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Memoir of W. Bulmer, Esq.

305 MEMOIR OF WILLIAM BULMER, ESQ. to Messrs. Bogdell, ornamented with With a Portrait.

designs by the first artists of this coun

try. Mr. Nicol had previously enTHE THE name of BULMER is associated gaged the skilful talents of Mr. Wm. with all that is correct and beau.

Martin, of Birmingham, in cutting sets tiful in Typography. By him the art

of types, after approved models, in imiwas matured, and brought to its pre- tation of the sharp and fine letter used sent high state of perfection. In our by the French and Italian printers; last number it was our painful duty to which Mr. Nicol for a length of time record the death of this worthy indivi- caused to be carried on in his own dual: we must now be allowed to di- house. late on his merits as a printer some. Premises were then engaged in what at large.

Cleveland-row, St. James's, and the This celebrated typographer was a Shakspeare Press” was established native of Newcastle on Tyne, where under the firm of “W. Bulmer and he was apprenticed to Mr. Thompson, Co.” This establishment soon evinced in the Burnt House Entry, St. Nicho- how judicious a choice Mr. Nicol had las' Church-yard, from whom he re- made in Mr. Bulmer to raise the repuceived the first radiments of his art. tation of his favourite project. During his apprenticeship he form- This magnificent edition (says ed a friendship with Thomas Bewick, Dr. Dibdin), which is worthy of the the celebrated engraver on wood, which unrivalled compositions of our great lasted with great cordiality throughout Dramatic Bard, will remain as long life. It was their practice whilst youths as those compositions shall be admired, to visit together every morning a farm- an honourable testimony of the taste house at Elswick, a small village about and skill of the individuals who plantwo miles from Newcastle, and in- ned and conducted it to its completion. dulge in Goody Coxen's hot rye-cake The text was revised by G. Steevens and butter-milk, who used to prepare and Isaac Reed. Mr. Bulmer possessthese dainties for such of the News ed the proof sheets of the whole work, castle youths who were inclined to en. on which are many curious remarks by joy an early morning walk before the

Steevens, not always of the most cour. business of the day commenced. teous description; also some original

During the period of the joint ap. sonnets, a scene for a burlesque traprenticeships of these young aspirants gedy, some graphic sketches, &c.for fame,' Bulmer invariably took • The establishment of the Shakoff the first impressions of Bewick's

speare Press (continues Dr. Dibdin), blocks, at his master's printing-office at was unquestionably an honour both to Newcastle, where Bulmer printed the the founders in particular, and to the engraving of the Huntsman and old public at large. Our greatest poet, our Hound, which obtained for Bewick greatest painter, and two of our most the premium from the Society of Arts respectable publishers and printers, in London. Mr. Bulmer afterwards were all embarked in one common suggested to his friend Bewick an im.

cause; were generally and jointly amalprovement, of which he availed him- gamated, as it were, in one common self, of lowering the surfaces of the white-hot crucible; from which issued blocks where the distance or lighter 90 pure and brilliant a flame or fusion, parts of the engraving were to be that it gladdened all eyes and hearts, shown to perfection.

and threw a new and revivifying lustre When Mr. Bulmer first came to on the threefold arts of painting, enLondon, his services were engaged by graving, and printing. The nation apMr. John Bell, who was then pub- peared to be not less struck than astolishing his beautiful miniature editions nished; and our venerable Monarch of the Poets, Shakspeare, &c. About George the Third, felt anxious not only 1787, an accidental circumstance in. to give such a magnificent establishtroduced Mr. Bulmer to the late Geo. ment every degree of royal support, Nicol, esq. bookseller to King George but, infecied with the matrix and III. who was then considering the puncheon mania, he had even conbest method of carrying into effect the emplated the creation of a royal printprojected magnificent national edition ing office within the walls of his own of Shakspeare, which he had suggested palace!" GENT. MAG. Ocloler, 1830.

Memoir of W. Bulmer, Esq.

