVIS, a solicitor, representing Messrs. Whitehead and Garton of Regent-street, S.W., who are Mr. Fuller’s solicitors in connection with the claim, outlined Mr. Fuller’s case, saying that the learned counsel employed on behalf of the claimant (Mr. John Duncan, of the Inner Temple) having very carefully perused the documents at the disposal of Mr. Peter Fuller, had advised that gentleman that he appeared to have a rightful title to the estate.  The Sussex estate extended from Brightling to Pevensey, and embraced some 6,000 acres.  It included several farms, etc..  In 1834 they alleged that there was a wrongful devolution of the title to the Brightling and Jamaican Estates.  If this was so, it was due to the fact that John Fuller, the famous Sussex Member of Parliament, who was known to his contemporaries by the Soubriquet of “Mad Jack,” who was he life tenant of the estates, and who died without heir, was not succeeded by the rightful heir.  Augustus Elliott Fuller[ii] acquired the estate upon the death of John Fuller M. P. Augustus Fuller was alleged to be the son of Thomas Fuller and a cousin of “Mad Jack. “but they alleged that Augustus was not the son of Thomas Fuller but was only the adopted son, that he belonged to another family altogether, and was possibly an illegitimate son of John Fuller, M.P.  There was some mystery about this matter when Thomas Fuller the alleged father of Augustus, died, it was supposed, about 1781.  He was succeeded by a younger brother, whereas had an elder brother been alive, he (the elder brother) would have been heir.  They had been able to trace another family of Fullers at Heathfield, and it had been handed down that John Fuller, M.P., a man, it was said, with dissolute habits, carried on a liaison with the wife of Mr. Fuller at Heathfield, and that Augustus was their son.   All possible claimants being apparently extinct at the time, circumstances were of a nature that at the time of the death of John Fuller, M.P., to make it comparatively easy to put the supposed illegitimate son into possession of the estates.  But, of course he did not, if he were illegitimate, as they thought he was, as such, enter into possession of the estates, but as the legitimate son of Thomas Fuller, who died in 1781.  Inquiries had been proceeding regarding the matter since 1834, but they had been hampered by the poverty of the claimants, and it was not until the present time that, after the accumulation of a large number of documents, that a case was made out in favour of Peter fuller, a son of Isaac Fuller.  Isaac who was descended from John fuller, who died in 1847, son of John Fuller who died in 1814, son of Richard Fuller who died in 1764.  He was also descended from Richard who died in 1703, and Thomas who died in 1713. 
They alleged that Augustus, if not the illegitimate son of “Mad Jack”, was the son of John Trayton Fuller[iii] and the grandson of yet another Thomas Fuller, who died in 1773.  They alleged that the real son of Thomas Fuller[iv], who died in 1780, was the John whom, they alleged, was murdered.
There was a bit of romance connected with the story which made it all the more feasible.  Ever since 1834 two rooms had been kept closed at the Manor House (Rose Hill), where so said tradition, it was possible that John Fuller, the real cousin of John Fuller, M.P., and the heir to “Mad Jack’s” estates, vanished –done away with by foul means.  The story went that he was murdered in those rooms, and that they had been closed ever since.
The claimants did not, continued, Mr. Davis, advise that any few people should at this stage of the proceedings incur great expense on behalf of Peter Fuller.  They proposed to form a limited liability company called the Fuller Recovery Company, Limited.  They offered £1 shares accordingly being issued, but it was not necessary for their purposes that they should all be taken up at once.  It was proposed to make the company trustees for the estate in the event of the claim being successful, and debentures would be issued to the shareholders to ten times the amount.  That meant that for every pound a shareholder puts into the company, provided Peter Fuller were successful, he or she would get ten out.  They could easily afford that, as the value of the estates was a matter of several millions.  Peter Fuller and the other claimants would enter into a compact with the company that the company should be the trustees for the estates until the debenture bonds were satisfied.  There were one or two points in the confidence on behalf of the Fuller’s claim, still to be cleared up, and the finding of the necessary documents was very costly.  If they were successful, the paying-off of the debenture holders would be the first charge on the estate.  But unless the chain of evidence were absolutely complete, and unless they were definitely advised by counsel that litigation would in all probability be successful there would be none.  At present they would be satisfied if £1, 000 could be obtained.
Mr. John DUNCAN, barrister-at-law, said that it was possible that certain settlements made to Elisabeth and Frances, sisters of John Fuller, M.P., might result in a descendant, Lord St. Audries (better known as Sir Alexander Acland Hood) making a claim to one-third.  Peter Fuller, however claimed the whole.  The principal claimant traced his ancestry, for the purposes of the case, back to 1653.  The Sussex estate was very valuable, but those in Jamaica, which were part and parcel of the claim, were still more so.   They now wanted more information as to how Augustus Elliott Fuller came into ownership of the estates.  They were satisfied that he could not have been a relation to Thomas, the cousin, was never married and that therefore Augustus Elliott in any case could not have been his legitimate son and rightful heir to the estates.  Augustus died in 1857.
In response to Mr. John Fuller, Mr. DUNCAN said that the estates were at present vested in a number of people, some of them, or their antecedents, having purchased portions of the lands, etc., from Augustus Elliott Fuller.  However, if Augustus were not rightful heir the present owners would have no valid claim to the estates. 
In response to Mrs. Orton (of Southborough), Counsel said that the estates were of little value in 1777, when Rose Fuller made the settlement mentioned, but were of great value now.  The whole of the estates and the accumulation were entailed in the claim.
