Matthew Fuller

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Capt. Matthew Fuller
Born in Redenhall Parish, in Harleston, Norfolk, Englandmap
Brother of
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Died in Barnstable, Massachusettsmap
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Matthew Fuller did not accompany his parents and brother on the Mayflower. He was likely older than his younger brother Samuel (b. about 1608) and may have stayed in England (with other children?) to continue his education. He is first mentioned in the New England Records in a deed October 1640 and it's believed that 1640 is the year of his arrival and that of his family. He was granted 10 acres in Plymouth in April, 1642, the same year he was a juryman and propounded Freeman. However, he did not take the Freeman's oath until 7 June 1653. He was appointed sergeant in the militia in 1643; Miles Standish was Captain. He removed to Barnstable from Plymouth by 1652, possibly as early as 1650.

A physician, he was named lieutenant of the military company of Barnstable at the General Court in Plymouth 5 Oct. 1652 and, in 1653, he represented Barnstable in the General Court. On 2 Oct. 1658 he was elected one of the Council of War and, in 1671, named it's chairman and one of the magistrates of the Colony. In the same year he was named lieutenant of the forces to be sent against the Saconet Indians. He was appointed surgeon of the forces of Plymouth colony 17 Dec. 1673; named Captain of the Plymouth forces in 1675 during King Philip's War.

He was the first regular physician at Barnstable and resided in it's northwest corner, in an area called Scorton Neck. He also owned land in Middleboro and Falmouth, grandted for services provided to the Colony. His will was dated 25 July 1678 and was proved 30 Oct. 1678. His estate was appraised on 22 Aug. 1676 at 1,667 pounds, 4, 6, a very large amount for the times. " Among items is the following: " Pearls, precious stones and diamonds, at a guess, 200 pounds." (From "Genealogy of Some of the Desc. of Capt. Matthew Fuller, " William Hyslop Fluller, 1914, pg. 12).

He is buried in the Lothrop Hill Cemetery in Barnstable, Barnstable County, Massachusetts.

Main Fuller Source:

Bruce Campbell MacGunnigle of Family of Edward Fuller. Mayflower Families

Through Five Generations series, Vol. 4. Plymouth, MA; General Society of

Mayflower Descendants, 1995. (also known as the "silver books" series.)

The Confusions that surround Capt. Matthew Fuller & the Fuller's in general.

1. The Mayflower Society does believe that Capt. Matthew's father was Edward Fuller who went over the Mayflower. The evidence for this was a letter made by Dr. Samuel Fuller (also of the Mayflower) to Matthew when he was still in England. Dr. Samuel Fuller helped support Matthew's education back in England. Dr. Samuel Fuller was a brother of Edward, and thus the letter indicates Dr. Samuel was an Uncle to Matthew Fuller. Matthew, himself, did not go over the Mayflower but came later.

2. We do not know for sure the last name of Capt. Matthew Fuller's wife, Frances and the exact birth dates of his children. It is so merky that some researchers wonder if all the children had the same mother.

3. Another confusion is Capt. Matthew Fuller's daughter, Elizabeth. Some researchers have confused her with the Elizabeth who m. Thomas Upson. It is believed by the Mayflower Society that our Elizabeth m. Moses Rowley and did not marry anybody else.

4. For researchers connection to the John Fuller/Mehitable Rowley connection, there is a dispute on 2 children who also married into the Rowley family. Several researchers have Deborah (m. John Rowley and Anne (m. Jonathan Rowley) as children of John and Mehitable. If you are connected to either Deborah or Anne you are still a Mayflower Descendant through Capt. Matthew Fuller's daughter Elizabeth, but may not be through John (father Samuel went over the Mayflower). The Mayflower Society believes Deborah and Anne may have come from another Fuller family that was in the area.

5. As far as the Mayflower Society knows, at least since 1995, (and anybody can tell me if this has changed since) there were only 2 children

of Edward Fuller. He could have had several wives but we only know about one that went with him in the Mayflower. We still do not know for sure what even her first name is. We only have possibles of what her name is apparently and I put those possibiles in my Summary.

For some reason, researchers have added another sibling to the mix. A

Hannah who was younger than Samuel based on the dates I saw. As far as I know, there was no such sibling who married a Lothrop. She could be connected to Robert Fuller's family because that usually is where the confusion is. He had big family and sometimes different branches get confused.

