Fulton Data


Title: People of the Period

1154   12 July 1846-

Fulton (Sir Forrest). Q.C. Common Serjeant of London, was born July 12th 1846, and educated at Norwich Grammar School, and at London University (B.A 1867; LL.B 1873). He was called to the bar, Middle Temple, 1872, and a Q.C 1892; went S. E. Circuit; author of a Manual of Constitutional Histoiy; successively Treasury Counsel at Middlesex Sessions, and Senior Counsel to the Post Office and subsequently to the Treasury at the Central Criminal Court and to the Mint for County of Hertford; was Recorder of Maidstone June to August 1892, since when he has been Common Serjeant of London; is a Lieutenant for City of London, a Commissioner of the Central Criminal Court, and a Judge of the Mayor's Court of London. He sat as M. P. for North Div. of West Ham (C.) 1886-92, having been defeated there in Nov 1885; knighted 1892.


Title:  The Times


Sir,- Mr. Baumann's letter in your issue of May 20 drawing attention to the apparent effect of a recent speech of the Chief Secretary for Ireland as to giving the right of appeal to Quarter Sessions in every case under the Act raises a question of great importance.

I think, however, Mr. Balfour's meaning has been misunderstood, and all that he meant to imply was that there would be a right of appeal in every case upon points of law.

There is a two-fold appeal in summary cases in this country:-

(a). Upon a question of law, which is by way of "special case", the granting of which is in the discretion of the magistrate, who, however, can be compelled by mandamus of the High Court of Justice to state a case if he had improperly withheld one (see Summary Jurisdiction Act of 1879, sec. 33). The "special case", if granted, is argued before the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice.

(b). Upon questions of fact, which is an appeal to Quarter Sessions. This appeal is a re-hearing, and the appellant can call as many fresh witnesses as he pleases.

By the Summary Jurisdiction (Ireland) Act of 1851, sec. 24, there is no appeal on the facts to Quarter Sessions, unless the order of the Justices is for a penal or other sum, exceeding 20s., or if a sentence of imprisonment exceeding one month is passed.

The justification for the Crimes Bill which is now being so bitterly contested is the exceptional condition of demoralization into which that country has been permitted to lapse by reason of the weakness of successive Governments.

One most fertile source of mischief is the hateful and cruel system of boycotting, and probably in nine cases out of ten one month's imprisonment with hard labour would be an adequate punishment, at any rate for a first offence, and the same may be said, I think, for most of the offences punishable summarily under the Act.

It is quite incredible to suppose that in this exceptional Act the Government propose to give offenders a right of appeal upon questions of fact not accorded in ordinary cases.

The effect would be that there would be an appeal in every case, hosts of new witnesses would be sprung upon the Court of Quarter Sessions at the last moment, and it is very easy to see that past masters in the art of obstruction like the Irish Parliamentary party would soon succeed in making the Act unworkable,, and reducing it to a nullity.

It must not be forgotten that pending the hearing of the appeal the person convicted summarily is entitled to be at large, merely on entering into a recognizance with two sureties to pay the costs of the appeal (secs. 14 and 15 Vict., c. 92, sec. 24).

By all means let there be a right of appeal by special case to the Queen's Bench Division upon questions of law in every case, but the appeal to Quarter Sessions must only be in cases where the sentence exceeds one month's imprisonment with hard labour, as now provided by the Bill.

I have the very best reasons for knowing that the supporters of the Government will not tolerate any extension of the right of appeal now existing in Ireland upon questions of fact. Many of us think that there have been far too many concessions already, and it must not be supposed that because we are silent for the purpose of saving time we are not keenly watching the course of events.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,


House of Commons.

                             Title:  The Times  


Sir,- I cannot conceive how my excellent friend Mr. Howorth can have so far deceived himself as to believe that in the extraordinary views he holds on the above subject he is supported by the "great body of men on our benches", and that they share with him "a feeling of despondency and alarm."

Mr. Howorth's usual seat is above the gangway behind Ministers, a place generally supposed to be occupied by thick-and-thin supporters of the Government of the day, and I should be very much surprised to hear that any such feeling is common in that part of the House, and certainly below the gangway on the Government side the proposals of the Chancellor of the Exchequer have been most favourable received. The proposal to confer "free education" on the masses is likely to prove the greatest electioneering coup ever made by any Government - although, of course, it has not been introduced with any such object - and in town and country alike will be enthusiastically supported by the masses of the people.