In a short, pointed speech, Mr. PETER FULLER said that he could produce all the documents necessary to prove his ancestry and his claim.
Mr. DUNCAN said that only a few links were wanted to complete the chain of evidence.  They had put forward a challenge to the effect that Augustus was not a legitimate son and that he had no title to the estates, and if that were not taken up the title of the present owners to the lands, etc., would be killed.
In reply to Mrs. Orton, counsel said that only about 20 guineas was necessary to clear up the outstanding points in the evidence.  It was a case for the pedigree hunters.  The difficulty was in searching for the documents they required, which were very scattered.
The meeting then closed.
The claimant to these estates lives in a humble way in a neat little cottage in Priory-road, Tonbridge.  He is a tall, big-framed man, standing well over six feet in height, and is apparently quite contented with his lot, although very keen on obtaining the millions, which he considers are rightly due to him.  Our representatives found him smoking by his fireside on the day after the meeting in Tunbridge Wells..  Mr. Fuller told his story in a reticent, unassuming way.
“I am 68 years of age, “ he said, “ and earn my living as s jobbing engineer.  I am the direct descendant of Captain Samuel Fuller, who died in 1678[v], the founder of the Waldron branch of the family.  I was born at Waldron.  Under the will of Rose Fuller, the first owner of the whole of the estates as at present claimed, in default of direct male issue in his family the estate was to revert to my grandfather, John Fuller, who died in 1847.  It appears, however, that my grandfather did not understand the position of affairs, and therefore never stood up for his rights.  Hence, if I prove that ‘Mad Jack’s’ successor was not the rightful heir, the estates are bound to come to me.
“The Jamaican estates mainly consist of sugar plantations.  The family bought the Sussex estates cheaply, but its value has since gone up to an immense extent.
“ I can produce a complete history of the Fuller family, ironmasters of Sussex.  They rose from being nail-makers, and their success was largely due to lucky marrying.  They are now poor and scattered.  They have been very unfortunate.  The family, once upon a time, must have been very wealthy.  When the country was depressed, the farmers in Sussex had not the money to buy corn to seed the land.  The Fullers loaned them their money, and thus created the Fuller titles on the lands in Mid-Sussex, where they invested their money.  The tithes are still being paid, though to whom I do not know.  The Jamaican estates came through lucky marrying.  In or about 1705, Major John Fuller[vi] married a rich Creole, and thereby acquired a large estate.  Rose Fuller obtained another large estate in an exactly similar manner[vii].
“We are living in humble circumstances now, but I hope to enter into my heritage within a year, and when I do I shall give greatly to the poor.  My own heir is prison warder in New Zealand.
“Only a few more documents are necessary to complete the evidence.  It is not a question  of expense so much as of untiring search.  We have even acquired documentary evidence from North Wales.  It has involved most careful scrutiny of church books, and even tombstones have been pulled up to obtain details.
“We are nearing the end now,” concluded Mr. Fuller.
In the course of a chat with our representative, Mr. Webber, who presided at last Friday’s meeting who has the case at his fingers’ ends, said.—
“I have been working on Mr. Fuller’s behalf for over 15 years, and have spent some thousands of hours in writing in connection with the case.  It is most complex and beset with legal difficulties.  the whole of the transactions after the death of John Fuller, M. P., in 1834, are shrouded in mystery.  We have learnt, however, that when Augustus Elliott Fuller took possession, he married into the Meyrick family[viii], of Bodorgan, and the issue of that marriage was a son, Owen John Augustus Fuller-Meyrick [ix].  With that soon Augustus entered into a deed of gift, selling him  the whole of the estates for five shillings!  When Augustus died he gave the estates to his son in his will –a quite unnecessary step, seeing that he had already sold them.
“The original testator, Rose Fuller, entailed the estates for 500 years.  Augustus entered into a deed of disentail, which nullified the will of Rose Fuller.  Owen Fuller-Meyrick sold the Brightling estates by auction and created another entail for 500 years of the Jamaican estates, each holder thereof to take the name of Meyrick.  The Meyrick family now holds those estates.  We claim that the original entail of Rose Fuller still obtains, as Augustus and his descendants, we allege, had no right to the property.
“Peter Fuller’s father, Isaac Fuller, and others carried on a regular feud with the present occupiers of the Brightling estates.   They once took possession of the mansion, but were turned out.  Then they claimed a cottage from a lady who paid them rent for a time.  The law officers stopped that.  Later, Isaac and his friends went into a certain farm and attempted to take possession.  They were there for about three weeks, during which time they cut down a lot of trees.  The gates were locked against them, but they turned the timber tug round, smashed down the gates, went in, got their timber and took it to Lewes and sold it.  An injunction was granted against them, but it was not perpetual.  For want of means they could not carry their campaign any further.  Some of Peter Fuller’s friends have ‘trespassed ‘on the estate frequently.
“In hunting for the pedigrees several peculiar things have been discovered.  Many registry books containing entries of importance to our case have been missing for years, and one in particular case, after we had searched for a long time for a certain marriage entry, the clergyman of the church in question found that another piece of paper had been skillfully stuck over the page in question as to absolutely cover it.  On separating the page from the piece of paper we found the entry we wanted.
“We are now occupied in tracing these missing registers”.

