Samuel Fuller, the son of Samuel Fuller and his third wife Bridget Lee, was born about 1629 in Plymouth, Mass. (birth year is based on age at death).
|Plaque showing location of land owned by Samuel's father on Leyden Street|
Samuel’s father was a surgeon, church deacon and was part of the Separatist group that lived in Leiden before coming to Plymouth on the Mayflower. I wrote about the senior Samuel here.
|Fuller Cradle at Pilgrim Hall in Plymouth|
Unfortunately, Samuel’s first wife's name is unknown. She is the mother of their son Samuel who was born about 1658, whom I descend from, and perhaps Elizabeth born circa 1663.
Samuel married, second, Elizabeth (Nichols) Bowen between 1663-67. They had five children: John b. about 1667, Experience b. about 1669, Hannah b. about 1671, Mercy b about 1672, and Isaac b. after 1 October 1674.
The 29 May 1670 list of Plymouth freemen includes Samuel Fuller.
Samuel served as the Teacher at the Middleborough Church and became the first minister there. He was ordained the year before his death, but had been preaching for years. There was some back and forth about whether he could remove from Plymouth to Middleborough to be the minister there, delaying his departure.
I have read (unsourced) that his house at Middleboro was burned down by Indians so he fled to Plymouth until it was safe to return.
At the October 1678 Court "In answare to the petition prefered to the court by Francis Combe, and likewise the Court being informed that Samuell Fuller is in a likelyhood to be procured to teach the word of Godd att Middleberry, they doe approve therof; and in case hee be obtained, and be likely to settle amongst them, doe hereby signify, that they will indeavor that the propriators of the lands within that townshipp may be healpfull towards his maintaince."
Plymouth Church Records, 19 Dec 1678:
"Our brother Mr. Samuel Fuller being called to preach at middleberry did aske counsell of the chh, which motion they tooke into serious consideration till the next chh-meeting, which was on Jan: 16 & then chh did unanimously advise & encourage him to attend preaching to them as oft as he could, but not yet to removed his family, but waite a while to see what further encouragement God might give for his more settled attendance upon that service there."
The 28 June 1677 list of proprietors of "Middleberry" includes Samuel Fuller of Plymouth.
On 1 June 1680 Samuel Fuller was chosen to be one of the "Celect Men" of Middleberry, showing he had finally become a citizen of the town.
Earlier, the town of Rehoboth in Bristol County was also looking for a minister. On 3 July 1663 the town of Rehoboth invited Samuel Fuller of Plymouth to live in that town (Leonard Bliss, History of Rehoboth, Boston, 1836).
Samuel was involved in a few land transactions that were recorded. Samuel Fuller of Plymouth on 21 November 1660 sold land to William Harlow.
A 2 May 1667 power of attorney by Elizabeth Fuller of Plymouth, sometime wife of Thomas Bowen, late of Rehoboth, deceased, and Samuel Fuller of Plymouth granted land in New London CT to brother-in-law John Prentice of New London. Bridget Fuller (Samuel’s mother) and Thomas Cushman were witnesses.
Samuel died 17 (gravestone) or 24 August (Plymouth Church records) 1695 at Middleborough. He is buried at Nemasket Hill Cemetery there. He was buried at the highest summit of the graveyard and his modern stone is inscribed:
Rev. Samuel Fuller "First Minister of the Church at Middleboro" died 17 August 1695, age 70 years
|Samuel's replacement stone Source: Findagrave.com|
A Mr. Joseph Beals presented the Mayflower Society with a photograph of the Samuel's original gravestone. The stone originally stood in the Nemasket Hill Cemetery, but was replaced some years since by a granite block. The old stone now rests in a closet of the present church edifice, built at the Green in 1828. A portion of the stone has been broken off, but the inscription can be readily completed.
(Her)e Lyes Buried Ye (Body) of Ye Revd Mr. (Sa)muel Fuller who (D)eparted this Life Augst Ye 17th in ye 71st Year of His Age He was Ye 1st Minister of Ye 1st Church of Christ in Middlegh
(From the Mayflower Descendant, Vol 8, p 256)
Does anyone know if the gravestone is still kept within the church?
|The later First Church Middleborough built in 1828 source: Recollecting Nemasket|
On 25 September 1695 Elizabeth Fuller, widow of Mr. Samuel Fuller, late of Middleborough, was appointed administratrix of his estate. On the same date John Nelson of Plymouth was appointed guardian of Isaac Fuller, son of Samuel.
On 1 Oct 1696 an agreement was made by the heirs of Samuel Fuller. It names widow Elizabeth Fuller, Samuel Fuller, Daniel Cole and wife Mercy, James Wood and wife Experience, Samuel Eaton and wife Elizabeth, Hannah Fuller, John Nelson as guardian to Isaac Fuller youngest son, and John Fuller. When the agreement was acknowledged 27 July 1696, John Nelson was one of those who acknowledged, which seems to indicate Isaac was still a minor.
Sources Not Listed Above:
Radasch, Katharine Warner and Radasch, Arthur Hitchcock, Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Volume 10, Family of Samuel Fuller, GSMD, 1996
Robert S. Wakefield, Samuel 2 Fuller of Plymouth and Middleborough, Mayflower Descendant, Vol 39, No. 1, January 1989