The Opposition are completely paralyzed by this new and wise departure. If they obstruct the Education Bill, the Government will have the greatest cry of the century with which to go to the country, as we trust in that case they will do in July of the present year. If, on the other hand, they do not obstruct it, then it will become law on September 1, and the masses will thus have practical proof of the advantage of Unionist government, by saving from that day 2d. per week per child in the case of every boy or girl attending a public elementary school.

This is an argument which can be brought home to the least intelligent elector. We already pay largely for the education of the masses, and I fail to see anything revolutionary in this additional grant, or how it can possibly damage the voluntary schools. My own record is quite clear on this subject; I have always held that, having made education compulsory, it was inevitable that

sooner or later we must make it "free", and I know this to be the opinion of the immense majority of the Tory party in the House of Commons.

Speaking in my own constituency on September 24, 1885, immediately after the production of the "unauthorized programme" of Mr. Chamberlain, I said:-"Provided the denominational system be maintained, I am prepared to vote in favour of charging the school pence upon the Consolidated Fund, and so giving free education to the industrial classes." As it might prove highly mischievous if it were supposed that Mr. Howorth represented any general body of opinion amongst the Tory party in the House of Commons, I trust you will be able to find space for this protest, Your obedient servant,


Canton Club, April 25.

                   Title: The Times

1154  29 February 1892   LICENSED BEERHOUSES.


Sir,- My attention has been directed to a comment in your paper on a return recently laid on the table of the House showing the number of beerhouses licensed on or before May 1, 1869, which was moved for by me.

In your comment in your issue of the 20th inst., and your correction in that of to-day, you seem to miss the object and importance of the return.

I have frequently pointed out in the House that the vested interests of the holders of "on" beer licences were forgotten by temperance reformers, and I quoted the figures moved for in the return obtained by Mr. Locke in 1870, which gives the numbers thus:- Country, 45,203; London, 3,927; total, 49,130. The accuracy at the present time of this return was questioned, and I therefore moved for a new return giving the numbers at the present time.

My return, which is dated February 12, 1892, gives the total as 32,497.

All these houses are unaffected by the decision in "Sharp v. Wakefield," and in any scheme of licensing reform would, if suppressed, have to be paid for by the local authority.

I may add that the return is incomplete, some places having made no return, and, therefore, the number is necessarily somewhat in excess of that here given. I am, Sir, your obedient servant,


February 23.

                   Title: The Times


Mr. FULTON asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention had been called to the recent action of the Chief Constable of the borough of Ipswich in giving notice to Messrs. Bridges and Sons, auctioneers in the sale of certain publichouse property situate in Tacket-street, Ipswich, known as the Grapes, that the renewal of the licence for the said property would in due course be objected to, and requesting them to read his letter at the auction before inviting biddings; if he was aware that the Chief Constable also intimated to the auctioneers that should they refuse to read his letter he would cause a question to be asked in the auction room in order to direct attention to it; and if the Chief Constable in so interfering in the matter was acting within the scope of his legitimate authority.

Mr. MATTHEWS.- I am informed by the Chief Constable that the facts are as stated in the first paragraph of the question. The Chief Constable also informs me that prior to the auction a conversation took place between himself and the solicitors and auctioneers as to a question being asked in the auction room relative to the letter he had written, but that he did not attend the sale, nor did any one on his behalf interfere in the matter, the solicitors and auctioneers being left free to act according to their own judgment with respect to the letter. I am further informed by the Chief Constable that the last tenant of the house had become bankrupt, that the house had been closed for many months prior to the auction, and that, as there was a strong feeling that the number of licensed houses in the quarter of the town where this house was situated was in excess of the requirements of the inhabitants, the licensing justices were anxious that any purchaser of the house should have fair notice that the licence would be objected to. Under these circumstances I see no reason for questioning the action of the Chief Constable.

                   Title: The Times

1154  8 August 1892

Her Majesty has approved of the name of Mr. Forrest Fulton, LL.B., for appointment to the office of Common Serjeant in the City of London.

                   Title: The Times

1154  8 August 1892

Mr. Forrest Fulton, who is a graduate of the University of London, was called to the Bar at the Middle Temple in 1872, and has had, for many years past, a large practise at the Central Criminal Court, where he is the senior counsel to the Treasury. In 1885 he contested West Ham (Northern Division) in the Conservative interest against Mr. E. Rider Cook, but was beaten by 719 votes. In 1886 he won the seat against Mr. Cook by 727 votes, but he was defeated last month by Mr. Archibald Grove by the narrow majority of 31 votes.

