FULFORD, George (c.1619-85), of Toller Fratrum, Dorset.
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Family and Education
b. c.1619, 5th but 2nd surv. s. of Sir Francis Fulford† of Great Fulford, Dunsford, Devon by Elizabeth, da. and coh. of Bernard Samways of Toller Fratrum. educ. M. Temple 1640. m. 31 Aug. 1654 (with £2,300), Susanna, da. of John Browne† of Frampton, Dorset, s.p. suc. fa. in Dorset estates 1664.1
J.p. Dorset 1657-May 1670, June 1670-d., commr. for assessment Aug. 1660-80, pressing seamen 1665; freeman, Lymington 1667; dep. lt . Dorset 1672-d., commr. for recusants 1675, sheriff 1683-4.2
Fulford came from an old Devonshire family, probably resident at Great Fulford since the reign of Richard I. They first entered Parliament in 1553, but were not a regular parliamentary family. Fulford’s father acquired extensive property in Dorset by marriage and took up residence there, but sat for his native county in 1625, his only Parliament. A commissioner of array and a royalist sheriff during the Civil War, he later compounded for his estate. Fulford’s eldest brother was killed in the siege of Exeter in 1643, but he himself took no part in the Civil War and in 1654 married the daughter of a prominent Rumper. Nevertheless, the local Quakers denounced him as a Cavalier and a persecutor, and in 1660 he assisted the aged Sir John Strangways to proclaim the Restoration at Sherborne.3
Fulford succeeded in 1664 to his father’s Dorset estates, valued by the sequestrators at £600 p.a. His temporary removal from the commission of the peace in 1670 suggests that he was considered out of sympathy with the Conventicles Act, and he was mentioned as a possible country candidate for Dorset in 1675. He founded a school at Lymington following the regulations framed by his father-in-law for a school at Frampton, but when he stood for the borough in February 1678 he finished bottom of the poll, behind the Tory Sir Richard Knight and the Whig John Button. With Robert Coker he was commended by the Privy Council for his prompt action in mustering the militia during the Purbeck invasion alarm. A supporter of Thomas Strangways at county elections, he probably opposed exclusion. He was returned for Christchurch at the second general election of 1679 on the interest of the 2nd Earl of Clarendon (Henry Hyde), who had faith in his ‘good intentions to church and state’. In the second Exclusion Parliament he was appointed only to a committee for a naturalization bill. He was re-elected in 1681 after a contest with two exclusionists, but left no trace on the records of the Oxford Parliament. He died on 17 May 1685 and was buried at Toller Fratrum. His nephew Francis was returned for Callington in 1690 and 1698.4