Fulford, Francis (DNB00)

FULFORD, FRANCIS, D.D. (1803–1868), bishop of Montreal, second son of Baldwin Fulford of Fulford Magna, Devonshire, by Anna Maria, eldest daughter of William Adams, M.P. for Totnes, was born at Sidmouth 3 June 1803, and baptised at Dunsford, 14 Oct. 1804. He was educated at Tiverton grammar school, whence he matriculated at Oxford from Exeter College 1 Feb. 1821, and was elected a fellow of his college 30 June 1824, but vacated his fellowship 18 Oct. 1830 by marrying Mary, eldest daughter of Andrew Berkeley Drummond of Cadlands, Hampshire. Fulford proceeded B.A. in 1827, and M.A. 1838, and was created an honorary D.D. 6 July 1850. He was ordained a deacon in 1826, and became curate of Holne, Devonshire, afterwards removing to the curacy of Fawley. The Duke of Rutland instituted him to the rectory of Trowbridge, Wiltshire, in 1832, where he resided for ten years, and as a justice of the peace as well as a clergyman commanded respect and conciliated goodwill. In 1842 he accepted the rectory of Croydon, Cambridgeshire, which he held until 1845, when he was nominated by Earl Howe as minister of Curzon Chapel, Mayfair, London. On the projection of the ‘Colonial Church Chronicle and Missionary Journal’ in 1848 he was chosen editor, and in this way acquired a knowledge of the condition of the colonial church. On 19 July 1850 he was gazetted the first bishop of the new diocese of Montreal, Canada, and consecrated in Westminster Abbey on 25 July. He landed at St. John's on 12 Sept. and was enthroned in Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal, on 15 Sept. In the following month he was actively at work, and the church society of the diocese of Montreal was organised. On 20 Jan. 1852 the primary visitation was held, when he won great respect from all parties by his declaration that the church of England in Canada, politically considered, ‘exists but as one of many religious bodies.’ Montreal was next mapped out into ecclesiastical boundaries, and each district thus divided was set apart as the conventional parish of the neighbouring church. The bishop cheerfully co-operated with all the societies that were established for benevolent, scientific, and philanthropic purposes, and wrote papers for, and delivered lectures at, mechanics' institutes and working men's clubs. On 21 May 1857 he laid the foundation-stone of his new cathedral, where on Advent Sunday, 1859, he preached the opening sermon. Unfortunately the great cost of this building involved the diocese in a heavy debt, the thought of which so preyed on the bishop's mind that he practised the utmost economy throughout the remaining years of his life in an endeavour to pay off the amount. On 9 July 1860 the queen caused letters patent to be issued promoting Fulford to the office of metropolitan of Canada and elevating the see of Montreal to the dignity of a metropolitical see, with the city of Montreal as the seat of that see, and on 10 Sept. in the following year the first provincial synod of the united church of England and Ireland in Canada was held at Montreal. It was chiefly on the representation of the synod of Canada that the Archbishop of Canterbury held the pan-anglican synod at Lambeth 24–27 Sept. 1867, on which occasion the Bishop of Montreal visited England and took part in the proceedings. He, however, seems on this journey to have overtaxed his strength, and never afterwards had good health. He died in the see-house, Montreal, 9 Sept. 1868, and was buried on 12 Sept., when the universal respect which his moderation had won for him was shown by the bell of the Roman catholic church being tolled as the funeral procession passed.

Fulford was the writer of the following works: 1. ‘A Sermon at the Visitation of Venerable L. Clarke, Archdeacon of Sarum,’ 1833. 2. ‘A Course of Plain Sermons on the Ministry, Doctrine, and Services of the Church of England,’ 2 vols. 1837–40. 3. ‘The Interpretation of Law and the Rule of Faith,’ an assize sermon, 1838. 4. ‘The Progress of the Reformation in England,’ 1841. 5. ‘A Pastoral Letter to the Clergy of the Diocese,’ 1851. 6. ‘An Address delivered in the Chapel of the General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States,’ 1852. 7. ‘A Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Diocese of Montreal,’ 1852. 8. ‘The Sermon at the Consecration of H. Potter to the Episcopate,’ 1854. 9. ‘Five Occasional Lectures delivered in Montreal,’ 1859. 10. ‘Sermons, Addresses, and Statistics of the Diocese of Montreal,’ 1865. Fulford's latest publication was ‘A Pan-Anglican Synod: a Sermon,’ 1867.

[Fennings Taylor's Last Three Bishops appointed by the Crown (1870), pp. 21–130, with portrait; Boase's Exeter College, pp. 125, 216; Illustrated London News, 3 Aug. 1850, p. 101, 24 Aug. p. 168, with portrait, 29 Nov. 1862, pp. 576, 587, with portrait, 26 Sept. 1868, p. 307; Morgan's Bibliotheca Canadensis, pp. 131–2.]

G. C. B.