Leeds, Yorks., cabinet maker, upholder, undertaker and patent mangle maker (1783–1848)
Addresses given ‘Opposite Old Bank’, Briggate in 1783; no. 21, 1805–1818; as Robert Bullman & Sons at 27 Commercial St in 1808; 21 Briggate in 1816–17; 5 Commercial St from 1819; no. 27, 1820–34; and no. 31, 1830–37, with works in Bond St in 1830. App. in Bath, he then set up business in Leeds in 1783. Robert Bullman & Son announced their move from Briggate to 5 Commercial St in Leeds Intelligencer, 19 April 1819, where ‘they propose carrying on as usual the Upholstery, Cabinet & general furnishing business’ which they claimed had been going for 40 years. Advertised, same paper, 24 March 1825 for ‘two clever carvers accustomed to carving mahogany and rosewood. Also an experienced Turner and a few experienced journeymen cabinet makers’. Bullman & Son of Leeds advertised in Liverpool Mercury, 18 April 1828, with full description, their patent ‘IMPROVED CABINET MANGLE … greatly superior to Mangles in the usual construction … allowed by the best Mechanics to be one of the most perfect pieces of Machinery yet produced’. He supplied a Baker’s patent mangle box to Broughton Hall, Yorkshire, in 1831, along with an ironing-table, a stove for heating irons, spare table and dryer closet with cast iron sliding racks, all of which survive (Gilbert (1991), p. 81 and pl. 110). Marble rosewood sideboard c. 1810, recorded signed ‘BULLMAN & SON, LEEDS’. [C. Life, vol. CLXXII, supplement p. 32c] There is a large bookcase in Wakefield Town Hall with secret drawer containing documents stating the bookcase was made by Messrs Bullman of Leeds, c. 1820–30, for Richard Mellin, dyer, of Wakefield, at a cost of £90. Worked at Broughton Hall, Yorks., for Sir Charles Tempest, Bart, where 3 bills, a letter and a sketch survive for furniture supplied between 1840–42. Bill of 29 October 1841 totalled £203 0s 4½d. [Broughton Hall MS] Provided furniture for local Yorks. families, such as the Gotts and the Tempests which seems to have been for the servant's quarters and less fashionable rooms. [Joy, English Furniture, 1800–1851, p. 234] Firm taken over by G. W. England c. 1848.
Source: DEFM; Gilbert, English Vernacular Furniture 1750-1900 (1991).