[i] Possibly the Station Bridge Hotel, Tonbridge.
[ii] Augustus Elliot Fuller (1777–1857) was the son of John Trayton Fuller (1743-1811) and his second wife Anne Elliot(1754-1835), the daughter of Lord Heathfield George Augustus Elliot (1717-1790), the defender of Gibraltar.

[iii] John Trayton Fuller (1743-1811) was a first cousin of “Mad Jack” Fuller.

[iv] Thomas Fuller (1715-1780) was the father of John Trayton Fuller and the brother of “Mad Jack” Fuller’s father Henry Fuller(1713-1761). This makes John “Mad Jack” Fuller and Augustus Elliot Fuller first cousins, once removed.

[v] Samuel Fuller (1620-1678)was “Mad Jack” Fuller’s second great grand uncle.

[vi] John Fuller (1680-1745) was “Mad Jack” Fuller’s paternal grandfather. He was not a “Major”. He married Elizabeth Rose who was born in Jamaica, the daughter of Dr. Fulke Rose. This is where the name Rose (Rose Hill; Rose Fuller) enters the Fuller family lexicon.

[vii] Dr. Rose Fuller (1708-1777), another brother of “Mad Jack’s” father Henry Fuller, married Ithamar Mill (1721-1738) daughter and heiress of Richard Mill (sometimes Mills) of Jamaica in 1737. Sadly she died the following year at the age of 17, either while pregnant or during childbirth.  Her father , who was much taken with Rose Fuller, settled her portion of his Jamaican estates on his surviving son-in-law Rose.

[viii] Augustus Elliot Fuller married Clara Meyrick (1775-1856), of Bodorgan, Anglesey, Wales in 1801. They had ten children, the only one to have children was their oldest child, Clara Meyrick Fuller (1802-1831).

[ix] Owen John Augustus Fuller Meyrick (1804-1876)  succeeded to the Bodorgan estate, which is one of the largest in Anglesey on the death of his grandfather Owen Putland Meyrick in 1858. He inherited Rose Hill, Brightling, Sussex from his father Augustus Elliot Fuller, in 1857. Since O.J.A. Fuller Meyrick died without issue, his estate was passed on to the son of his sister Clara Meyrick Fuller, Sir George Augustus Elliot-Tapps-Gervis-Meyrick.  In 1879 Sir George Augustus Elliot Tapps-Gervis-Meyrick sold the Rose Hill estate to Percy Tew who renamed the house Brightling Park.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Ashdown House, Forest Row, East Sussex

