The surname of FULLER was an occupational name 'the fuller' a bleacher of cloth. The name was derived from the Old English word Fulur. The small villages of Europe or royal and noble households, even religious dwellings, gave rise to many family names which reflected the occupation or profession of the original bearer. Early records of the name mention Gilbert le Fuller, 1273 County Hertford. Ambrose le Fullur was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas Fuller (1608-61) was an English clergyman and antiquary, born in Northamptonshire. He studied at Cambridge, and became prebendary of Salisbury in 1631, and rector of Broadwindsor, Dorset in 1634. Just before the outbreak of the Civil War, he was appointed preacher to the Chapel Royal at the Savoy in London, and during the war he was chaplain to the royalist commander. After the war in 1649, he was given the curacy of Waltham Abbey. In 1660 he was appointed chaplain-extraordinary to Charles II. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another. A notable member of the name was Andrew Fuller (1754-1815) the English Baptist pastor, born in Wicken, Cambridgeshire. In 1792 he became the first secretary of the newly founded Baptist Missionary Society.
Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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