[Oct. One of his Majesty's principal hopės rious beauties of PRINTING, Typeand wishes was, for his own country FOUNDING, ENGRAVING, and Paperto rival the celebrity of Paraia in the MAKING; as well with a view to ascer. productions of Bodoni; and Dr. Dib- tain the near approach to perfection din pleasantly alludes to what he calls which those arts have attained in this the 'Bodoni 'Hum, -of “his Majesty country, as to invite a fair competition being completely and joyfully taken in, with the best Typographical producby bestowing upon the efforts of Mr. tions of other nations. How far the Bulmer's press, that eulogy which he different artists, who have contributed had supposed was due exclusively to their exertions to this great object, Bodoni's.”

have succeeded in the attempt, the The first number of the Shakspeare public will now be fully able to judge. appeared in January 1791; and at once Much pains have been bestowed on established Mr. Bulmer's fame as the

the present publication, to render it a first practical printer of the day, complete Specimen of the Arts of

Dr. Dibdin has giren (Bibliogra- Type and Block-printing. phical Decameron, ii. 384-395,) a * The whole of the Types wiih curious and copious list of the “ Books which this work has been printed, are printed at the Shakspeare Press," with executed by Mr. William Martin, in judicious remarks, to which we must the house of my friend Mr. George refer our readers ; contenting ourselves Nicol, whose unceasing endeavours to with noticing some of the articles, improve the Art of Printing, and its chiefly those not printed for general relative branches, are too well known sale.

to require any thing to be said on the 1. Auli Persii Flacci Sutyre, with

present occasion; he has particularly Brewster's translation, 1790, 410. This patronized Mr. Martin, a very inge we believe to be the first publication nious young Artist, who has resided of Mr. Bulmer's press. It never was with him seven years, and who is at published

this time forming a Foundery, by which 2. The Shakspeare, 9 vols. folio, he will shortly be enabled

to offer to 1791–1805, before noticed.

the world a Specimen of Types, that 3. Contemplatio Philosophica, a post will in a very eminent degree unite humous work of the late Brook Tay- utility, elegance, and beauty. * lor, with his Life, by his relative the “ The ornaments are all engraved late Sir W. Young, Bart. 1793, 8vo, on blocks of wood, by two of my privately printed.

earliest acquaintances, Messrs. Be. 4. Claudiani Opera, 1793–6, small wicks, t of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and 8vo, never published. One copy on London, after designs from the most

interesting passages of the Poems they 5. Next to the Shakspeare, perhaps embellish. They have been executed the Edition of The Poelical Works of with great care, and I may venture to John Milton, in 3 vols. folio, 1793— say, without being supposed to be in1797, is the finest production of Mr. Avenced by ancient friendship, that Bulmer's press. Dr. Dibdin seems to they form the most extraordinary effort prefer this work even to the Shake of ihe art of engraving upon wood,

that ever was produced in any age, or 6. In 1795 Mr. Bulmer printed a beautiful edition in 410. of the “ Poems . William Martin was brother of Robert of Goldsmith and Parnell,one copy Martin, the apprentice of Baskerville. He on white SATIN, and three on vel. afterwards set up a foundry in Duke-street, The volume is dedicated to the

St. James's. His Roman and Italic types Founders of the Shakspeare Printing- were decided imitations of Baskerville's; but

his Greeks and Orientals formed the most Office, Messrs. Boydells and Nicol. “The present volume,” says Mr. Bul.

valuable part of his collection. His foundry

in 1817 was upited to the Caslon. (Hanmer, in his Advertisement, “in addition to the Suakspeare, the Milton, letter-founder died in the summer of 1815,

sard's Typographia, p.360.) This ingenious and many other valuable works of

and was buried in St. James's Church, elegance, which have already been

Westminster. given to the world, through the me

t See a good memoir of Mr. Thomas diuin of the Shakspeare Press, are [is] Bewick, the elder brother, with a portrait, particularly meant to combine the va- in vol. xcix. pt. i. pp. 17, 132.


speare itself.




