1753- 1829. The son of Richard Bowater of Coventry, Warwickshire, and his wife, Mary Bailey, he was the younger brother of Lieutenant-General John Bowater of the Royal Marines.
Bowater was commissioned lieutenant on 26 February 1776 and commanded the fireship Salamander at the Battle of Chesapeake Bay on 5 September 1781. In March 1782 he commissioned an ex-French privateer as the Pelican 18 at Plymouth for service in the Irish Sea, and he was posted captain on 16 January 1783.
He remained unemployed until June 1793 when he joined the Regulus 44, being at Portsmouth in the summer and later serving on the Halifax station. On 29 December 1794 he was reprimanded by a court-martial sitting aboard the Stately 64 in Portsmouth Harbour for using un-officer like language to his subordinates. His officers had also brought various other charges against him, but of these he was acquitted. Nevertheless he left the ship shortly afterwards.
Bowater commissioned the brand new fir-built eighteen-pounder frigate Trent 36 in March 1796, serving in the North Sea where Captain John Gore briefly acted for him during September, and capturing the privateer Poisson Volant 14 off Yarmouth on 27 June 1797 before leaving her in October.
From August 1798 he commanded the thirty year-old Magnificent 74 in the Channel fleet, going out to the Mediterranean in June 1799 and retaining her until the autumn of 1801, bar a month in March when Captain Peter Bover acted for him.
Bowater was advanced to flag rank on 23 April 1804, vice-admiral on 31 July 1810, and admiral on 12 August 1819. He died on 10 March 1829 having lived for many years at Hampton Court.
On 1 August 1785 he married a widow, Louisa Lane, nee Hawkins, who died in 1835. Their son, Sir Edward Bowater, who was born in 1778 in St. James Palace, London, became a general in the army.