John James Robson Bowman

Last Name: 
First Name: 
John James Robson
Grave Plot No.: 
Captain / Commander
Date of birth: 
year of death: 
date of death: 
Ethnicity / Origin: 
Scottish [?]
Age at death: 
64 yrs
Son of John Bowman of Granville, Australia and brother of William Bowman. Married to Catherine Arthur in 1831. Married Elizabeth "relict of the late Capt. W. W. Cockell" on 30.03.1832 as per a notice in the Asiatic Journal.
Full Epitaph: 
Sacred<br> To the memory of<br> CAPT J J R BOWMAN<br> Late Assistant Master Attendant<br> of this port<br> To which appointment <br> He was nominated by the <br> Hon'ble the Court of Directors<br> of the E.I. Company<br> In consideration of his long zealous and faithful; services In the Master attendants Department In Burma & China as Agent for transports This monument is erected by the Bengal Pilot Service & others in the Marine Department OBIT 21 April 1853 Aged 65 years
Commander (Captain) of the ship George Cruttenden, also First attendant to the Master Attendant of the Hon'ble East India Company.
Place of birth / origin: 
Swallow St Scotch Church, Westminster, London, UK
Places mentioned 1: 
Place of death: 
Cause of death: 
Tomb architecture: 
pillar tomb
Detailed information: 

A report from the Bengal Hurkaru dated April 23rd 1853 provides this obituary:

Calcutta has lost one of the most estimable of its citizens and deserving of
public officers by the death of Captain J.J.R. Bowman, first Assistant to
the Master Attendant.
Up to Tuesday we understand he was apparently in perfect good health, and
humanly speaking bade fair to last for many a long year to come. On
Wednesday morning, however, he was attacked by that most mysterious and
terrible of diseases, cholera, and in spite of all that medical skill or
friendly attentions could avail; the malady ran its fatal course in two
days, and on the evening of Thursday had made its victim its own.

Although Captain Bowman was a good decade and more short of the allotted
period of three score years and ten, his professional career extended over
half a century. He entered the Royal Navy in 1800, at the age of twelve,
and continued in that service to the age of five and twenty. In 1813 he
left England to seek his fortune as a free mariner, and from 1814 to 1818 he
was commander of the Sherburn.

In the month of November 1818 he proceeded with the expedition to the
Straits under Sir T.S. Raffles, in command of the Hon'ble Company's [East
India Company] hired armed ship Mercury and shared in the operations on the
taking of the Island of Singapore.

During 1825-26, Captain Bowman, having been nominated to the office by the
Madras authorities, acted as Deputy Agent for Transports, in the first
Burmese war. His services at every turn seem to have been appreciated by
those immediately above him, in acknowledgment of which we find him in 1827
in command of the H.C [Hon'ble Company] armed brig Helen and second in
command of the flotilla on the coast of Arracan.

Two years after he was transferred to the command of the armed barque
Brougham, and in two years more, 1832, he held the office of Quarantine and
Port Master at Chittagong.

The first fixed office in Calcutta to which Captain Bowman was appointed was
that of Second Assistant Master Attendant in 1837. His scrupulous attention
to his duties and the unswerving fidelity with which he ever discharged
them, soon secured him the confidence of the Government, and on the fitting
out of the expedition to China in 1840, he was sent on special deputation as
Agent for Transports.

Captain Bowman did not return to his duties at Bankshall till June 1841,
when he found himself placed in the acting appointment of First Assistant to
the Master Attendant. In this office he acted at various intervals, once
even officiating as Master Attendant, and it was not until the death of
Captain Clapperton that Captain Bowman was finally and errantly appointed as
First Assistant. In this, as in every other appointment he held, he was a
model to all around him for zeal and diligence, and won the good opinion and
esteem of every one who came in contact with him in the course of business.

In all the relations of private life he was equally estimable, and both in
his public and private connections the hiatus this melancholy event has
caused will be long felt and deeply deplored.

We may add the vessels in harbour yesterday had their colours half-mast
high, out of respect to the deceased, and the funeral, we are told, was very
numerously attended last evening.

A private source claiming to be family provides these details:

Emma Elizabeth Bowman (referred to as Lucy in the poem, see the Shipwreck of the Peruvian, 1846) who married John Willmett of Port Fairy, Victoria, was the daughter of William BOWMAN and Elizabeth HUTCHINSON. William Bowman's father (also called William Bowman) was the brother of John BOWMAN whose wife was Honor nee HONEY. William BOWMAN (husband of Elizabeth Hutchinson) was known as William BOWMAN of Bong Bong, NSW where he owned and operated a pub prior to 1838. Elizabeth HUTCHINSON was the daughter of William HUTCHINSON, a convict who became a wealthy land-owner and businessman in Sydney, NSW. John BOWMAN (wife Honor nee Honey) was the patriarch of the Hawkesbury and Hunter Valley Bowman Family, which is extant today, and is a wealthy pastoral family still.

John Bowman and his wife Honor designed a flag, to commemorate Nelson's Victory at Trafalgar, and this flag was used as the basis for the Coat of Arms of Australia. The original flag is on display at the Nation Museum in Canberra.

When John Bowman and his wife migrated to Australia in 1798 on the "Barwell", they brought with them three of their children, the eldest John James Robson BOWMAN was left in England for reasons I don't know of as yet. JJR Bowman joined the Royal Navy in Britain, left by 1809 and went to live in India employed by the Hon.East India Company where he lived until his death in 1853. My wife is a descendant of JJR Bowman. See Also see for information on the Bowman flag.
Bowman Sr. was the owner of a large landholding in Hawkesbury, Australia and also one of the few supporters of Governor William Bligh (earlier captain of the famous H.M.S Bounty). For more information, consult the article on him in the Australian Dictionary of Biography (See and also for more on his land and its auction, read this:

The tablet from Bowman's grave has been moved to the South Park Street Cemetery, Calcutta.

Any reason for importance: 
His father was the designer of the Australian flag and a supporter of William Bligh
Buried by: 
J.C. Herdman, Snr. Minister, St. Andrew's Church
Notes on burial: 
Stone placed in South Park Street Cemetery by Inchcape and Co., London, and BACSA in 1987; original grave in the Scottish Cemetery, Karaya Road
Photo name/s: 
This record has been created by:: 

Souvik M. and Shalmi Barman