Sunday, March 22, 2015
Saturday, March 07, 2015
by Gordon Campbell, Oxford University Press, 2013
"In 1777 John Fuller, who is popularly but inaccurately known as Mad Jack Fuller (he seems to have been wholly sane), inherited from his uncle the family estate of Rose Hill, in Brightling (Sussex). After a tumultuous political career, in the course of which he defended he living conditions of plantation slaves (he owned a plantation in Jamaica) and was ejected from the House of Commons for drunkenness, Fuller left parliament at the dissolution of 1812 and settled at Rose Hill, where he had already embarked on the construction of a memorable set of follies. He began with a Coadestone (i.e. ceramic) summer house with a ‘Tudor’ arch (restored in 1992) and went on to commission his own mausoleum (an 8-metre high pyramid in Brightling churchyard), a rotunda garden temple, an obelisk known as the Needle, a hermit’s tower and a building known as the Sugar Loaf (an 11-metre cone which alludes to his sugar plantation).
The 8-metre hermit’s tower was built with a view to accommodating an ornamental hermit, and Fuller is said to have advertised for a hermit with the usual conditions of service. Here, for example is the account in Follies: A National Trust Guide:
"The requirements were a little excessive: no shaving, no washing, no
cutting of hair and nails, no conversation with any outsider for a period
of seven years, after which the happy hermit would be made a Gentleman.
[No page numbers give in ebook version]
Shire Publications, 2012
This lavishly illustrated book is a super reference guide to Georgian landscape garden buildings. It is organized into chapters on various structural forms from arches to grottoes to temples and towers.
John Fuller’s Brightling follies and other buildings are not mentioned but it is easy to map out into which chapters they would appear.
Mausolea and Monuments
Temples and Pavilions
The suggestion that Fuller advertised for a hermit to live in the tower seems to have been made long after the fact, so I would not include the tower in the “Hermitages and Root Houses” chapter.
The Sugar Loaf, on the other hand, is not so easy to categorize. Legend has it that Fuller had this cone-shaped folly built to win a wager that he could see the spire of St. Giles, Dallington from his home, Rose Hill.
Yesterday morning, at eleven o’clock, the remains of this most distinguished musician and amiable man were removed from his late residence, in Berners-street, for interment in Westminster Abbey. The procession moved in the following order: - Two mutes in silk dresses. A state plume of ostrich feathers, with a page on each side. The hearse drawn by four horses decorated with ostrich feathers and velvet coverings. Two mourning coaches, drawn by four horses, each similarly caparisoned, containing the following private friends of the deceased, viz.: Colonel Croasdale, Dr. Cusak, Thomas Broadwood, Esq.[i], Valentine Blake, Esq.[ii], John Bernard Cramer, Esq.[iii], Vincent Novello, Esq.[iv], John Taylor, Esq. (late editor of the Sun)[v], the Alexander Parkinson, Esq. Then followed in the private carriages of John Fuller[vi], Esq., of Devonshire –place, and Thomas Broadwood, Esq. The funeral arrived at the southern entrance of the Abby by Dean’s-yard precisely at twelve o’clock, and was met at the entrance of the cloisters by the choristers of his Majesty’s Chapel Royal in their state dresses, and also by the choristers belonging to Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral, accompanied by the following eminent musical professors: -- Messrs. Braham[vii], Hawes[viii], Welch[ix], Goulden[x], J.O. Atkins[xi], Hobbes, Fitzwilliam, Leete [xii], Terrail[xiii], and Evans[xiv].
The coffin was then borne into the church by the western entrance, and place on trestles immediately under the organ left, surmounted by the plume of feathers. The funeral service was then read most impressively by Doctor Dakin[xv], the Precentor of Westminster Cathedral: after which Doctor Greene’s[xvi] beautiful anthem, of “Lord, let me know mine error,” was delightfully sung by Masters Morgan and Monro, of Westminster choir. The fine toned swell of the organ had a sublime and soul-thrilling effect. Every stall and seat in the great aisle of the church, as well as the organ loft, was crowded with a most respectable assemblage of persons, particularly ladies. The body was then removed (in the same order it entered) to the grave, situated in the cloisters on the south side of the Abbey, and deposited next the remains of Mr. Saloman[xvii], a long-esteemed friend of the deceased. Croft[xviii] and Purcell’s[xix] beautiful Burial Service was then chaunted with unusual effect, by Messrs. Braham, Hawes, Goulden, J.O. Atkins, Leete, Hobbes, Clarke, and Evans. The solemn reverberation of the harmony throughout the adjoining cloisters can be more easily imagined than described. The coffin was then lowered into the earth; it bore the following inscription:--“William Shield, Esq., died January 25th, 1829, aged 80.” Several theatrical and musical persons of eminence joined the mournful cavalcade on its way to the Abbey. The entire funeral (which was a private one) was conducted by Messrs. Reid of Goodge-street, Tottenham-court-road.
[i] Thomas Broadwood was a London piano manufacturer.
[ii] Sir John Valentine Blake, 12th Baronet (1780-1847)
[iii] Likely Johann Baptist Cramer (1771-1858) Celebrated pianist and singer; proprietor of J. B. Cramer & Co, 201 Regent Street London (musical instrument manufacturing, music-publishing and music-selling).
[iv] Vincent Novello (1781-1861) was a chorister, composer of sacred music and music publisher.
[v] John Taylor (1757-1832)
[vi] John “Mad Jack” Fuller (1757-1834) was a Sussex squire, MP, philanthropist, patron of arts and science and eccentric.
[vii] John Braham (1774-1856) was a famous tenor.
[viii] William Hawes (1785–1846) was a composer, master of the choristers at St Paul’s Cathedral and lay vicar at Westminster.
[ix] Mr. T. Welch (1780–1848), was a chorister at Wells Cathedral from the age of 6, was a chorister of Westminster Abbey, and sang at the coronation of George IV in 1821.
[x] Mr. Goulden was a counter-tenor of the Chapel Royal and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
[xi]J.O. Atkins member of the Western City Glee Club.
[xii] Robert Leete ( 1763-1836) was secretary to the Catch Club and Musical Director of the Glee Club and sang at the coronation of George IV in 1821.
[xiii] Mr. Terrail was a much sought after counter-tenor.
[xiv] Mr. Evans was a counter-tenor of the Chapel Royal.
[xv] Rev. Dr. Dakin was the precentor of Westminster Abbey and
[xvi] Maurice Greene (1695-1755) held the title of Composer to the Chapel Royal.
[xvii] Johann Peter Saloman (1745-1815) was a violinist, composer, conductor and musical impresario.
[xviii] Dr. William Croft (1678-1727) was a composer, Doctor of Music and Organist of the Chapel Royal.
[xix] Henry Purcell (1659-1695) was a composer of sacred works and an organist.