6. There were 5 Fuller's who went over the Mayflower. Dr. Samuel Fuller,

his brother Edward Fuller, Edward's wife and son Samfuel. There also was a woman Fuller who married a White. Researchers have tried to connect her with Dr. Samuel Fuller and Edward Fuller as a sister. It is believed she is connected to another Fuller Line, completely. I believe researcher, to this day, are not certain of her Fuller Line.
As per hand written account of Helen Portia McCaslin b. 5-14-1901, "Edward's oldest son Dr. Matthew Fuller, born and educated in England, came to America in 1640, bringing his wife Frances and three children. He bacame prominent in the Plymouth Colony, was madeSergeant of the famous military company under Captain Miles (should be spelled Myles)Standish 1643, and Lieutenant in 1654. He was elected Member of the Council of War in 1658, and became its Chairman in 1671. He was appointed Surgeon General in 1673 and served as Captain of the Plymouth forces during the King Phillips War in which his oldest son, Samuel was killed, March 25, 1676.
Captain Matthew Fuller was an honorable man, faithful in the performance of every duty of good understanding and sound judgement. Yet in his independent zeal he was sometimes indescrete in his language "saying many things which had better been unsaid". He died 1678, leaving large possessions. He married his first wife Frances in England. Married his second wife Hannah...."
In "Saints and Sinners" by George F. Willison, Reynal & Hitchcock, New York, 1945, Ch. XXI, page 364-365 it states, "Yet there was no denying the ground of the complaint. As the condition could no longer be ignored, the Saints took an unprecedented step, reversing a historic policy. The "true" church, they had always contended, was a purely voluntary fellowship, a free association of like-minded Christians, to which each contributed what he would or could. Abandoning this fundamental of their faith, they now made support of the church compulsory, a legal obligation upon all--one of the "tyrannies" they had found so intolerable in the Anglican church. Each town was ordered to appoint officers to rate the estates of all inhabitants for the new pulpit tax. This measure was greeted with much audible groaning and several vehement protests, DR. MATTHEW FULLER of Duxbury spoke the minds of many when he declared---for which he drew a 50s. fine--that surely the "Divill sat in the stern" when the General Court passed this "wicked" law establishing a virtual tithe system."

Capt. Matthew Fuller's Will

Transcribed from the Original Recrords BY GEORGE ERNEST BOWMAN MD 13:7

CAPT. MATTHEW FULLER died at Barnstable between 25 July, 1678, the day he made his will, and 22 August, 1678, the date of the inventory. The will and inventory are recorded in the Plymouth Colony Wills and Inventories, Volume III, Part II, Pages 127 - 129.


[3: 2: 127] The five and twentieth Day of July in the yeer of our Lord one thousand six hundred seaventy and eight; I Mathew ffuller of the Towne of Barnstable in the Collonie of New Plymouth; being sicke of body but of Good and prfect memory thankes be unto almighty God; and Calling to Remembrance the uncertaine state of this transitory life and that all fflesh must yeild unto Death when it shall please God to Call; Doe make Constitute and ordaine; and Declare this my last will and Testament, In manor and forme following; Revoakeing and Anulling by these prsents all and every Testament and Testaments will and wills heertofore by mee made and Declared either by word or writing; and this to be taken onely for my last will and Testament; and none other; and first being pen itent and sorry from the bottom of my hart for my sins past most humbly Desireing forgivenes for the same; I Give and Comitt my soule unto almighty God my Saviour and Redeemer, in whom and by the Merretts of Jesus Christ, I trust and be leive assuredly to be saved, and my body to be buried in such place, as my executors heerafter Named shall appoint; and Now for the settleing of my temporall estate; and such Goods Chattles and Debts as it hath pleased God farr above my Deserts to bestow on mee; I Doe order Give and Dispose the same in manor and forme following That is to say first I will That all those Debts and Dutyes as I ow in Right or Consience to any manor of prson or prsons whatsoever shalbe well and truely Contented, or ordained to be payed, within Convenient time after my Decease by my executors heerafter Named;

Item I Give and bequeath unto Shubeall Jones my Grand Child the Reputed son of Ralph Jones, the angle lott of Marsh meddow, which I formerly bought of his father Ralph Jones, after ffrancis my wifes Decease

I Give and bequeath the one halfe of all the Rest of my Lands & meadows I have in the Townshipp of Barnstable, or else where in America To my welbeloved son John ffuller; after ffrancis my wifes Decease

