James Bulwer

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James Bulwer
Frederick Sandys - 1858 - The Reverend James Bulwer (National Gallery of Canada, no. 9657) oil on wood, 76 x 55.6 cm.jpg
Born(1794-03-21)21 March 1794
Died1 June 1879(1879-06-01) (aged 85)
EducationJohn Sell Cotman
Known forLandscape painting
MovementNorwich School of painters
Funchal from the Anchorage,(1825)

The Reverend James Bulwer (21 March 1794 – 11 June 1879) was an English collector, naturalist, artist and conchologist. He was a close friend and patron of John Sell Cotman. He is considered to be a member of the Norwich School of painters.


Bulwer was born at Aylsham in Norfolk, the son of James Bulwer and Mary Seaman, and was baptised by his parents on 23 March 1794, at St Michael and All Angels, the town's parish church.[1] He studied at Jesus College, Cambridge.[2] During his time at Cambridge he took drawing lessons from the famous landscape artist John Sell Cotman and became a fellow of the Linnean Society due to his interest in mollusks, one of his three proposers being William Elford Leach.

In 1818 he was made a deacon and in 1822 he became a priest. In 1823 he became curate of Booterstown in Dublin, moving to Bristol in 1831 and St James's, Piccadilly in 1833. He spent several winters travelling in Spain, Portugal and the Madeira Islands, sometimes in the company of the philosopher and traveller Alfred Lyall. In the spring of 1825 Bulwer collected a specimen of an unknown petrel in the Madeira Islands. This was described by William Jardine and P. J. Selby in 1828 and given the common name of Bulwer's petrel. The petrel genus of Bulweria was also named for him.

Bulwer left London in 1839 and moved back to Norfolk, becoming curate of Blickling Hall and later of Hunworth. He renewed his acquaintance with John Sell Cotman when his sons attended King's College School, and several of his sketches of Spain and Madeira inspired Cotman's watercolours.

His son James Redfoord Bulwer became a lawyer and a Member of parliament and also played first-class cricket.


  1. ^ James Bulwer in "Parish registers, 1550-1900", FamilySearch (James Bulwer).
  2. ^ "Bulwer, James (BLWR814J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.


  • Moore, Andrew W. (1985). The Norwich School of Artists. HMSO/Norwich Museums Service.
  • Walpole, Josephine (1997). Art and Artists of the Norwich School. Woodbridge: Antique Collectors' Club. ISBN 1-85149-261-5.

External links