Memoir of W. Bulmer, Esq. any country. Indeed, it seems almost are adapted, above all others, to disini possible that such delicate effects play the beauties of wood engraving. could be obtained from blocks of wood. * “ Unfortunately for his friends, and

“Of the Paper it is only necessary the admirers of the art of engraving on to say, that it comes from the manu- wood, I have the painful task of anfactory of Mr. Whalınan.”

nouncing the death of my early acThe chief wood-engravings in this quaintance and friend, the younger beautiful volume are the following: Mr. (John] Bewick. He died at The Traveller, T. Bewick sculp. ; The Ovingham, on the banks of the Tyne, Sad Historian, John Bewick del. and in December last [1795], of a pulmosculp.; The Departure, R. Johnson nary complaint. Previously, however, del. T. Bewick sculp: ; The Hermit at to his departure from London for the his Morning Devotion, R. Joboson place of his nativity, he had prepared, del. T. Bewick sculp. ; The Hermit, and indeed finished on woud, the whole Angel, and Guide, R. Johnson del. T. of the designs, except one, which emBewick sculp. Besides the above, the bellish the Chace; they may therefore work was embellished with eight very literally be considered as the last efforts superior vignettes.- The biographical of this ingenious and much-to-be-laSketches of Goldsmith and Parnell, pre- mented artist. fixed to the work, were by Isaac Reed. " In executing the engravings, his -This volume was highly appreciated brother, Mr. Thomas Bewick, has beby the public; two editions of it in stowed every possible care; and the quarto were sold, and they produced a beautiful effect produced from their profit to the ingenious printer, after joint labours will, it is presumed, fully payment of all his expenses, of fifteen meet the approbation of the subhundred pounds.

scribers." 7. Simulated by the great success of “ The Chase” is embellished with the work, Mr. Bulmer, in 1796, was twelve uncommonly fine cuts, all drawn induced to prepare an embellished on the block by Mr. John Bewick, quario edition of " Somerville's Chase.and engraved by his brother Thomas, Three copies were printed ON VELLUM. and may perhaps be considered as chefsIt is thus dedicated,

d'œuvre of those celebrated engravers “ To the Patrons of fine Printing :". on wood.”—The biographical sketch

“ When the exertions of an indic of Somerville was by Isaac Reed. vidual to improve his profession are In 1804 the above two works were crowned with success, it is certainly reprinted in one octavo volume, by the highest gratification his feelings Mr. Bulmer, with the same embellishcan experience. The rery distinguish- ments, for Messrs. Cadell and Davies, ed approbation that attended the public who had purchased the blocks. cation of the ornamented cdition of 8. Odes, English and Latin, 1798 Goldsmith's Traveller, Deserted Vile [by T. J. Mathias, esq.), sm. 8vo. not lage, and Parnell's Hermit, which was published. Mr. Bulmer printed sevelast year offered to the public, as a ral other publications on Italian literaspecimen of the improved state of Ty- ture, for Mr. Mathias. pography in this country, demands my 9. Museum Worsleyanum, 1798-1803, warmest acknowledgments; and is no 2 vols. fol. English and Italian. Sir less satisfactory to the different artists R. Worsley expended 27,000l. on this who contributed their efforts towards work, which was never published. the completion of the work.

4001. has been given for a copy at a “ The Chase, by Somerville, is now book-sale. given as a companion to Goldsmith; 10. Dissertation on the Greek Games. and it is almost superfluous 10 observe, 410. !900, with engravings. [By James that the subjects which ornament the Christie.] present volume, being entirely com- 11. The Father's Revenge, a Tragedy, posed of landscape, scenery,and animals, and other Poems, by the Earl of Car

lisle. 1800, 410. Not published. It is said that his Majesty George III.

12. The Passage of Mount St. Go. entertained so great a doubt on the subject, ihard, a Poem, by the Duchess of Dethat he ordered his bookseller, Mr. George vonshire, with an Italian translation Nicol, to procure the blocks from Mr. Bul- by Sig. Poliodori. Privately printed. mer for his inspection, that he might con

13. Anacreontis Odaria, Greek, à vince himself of the fact.

E. Forster, A. M. 1802. Ornamented

Memoir of W. Bulmer, Esq.

