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Memorial Tiles: Thomas Richard Fuller

FULLER, Thomas R.: 1765 - 1813

Thomas Richard Fuller, the son of Richard Fuller and Jane Roe, was born in Ireland, May 19, 1765 and baptized at Christ Church Cork. He married his cousin Ann Fuller and they had one son together. Thomas Richard Fuller was a lieutenant in the 68th Regiment in 1787 and served for a time in the West Indies. He joined the 41st regiment with the rank of Captain in 1796. In 1799 when his regiment sailed on the Asia for Canada, Thomas was left with the sick in Ireland. Both his wife Ann and their infant son died before Thomas left for Canada in1801 with a detachment under his command.(1) Thomas married Mary O'Brian England (1782-1818) in Kingston, Upper Canada in 1806. Mary was a descendant of Archbishop Loftus, one of the founders of Trinity College, Dublin and the daughter of Poole H. England who fought with a British regiment during the American Revolution and was wounded in the sanguinary battle of Bunker Hill.(2) Thomas and Mary had one son, Thomas Brock Fuller, born July 16, 1810 at the garrison in Kingston. General Isaac Brock was godfather to Thomas Brock Fuller.(3)

Thomas Fuller who was promoted to Major in 1808, was garrisoned in Kingston where he and his wife Mary were active in the town’s social life. Thomas was one of the organizers of the First Kingston Assembly (a formal ball) held on December 31, 1811. In the spring of 1812, records show that he was in Kingston overseeing “the arming of the Royal George, the Moira and other Vessels upon the Lakes”(4) in preparation for an anticipated American naval attack.

At the outbreak of the War of 1812, Major Fuller’s regiment, the 41st, was the only full British regiment in Upper Canada and as such would bear the principal burden and earn the glory of repelling the initial American attacks. Under the command of General Isaac Brock, with the assistance of native allies, the 41st captured Detroit in August of 1812. The strength of the 41st was then shifted back to Niagara and formed the main element of the force that crushed the American invasion at the Battle of Queenston Heights in October 1812. Here, General Brock died in battle and little Thomas Brock Fuller lost his godfather.

Thomas Richard Fuller retired from his regiment due to ill health in September 1813 and died in Adolphustown later the same year. Although not a combat soldier, Major Fuller was well liked by the men of his regiment and was presented with the silver snuff box pictured below by the officers of the mess at the garrison in Kingston. The box bears the insignia of the 41st regiment.

Little Thomas Brock Fuller, was not yet four years old when his father died in 1813. After his mother’s death in 1818, Thomas Brock was adopted and raised by his mother’s sister, Margaret, who later became the wife of Reverend W. Leeming, Rector of Chippawa and Stamford. Thomas Brock Fuller (1810-1884) attended school in Niagara and York where he was a pupil of noted educator John Strachan, later Bishop Strachan. Thomas Brock studied divinity in Chambly, Quebec and was ordained an Anglican priest. In 1874 he became the first bishop of the newly formed diocese of Niagara.(5) He married Cynthia Street* (1818-1892) and they had nine children.

* Cynthia Street sponsored this tile in memory of her father-in-law, whom she never knew because he died before she was born.


1. Tod Molewsorth, History of the 41st regiment, 1799-1815 (pre-publication personal communication, 2/1/2012).

2. William A. Whitehead, The Early History of Perth Amboy New Jersey (New York: Appleton, 1856), pp. 141-143.

3. “Baptisms,” Anglican Parish Register (Kingston: Anglican Diocese Archives).

4. Richard A. Preston, Kingston Before the War of 1812 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1959), p. 271.

5. “The Right Rev. Thomas Brock Fuller, First Bishop of Niagara,” Ministries Online (at, accessed July 2011.