Page:Highways and Byways in Sussex.djvu/408

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380
CHAP.
OLD JACK FULLER

skull; a pair of goat's horns attached to a part of the cranium; a dirk or poniard, about half an inch of the blade of which had wholly resisted corrosion; several glazed and ornamental tiles of a square form; some bricks which had formed the fire hearth; several parts of shoes, or rather sandals, fitting low on the foot, one of which was apparently in an unfinished state, having a last remaining in it, all of them very broad at the toes; two earthern jars and a stone mug, all of very ancient shape, a piece of board exhibiting about thirty perforations, probably designed for keeping the lunar months, or some game or amusement; with many other antique relics."

Four miles west of Robertsbridge, up hill and down, is Brightling, whose Needle, standing on Brightling Down, 646 feet high, is visible from most of the eminences in this part of Sussex. The obelisk, together with the neighbouring observatory, was built on the site of an old beacon by the famous Jack Fuller—famous no longer, but in his day (he died in 1834 aged seventy-seven) a character both in London and in Sussex. He was big and bluff and wealthy and the squire of Rose Hill. He sat for Sussex from 1801 to 1812, and was once carried from the House by the Sergeant at Arms and his minions, for refusing to give way in a debate and calling the Speaker "the insignificant little fellow in a wig." His election cost him £20,000 plus £30,000 subscribed by the county. When Pitt offered him a peerage he said no: "I was born Jack Fuller and Jack Fuller I'll die." When he travelled from Rose Hill to London Mr. Fuller's progresses were almost regal. The coach was provisioned as if for arctic exploration and coachman and footmen alike were armed with swords and pistols. ("Honest Jack," as Mr. Lower remarks, put a small value upon the honesty of others.) Mr. Fuller had two hobbies, music and science. He founded the Fullerian professorships (which he called his two children), and contributed liberally to the Royal Institution; and his musical parties in London were famous. But whether it is true that when the Brightling choir dis-