Harriet who?

On 1 March 1797 Alexander Falconar wrote in his diary “Harriet about this time engaged herself to Fullerton”. Later, on 3 April 1798 he wrote”young Fullerton born”. From this we can work out that the Fullerton she married was Robert Fullerton, who later became Governor of Penang.  The son was William Elphinstone Fullerton.

Harriet died in Penang, and is buried in St Georges church there. On the 200th anniversary of the church (6 October 2001), the New Straits Times printed the following:

“An interesting story which occurred around that time was that Harriet Fullerton, then wife of the governor, was so mean to her workers that they vowed not to leave her soul in peace after she died. Her husband was so scared that a mock funeral was performed in a cemetery while a secret service was held in the church where her body was buried in a hole in the chancel floor in the form of a black marble slab”

However, we do not know her maiden name, or her connection with Alexander Falconar – Can anybody help?



About Joanne Lamb

I live in a Victorian house in Edinburgh, and started to investigate its history - I then got hooked, and investigated the whole street! the result was a book, which you can read about on my website, www.dcedin.co.uk. I'd love to hear from other people who are interested in local history
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21 Responses to Harriet who?

  1. Ian says:

    Hi, I am researching on Straits Settlement governors. Do you have any idea where Robert Fullerton was buried?

    • Joanne Lamb says:

      Hi Ian

      Scotlands People have the following record of his will:


      Note that the date is the date of the entry, not his death. The last number is the reference number of the will.

      If I find out any more, I’ll post it


  2. Ian says:

    thanks joanne!

  3. Chenda says:

    Joanne, Harriet was a daughter of Alexander Davidson & Elizabeth Pigou. My Macdonald tree states she was born 16 Oct 1775, but I didn’t find a birth/baptism for her in the British Library, according to this same tree she died 28 June 1839.

  4. Chenda says:

    thought – if Harriet died in 1839 the paper can’t be right as Robert was already dead – do you have a death date for her?

  5. Joanne Lamb says:

    Thanks Chenda – I’ve got quite lot of information on Robert Fullerton (blog coming soon), so I’m delighted to make the connection. I think that Harriet died in 1829 – perhaps a mistake in the Macdonald tree. I will be adding Robert to the database soon and will add a note about her death

  6. Winson Saw says:

    Hi Joanne,

    It’s interesting to see a biography of Robert Fullerton the governor here in Penang before.He was buried in London.I have some information about his descendants :-

    Robert Fullerton,Governor of Penang,Malaysia from(1824-1828).His parents was Rev.William Fullerton, Minister of St. Quivox, Ayrshire & Frances, daughter of Stewart of Reece,
    Renfrewshire.He was first Straits Settlements Governor and was based in Penang.He was born in 1773,Edinburgh,Scotland.He died in 1831,London,England.He married to Harriet Davidson.His issue – i)William Robert Elphinstone Fullerton married to Letitia Ogilvie.His issue – ai)Elizabeth Fanny Fullerton(1840-1894). aii)Harriet Caroline Fullerton(1844-?) married to Martin Tinker Spiller.Their issue:- bi)Gilbert Elphinstone Harvey Spiller(1873-?)married Louise Alicia Rose Honora Spiller.His issue:- ci)Martin William Gilbert Fullerton Spiller(1902-?).

    I have two pictures of him.

    • Joanne Lamb says:

      Hi Winson

      Thanks for the information. Unfortunately you have repeated an error about Robert Fullerton’s parents. If you look at the blog titled Robert Fullerton, you will see that I propose a different father for him. Thanks for the information about his children.
      Bet wishes

      • Winson Saw says:

        Ok,thanks.By the way,are you a descendant of him?.I got one copy painting of him from NPG.I saw there is a decription at the below of that painting.It’s said – Robert Fullerton,Gov.Of Penang,son Of Rev.William Fullarton.

      • Joanne Lamb says:

        Hi Winson

        Thanksfor the info about NPG. No, I’m not a descendant. I gotinterestedin our street, and he is related by marriage to the uncle to one of the Victorian residents. Quite a tortuous route, but I love a mystery. Also, I lived in Penang when I was a child.

        Best wishes


        On Dec 17, 2012 08:00 “Joanne Lamb, Dalrymple Crescent,

      • Winson Saw says:

        Ok,thanks.It’s interesting to hear that you have lived here before.May I know what is your connection in Penang?.Are you live in Edinburgh now?.

        Wishing you a best wishes for the Christmas & Happy New Year 2013,

        Best wishes,
        Winson Saw

    • Ben Giffard says:

      Hello. Gilbert Elphinsonte Harvey Spiller died 5 Dec 1942. As far as i am aware they had just he one child, Martin W G F Spiller born 24 May 1902 and he died in 1984. I think this is a photo of him: http://chrischapmanphotography.co.uk/wildgoose/gal93.htm as I know MWGF Spiller lived at Eaglehurst, Chagford. As far as I’m aware MWGF Spiller did not marry. But I’d be interested to hear from any relations! Thanks, Ben

      • Joanne Lamb says:

        Thanks Ben, I’ll add these details to the database – soon, hopefully. As I said in my reply to Winson, it’s a bit far from my original interest, but the Flaconar diaries are fascinating!


      • Winson Saw says:

        Hello Ben Giffard and Joanne,

        Ok,thanks.Ben are you a descendant of Robert Fullerton?.

        Best regards,
        Winson Saw

    • Chenda Wakefield says:

      Hi Winson, did you know that Miranda Hart (actually Hart Dyke)’s great great grandmother was Georgina Isabella Russell Fullerton, granddaughter of Sir Robert Fullerton? I have a connection through the Davidson & Falconar names

  7. Ben Giffard says:

    Hi Winston, actually no I’m not. Martin Tinker Spiller 1839 – 1897 married Harriet Caroline Fullerton. My family comes from one of Martin’s sisters – Juliana Catherine who married Walter M. A. Douglas. I am told there were something like 22 Spiller siblings but I’ve only been able to identify a modest 16……. All the best, Ben

    • Chenda Wakefield says:

      Hi Ben, I have a photo of Martin W G F Spiller’s headstone in Chagford if you’d like a copy

      • Ben Giffard says:

        Hi Chenda – Yes – I’d love a copy that would be great. Not sure if you can add a photo in here. If not my address is ben.giffard@hotmail.com Many thanks! Can I ask how you come by it? Do you happen to live in Chagford or that part of the world?

  8. Winson Saw says:

    Harriet Fullerton died in 1830 Penang.I have a book about a short history Of St.George’s Church in Penang.

    Winson Saw

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