Bulteel, Henry Bellenden (DNB00)

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BULTEEL, HENRY BELLENDEN (1800–1866), theological controversialist, son of Thomas Bulteel of Plymstock, Devonshire, was born at Bellevue, near Plymouth, in 1800, and matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford, on 1 April 1818, when in his eighteenth year. He graduated B.A. in 1822, and took his M.A. in 1824, having been elected a fellow of Exeter College on 30 June in the previous year. He vacated his fellowship by marrying, on 6 Oct. 1829, Eleanor, sister of Alderman C. J. Sadler, pastrycook, of the High Street, Oxford. Bulteel became curate of St. Ebbe’s, Oxford, in 1826. The chief event of his life and the cause of a complete change in his ewlesiastical standing was ‘A Sermon on 1 Corinthians ii. 12, preached before the University of Oxford at St. Mary’s on Sunday, 6 Feb. 1831.’ This discourse on predestination, free will, justification, and salvation, with much plain speaking about the state of the universities an the church of England, created a great excitement in Oxford; it was printed, and so great was the demand for copies that it went to six editions. Many replies and comments on the sermon issued from the press. In consequence of this sermon and on account of Bulteel's preaching in the open air and in dissenting chapels, the Bishop of Oxford revoked his license on 10 Aug. 1831, when his connection with the church of England terminated. Some of his friends, having collected money, built for him a chapel situated at the rear of Pembroke College, where he conducted a service on the principles advocated by the Plymouth Brethren, his followers being known as Bulteelers. In the succeeding year, having visited London and attended the Rev. Edward Irving’s chapel, he became a convert to some of his ideas, and soon after brought out a book, entitled ‘The Doctrine of the Miraculous Interference of Jesus on behalf of Believers, addressed to the Church of God at Oxford,’ 1832, in which he narrated how, by means of prayer and intercession, he had cured and restored to health three women. At this time he also became a believer in the doctrine of universal redemption, and a denier of the doctrine that Christ died for the elect only. This fact appears in a volume called ‘The Unknown Tongues, or the Rev. Edward Irving and the Rev. Nicholas Armstrong. To which are added Two Letters by the Rev. H. B. Bulteel,’ 1832. In 1844 he printed ‘An Address delivered on the opening of a Free Episcopal Church in Exeter, 26 Sept. 1844,’ and in the following year he issued an anonymous denunciation of the Puseyite party, and of John Henry Newman in particular, in the shape of a well-written poem, entitled ‘The Oxford Argo, by an Oxford Divine, London, R. Sicklemore,’ 1845, which, however, it appears, was printed at Newcastle. Bulteel died at the Crescent, Plymouth, on 28 Dec. 1866, aged 66, leaving issue by the marriage previously mentioned.

[Boase’s Exeter College (1879), pp. 124, 216; Cox's Recollections of Oxford (1868), pp. 244, 248, Mozley's Reminiscences (1882), i. 228 ; 350.]

G. C. B.