Bulmer, Mrs Agnes (née Collinson)

Author, born in London on 31 August 1775. She showed literary promise from an early age. Though remaining loyal to her Anglican roots, she was also a 'church Methodist' and a member at Wesley's Chapel. She was baptized by John Wesley and given her first class ticket by him in 1789, joining Hester Ann Rogers' class. She is said to have corresponded with John Wesley, but none of her letters has survived. His letter of 28 March 1788 warns her against pride and flattery. She became a prolific author and a contributor to the WM Magazine and Youth's Instructor and Guardian. A hymn she wrote on request for the stonelaying of the Oxford Road chapel in Manchester on 11 July 1825 was included in the 1830 Supplement of the WM hymn book. Her other publications included Memoirs of Mrs. Elizabeth Mortimer (1836), three volumes of Scripture Histories (1837-38) and The Messiah's Kingdom (1833), a lengthy poem in twelve books.

In 1793 she married Joseph Bulmer (16 May 1761 - 23 July 1822), a native of Rothwell, near Leeds who became a prosperous London merchant. He held various offices in London Methodism, including circuit steward and first treasurer of the London District Missionary Society. The Collinsons and Bulmers, along with the Buntings, were among the leading families at City Road. Agnes died on 30 August 1836 at Ryde during a holiday on the Isle of Wight, but was buried, like her husband, at Wesley's Chapel.

  • WM Magazine, 1822 pp.818-21; 1840 pp.801-10
  • Anne R. Collinson, Memoir (1837)
  • W.M. Bunting (ed.), Select Letters (1842)
  • G.J. Stevenson, City Road Chapel (1872) pp.498-99
  • Blackwell Dictionary of Evangelical Biography
  • Andrew O. Winckles, 'The book of nature and the Mthodist epic: Agnes Bulmer's analogic poetics and the end(s) of Romanticism', in Women's Writing, vol.22 no. 2, 2015, pp.200-28
  • Oxford DNB