The Sphere February 12, 1955 – page 268
STATE AID FOR A REGENCY MANSION[i]: Ashdown, in Sussex, Receives a government Grant for Urgent Structural Repairs

AN HISTORIC SUSSEX MANSION WHICH HAS A LINK WITH THE UNITED STATES:  Ashdown House[ii], near Forest Row, was built in the late eighteenth century by Benjamin Latrobe the architect responsible for part of the Capitol, in Washington [iii].
Among the latest recipients of Government grants for urgent repairs is Ashdown House, in Sussex.  It is one of the two works in this country[iv] of Benjamin Latrobe [v], whose name is better known in the United States.  He finished Ashdown[vi] in 1791, five years before he emigrated.  It is a fine example of early Regency.  It consists of a square main block which the architect added to a partly-seventeenth-century gabled building.  One of its best features is the porch of stone columns with Ionic capitals.  Inside the entrance an elegant staircase leads to a lobby, with columns, on the first floor.  Ashdown is now a preparatory school for boys [vii] [viii].
Financial help is being given towards eradicating dry-rot and other repairs.  Ashdown benefits by the scheme administered by the Minister of Works under the terms of the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act of 1953.  Each year he is allowed  £250,000 to allocate to historic buildings in Britain for repairs or maintenance.  In making the grants he is advised by three committees, for England, Wales and Scotland respectively, whose members are public figures or architectural experts.  So far the grand total of buildings thus assisted is 114 at a cost of £285, 000.
[photo captions] Below –
A GRACEFUL EXAMPLE OF A REGENCY INTERIOR: Columns form a lobby on the first-floor landing of Ashdown House.  Above them is a plaster dome with coloured coffers.  Below the landing the porch projects into the entrance hall.  Benjamin Latrobe, the architect, emigrated to America in 1796 five years after he had completed this building.  The Government grant is towards the cost of repairs and the eradication of dry-rot.  Ashdown is now a preparatory school for boys.
On left –
THE COLUMNED PORCH: The front entrance is semi-circular, with stone columns with Ionic capitals and enriched bases of terra-cotta.  Under its roof is a domed ceiling, with finely-decorated reliefs.
THE EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR OF ASHDOWN HOUSE: On left – Latrobe’s masterpiece is in the center.  He added it to a seventeenth-century gabled stone building, which is behind.  The chapel is on the left of the picture.  On right—The entrance hall and staircase are among the best interior features.  Latrobe became surveyor of public buildings to the American Government in 1803.  Besides the south wing of the Capital, he designed the cathedral in Baltimore.

[i] This is a misnomer. The Regency period started in 1811, twenty years after Ashdown House was built.
[iii] Read more about Latrobe’s work on the Capitol here:
[iv] Hammerwood Park, near East Grinstead is the other private house built by Latrobe. See:
[v] Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe (May 1, 1764 – September 3, 1820- Wikipedia Biography:
[vi] Ashdown House was built by Latrobe for John Trayton Fuller (1743-1811) John ”Mad Jack” Fuller’s first cousin.
[vii] Ashdown House preparatory school official website is here:

Friday, February 13, 2015

Brightling Observatory For Sale in 1953

Sussex Express & County Herald, Friday October 16 1953 - Page 10

Brightling Observatory Is For Sale

Brightling Observatory, built by "Mad Jack" Fuller over 140 years ago, is for sale again.  It was built on the site of a beacon by Fuller, who was the Squire of Brightling, and a Sussex M.P. from 1801 to 1812.
Some time ago it was sold to the Gypsum Mines by the Squire, Mr. T.P. Tew, and later resold and redecorated for the use as a private residence.  It was recently bought by Mr. Grinling of Fair Court, Wadhurst.
The Observatory is almost s well known as the celebrated Brightling Needle nearby, which also owes its origin to Fuller, who died in 1834.
It stands, as if in answer to Fuller's Sugar Loaf "Folly" as testimony to the deeper side of Fuller's character as a cultivated gentleman and a patron of science.
Designed by the great architect Sir Robert Smirke, who built the British Museum, the observatory was erected in 1810, being intended by Fuller for the use of he eminent astronomer, Herschel whose bust could be seen inside the building for many years.
The astronomical instruments were removed about 1908, and the building used as a reading room and later converted into a cottage.

