Mark Edwin Bullen

The earliest definite reference to Mark Edwin Bullen found so far is his apprenticeship record at the Society of Apothecaries in London. He qualified from there in 1828, aged 23, having served as an apprentice to James Clayton in the St Pancras area of London, followed by 6 months at the Middlesex Hospital. His whereabouts between 1828 and 1837 is not clear, but it seems likely that he was perhaps an assistant in the Norton and Thomas practice when both John Thomas then Walter Norton died in quick succession in 1837. At least Mark Bullen was elected as registrar for the Newmarket District in the place of John Thomas, and he took on their role as medical officer for district 2 of the Newmarket Union as well. In that role he cared for the poor of Burwell, Reach, Exning, Landwade and Newmarket St Mary’s. When he died, only just over a year later, he was described as ‘of the firm Norton and Bullen’ (see image below). He made it into the 1839 Pigot’s Directory, listed under Surgeons & Apothecaries of Newmarket and neighbourhood as Mark ‘Edmund’ Bullen, High Street, and likewise he was in the Robson’s Directory of the same year as Mark Bullen, surgeon of Newmarket (see the page on Frederick Page for an image of the latter).

The firm 'Norton and Bullen' mentioned on Mark Bullen's death, showing his continuity with Walter Norton's practice (see below or click image for source and acknowledgements etc., ref. Image 1).

The firm ‘Norton and Bullen’ mentioned on Mark Bullen’s death in 1839, showing his continuity with Walter Norton’s practice (see below or click image for source and acknowledgements etc., ref. Image 1).

The most fascinating insight into Mark Bullen is the auction of his possessions that took place a month after his death (transcribed fully in the references below), including a very large number of books, although no medical books are specified.

His main significance with regards to the medical history of Newmarket is that his death marks the end of the Edwards-Norton-Taylor-Kendall-Thomas-Bullen practice chain.


Image sources and acknowledgements:-

Image 1: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Jan 9 1839: 2 (cropped); image © The British Library Board, all rights reserved, reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive, [Note: clicking here leads to the specific page on their website, but requires logging in to it.]

Note: see comments regarding images and copyright © etc. on the Usage &c. page as well. 

Relevant references in chronological order

1828, 5th June: ‘June 5th 1828 12 MR. Mark Edwin Bullen – of full Age. CANDIDATE for a CERTIFICATE to practise as an APOTHECARY in [blank] An APPRENTICE to Mr. James Clayton of Percy St. St Pancras. APOTHECARY for [blank] YEARS. INDENTURE DATED 2 March 1822 TESTIMONIAL of MORAL CHARACTER. James Clayton EVIDENCE of AGE [Aft.?] of 23 years of age [MEB?] LECTURES 2 COURSES on ANATOMY and PHYSIOLOGY. [Carpax?] 6 mths – THEORY and PRACTICE of MEDICINE. [MSL?]. 2 – CHEMISTRY. Nood 1 – MATERIA MEDICA. Macleod HOSPITAL ATTENDANCE. Number. 1323 6 MONTHS at Middlesex Hospital EXAMINED by Mr. Did not attend’. Reference: Court of Examiners Candidates’ Qualification Entry Book, The Society of Apothecaries Archives, Apothecaries’ Hall, Black Friars Lane, London EC4V 6EJ. [Note: he did then attend a week later on 12th June, was examined by Mr. Johnson and approved.]

1837, 22nd October: Under deaths, ‘On Sunday se’nnight, very much respected and lamented, Mr. John Thomas, of the firm Norton and Thomas, surgeons, of Newmarket.’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Nov 1 1837: 2.

1837, 24th October: ‘The Clerk reported to the Board the death of Mr John Thomas Registrar of the Newmarket District and the election of another officer was ordered to take place the next board day’. Reference: 611/12, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).

1837, 14th November: ‘Mr Mark Edwin Bullen was elected registrar for the Newmarket District’. Reference: 611/12, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).

1837, 21st November: Death of Mr Norton ‘Medical officer of district 2 and surgeon to the workhouse’ noted in the Newmarket Union minutes and that the posts be advertised. Reference: 611/12, Newmarket Union Minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).

1837, 21st November: Notice in The Bury and Norwich Post: ‘Newmarket Union. THE BOARD OF GUARDIANS will, at their Weekly Meeting, on the 5th of December next, proceed to the Election of a Medical Officer for District No. 2, comprising the following parishes: Burwell, with the whole Hamlet of Reach Exning Landwade Newmarket St. Mary. Also a Surgeon to the Workhouse, upon the terms upon which the said Offices were respectively held by the late Mr. Norton. Candidates to send their Testimonials to me on or before the 4th of December. WILLIAM PARR ISAACSON, Clerk. Newmarket, 21st November, 1837.’  Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Nov 29 1837: 1.