Title: The Times

1154  1 March 1894   UNIFICATION OF LONDON.


Sir,- The modest and unpretending document which yesterday appeared in your columns, prepared by the London County Council, and containing the "broad outline of a scheme" for the amalgamation of the City and County of London, contains some very remarkable proposals.

Ex uno disce omnes. I would like, with your permission, to examine so much of the scheme as relates to the future administration of justice within the County of London, for it seems to me to illustrate in a very remarkable degree the folly, ignorance and recklessness of its authors.

At present the whole assize business, not merely of the County of London, but of a large and populous area lying outside it, is disposed of at the Central Criminal Court, it being necessary to hold a Court of Oyer and Terminer and general gaol delivery every month.

The bulk of the business is taken before the Recorder and Common Serjeant, who are Commissioners of Assize, a Judge of the High Court attending for a few days during each session to try cases of murder and manslaughter and some others.

The Recorder receives a salary of £4,000 a year, and both the Recorder and Common Serjeant are paid by the City.

The Recorder and Common Serjeant are also Judges of the Mayor's Court, one of the most useful Courts of record in the kingdom, having an unlimited  jurisdiction where the cause of action arises within the City, and a jurisdiction up to £50 outside "the square mile". It is not in the least like a county court, as counsel have exclusive audience, as in the High Court, and actions are tried before a jury of 12. A special jury can also be obtained. Since the appointment of my colleague, Sir Charles Hall, as Recorder of London the business of this Court has largely increased, both in quantity and quality, monthly sittings are held, lasting for two to three weeks, at which actions involving large amounts are daily tried, and the Court enjoys in a peculiar degree the confidence of the Bar and the public.

Of these two Courts the new municipality propose to wipe their hands altogether, and are generous enough to provide other employment for the Recorder and Common Serjeant, to which I will presently more specifically refer.

Paragraph 41 thus deals with the matter:-

"The manner of dealing with the Central Criminal Court and the Mayor's Court shall be determined by the Home Secretary, and meanwhile the present Assistant-Judge shall be sole Judge of the Mayor's Court."

This proposal is as ungrammatical as it is ridiculous, and apparently contemplates the appointment of Commissioners of Assize for the disposal of the business at the Central Criminal Court; in other words, imposes an additional tax on the community of at least £6,000 a year.

The framers of this precious scheme seem to be under the impression that the Central Criminal and the Mayor's Courts are one and the same; and that, whilst the Home Secretary is making up his mind and vainly endeavouring to induce a hard-hearted Chancellor of the Exchequer to find £6,000 a year as the salary of new Commissioners out of the public funds, all the assize business of the Central Criminal Court area is to be disposed of by the Assistant-Judge! It is true Mr. Roxburgh is not a Commissioner of Assize; but what are details to the London County Council! This must be their proposal, as otherwise the word meanwhile" in the paragraph has no meaning, and the poor prisoners could not be tried at all.

It is pleasant, however, to think that the Recorder and myself, although we are to cease to be Commissioners of Assize and Judges of the Mayor's Court, are not to be left without employment.

Sir Peter Edlin is to be deposed and Sir Charles Hall is to become chairman of the Quarter Sessions of the County of London. Poor Sir Peter!

The scheme does not go on to say whether the County Council in their munificence propose to continue to attach to the office of chairman of Quarter Sessions the splendid salary of £1,500 a year now received by Sir Peter Edlin, and it never seems to have occurred to them that Sir Charles Hall might not be prepared to sacrifice (inter alia) £4,000, even to oblige the County Council. I will not wrong that economical body by even contemplating for a moment the possibility that they do propose to pay their new chairman £4,000 a year.

Has not Mr Councillor Burns, M. P., publicly stated, within the sacred precincts of Spring-gardens, amidst the applause of his fellow councillors, that he had never yet met any one (no not even "honest John Burns") who was worth £500 a year!

Sir Peter Edlin may console himself by thinking he is to have a comrade in misfortune, the Common Serjeant, who is to be soothed with the title of "Deputy Recorder".

Hitherto the deputy-chairman of the London Quarter Sessions has been remunerated at the rate of five guineas a day when it is necessary for him to sit; may I ask if it is probable Sir Peter and myself will get any more?

