Bullen, Charles (DNB00)

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BULLEN, Sir CHARLES (1769–1853), admiral, entered the navy in 1779 on board the Europe, the flagship of Vice-admiral Arbuthnot, on the North American station. During the peace he was principally employed in the Mediterranean, and was promoted to be lieutenant on 9 Aug. 1791. In 1794 he was a lieutenant of the Ramillies, one of the fleet with Lord Howe on 1 June; in 1797 he was first lieutenant of the Monmouth, one of the ships implicated in the mutiny at the Nore: she was afterwards, with more credit, at Camperdown, on 11 Oct.; and Bullen having been sent to take possession of the Dutch ship Delft, finding her in a sinking state, remained trying to save the wounded, till she actually went down. Many lives were lost, but Bullen was happily picked up, and in recognition of his gallantry in the action and his humane exertions after it he was promoted to be commander, 2 Jan. 1798. In 1801 he commanded the Wasp sloop on the west coast of Africa, and was posted 29 April 1802. In 1804 he was appointed to be flag-captain to Lord Northesk in the Britannia, and commanded that ship in the battle of Trafalgar. The Britannia was the mirth ship in the weather line led by Nelson himself, and was thus early in the action, continuing closely engaged till the end, with a loss of 10 killed and 42 wounded. During the years 1807-11 he commanded successively the frigates Volontaire and Cambrian in the Mediterranean, off Toulon, and on the coast of Spain. From 1814 to 1817 he commanded the Akbar of 50 guns, on the North American station; and from 1824 to 1827 was commodore on the west coast of Africa, with his broad pennant in the Maidstone. In July 1830 he was appointed superintendent of Pembroke dockyard, and also captain of the Royal Sovereign yacht, both which offices he held till he became rear-admiral, 10 Jan. 1837. He had no further employment afloat, but was advanced by seniority to the rank of vice-admiral on 9 Nov. 1846, and of admiral 30 July 1852. He received the C.B. on 4 June 1815; K.C.H. 13 Jan. 1835; K.C.B. 18 April 1839; and G.C.B. 7 April 1852. He also had the gold medal for Trafalgar, and a good-service pension. He died on 2 July 1853. An authentic portrait is in the Painted Hall at Greenwich.

[O'Byrne's Dict. of Nav. Biog.; Gent. Mag., (1853), cxli. ii. 309.]

J. K. L.