I Give and bequeath unto the Naturall sonnes of my son Samuell ffuller Deceased, Thomas ffuller Jabez ffuller Timothy ffuller Matthias ffuller, and Samuell ffuller, The other halfe of all the Lands and meddowes I have in the Townshipp of Barnstable or elsewhere in America; after my wifes Decease;

I Give and bequeath to Samuell ffuller the son of Samuell ffuller my Eldest son Deceased, my now Dwelling house with all the land and meadow belonging to the homsted where I now live; after my wifes Decease; and if it happen that hee should Die without Issue That then it shall Goe to the Rest of them bretheren that Doe survive Item It is my will that if my son John ffuller Die without Issue that then the lands and meddowes I have already Given to him Bethyah the wife of John ffuller shall enjoy the full benifitt; and use of them to her Dieing Day; and then to Goe to the Rest of my Children begotten of my owne body;

I Give and bequeath to my Daughter Mary Jones the wife of Ralph Jones Ten pounds in mony;

Item I Give and bequeath unto my Daughter Anne ffuller The now wife of Samuell ffuller ten pounds in mony;

Item I Give and bequeath unto my Daughter Elizabeth Rowley the wife of Moses Rowley ten pounds in mony;

Item I Give and bequeath unto Sarah Rowley the Daughter of Moses Rowley all my sheep; and by these prsents I Doe appoint Jedediah Jones to oversee the sheepp That they be Imployed wholly for the use of the said Sarah; Capt. Matthew Fuller's Will and Inventory 9

Item I Give and bequeath ten pounds to Jedediah Jones the son of Ralph Jones in mony;

Item I Give to every one of my Male Grandchildren halfe a Crown a peece in old England mony;

[p. 128] Item I Give to every one of my femall Grandchildren twelve pence a peece in old England mony; Item I Give to Ralfe Jones Samuell ffuller Junir: and Moses Rowley senir my sones in law five shillings apeece in mony;

Item I Give and bequeath unto my onely beloved son John ffuller twenty pounds in silver mony, and to bethya his wife twenty shillings in Gould;

I Give to Mary ffuller the late wife of my son Samuell ffuller Deceased five shillings in Mony;

I Give and bequeath unto Robert Marshall the Scotsman a peece of Cloth Intended to make mee a suite; off;

Item I Give to Jaser Tayler two Raysers;

Item I Give and bequeath to ffrancis my Deare and welbeloved wife; whoe by these prsents I Doe ordaine and Declare to be the sole executrix of this my last Will and Testament the use and Improvement of all my housing lands and Meddowes Dureing her Naturall life; as alsoe all my Moveables houshold stuffe Cattle horse kind swine; and whatsoever else Can be Named undisposed of to be att her Dispose for ever In witnes wherof I have heerunto sett my hand and seale the Day and yeer abovesaid

Signed and sealed Mathew ffuller and a seale in the prsence of Joseph Laythorpe John Hawes

Leift: Joseph Laythorp and John hawes made oath to the truth of the Will abovewritten: viz: That they Did see Capt: Mathew ffuller above said; signe and seale and Declare this aforsaid Will to be his last Will and Testament; before the Court holden att Plymouth the 30th of October 1678


  • 'Genealogy of Some Descendents of Captain Matthew Fuller, John Fuller of Newton, John Fuller of Lynn, John Fuller of Ipswich, Robert Fuller of Dorchester and Dedham'; compilied by Willaim Hyslop Fuller of Palmer, Mass published 1914.</ref>[1][2]
  • Otis, Amos. Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families, published online by The Generations Network, Inc., Provo, UT, 2005; original publisher: F.B. & F.P. Goss, Barnstable, Massachusetts, 1890.
  • p. 97, Plymouth Colony by Eugene Stratton:
"On 2 October 1658 Lt. Matthew Fuller, son of Mayflower passenger Edward Fuller, was fined fifty shillings for speaking reproachfully to the court and saying the law about maintenance of ministers 'was a wicked and devilish law, and that the divell satt att the sterne when it was enacted.'"
Note: he did not come on the Mayflower with his parents and brother, Samuel, but came over later. He appears on the list of those males who can bear arms at Plymouth in 1643.
  • General Society of Mayflower Descendants, "Mayflower Families Through Five Generations," Vol. 4, 2nd Ed., 1996.
  1. Source: #S44 Page:
  2. Source: #S1794

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