Brighting Observatory Sale

The Sussex Express and South Eastern Advertiser
Friday, May 23, 1919 - Page 1

Thursday, May 29th, 1919

Have received instructions from the Owner (who is giving up housekeeping), to SELL BY AUCTION on the premises as above:-- Brass and iron French bedsteads, feather beds, mattresses, mahogany-frame marble-top and other washstands, mahogany and painted chests of drawers, mahogany wardrobe, toilet tables and glasses, toilet ware, deal linen chest, mahogany dining table, deal-top dining table and other ditto, writing table, mahogany-frame dining chairs in leather, spring-seated easy and other chairs, sofas, china cabinet, Windsor chairs, pier glasses, pictures, fenders and fire irons, patent mangle, wash tubs, quantity of earthen and glass ware, a useful assemblage of domestic and culinary utensils, quantity of gardening tools, etc.
Sale to commence at 1.30 p.m.
No Catalogues.  Auction and Estate Offices, Heathfield (Phone No. 11).

Monday, February 09, 2015

Fullers who obtained Game Certificates

Sussex Advertiser September 12, 1825 - page 4

GAME LISTS, COUNTY OF SUSSEX, Persons who have obtained Game Ceritficates for the year 1825 List (1) General Certificates at £3 13s 6d each [In List (2) Gamekeepers, not being assessed servants, at £3 13s 6d each and  List (3) Gamekeepers being assessed servants at £1 5s each, a gamekeeper for Brightling is not listed.]

Fuller Capt. J.T. Wartling[i]; Fuller John, esq. Brightling[ii]; Fuller Major G. Heathfield[iii]; Fuller William, Cowfold; Fuller Hugh, Portslade; Fuller Joseph Selmeston; Fuller A.E. esq. East Grinstead[iv]; Fuller Captain R.H. ditto[v]; Fuller Rev R.F. ditto[vi]; Fuller James Little Horsted; Fuller John, Uckfield; Fuller Thomas, Cliffe Lewes. 

Sussex Advertiser September 07 1835 - page 1
GAME LISTS COUNTY OF SUSSEX Arranged and Published by Harry Winton, Surveyor, Brighton
Persons who have obtained game certificates for the year 1835.
List (1) General certificates at L3 13s 6d each

Fuller, A. E., esq.[vii] Brightling; Fuller, John Street; Fuller, J.T.[viii], esq Wartling

[i] Captain John Thomas Fuller was christened on 25 Jun 1788 in Heathfield, Sussex. He died on 25 Sep 1850 in East Hoathly, Sussex. He married Emily Carthew in 1813 in Heathfield, Sussex. He was Jack Fuller’s second cousin once removed.
[ii] John “Mad Jack” Fuller
[iii] Major George Fuller was christened on 21 Nov 1756 in Heathfield, Sussex. He died on 6 Apr 1839. He was buried on 11 Apr 1839 in Hooe, Sussex.  He was Jack Fuller’s second cousin.
[iv] General Sir Augustus Elliot Fuller MP was born on 7 May 1777 in East Grinstead,Sussex. He was christened on 2 Jun 1777 in Heathfield,Sussex. He died on 5 Aug 1857 in Clifford Street, London. He was buried on 12 Aug 1857 in Llangadwaladr, Anglesey, Wales. He married Clara Meyrick on 5 Sep 1801. He was Jack Fuller’s first cousin once removed and one of his two principal heirs.
[v] Captain Rose Henry Fuller RN was born on 8 Feb 1789 in Heathfield, Sussex. He was christened on 14 Mar 1789 in Heathfield,Sussex. He died on 27 Oct 1860 in Dawlish, Devon. He was buried on 5 Nov 1860 in Starcross, Devon. He married Margaretta Jane Sheffield on 24 Nov 1831 in East Grinstead, Sussex.  He was Jack Fuller’s first cousin once removed.
[vi] Rev Robert Fitzherbert Fuller was born on 11 Aug 1794 in East Grinstead, Sussex. He was christened on 20 Oct 1794 in East Grinstead, Sussex. He died on 22 Aug 1849 in Leamington, Warwickshire. He was buried on 28 Aug 1849 in Leamington, Warwickshire. He married Maria Ursula Sheffield on 16 Oct 1827 in Lingfield, Surrey.  He was Jack Fuller’s first cousin once removed.
[vii] General Sir Augustus Elliot Fuller MP was born on 7 May 1777 in East Grinstead,Sussex. He was christened on 2 Jun 1777 in Heathfield,Sussex. He died on 5 Aug 1857 in Clifford Street, London. He was buried on 12 Aug 1857 in Llangadwaladr, Anglesey, Wales. He married Clara Meyrick on 5 Sep 1801. He was Jack Fuller’s first cousin once removed and one of his two principal heirs.
[viii] Captain John Thomas Fuller was christened on 25 Jun 1788 in Heathfield, Sussex. He died on 25 Sep 1850 in East Hoathly, Sussex. He married Emily Carthew in 1813 in Heathfield, Sussex.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Fuller an "excellent shot"

