Last updated 18 February, 2014
John 'Mad Jack' Fuller
Squire of Brightling, 1757-1834
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Many people first hear about John "Mad Jack" Fuller in association with  the follies he built in and around Brightling, Sussex, England. These structures  stand monument to his burning desire to be remembered long after his death.

But this is 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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The Column House, Desert de Retz

Copyright ©  Ronald W. Kenyon
Used with permission.
Between 1774 and 1789 Monville designed and constructed his folly garden the Desert de Retz  at Chambourcy, France.

Find out more about what Monville and Fuller had in common here.