Edward Fuller Colony - Fuller Signs Mayflower Compact, 1620

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About Edward Fuller:

Edward Fuller (1575 – winter of 1620/21) was a passenger on the historic 1620 voyage of the ship Mayflower. He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact and perished with his wife soon after the passengers came ashore to their new settlement at Plymouth.

Early life

Fuller was baptized at Redenhall, County Norfolk, England, on September 4, 1575. He and his brother Samuel Fuller (c. 1580–1633), also a Mayflower passenger, were the sons of Robert Fuller, a butcher, and apparently of Robert's first wife Sarah Dunkhorn (she was buried at Redenhall on July 1, 1584). There is very little additional existing documentation on the life of Edward Fuller in England. His father, who died by early 1614, left a will, dated May 19, 1613, in which Edward is named as receiving some moniEdward Fuller boarded the Mayflower with a wife Ann Hopkins (1581-1621). He had two known children, Matthew, born about 1605, and Samuel, born about 1608. William Bradford, writing in 1651, recorded Mayflower passengers: “Edward Fuller, and his wife, and Samuell, their sonne.”

The Mayflower departed from Plymouth, England on September 6/16, 1620. The small, 100-foot ship had 102 passengers and a crew of about 30-40 in extremely cramped conditions. By the second month out, the ship was being buffeted by strong westerly gales, causing the ship‘s timbers to be badly shaken. Caulking failed to keep out sea water. And passengers, even in their berths, lay wet and ill. This, combined with a lack of proper rations and unsanitary conditions for several months, contributed to death for many, especially the majority of women and children. During the voyage there were two deaths, a crew member and a passenger, but the worst was yet to come when, after arriving at their destination, in the space of several months almost half the passengers perished in the cold, harsh, unfamiliar New England winter.

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