FULLER, Samuel (1646-1721), of Great Yarmouth, Norf.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1689 - 1698
Feb. - Nov. 1701

Family and Education

bap. 20 Dec. 1646, 1st s. of John Fuller, merchant, of Great Yarmouth by his w. Elizabeth.  m. bef. 1679, Rose, da. of Richard Huntington† of Great Yarmouth, 3s. (1 d.v.p.) 2da.  suc. fa. 1673.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Great Yarmouth 1672, alderman 1676–84, Oct. 1688–d.; bailiff 1679–80, 1698–9, mayor 1707–8; freeman, Dunwich ?–1703.2


Fuller often acted in Parliament with his Yarmouth colleague George England I*, particularly in proceedings concerning trade and shipping, and followed the same political line. Listed as a Whig by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) in March 1690, he was appointed during the first session to assist in the drafting of bills concerning the East India trade (2 Apr.); to appoint commissioners of public accounts (24 Apr.); and for the regulation of wines (9 May). In December, Carmarthen forecast that Fuller would probably support him in the event of a Commons’ attack on his ministerial position. Robert Harley* noted him as a ‘doubtful’ member of the Country party in April 1691. In August 1691 he was excused the office of bailiff of Great Yarmouth ‘by reason of the sickness and infirmity of his body’, but he was able to serve on the committee of 30 Oct. 1691, to prepare a bill appointing new oaths in Ireland, and on 25 Jan. 1692 as a teller against an amendment to the Dover harbour bill, most probably protecting the interests of Great Yarmouth. He was among the appointees on 14 Nov. 1693 to prepare a bill to encourage the clothing trade, and at about the same time was noted by Samuel Grascome as a Court supporter. On 5 Apr. 1694 he acted as a teller with George England over a clause in the poll tax bill. He lent the government £1,000 in 1694, and on 1 Dec. was among those named to a committee to prepare legislation for the recovery of minors’ debts.3

Like England, although he signed the Association he had been forecast as a likely opponent of the Court in January 1696 on the proposed council of trade and later voted against fixing the price of guineas. He and England spent much of November and December 1696 in negotiation on behalf of Yarmouth corporation with the Admiralty Board over a captured privateer, and both men voted on 25 Nov. for the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. Fuller was included in the committee of 14 Jan. 1697 to prepare clauses to explain the Recoinage Acts and prevent abuses by receivers of public money. A month later, after England had already travelled back to Yarmouth, one of the bailiffs of the corporation went to attend the Admiralty, again on the borough’s behalf, to express gratitude for the increase in the numbers of North Sea convoys, and was advised: ‘You had best not carry Mr Fuller with you; his deportment is not very pleasing to the board. ’Tis thought . . . he hath done us great disservice by his carriage to those commissioners (but this inter nos).’ He assisted in the proposal made on 29 Jan. 1698 for a bill to crack down on robbery, and on 10 Mar. acted as a teller with England in support of a petition from Yarmouth for protection of the herring trade. Although he stood down at the 1698 election, in a list of about September 1698 he was classed with England as a member of the Country party.4

Resuming his seat in 1701, Fuller was listed in February as likely to support the Court in agreeing with the committee of supply’s resolution to continue the ‘Great Mortgage’. He remained a Whig under Queen Anne, and co-operated with the followers of Viscount Townshend, who was building up a strong interest at Yarmouth, against a Tory faction which included the heirs of George England I. Either Fuller or, more probably, his eldest son Samuel contested Yarmouth with Townshend’s brother in 1708 against Benjamin England* and another Tory. When a vacancy occurred in the following year, Fuller sought the return of his son Samuel and nearly came into conflict with Lord Townshend, who wanted the seat for his secretary. Eventually a compromise was reached. In the 1710 election Fuller seems not to have involved himself in Yarmouth at all, while co-operating with the Townshend interest in the county.5

Fuller died 19 May 1721, aged 74. His eldest surviving son, John†, consul at Leghorn, succeeded to his property in Yarmouth and his manor of Langley, Norfolk. His daughter Rose received £2,000 (£1,500 in South Sea and Bank stock), while another £1,000 in South Sea stock went to his grandson Richard. Both John and Richard were to stand unsuccessfully at Yarmouth against the Townshend–Walpole interest: John (MP Plympton Erle 1728–34) in 1727; Richard in 1741, 1754 and 1756.6

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. C. J. Palmer, Perlustration Gt. Yarmouth, ii. 149; D. Turner, Sepulchral Reminiscences, 35–36; Blomefield, Norf. xi. 381.
  • 2. Norf. RO, Gt. Yarmouth bor. recs. assembly bk. 1680–1701, p. 205; Suff. RO (Ipswich), EE6:1144/14.
  • 3. Gt. Yarmouth bor. recs. assembly bk. 1680–1701, p. 205; Cal. Treas. Bks. x. 908.
  • 4. Norf. RO, Gt. Yarmouth corp. mss, Fuller and George England I to Yarmouth bailiffs, 29 Oct.–3 Dec., 12 Dec. 1696, Richard Ferrier* to Thomas Godfrey, 15 Feb. 1696[–7].
  • 5. HMC Townshend, 329, 334–6; Norf. RO, Bradfer-Lawrence mss, Ashe Windham* to [Ld. Townshend], 7, 14 June 1709, 8 June 1710; Add. 38501, f. 98.
  • 6. Add. 27967, f. 240.