Death of Percy Fulton

By Lyn Forde – President/Research Officer of St Marys & District Historical Society Inc.

Percy Claude Fulton passed away at the Nepean Cottage Hospital after a short illness of about three weeks in November 1912. He was the fifth son of William Charles (snr) & Annie Butler Chisholm. Percy was born in Penrith in February 1872. His father William was born at Castlereagh in November 1832 and married Annie at Sofala in July 1860. He was an Alderman of Penrith Council but had to retire owing to an affection of the eyes. He died in 1902 aged 69. His funeral was the largest seen in the district for many years, with friends coming from every part of the district, as well as from the metropolis and suburbs. His remains were encased in a polished cedar silver-mounted coffin and buried at St Stephens Anglican Church, Penrith. He was the son of John Walker Fulton & Elizabeth Cartwright and the grandson of Reverend Henry James Fulton and Ann Walker. His father John was born on Norfolk Island in 1803 and died in 1850 at Castlereagh.  His mother Elizabeth was born in 1804 in Cheshire, England and died at Castlereagh in 1890. The family were enterprising storekeepers carrying on a large business in Penrith and elsewhere. Percy’s brother William (Jnr) had a store in High Street in 1878 that was next to where his father William’s (snr) store at Cumberland House. Next door to him was Peter Smeaton’s boot and shoe store then Mr A Laing’s baker’s shop. Percy was a watchmaker and jeweller by trade and for years carried on that business successfully occupying part of the Emporium building. In August 1895 an advertisement in the Nepean Times read “Percy Fulton, Watchmaker and Jeweller, High Street, Penrith. (Next Door To Post-Office.) Watches, Clocks, Jewellery Etc., Repaired.  Also, a Good Stock of Jewellery Always on Hand”. He also turned his attention to other matters. Percy had a great love of sport and at one time was considered a good cricketer, and his kindly disposition and sympathy towards others won him hosts of friends. When the news of his death at the early age of 40 years became known, extensive regret was felt and sympathy with his death was faithfully forwarded from all quarters far and near.  Percy remained unmarried and leaves to mourn his loss is a mother and five siblings, William, Edgar, Clarrie (Penrith), Ernest (Wellington) and Austin (Carroll) about 20 miles out of Gundagai and one sister Mrs Steel (Sydney). Over five hundred persons in all, relatives and friends out of respect for the historic family of Fulton attended the funeral on Sunday afternoon last. Among the immense following familiar faces were recognised from the outlying districts of Luddenham, Mulgoa, Castlereagh, Emu and other parts and nearly all the prominent men of Penrith and St Marys. The cortege left the residence of Mrs Fulton (snr) in High Street a little after 4 o’clock. First the hearse with its dead occupant almost hidden with wreaths, then the mourning coaches carrying the mourners followed by hundreds of sympathising friends mentioned. As they neared the old church on the hill, the solemn tolling of its bell was the only sound that broke the silence crossing the overhead bridge and turning into the straight road to the cemetery, the funeral procession with its whole length crept on silently until the hearse reached the entrance into the Penrith General Cemetery at Kingswood NSW. The coffin containing the body of Percy was borne to the grave by his three brothers, Edgar, Ernest and Clarrie and his nephew W Dickenson. Mrs John Price and Son were trusted with the arrangement of the funeral. Photo of grave courtesy of Find a Grave website.

Sources: Nepean Times Advertisement 24th August 1895, 16 November 1912, 8th August 1836, Australian Royalty online, Ancestry.