Pulman, George Philip Rigney (DNB00)

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PULMAN, GEORGE PHILIP RIGNEY (1819–1880), antiquary, born at Axminster, Devonshire, on 21 Feb. 1819, was son of Philip Pulman (1791–1871), who married Anne Rigney (1818–1885), both of whom were buried in Axminster churchyard (Book of the Axe, 4th edit. p. 669). Pulman was in early life organist at Axminster parish church, and wrote for local newspapers. In 1848 he acquired a printing and bookselling business at Crewkerne, and was long settled there (cf. Collection of Correspondence relative to the Election of an Organist for Axminster Church, 1849). For some years he was editor of the ‘Yeovil Times,’ and on 10 March 1857 he set on foot a paper called ‘Pulman's Weekly News and Advertiser,’ the first paper that was established at Crewkerne. Through his energy it soon attained the leading circulation in that district of Dorset, Devon, and Somerset, and for more than twenty years it was both owned and edited by him (ib. p. 340). He disposed of his newspaper and business in June 1878, and retired to The Hermitage at Uplyme, between Axminster and Lyme Regis. He died there on 3 Feb. 1880, and was buried at Axminster cemetery on 7 Feb. (cf. Rogers, Memorials of the West, p. 32). He married at Cattistock, Dorset, on 12 Dec. 1848, Jane, third daughter of George Davy Ewens of Axminster. She survived him with one son, W. G. B. Pulman, a solicitor at Lutterworth.

Pulman was an ardent fisherman. He obtained, at the exhibition of 1851, a bronze medal for artificial flies. His chief work, 1. ‘The Book of the Axe,’ published in numbers, was published collectively in 1841 (other editions 1844, 1853, and 1875, the last being ‘rewritten and greatly enlarged’). It was a piscatorial description of the district through which the Axe, a river noted for trout, flows, and it contained histories of the towns and houses on its banks. Pulman also published 2. ‘The Vade-mecum of Fly-fishing for Trout,’ 1841; 2nd edit. 1846, 3rd edit. 1851. 3. ‘Rustic Sketches, being Poems on Angling in the Dialect of East Devon,’ Taunton, 1842; reprinted in 1853 and 1871. 4. ‘Local Nomenclature. A Lecture on the Names of Places, chiefly in the West of England,’ 1857. 5. A version of the ‘Song of Solomon in the East Devonshire Dialect,’ 1860, in collaboration with Prince L. L. Bonaparte. 6. ‘Rambles, Roamings, and Recollections, by John Trotandot,’ with portrait, Crewkerne, 1870; this chiefly described the country around Crewkerne. 7. ‘Roamings abroad by John Trotandot,’ 1878.

Pulman published about 1843 for Mr. Conybeare ‘The Western Agriculturist: a Farmer's Magazine for Somerset, Dorset, and Devon,’ and the ‘United Counties Miscellany’ from 1849 to July 1851. He supplied the music for songs entitled ‘The Battle of Alma’ (1854) and ‘I'll love my love in the winter,’ with words by W. D. Glyde, and composed a ‘Masonic Hymn’ and ‘Psalms, Hymn-tunes, and twelve Chants’ (1855).

[Works of Pulman, and information from his son; Academy, 14 Feb. 1880, p. 120; Pulman's Weekly News, 10 Feb. 1880; Davidson's Bibl. Devoniensis, p. 14, Supplement, pp. 3, 25.]

W. P. C.