Edward Fuller


Edward Fuller (Redenhall, Norfolk, England; September 4, 1575 - Plymouth, Massachusetts, New England; April 10, 1620/21) was a passenger on the historic 1620 voyage of the Mayflower ship and a signatory to the Mayflower Compact, who died with his wife shortly after the passengers made landfall at their new settlement in Plymouth, Massachusetts.


Fuller was baptized in Redenhall, Norfolk, England, on September 4, 1575. [2] He and his brother Samuel Fuller (c. 1580-1633), also a passenger on the Mayflower, were the children of Robert Fuller, a butcher, and Robert's first wife, Sarah Dunkhorn (buried at Redenhall on July 1, 1584). [3] There is very little additional documentation extant on the life of Edward Fuller in England. [4] His father, who died in early 1614, left a will, dated May 19, 1613, in which Edward is said to receive some money as well as his father's home, an inheritance that would take place after the death of his stepmother Frances. [1] [4] [5]

Life in Leiden

The names of Edward Fuller and his brother Samuel Fuller appear in a record from Leiden, [6] Holland, but there is no other information about their life in Holland. [4] [7]

Trip to the New World

Edward Fuller boarded the Mayflower with his wife and son. He had two known sons, Mateo, born around 1605, and Samuel, born around 1608. [1] [4] William Bradford, writing in 1651, recorded the Mayflower passengers: "Edward Fuller, and his wife, and Samuel, their son." [8]

The Mayflower left Plymouth, England, on September 6/16, 1620. The small 100-foot ship carried 102 passengers and a crew of between 30 and 40 in extremely cramped conditions. By the second month, the ship was being hit by strong gales from the west, causing the ship's girders to shake badly. The caulking failed to keep the sea water out. And the passengers, even in their bunks, lay wet and sick. This, combined with the lack of adequate rations and unsanitary conditions for several months, contributed to the deaths of many, especially the majority of women and children. During the trip there were two deaths every month and almost half of the passengers perished in the cold, harsh and unfamiliar New England winter. [9]

On September 19, 1620, after about 3 months at sea, including a month of delays in England, they sighted land, which was Cape Cod Hook, now called Provincetown Harbor. After several days of trying to get south to their planned destination of the Virginia Colony, strong winter seas forced them to return to the port of Cape Cod Hook, where they anchored on November 21. Edward Fuller was a signatory to the Mayflower Agreement on November 21, 1620, along with his brother Samuel Fuller. [9] [10] [11]

In the Plymouth Colony

This family's recollection of Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford in 1651 reads: "Edward Fuller and his wife died shortly after reaching land, but their son Samuell lives, is married and has 4 or more children. [12] After the death of Edward Fuller and his wife, their son Samuel and daughter Alice, who were then approximately twelve years and one month respectively, were brought to the home of their uncle, Dr. Samuel Fuller. [1]


Edward Fuller and his wife died, according to Bradford, sometime after the Plymouth settlement was established, probably between January 11, 1621 and March, but the exact date was not recorded. They were interred at Coles Hill Cemetery in Plymouth, possibly in nameless graves, as were many of those who died that winter. They are commemorated in the Pilgrim's Tomb on Coles Hill, as "Edward Fuller and his wife." [13]


Edward Fuller was married in England sometime before 1605 and his wife's first and maiden name are unknown. [14] [15] [16] [17] His two sons were born in England:

Matthew Fuller was born around 1605 and died in 1678 in Barnstable. He married Frances Hyde around 1630 and they had five children. He came to Plymouth Colony almost twenty years after his parents and brother Samuel, and he arrived before October 26, 1640. He first lived in Plymouth and moved to Barnstable after 1648. He was a doctor, a militia lieutenant, and a leader of the colony. In 1671, Captain Matthew Fuller was added to the Council of War. [4] [18]

Samuel Fuller was born around 1608. Upon the death of his parents, he came under the care of his uncle, Samuel Fuller, probably in early 1621. In the 1623 Land Division, he was listed as "Samuell Fuller Junior" and in the 1627 Cattle Division he was listed as "Samuell Fuller Junior" with his uncle Samuel Fuller. He became a free man in 1634 and married Jane Lathropp, daughter of the prominent Reverend John Lothropp, on April 5/8, 1635 in Scituate. They had nine children, although several died young. He moved to Barnstable in August 1641 and died there on October 31, 1683. [4] [7] [19]


  1. Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and Her Passengers (Indiana: Xlibris Corp., copyright 2006 Caleb Johnson), p. 144.
  2. ^ MacGunnigle, Bruce Campbell (2006), Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Volume Four (3rd edition): "Family of Edward Fuller"; General Society of Mayflower Descendants, pp 1 and 3.
  3. ^ MacGunnigle, Op. cit., pg 1.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f A genealogical profile of Edward Fuller, (a collaboration of Plimoth Plantation and New England Historic Genealogical Society. Retrieved 2013) Archived 2 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ MacGunnigle, Op. cit., pg 1.
  6. ^ Leiden Judicial Archives 79, L, Folio 172 verso.
  7. ^ Jump up to:a b Robert Charles Anderson, Pilgrim Village Family Sketch: Edward Fuller (a collaboration between American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society) Archived 13 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Plymouth Colony: Its History and People, 1620-1691 (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1986), p. 406
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b Stratton, p. 413
  10. ^ Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and Her Passengers(Indiana: Xlibris Corp., copyright 2006 Caleb Johnson), pp. 144, 147
  11. ^ George Ernest Bowman, The Mayflower Compact and its signers, (Boston: Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1920), Photocopies of the 1622, 1646 and 1669 versions of the document, pp. 7-19.
  12. ^ Stratton, p. 409
  13. ^ Memorial of Edward Fuller
  14. ^ https://mayflowerhistory.com/fuller-edward/.
  15. ^ https://www.plimoth.org/media/pdf/fuller_edward.pdf
  16. ^ Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and Her Passengers (Indiana: Xlibris Corp., copyright 2006 Caleb Johnson), p. 144.
  17. ^ https://www.americanancestors.org/pilgrim-families-edward-fuller/
  18. ^ Stratton, pp. 103, 294-295
  19. ^ Caleb H. Johnson, The Mayflower and Her Passengers (Indiana: Xlibris Corp., copyright 2006 Caleb Johnson), p. 145.