Charles Francis Fuller was born 9th Sept 1822 in Margate, Kent (according to his Merchant Seamans record). He was baptised in the Parish of St Johns, Margate 13th Oct 1822. His parents were given as Thomas and Mary Fuller of Margate and his fathers profession was listed as ‘Mariner’.
In 1841 the census shows the family at White Hart Court in Margate:
1. Thomas Fuller, age 45, Mariner
2. Mary Fuller, age 40
3. Elizabeth Fuller, age 20
4. Charles Fuller, age 15
5. Thomas Fuller, age 15
6. Richard Fuller, age 14
7. James Fuller, age 12
8. Robert Fuller, age 9
9. William Fuller, age 6
On October 22nd 1843 banns of Marriage were called at the Parish Church of Ash, Kent between “Charles Francis Fuller of this Parish, Bachelor and Mary Jane Spratt of this Parish, Spinster.”
I think Mary was from Ash and I found the following baptism in the Parish of Ash nr Sandwich, Kent:
June 7th 1818: Mary Jane, daughter of John and Mary Spratt, Abode: Ash, Fathers Profession: Labourer.
Charles and Mary went on to have the following children:
1. Henry Thomas Fuller, born 1843, Ash, Kent.
2. Mary Jane Fuller, born 1847, Thanet, Kent.
3. Thomas Charles Fuller, born 1850, Medway, Kent. Died 1896, buried in the Parish of St John, Thanet, October 6th 1896, age 46 years, abode: Thanet Union.
4. John C Fuller, born Margate c1850-1854 (according to census records).
5. Thomas Robert Fuller, born Margate c1852.
6. Robert J Fuller, born Margate c1852-1861 (I think 1856).
7. Charles Fuller, born Margate, c1857
In 1844 Charles Merchant Navy Record gave the following details:
No of 115,425
Charles Francis Fuller
Age in 1845: 23
Age when Ticketed: 22
Can write: Yes
Born at: Margate, Kent 9th Sept 1822
Height: 5ft 4
Marks: Pock Marked
Hair: Dark Brown
Eyes: Dark Blue
First went to sea as: a boy in the year 1834
Has served in the Royal Navy: No
Has been in Foreign Service: No
When unemployed resides at: Margate
Issued at: Ramsgate, 28th day of Dec 1844
(Date range 1845-1854, Series BT113, Piece number 58, Record set Merchant Navy Seamen, Category Education & work, Record collection Merchant navy & maritime, Collections from Great Britain.)
In the 1851 census the family were living at Princes Court, King St, Margate:
1. Chs Fns Fuller, Head, married, age 28, Mariner, born Margate, Kent.
2. Mary June Fuller, Wife, Married, age 28, Mariners Wife, born Ash, Kent. (NB I think her middle name was misspelled)
3. Henry Thoms Fuller, Son, age 7, Scholar, born Ash, Kent
4. Mary June Fuller, Daugh, age 4, at home, born Margate, Kent
5. Thomas Charles Fuller, Son, age 1, born Margate, Kent.
(1851 Census: HO 107/1629, Folio 359, Page 7, Parish of St John the Baptist, Margate, Kent.)
On the 6th January 1857 Charles was killed in the English Channel whilst on the Lugger the Victory, which went to save the American ship the Northern Belle. Nine men were lost when the Victory capsized:
From the Standard, Monday 12th Jan 1857:
The Victory Lugger, a well known boat to many Margate visitors, which was lost last Monday night, was worth from 300/. to 400/. The following is a list of the names of a portion of the crew: Issac Solly, aged 46; John Smith, aged 63; George Smith, aged 29 (father and son); William Emptage, aged 52; John Emptage, aged 29 (father and son); Charles Fuller, aged 34; Henry Paramor, aged 27; Frederick Batt, aged 22; Abraham Busbridge aged 35.
Subscriptions in aid of these poor men’s widows ad orphans are urgently solicited.
From the Kentish Gazette:
American ship ‘Northern Belle’ of 1,100 tons burthen, from New York, seen to be in eminent peril, and which afterwards stranded on the Foreness Rock, was caught in a fearful sea, and plunged down in an instant with all her crew. the suferers were:
John Smith, aged 63 years.
George Smith, aged 29
William Emptage, aged 52
John Emptage, aged 29
Issac Solly, aged 46
Abraham Bashbridge, aged 35
Charles Fuller, aged 34
Henry Paramor, aged 27
Frederick Batt, aged 22
“Such a calamity as this is not known to have occurred here before; may such never occur again. This tablet is also intended as a grateful tribute to the benevolence of persons, not only in this town and neighborhood, but in London and other distant places, who have so generously responded to the public appeal made in behalf of the widows and orphans, and have, by subscriptions, amounting to two thousand one hundred pounds, declared their sympathy with a class of men engaged in a most important but adventurous avocation. “Whoso is wise will ponder these things.”
The shipwreck of the Northern Belle and the loss of the Victory.
The Wrecking of the Northern Belle, an article by Mick Twyman published by the Margate Historical Society in December 2001.
A new plaque unveiled in tribute to the men who died on the Victory.
Article from the Isle of Thanet Gazette.
Dedication Service of the Victory Lugger Memorial Stone at Margate.
A letter regarding subscriptions to the widows and orphans affected by the sinking.
A Boatmans Tales, article about the sinking of the Northern Belle.
Newspaper article from The Perth Gazette and Independent Journal of Politics and News (WA : 1848 – 1864).
Margate, Kent genealogy and family history resources