It seems to have escaped the astute minds of those who are responsible for this wonderful scheme that I hold my appointment direct from the Crown, by whom I was appointed to the office of Common Serjeant (described as an ancient office in 1312) and constituted thereby a Judge of Assize and Judge of the Mayor's Court; and that it was for this honourable position I gave up a lucrative practice at the Bar, including the appointment of Senior Counsel to the Treasury at the Central Criminal Court, worth £1,000 a year; and that not even to oblige Mr. Harrison or Mr. Burns could I consent to spend the rest of my life in trying petty larcenies and indecent assaults in the Second Court at Clerkenwell or Newington. The insult offered to Sir Peter Edlin by this scheme is as studied as it is undeserved, and is of a piece with the whole treatment of this distinguished Judge by the London County Council. Sir Peter was constituted by statute first chairman of the London Quarter Sessions, and entered upon his duties as such on January 1, 1889; he was then past 70 years of age and was unable to retire as he was not entitled to a pension, and had been Assistant Judge for 15 years previously.

His work was increased by at least one-third, and the whole business of the Court of Assessment Sessions for London thrown upon his shoulders; and yet his reforming and righteous body have steadily refused to give him one farthing  extra remuneration! Now they propose to add insult to injury, and allow him to spend his declining years, in company with myself, in the pleasing occupation to which I have already referred.

I hope, Sir, with your permission, to consider in your columns other parts of this remarkable and to me fascinating, document, on some future occasion; but for the present, I fear I have already trespassed at too great length upon your space, I am, Sir, yours faithfully,


Carlton Club, Feb.28.

                   Title: The Times

1154   8 November 1890 



Sir,- I should like to be permitted to add a word or two to the letter appearing in your issue this morning upon the subject of the salary appertaining to the office of Chairman of the Quarter Sessions of the County of London. I have the distinct authority of Mr. Ritchie for saying that it was never for a moment contemplated that the salary attaching to the new office would be the same as that formerly payable to the Assistant Judge; on the contrary, the Act specifically sets out £1,500 as a minimum. The salary of £1,500 a year, attached to the old office of Assistant Judge had long been regarded by the profession as a public scandal, and many years ago, during the time Sir W. Harcourt was Home Secretary, the magistrates of the county of Middlesex unanimously petitioned for the raising of the salary to £2,000.

By the Local Government Act the duties of the office have been increased by one-third, as the chairman has now to try all prisoners and to dispose of all appeals in cases arising in that portion of the county of London which lies to the south of the Thames, and, furthermore, the Court of Assessment Sessions has been abolished and its jurisdiction transferred to the Quarter Sessions.

These enormous additional duties have been imposed upon the present chairman, Sir Peter Edlin (without his consent), by statute, and surely common sense and common honesty require that the office should be adequately remunerated, in the interest of the community who are so deeply concerned in the proper administration of justice in so important an area as the county of London.

I have an intimate acquaintance with the business of the Quarter Sessions, which now extends over nearly 20 years, and for some years I filled the responsible position of Treasury counsel there, and I say without the slightest hesitation that there is no more important judicial office in the kingdom (apart from that of a Judge of the High Court) than that now held by Sir P. Edlin.

The addition of these new and laborious duties falls with great force upon the present holder of the office, who has discharged judicial duties for upwards of 16 years with conspicuous ability and an earnest desire to do justice, and who has therefore some claim to generous treatment.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,


Carlton Club, Nov. 5.


Sir,- The letter of Mr. Howorth in your columns this morning is both opportune and important.

It sets out the views of a thoroughly representative supporter of the Government, exceptionally qualified to speak on behalf of Lancashire and the North of England. I have myself just completed a series of meetings in North West Ham, and thus had an excellent opportunity of gathering the views of a great metropolitan constituency, exceptionally democratic in its nature on the difficult problem of Irish Land Purchase. I find that there exists in my constituency a general opinion that the coming Session of Parliament should be exclusively devoted, so far as legislation is concerned, to the affairs of England and Scotland.

The measures which I find most urgently called for are the Tithe Bill, the Railway Rates Bill, and the Bill for the reform of local government, which latter will, we trust, settle incidentally the questions of local option and local taxation.