(Oct. with vignettes by Miss Bacon (after- lated by Rev. John Sharpe, 4to. 1815. wards Mrs. Forster). Mr. Bulmer Only 57 on large paper. justly prided himself on this beautiful 27. A Catalogue of Books relating work, the effect of which is like copper to the History and Topography of Engplate of exquisite workmanship. A land, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland ; few copies were taken off on French 1815, 8vo. 25 copies; only six of paper, and certainly nothing ever ex- which were on LARGE PAPER. ceeded the clearness of these imprese 28. Portraits of the Sovereigns of sions.

the Turkish Empire, with biographical 14. Giraldus Cambrensis llinerarium sketches in French and English ; large Cambriæ, 4to. à R. C. Hoare, Bart. folio. By John Young, esq. This 4to. 1804.

work was at the expense of the Sultan 15. The Itinerary of Alp. Baldwin Selim, and the whole inpression was through Wales, 2 vols. 4io. Trans- sent to the Ottoman Court. lated by Sir R. C. Hoare; illustrated 29. The Antiquities of the Arabs in with views drawn by Sir Richard, and Spain, by Cavannah Murphy, 1816, engraved by Byrne, 2 vols. 4to. This large folio. This herculean folio rivals publication is in every respect ad- Denon's Egypt, in nobleness of design, mirable.

splendour of execution, and richness. 16. A Tract on the Architecture of of material. Wales. By Sir R.C. Hoare and John 30. The History of the Arabs in Carter. Only 20 copies for private cir. Spain, &c. 410. 1816. This volume is culation, 1806. [This tract has re- a companion to the above. cently been reprinied for sale. See p. 31. The Typographical Antiquities 237.1

of Great Britain, by T. F. Dibdin. 17. A Disquisition on Etruscan Vases, Vols. II. III. and IV. The union 1806 [by Jaines Christie). Small folio, of the red and black inks, the proporwith engravings, privately printed. tioned spaces, and the boldness and sin

18. Bentleii et doctorum virorum gularity of the cuts, render these books Epistolæ, à Rev. Car. Burney, 1807,

very beautiful of their kind. 410. Privately printed. 150 large, and 32. Bibliotheca Spenceriana, 4 vols. 50 small copies.

8vo. This work, considering the bulk 19. Prolegomena in Homerum, 8c. of the volumes, and the quantity à R. P. Knight, 1809, 8vo. Privately of matter introduced, is perhaps the printed ; 50 copies.

most brilliant bibliographical produc20. Memoir of the Life of the late tion in existence, on the score of mere Duke of Devonshire, 1811, sm. 410. typographical excellence. Only 55 coPrivately printed ; 25 copies.

pies were struck off upon LARGE PAPER, 21. History of Ancient Wiltshire, by in royal 4to., eight of which were reSir Richard Colt Hoare, Bart. 4 vols. served by Earl Spencer for presents. folio.

Upon the completion of this work, 22. A Catalogue of Books relating to carried on without intermission for the History and Topography of Italy, nearly four years, the printer presentcollected 1786--1790. 8vo: 1812. BySired Dr. Dibdin with a richly-wrought R. C. Hoare, Bart. privately printed. silver cup, of an antique form. (See Only 19 copies. This valuable collec- Bibliographical Decameron, II. p. 394.) tion of topography has since been given 33. The Bibliographical Decameron; by the public-spirited Baronet to the by T. F. Dibdio. Of all the works British Museum.

executed at the Shakspeare Press, the 23. Letters and Miscellaneous Pa- present is acknowledged to be the pers of Barrè Charles Roberts, 1813, most eminently successful in the de410. privately printed.

velopment of all the skill and beauty 24. Translation of the Andria of Te- attached to the art of printing. Mr. rence, 1814, sm. 8vo. By a well- Hansard (vide postea) has not overknown Baronet; privately printed. praised its excellence on this score. Eight copies on Imperial 4to.

Never was such a variety of ornament25. Life of Lord Viscount Barring- in the way of wond-cuts and red and ton. 1814, 410. By his brother, Shute black ink-exhibited. The quantity Bp. of Durham. Privately printed ; 100 of matter, by way of note, is perhaps copies. This was reprinted in 8vo. in no where exceeded, in a performance 1815.

which vnites splendour of execution 26. William nf Malmesbury, trans- with curiosity of detail. The paper is.

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