Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Fulcher, George Williams

FULCHER, GEORGE WILLIAMS (1795–1855), poet and miscellaneous writer, born in 1795, carried on the business of a bookseller, stationer, and printer at Sudbury in Suffolk, where in 1825 he issued the first number of the ‘Sudbury Pocket Book,’ an annual which he continued to publish during his life, and to the pages of which, besides Fulcher himself, Bernard Barton, William and Mary Howitt, James Montgomery, and other less-known writers contributed. A selection from these contributions appeared under the title of ‘Fulcher's Poetical Miscellany’ in 1841, 12mo, reprinted in 1853. Fulcher also started in 1838 a monthly miscellany of prose and verse, entitled ‘Fulcher's Sudbury Journal,’ but this was not continued beyond the year. He made a courageous effort to treat pauperism poetically, publishing ‘The Village Paupers, and other Poems,’ London, 1845. ‘The Village Paupers’ is in the heroic couplet, and betrays in almost every line the influence of Crabbe and of Goldsmith's ‘Deserted Village.’ Of the miscellaneous poems ‘The Dying Child’ is the best. Fulcher also published ‘The Ladies' Memorandum Book and Poetical Miscellany,’ 1852 and following years; ‘The Farmer's Day-book,’ which reached a sixth edition in 1854, and he was engaged on a life of Gainsborough, a Sudbury man, at his death on 19 June 1855. This work, which represents much careful original research, and is written in a terse and scholarly style, was completed by his son, E. S. Fulcher, and published in London in 1856; a second edition appeared the same year. Fulcher was throughout life a diligent student, particularly of Crabbe and Cowper. Boswell's Johnson was also one of his favourite books. He was a practical botanist, and very sensitive to the beauties of nature. He took an active interest in local affairs, being one of the magistrates of the borough of Sudbury, president of the board of guardians, and several times mayor. He gave much to charities. He was buried in the churchyard of St. Gregory, Sudbury, the townspeople closing their shops, and the mayor, corporation, and magistrates of the borough following the bier.

[Gent. Mag. 1855, xliv. 213; Allibone's Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

J. M. R.