British Field Sports, Embracing Practical Instructions in Shooting, Hunting, Coursing, Racing, Cocking, Fishing, &c.; with Observations on the Breaking and Training of Dogs and Horses; Also the Management of Fowling Pieces, and All Other Sporting Implements. London: Printed for Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, Paternoster-Row, 1818

"John Fuller, Esq. of Rosehill, Sussex, an excellent Shot, in beating for Partridges, sprung nine Land Rails, five of which were killed by Mr. Fuller, two by Mr. P. Willard, and one by the Game Keeper", page 260.


  • Land Rail is another name for Corn Crake (crex crex).

The dog, in health and disease by Stonehenge (John Henry Walsh), 1 January 1859


 " George " and " Romp," * Sussex Spaniels, the property of E. Soames, Esq, of London.

The Sussex spaniel differs from the Clumber in shape and colour, as well as in his " questing," his note being full and bell like, though sharp. In height and weight there is not much difference, nor is the general character of the head very distinguishable from that of the Clumber ; but in length he is not nearly so remarkable as that dog, though still long and low, the body being very round and full, indicating great power. The coat also is pretty nearly the same in quality, being soft and silky, though thick and free from distinct curls; and this dog is also beautifully feathered. The head is not quite so heavy about the muzzle, but very square above the eyes, and with an expression of exceeding gravity and intelligence. The ears are full in length, but not very thickly covered with hair. Muzzle broad, with the under jaw receding more than in the Clumber, and the point of the nose of a liver-colour. The whole body is also of a decided liver-colour, but with rather a golden shade, not so deep as that of the Welsh or Devonshire cockers, or the Irish water spaniel. Legs and feet very strong, and well feathered. Tail generally cropped, and well clothed with wavy hair. The bitches are usually smaller than the dogs. All of this breed throw their tongues, and when kept to cocks or pheasants, they readily indicate their scent by a sharper note than usual.

 * Bred by the late A. E. Fuller, Esq., of Rose Hill, Brightling, Sussex, and descended from the celebrated stock of Mr. Moneypenny, of Rolvendon.

Sussex Spaniel - 1941 Newspaper clipping

Jamaica New York - Long Island Daily Press 1941
By Walter Edward Blithe

Mr. Fuller of Brightling, England, is given credit for the first and most important kennel of Sussex Spaniels as it was he who developed the peculiar color of golden tinge, known as a liver color. Mr. Phineas Bulock is also credited with the development of this breed.
The Sussex Spaniel is inclined to give tongue on the scent and has an extremely good nose.  Although lacking the speed of the Springer and Cocker he is considered a determined hunter and valuable for all forms of upland shooting. The support of this breed was stared in a class at the Crystal Palace Show in 1862.
They are somewhat like the Clumber in speed, not very fast--that may be the reason they are not imported to this country, as the average sportsman likes his dog to have sufficient speed.
He is a very normal and attractive dog, a good pet, easy to train and when properly taught, is an excellent retriever.
In color is that of a rich golden liver which is characteristic of the breed and a certain sign of purity.  He should be rather massive and muscular, and weigh from 35 to 45 pounds.

Dogs and All About Them

Written by Robert Leighton, assisted by Eminent Authorities on the Various Breeds, London, Cassell and Company, Ltd., 1910 (Read full text at here)

