As always folks, family history is a fluid thing. It can change dramatically with the discovery of just one document! And thus – I must admit to a mistake.
It would seem that our John may have lived in much more comfortable circumstances than first thought with my discovery of his fathers will. Thomas Fuller was a Yoeman which essentially means that he was a commoner but held and farmed his own land. During this period (late 1500s – to mid 1600s) the size of the land holdings varied considerably, but he may have held as much as 100 acres. The family’s social standing was considered to be above that of peasant, but below castle royalty and gentry. John would still have worked hard on the family land, but the family would certainly have been able to afford better quality food, including meat.
When Thomas died in 1615 he bequeathed Forty Pounds to each of his sons John and James at age 20 years, and Twenty Pounds to each of his daughters – Mary, Ann, Suzan, Martha and Sarah at age 20 years. John was 25 at the time of his fathers death so would have been well established by the time of his marriage to Joan/Joane Moth on 10 Nov 1619. He would have been able to provide a comfortable home for his wife and future children.
During the first years of Johns marriage to Joane the Mayflower left England arrived on the shores of America, Maffeo Barberini is elected as Pope Urbane VIII and St. Peters Bascilica at the Vatican is completed. John and Joan had 5 children and they were:
John – baptised 20 Oct 1520, Nicholas – 1625-1625, Edward 1631 – 1638, Joan 1633 – 1681, and Elizabeth b. 1640, and of course with all the years standing out as gaps between the children their were probably others born to the couple.
Yoeman Living Conditions: http://www.living-in-the-past.com/Icrannogwebpage2.html