John Fullwood F.R.S.A, R.B.A, F.S.A
1855 - 1931 - Artist
Born Worcester Street Wolverhampton
Compiled by David Fullwood

John Fullwood, my third cousin four times removed, was born in Wolverhampton in mid 19th century and ultimately became a successful world renowned landscape painter, etcher and illustrator.

Born in the first quarter of 1855 in Worcester Street Wolverhampton, John was the son of Joseph Fullwood (occupation cooper) and Mary Ann Fullwood (nee Gaunt).


Two views of Worcester Street Wolverhampton.

John first appears aged 6 in the 1861 Wolverhampton census living at 68 Worcester Street in the St Mark's ward area of Wolverhampton along with his parents Joseph, Mary and eight other siblings (Jane, William, Joseph, Albert, Alfred, Henry, Mary and Emily). John's families ancestral roots originate from the Sedgley branch of Fullwood's who appear in that parish in 1533. John's great granduncle and my x5 Great Grandfather is Daniel Fullwood b.1740.

Henry Fullwood b.1850, the brother of John Fullwood.

To date I have been unable to obtain a painting or photograph of John Fullwood but there is a close resemblance in the form of a photograph (shown above) of John's brother Henry who emigrated to Melbourne, Australia in 1883 and saw the effects of the Krakatoa explosion during his journey. Photograph kindly provided by Henry's great granddaughter Anne Robertson nee Fullwood.

By 1871, at the next census, John has moved to the All Saints ward of Birmingham living at 55 George Street and shown as "unmarried" living with his older brother William Fullwood and his wife Ann Elizabeth Fullwood.

Although John is aged 16 at this point his occupation is described as a "Chase & Embosser". It doesn't state what industry he was working in but it is most likely he is working in the printing industry and this job probably gave John the opportunity to use his etching and drawing skills. William Fullwood's occupation, John's 26 year old brother, is shown in the census as "electro-plate maker".

John Fullwood studied at Paris and Birmingham and his paintings were displayed at the Royal Academy on 21 occasions and by the Royal Society of British Artists on 99 occasions. From about 1874 to 1900 he was based in Birmingham living in Broad Street. He displayed no less than 67 paintings at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists exhibitions.

By 1892 newspapers were reporting John having a considerable reputation as a landscape artist and confirmed he had exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Grosvenor Gallery, the New gallery and the Paris Salon.

The New Gallery at Walsall holds 43 John Fullwood art works:,+John&what=collection

The Wolverhampton Gallery has large holding of John Fullwood's works. See:

In the 1870s many of Wolverhampton's old buildings were starting to disappear under a wave of modernisation and John Fullwood faithfully recorded them before their demolition. In 1880 some of these drawings were included in a set of etchings in his book called "Remnants of old Wolverhampton and its environs". The book is one of the few published records of the City at this time and I have included some of John's drawings below:


The book was originally published in parts with descriptive notes accompanying the etchings signed "E.B." - the local architect, Edward Banks.

The first part was enthusiastically reviewed by the Art Journal. The review may have been written by George Wallis, a regular contributor and a Wulfrunian.

The review starts: "'Old Wolverhampton!' The sound is suggestive; the 'remnants' of the old town are of deep interest to the antiquary and the historian; many of them have succumbed to time and others are in the course of rapid decay; the 'effacing fingers' are leaving little of them but their memory. It is a wise and patriotic scheme that preserves their portraiture before they are gone."
The reviewer then suggests that other cities and boroughs should do the same "although it may be that there are few localities that yield so fruitful a harvest". The review says that "the etchings display much artistic ability, skill and judgement in selection" and that this is "an assemblage of meritorious etchings by an artist who understands his work and evidently loves it".

In 1881, the census states John aged 26 by this time is still living in Birmingham at 195 Lea Bank Road with his wife Kate aged 22 and his daughter Maybell Gaunt Fullwood who is just 8 months old. John married Kate (nee Rooker) in Birmingham during third quarter of 1877. John's occupation for the first time in this year is described as a "Landscape artist".

Extract from "The Cornishman & Cornish Telegraph" dated 26th November, 1931.

John was a former member of the Newlyn School of Art and a resident for a number of years in Newlyn Cornwall. The Newlyn School was an art colony of artists based in or near Newlyn, a fishing village adjacent to Penzance, Cornwall, from the 1880s until the early twentieth century.

A move to London for John then took place in 1891 where the census for the North Ward of Richmond Surrey records him living at Coombe House, Stanmore Road with his wife Kate and daughter Maybell Gaunt Fullwood aged 10.

In the 1901 census, John aged 46, is living in Slinfold Entire in Sussex with his wife Kate and daughter Maybell G. Fullwood aged 20 (unmarried). Why John is living in Sussex at this time is unknown but he could have joined up with an artist group based in this area. However, Henry Fullwood, John's brother, has a son called Edgar Fullwood who emigrated with him to Australia. Edgar marries Edith Delves in Melbourne and her father John came from Slinfold in Sussex.

John lived in Sussex for 10 years and in 1907, John was awarded a "Civil List" pension of £75 per annum, "in consideration of his attainments as a painter and an etcher, of his impaired health, and straitened circumstances".

He also had a house at Twickenham and considered the display of his paintings in major London galleries as the most important part of his career. By 1911 John and his wife Kate are living in Sunbury on Thames.

From The Times newspaper, 14th November, 1931.

John Fullwood sadly died intestate at Twickenham London on 9th September, 1931, at the age of 76. His gross estate was valued at £1395 and net became £376 with letters of administration granted to his widow Mrs Kate Fullwood. He was a member of the Royal Society of British Artists and one of the oldest members of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists.

Information has been compiled by: David Fullwood, with a special thank you to a descendant of John Fullwood's - Mrs Anne Robertson nee Fullwood from Australia.

As a member of John Fullwood's family, I would like to hear from anyone who may have information related to my cousin's life story. Please contact me on my email:

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