1837, 5th December: ‘Mr Bullen was elected Medical Officer of District No 2’, ‘Mr Richard Faircloth was elected surgeon to the Union House’. Reference: 611/12, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).

1839: ‘Bullen Mark Edmund, High st’ listed under ‘Surgeons & Apothecaries’ in ‘Newmarket and Neighbourhood’ Cambridgeshire. Reference: Pigot and Co.’s royal national and commercial directory and topography of the counties of Bedford, Cambridge, Essex, Herts, Huntingdon, Kent, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Surrey and Sussex…. London & Manchester: J. Pigot & Co.; 1839, pg 65. [Note: Faircloth Richard, High St, Fyson Robert, High St, Page Frederick, High St, and Peck Robert James, High St are listed separately.]

1839: ‘Bullen Mark’ listed under ‘surgeons’ in Newmarket, Cambridgeshire. Reference: Robson’s royal court guide and peerage, with the commercial directory of London and the six counties forming the Norfolk circuit, viz. Beds, Bucks, Cambridgeshire, Hunts, Norfolk, and Suffolk:… . London: William Robson & Co.; 1839, pg 48. [Note: Faircloth Richard, Fyson Robert, Page Frederick, and Peck Robert James are listed separately.], [Note also, see the page on Frederick Page for an image of this.]

1839, 1st January: ‘The Clerk reported to the Board the death of Mr Bullen Medical Officer of District No 2 and Registrar of the Newmarket District’. Reference: 611/12, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).

1839, 1st January: Under deaths, ‘On the 1st inst., after a long and painful illness. Mr. Bullen, surgeon, of Newmarket, of the firm Norton and Bullen.’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Jan 9 1839: 2. [Note: see image above.]

1839, 31st January and 1st February: ‘UNRESERVED SALE OF VALUABLE FURNITURE, NEWMARKET TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION, By Mr. CHAPMAN. On Thursday, January 31, and Friday, February 1 1839. ALL the Neat and Modern nearly New HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, Books, Prints, Pictures, and other effects, late the property of M. E. BULLEN, Esq, of Newmarket aforesaid, Surgeon, opposite the White Hart Inn:- Consisting of several four-post, and tent bedsteads, with morine and chintz hangings, featherbeds, mattresses, blankets, quilts, and counterpanes, window curtains, capital mahogany wardrobe, several chests with draws, wash and dressing-tables, &c. In the Drawing-room are fenders and irons, rich Brussels carpet, 16 ft. 4 in. by 13 ft. 6. in. ; elegant rosewood carved sofa, with squab and bolsters; 3 sets of rich crimson damask window curtains, with brass poles; rosewood loo table, pair of card ditto, 8 solid carved rosewood chairs, splendid set of chimney jars, &c. In the Dining-room is a capital set of mahogany telescope dining-tables, 13 ft. by 4 ft. 9 in.; loo table, 10 mahogany Trafalgar chairs, mahogany sofa, rich Turkey carpet, 13 ft. 9 in. by 11 ft. 4 in. ; hearth-rug, window curtains, china, glass, &c. Also, numerous kitchen requisites, consisting of six dozen nearly new capital knives and forks, 1 dozen plated ditto, 5 pairs of carvers, new boilers, saucepans, &c., together with saddles, bridles, &c. There are about 24 Pictures and Drawings, by eminent artists, in rich guilt frames; among them, Duncan Gray, by Fraser; Sea View, by Clayton; Fruit and Flowers, by Miss Byrne; Cottage Girl, by Poole; Sketch, by Bonington; &c , together with about 250 volumes of Books, most of which are in excellent preservation, including British Theatre, 35 vols.; British Prose Writers, 25 vols.; Gambado’s Horsemanship, Woodward’s Horse Accomplishments, Cowper’s Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, 4 vols., 50 plates; Picturesque Beauties of Great Britain, 26 vols., Inchbald’s Modern Theatre, 10 vols.; Robertson’s Works, 10 vols.; Waverley Novels, 10 vols.; and numerous other valuable works, the whole of which will be Sold with reserve. Sale to commence each day punctually at Eleven o’clock, on account of the number of lots. To be viewed on the Tuesday previously to the Sale, and Catalogues may be had in due time at the Inns in the Neighbourhood. Place of Sale, and of the Auctioneer, Newmarket.’ Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Wednesday Jan 23 1839: 3.

Some other sources consulted include:-

Suffolk Medical Biographies. Profile for Bullen, Mark.  (originally accessed pre October 2013). [Note: see comments regarding this website on the Francis Greene page.], [Note also, this website had only one reference at the time of writing (14th November 2015) to his death in 1839, reported in the Ipswich Journal, a different Newspaper from the one I have referenced.]

The research notes of Peter May. Reference: HD1584, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).

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