IV. THE SUSSEX SPANIEL.—This is one of the oldest of the distinct breeds of Land Spaniels now existing in the British Islands, and probably also the purest in point of descent, since it has for many years past been confined to a comparatively small number of kennels, the owners of which have always been at considerable pains to keep their strains free from any admixture of foreign blood.
The modern race of Sussex Spaniels, as we know it, owes its origin in the main to the kennel kept by Mr. Fuller at Rosehill Park, Brightling, near Hastings. This gentleman, who died in 1847, is said to have kept his strain for fifty years or more, and to have shot over them almost daily during the season, but at his death they were dispersed by auction, and none of them can be traced with any accuracy except a dog and a bitch which were given at the time to Relf, the head keeper. Relf survived his master for forty years, and kept up his interest in the breed to the last. He used to say that the golden tinge peculiar to the Rosehill breed came from a bitch which had been mated with a dog belonging to Dr. Watts, of Battle, and that every now and then what he termed a "sandy" pup would turn up in her litters. Owing to an outbreak of dumb madness in the Rosehill kennels, a very large number of its occupants either died or had to be destroyed, and this no doubt accounted for the extreme scarcity of the breed when several enthusiasts began to revive it about the year 1870. Mr. Saxby and Mr. Marchant are said to have had the same strain as that at Rosehill, and certainly one of the most famous sires who is to be found in most Sussex pedigrees was Buckingham, by Marchant's Rover out of Saxby's Fan.
It was from the union of Buckingham, who was claimed to be pure Rosehill—with Bebb's daughter Peggie that the great Bachelor resulted—a dog whose name is to be found in almost every latter-day pedigree, though Mr. Campbell Newington's strain, to which has descended the historic prefix "Rosehill," contains less of this blood than any other.
About 1879 Mr. T. Jacobs, of Newton Abbot, took up this breed with great success, owning, amongst other good specimens, Russett, Dolly, Brunette, and Bachelor III., the latter a dog whose services at the stud cannot be estimated too highly. When this kennel was broken up in 1891, the best of the Sussex Spaniels were acquired by Mr. Woolland, and from that date this gentleman's kennel carried all before it until it in turn was broken up and dispersed in 1905. So successful was Mr. Woolland that one may almost say that he beat all other competitors off the field, though one of them, Mr. Campbell Newington, stuck most gallantly to him all through.
Mr. Campbell Newington has been breeding Sussex Spaniels for over a quarter of a century with an enthusiasm and tenacity worthy of the warmest admiration, and his strain is probably the purest, and more full of the original blood than any other. His kennel has always maintained a very high standard of excellence, and many famous show specimens have come from it, notably Rosehill Ruler II. (a splendid Sussex, scarcely inferior to Bridford Giddie), Romulus, Roein, Rita, Rush, Rock, Rag, and Ranji, and many others of almost equal merit.
Colonel Claude Cane's kennel of Sussex, started from a "Woolland-bred" foundation, has been going for some seventeen years, the best he has shown being Jonathan Swift, Celbridge Eldorado, and Celbridge Chrysolite.
The breed has always had a good character for work, and most of the older writers who mention them speak of Sussex Spaniels in very eulogistic terms. They are rather slow workers, but thoroughly conscientious and painstaking, and are not afraid of any amount of thick covert, through which they will force their way, and seldom leave anything behind them.
A well-bred Sussex Spaniel is a very handsome dog. Indeed, his beautiful colour alone is enough to make his appearance an attractive one, even if he were unsymmetrical and ungainly in his proportions.
This colour, known as golden liver, is peculiar to the breed, and is the great touchstone and hall-mark of purity of blood. No other dog has exactly the same shade of coat, which the word "liver" hardly describes exactly, as it is totally different from the ordinary liver colour of an Irishman, a Pointer, or even a liver Field Spaniel. It is rather a golden chestnut with a regular metallic sheen as of burnished metal, showing more especially on the head and face and everywhere where the hair is short. This is very apparent when a dog gets his new coat. In time, of course, it is liable to get somewhat bleached by sun and weather, when it turns almost yellow. Every expert knows this colour well, and looks for it at once when judging a class of Sussex.

Saturday, February 07, 2015


Hereford Journal January 15, 1817 - page 4

Woodcocks.- John Fuller, Esq., of Rosehill, Devonshire, and his game-keeper, have this season already shot and brought to bag fifty of these delicious birds, whose visit to the southern parts of the kingdom, it is remarkable, have this year been earlier and greater in number than usual.

  • John Fuller of Rosehill, Sussex and Devonshire Place, London.
  • The Scolopax rusticola or Eurasian Woodcock is one of seven extant species of woodcock.

