Last updated 31 December, 2015
John 'Mad Jack' Fuller
Squire of Brightling, 1757-1834
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Many people first learn about John "Mad Jack" Fuller in association with the follies he built in and around Brightling, Sussex, England. These structures stand in testimony to Fuller's desire to be remembered long after his death.

But the follies are  not the most important legacy he created. He was a philanthropist, a patron of the arts and sciences and a founding member of the Royal Institution.

Jack Fuller  is immortalized in the lasting gifts he bestowed upon the community: the Fullerian Professorships,  the Eastbourne Lifeboat,  the barrel organ & bells at St Thomas a Becket Church and Bodiam Castle which he bought to save from demolition.

The Fullers of Sussex were wealthy ironmasters and owned vast amounts of property, including sugar plantations in Jamaica.

Fuller, being a Squire,  a Member of Parliament , and a captain in the Sussex Yeomanry Cavalry was well connected and is associated with many notable figures of his day.
Who was John Fuller?
Was he 'mad'?

John Fuller has been called eccentric, ebullient, and obstreperous.
Was he larger than life? Yes.  Was he mad? No.
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Fullerian Professors at the Royal Institution

Heard the term insulin, dinosaur, thesaurus, genetics or anorexia nervosa? You can thank a Fullerian Professor. Faraday's electric motor, Dewar's thermos flask and Roget's slide rule were also created by scientists who were funded through Fuller's gifts to the Royal Institution.
There are eight Nobel Prize winners in the ranks.  Although the majority have been English, Fullerian Professors have also come from Austria, Italy, France, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. See the full list here.
Since the early Nineteenth Century, John "Mad Jack" Fuller's philanthropy has enabled scientists to make significant contributions. Exceptional work has been made done such diverse fields as invertebrate zoology, nanomagnetism, ophthamology, nutrition & food rationing, comparative psychology, and X rays.
Their work at the Royal Institution continues today. The Fullerian Professorships are arguably John Fuller's finest legacy.  His influence on scientific progress has lasted down the decades.