John Fullwood F.R.S.A,
1855 - 1931 - Artist
Born Worcester Street Wolverhampton
Compiled by David Fullwood
John Fullwood, my third cousin four times
removed, was born in Wolverhampton in mid 19th century and
ultimately became a successful world renowned landscape
painter, etcher and illustrator.
Born in the first quarter of 1855 in Worcester Street
Wolverhampton, John was the son of Joseph Fullwood
(occupation cooper) and Mary Ann Fullwood (nee Gaunt).
Two views of
Worcester Street Wolverhampton.
|John first appears aged 6 in the 1861 Wolverhampton
census living at 68 Worcester Street in the St Mark's ward
area of Wolverhampton along with his parents Joseph, Mary
and eight other siblings (Jane, William, Joseph, Albert,
Alfred, Henry, Mary and Emily). John's families ancestral
roots originate from the Sedgley branch of Fullwood's who
appear in that parish in 1533. John's great granduncle and
my x5 Great Grandfather is Daniel Fullwood b.1740.
Fullwood b.1850, the brother of John Fullwood.
|To date I have been unable to obtain a painting or
photograph of John Fullwood but there is a close resemblance
in the form of a photograph (shown above) of John's brother
Henry who emigrated to Melbourne, Australia in 1883 and saw
the effects of the Krakatoa explosion during his journey.
Photograph kindly provided by Henry's great granddaughter
Anne Robertson nee Fullwood.
By 1871, at the next census, John has moved to the All
Saints ward of Birmingham living at 55 George Street and
shown as "unmarried" living with his older brother William
Fullwood and his wife Ann Elizabeth Fullwood.
Although John is aged 16 at this point his occupation is
described as a "Chase & Embosser". It doesn't state what
industry he was working in but it is most likely he is
working in the printing industry and this job probably gave
John the opportunity to use his etching and drawing skills.
William Fullwood's occupation, John's 26 year old brother,
is shown in the census as "electro-plate maker".
John Fullwood studied at Paris and Birmingham and his
paintings were displayed at the Royal Academy on 21
occasions and by the Royal Society of British Artists on 99
occasions. From about 1874 to 1900 he was based in
Birmingham living in Broad Street. He displayed no less than
67 paintings at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists
By 1892 newspapers were reporting John having a considerable
reputation as a landscape artist and confirmed he had
exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Grosvenor Gallery, the
New gallery and the Paris Salon.
The New Gallery at Walsall holds 43 John Fullwood art works:
The Wolverhampton Gallery has large holding of John Fullwood's works.
In the 1870s many of Wolverhampton's old buildings were
starting to disappear under a wave of modernisation and John
Fullwood faithfully recorded them before their demolition.
In 1880 some of these drawings were included in a set of
etchings in his book called "Remnants of old Wolverhampton
and its environs". The book is one of the few published
records of the City at this time and I have included some of
John's drawings below:
|The book was originally published in parts with
descriptive notes accompanying the etchings signed "E.B." -
the local architect, Edward Banks.
The first part was enthusiastically reviewed by the Art
Journal. The review may have been written by George Wallis,
a regular contributor and a Wulfrunian.
The review starts: "'Old Wolverhampton!' The sound is
suggestive; the 'remnants' of the old town are of deep
interest to the antiquary and the historian; many of them
have succumbed to time and others are in the course of rapid
decay; the 'effacing fingers' are leaving little of them but
their memory. It is a wise and patriotic scheme that
preserves their portraiture before they are gone."
The reviewer then suggests that other cities and boroughs
should do the same "although it may be that there are few
localities that yield so fruitful a harvest". The review
says that "the etchings display much artistic ability, skill
and judgement in selection" and that this is "an assemblage
of meritorious etchings by an artist who understands his
work and evidently loves it".
In 1881, the census states John aged 26 by this time is
still living in Birmingham at 195 Lea Bank Road with his
wife Kate aged 22 and his daughter Maybell Gaunt Fullwood
who is just 8 months old. John married Kate (nee Rooker) in
Birmingham during third quarter of 1877. John's occupation
for the first time in this year is described as a "Landscape
Extract from "The Cornishman & Cornish
Telegraph" dated 26th November, 1931.
|John was a former member of the Newlyn School of Art and
a resident for a number of years in Newlyn Cornwall. The
Newlyn School was an art colony of artists based in or near
Newlyn, a fishing village adjacent to Penzance, Cornwall,
from the 1880s until the early twentieth century.
A move to London for John then took place in 1891 where the
census for the North Ward of Richmond Surrey records him
living at Coombe House, Stanmore Road with his wife Kate and
daughter Maybell Gaunt Fullwood aged 10.
In the 1901 census, John aged 46, is living in Slinfold
Entire in Sussex with his wife Kate and daughter Maybell G.
Fullwood aged 20 (unmarried). Why John is living in Sussex
at this time is unknown but he could have joined up with an
artist group based in this area. However, Henry Fullwood,
John's brother, has a son called Edgar Fullwood who
emigrated with him to Australia. Edgar marries Edith Delves
in Melbourne and her father John came from Slinfold in
John lived in Sussex for 10 years and in 1907, John was
awarded a "Civil List" pension of £75 per annum, "in
consideration of his attainments as a painter and an etcher,
of his impaired health, and straitened circumstances".
He also had a house at Twickenham and considered the display
of his paintings in major London galleries as the most
important part of his career. By 1911 John and his wife Kate
are living in Sunbury on Thames.
From The Times newspaper, 14th November, 1931.
|John Fullwood sadly died intestate at Twickenham London
on 9th September, 1931, at the age of 76. His gross estate
was valued at £1395 and net became £376 with letters of
administration granted to his widow Mrs Kate Fullwood. He
was a member of the Royal Society of British Artists and one
of the oldest members of the Royal Birmingham Society of
Information has been compiled by: David Fullwood, with a
special thank you to a descendant of John Fullwood's - Mrs
Anne Robertson nee Fullwood from Australia.
As a member of John Fullwood's family, I would like to hear
from anyone who may have information related to my cousin's
life story. Please contact me on my email: