FULLER, Richard (c.1713-82), of Dorking, Surr.
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Family and Education
b. c.1713, 3rd s. of Rev. Joseph Fuller of Harwell, Berks., Baptist minister, by his w. Martha. m. Susanna Barnard, 5s. 3da.
Fuller was a banker originally in partnership with Frazer Honywood and subsequently head of the banking firm of Fuller, Baker, and Halford, in Cornhill. At one time he held over £20,000 in Bank of England stock, and was a considerable speculator in Government stock.
In 1764 Frazer Honywood died, and his heir, Sir John Honywood, agreed to recommend Fuller at Steyning. James West commented to Newcastle:1 ‘As the correspondence of the shop is very great ... the very postage of their letters would amount to near £800 p.a., and it is otherwise thought to be of great service to the house to have one of the partners in Parliament.’ Newcastle had suggested another candidate, but now declared he would ‘readily concur’ in the recommendation of ‘Mr. Fuller, who is a very honest man, and a very good friend of mine’.2 Fuller was returned unopposed, 9 Feb. 1764; voted in opposition on general warrants, 18 Feb.; was listed as a ‘sure friend’ by Newcastle, 10 May 1764, and ‘pro’ by Rockingham in July 1765. His next recorded vote was with Administration on the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767, but he voted against them on the nullum tempus bill, 17 Feb. 1768.
In 1768 Fuller was introduced at Morpeth by Francis Eyre, and stood on a joint interest with him. On 15 Jan. 1768, he wrote to Robert Trotter, a Presbyterian clergyman, and one of the leaders of the opposition to the Carlisle interest:
As I am enlisted under the banner of liberty, the cause in which I have had the happiness to be educated, let me say that no consideration upon earth shall tempt me to deviate from it, and if my poor endeavours should be conducive to establish the freedom and independency of your borough I shall esteem it the happiest event of my life.
But on 12 Mar., from London:
The general opinion which has prevailed in this part of the world is that Mr. Eyre and myself stood no chance of being the sitting Members for Morpeth, though we had no doubt of a fair majority from the great encouragement we met with on the canvass. Therefore in order to secure the freedom of the town and Mr. Eyre’s election I have been induced by a compromise to give up any pretensions of my own as I never presumed an equal merit with Mr. Eyre.3
He was returned unopposed at Stockbridge. He continued in opposition until he left Parliament. His only recorded speeches were on the corn bill, 3 Feb. 1772, and on the East India Company loan bill, 15 June 1773.4
He died 2 Jan. 1782.