Hydrophobia at Rose Hill

March 29, 1813 - Hampshire Chronicle

A number of dogs having lately run mad at Rose-Hill, and in the neighbourhood of that place, producing mischief to an extent that cannot be ascertained, John Fuller, Esq. reflecting on the horrid effects of hydrophobia, and as an example to others whom it may concern, on Monday last, highly to his honour, gave directions for the destruction of all his valuable dogs and they were accordingly killed, consisting of four brace of high-bred spaniels (whose excellence was the labour of many years) and a very superior pack of harriers.  The spaniels had, a long time, been the admiration and envy of the sporting world, as few, if any could be found to equal them in the field for beauty and action.  Two of them have constantly accompanied Mr. Fuller's gamekeeper for ten successive years, in the pursuit of woodcocks, with unprecedented success, having had shot to them, within the above-mentioned time, 304 brace of that delicious bird.
A printed paper, containing the following caution, has been circulated through the parish of Brightling:
"Caution.- In consequence of the number of dogs that have been ,and now are, affected with that dreadful disease the hydrophobia, in this neighbourhood, the Magistrates request that all dogs may be closely confined, until every danger is supposed to be over; and recommend to the owners immediately to destroy such of them as can, by any possibility, be supposed to have been bitten."

Notes: The UK was declared free of Hydrophobia, also known as rabies, 1902. 

Sunday, February 01, 2015


Curious Buildings Upon Which an Englishman Spent His Money

New York Sun, Sunday January 2, 1910 – Page 8  From the London Daily News

The village of Brightling (about nine miles inland from Hastings) possesses probably the most novel collection of strange buildings in England.
About half a century ago a certain Squire Fuller, the chief resident; who was possessed of great riches, spent money lavishly on the erection of numerous quaint buildings with the idea of rendering his memory imperishable in the little village. Squire Fuller’s eccentricity earned him the sobriquet of “Mad Jack”.
Perhaps the most remarkable of the buildings is the Sugar Loaf House, in which the “Mad Squire” was anxious to immure a man for seven years –during which time the victim was neither to shave, wash or hold any communication with the outer world.  His food was to be passed in through a window. there were several candidates for the experiment, but he authorities intervened and forbade the execution of the wild scheme.
The observatory contains in the dome a camera obscura, which the Square place there so that his tenants could keep observation on their cattle without going into the fields.
Cleopatra’s Needle, built of local sandstone, stands at an altitude of 800 feet above the sea and its base is covered with innumerable visitors’ names.
Solomon’s Temple, built in the style of an Eastern mosque, with massive marble pillars, was used by “Mad Jack” as a card room
The Squire’s tomb, built to resemble the Pyramids, has a beautifully decorated interior and bears carved quotations from the Squire’s favorite authors.  The Squire’s coffin was placed on a stone trestle above ground and the door of the tomb locked with a key which was afterward destroyed.
Beacon Tower was originally intended to guide ships into Pevensey Bay, but the squire planted trees all round and this rendered it useless to mariners.


  • There was at one time a camera obscura in the Brightling Observatory but it is doubtful that its purpose was for farmers to watch their cattle. 
  • Obelisks erroneously called "Cleopatra's Needles" are in Washington DC, Paris, London and Luxor. Jack Fuller built the Brightling Needle. 
  • The Rotunda Temple at Rosehill, now called Brightling Park, is not in the style of an Eastern mosque. It is a folly built in the neo-classical style.
  • Fuller's coffin was not placed on a stone trestle, he is buried in the conventional manner under the floor of his pyramid mausoleum
  • The "Beacon Tower" is too far inland to have been used to guide ships.


Brooklyn New York Daily Eagle – Tuesday February 2, 1909

[Photo Captions:  The Squire’s Tomb, Cleopatra’s Needle, Sugar Loaf House, Memorial to Squire Fuller, Solomon’s Temple]

In the British village of Brightling are a lot of strange buildings designed by a squire named Fuller, but better known as Mad Jack.  These were constructed to act in perpetuity as memorials to him.  In a sugar-loaf house the squire wished to inure a man for seven years on the understanding that during that time the prisoner was not to shave, wash or cut his hair, or hold communication with the outer world. Food was to be passed in through a small, boarded window. By way of reward, the squire proposed to make the man a “gentleman for life.” The scheme was vetoed by the authorities.  The interior of the squire’s tomb is finely decorated and bear inscriptions from his favorite authors.  The coffin is above ground on a stone trestle and the key to the tomb has been destroyed.  

  • Captions: Fuller's pyramid mausoleum; Brightling Needle or Obelisk; Sugar Loaf Folly, Brightling Observatory, Rotunda Temple.
  • Fuller is buried beneath the floor of the pyramid. The interior is plain with only the ninth verse of Grey's elegy inscribed in the wall: 
'The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r

And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave
Await alike th' inevitable hour
The paths of glory lead but to the grave'
  • The Sugar Loaf Folly was at one time occupied as a house. There are also unsubstantiated stories of Fuller advertising for a hermit to live in the mausoleum that he built 23 years before his death.