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John 'Mad Jack' Fuller, philanthropist

John 'Mad Jack' Fuller, philanthropist

C004/1070

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Credit

ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

John Fuller (1757-1834), English philanthropist. Fuller was born at North Stoneham, Hampshire. At the age of four he lost his father, the local clergyman, and at ten was sent to Eton College. In 1777 Fuller's uncle died, leaving him estates in Sussex and plantations in Jamaica. He stood for parliament in 1780 and was elected, representing Southampton until 1784 then Sussex from 1801 to 1812. His wealth allowed him to indulge in philanthropy. He was a supporter and sponsor of the Royal Institution in London, he once lent them £1000 (about £100, 000 in modern value) and never asked for it back. He endowed the Fullerian chairs in chemistry and physiology, built an observatory in his estate at Brightling in Sussex, paid for the first lifeboat at Eastbourne and paid for a lighthouse to be built at Beachy Head. Much admired by the public, he was affectionately known as 'Mad Jack' Fuller.

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