It should be remembered that many supporters of the Government gave their votes last session in favour of the amended Land Bill with great reluctance, and only in the belief that the revision of the judicial rents, therein contained, was intended to obviate the necessity of further dealing with the land question until the session of 1890.1 shall certainly not give my support to any scheme of land purchase for Ireland which, directly or indirectly, pledges the credit of the British taxpayer, unless it takes the safe and sensible shape of a moderate extension of the provisions of Lord Ashbourne's Act, and in my opinion no such measure is at present required. I have the best reason for knowing that any proposal to introduce a Land Purchase Bill during the coming Session of Parliament would be very coldly received below the gangway, the general opinion being, so far as I have been able to gather it, that it is the duty of the Government to deal promptly with obstruction in Parliament, to wipe off some of the arrears of English and Scottish legislation, to restore the authority of the Queen in Ireland, and to maintain "the union of the Unionist party."

Your obedient servant,


 Carlton Club, Nov.28.


Title: Men and Women of the Time: A Dictionary of Contemporaries

1154  1899

Fulton, Sir Forrest, QC., LL.B., Common Serjeant of London, was born at Ostend on July 12, 1846, and is the youngest son of the late Lieutenant-Colonel Fulton, K. H., and Fanny, daughter of John Sympson Jessopp. He was educated under Dr. Jessopp at Norwich Grammar School, and afterwards, in 1867, graduated B. A. in the University of London. He became LL. B. in 1870. Entering at the Middle Temple he became a Barrister in 1872. He is Counsel to the Treasury at the Middlesex Sessions and Central Criminal Court, Senior Counsel to the Post Office, and Counsel to the Mint, Hertfordshire. In 1886 he became M. P. for West Ham (North), and was defeated at the general election of 1892 by Mr. Archibald Grove, Liberal, who polled only thirty-two more votes. He read an address of welcome to the King of Denmark on the occasion of his visit to the city in 1892, and received the honour of knighthood. He has published a “Manual of Constitutional History.” Addresses: 27 Queen’s Gardens, Lancaster Gate, W.; and The Cottage, Sheringham, Norfolk

                   Title: London Gazette

1154   23 March 1900   Crown Office, March 22, 1900

THE Queen has been pleased, by Warrant under Her Majesty's Royal Sign Manual, dated the 21st March 1900, to appoint, in pursuance of 51 and 52 Vic., c.41, Sir Forrest Fulton, Q. C., to exercise as Recorder of the City of London all such judicial functions as have heretofore been exercised by Recorders of the said city.


Title: Post Office London Directory

1154  1902   London   Court

Fulton Sir Forrest K.C., LL.B. (Recorder of the City of London), The

Recorders chambers, Guildhall EC & 27 Queen's gardens, Lancaster Gate  W.

                   Title:  The Ladies' Who's Who

1154  1924

Fulton, Lady d. of J. B. Nicholson, Esq., m. 1875 Sir Forrest Fulton, K. C., J.P.

Res.: The Cottage, Sheringham.


Title: Blackwood Papers

1281  1853

 Letterbook of William Blackwood & Son, publishers

 Letter from James Fulton agriculturist

      Title: Short-Title Catalogue of Printed Books

1281   1853-1856

Fulton, James of Glasgow

Observations on Cheese-Making, showing that cheese of as good quality may be made in Scotland as in England, with hints for introducing improvement into the Scottish dairies.

The Sewerage Problem solved: or the history, philosophy, and importance of Liquid Manuring. Having reference to a plan (suitable to other places) for applying the sewage of the City of Glasgow to agricultural purposes. Also, the claim of the project as an investment for capital.


 Title: Papers of William Wilson & Son, Tartan Manufacturers, Bannockburn       

1301  1792-1828

letters of John Fulton of Kilmarnock, haberdasher and woollen-draper:

6663 (1792), 6714 (1810), 6730 (1813), 6737 (1814), 6745 (1815), 6760

(1816), 6768(1818), 6779(1819), 6791(1820), 6835 (1823), 6868 (1825),

6881 (1826), 6897 (1827), 6915 (1828)


Title: Gentleman's Magazine

1331  July 1854  Promotions & Preferments   June 19th.

William Young, Lewis M. Wilkins, Alexander Campbell, and Stephen Fulton esqs. to be Members of the Executive Council, and Lewis M. Wilkins to be clerk of the Executive Council, for Nova Scotia.


Title: Papers of William Wilson & Son, Tartan Manufactiirers, Bannockburn

1353  1792,  1795

letters of William Fulton of Kilmarnock, merchant

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