George Bowen (2)

c1762-1800. He was the third son of George Bowen of Lwyngwair, Pembrokeshire, and of his wife, Esther Thomas. One of his cousins was a namesake, Admiral George Bowen.

Bowen was commissioned lieutenant on 23 October 1783, and from September 1793 he served aboard the Impregnable 98, Captain George Blagden Westcott. This vessel flew the flag of Rear-Admiral Benjamin Caldwell in home waters during early 1794 and was involved in the chase of five French frigates in the Channel on 13 January.

He was promoted commander on 2 April 1794, and he joined the Hawke 16 on the Downs station, conveying the Marquis Cornwallis from Flushing to Margate in great secrecy during July following his return from his position of governor-general in India. Being also engaged in convoy duty, the Hawke arrived in the Downs from off Dunkirk on 15 August, and she joined the squadron under Commodore John Willet Payne which escorted Princess Caroline of Brunswick from Cuxhaven on 28 March 1795 for her marriage to the Prince of Wales. To honour his participation in this unexacting mission, Bowen was posted captain on 6 April.

There followed a long period of unemployment until July 1799 when he was appointed to the Trusty 50, which came out of dock at Woolwich at the end of the month, having fitted out as a troop ship, and which arrived off Sheerness from the Long Reach in mid-August. Thereafter she saw duty off the Texel, and in October she brought troops back to England from Major-General Eyre Coote’s army following the failure of the Angle-Russian invasion of Holland.

During January 1800 the Trusty was at Sheerness before going down river to the Downs where high winds initially prevented the planned embarkation of the 20th Regiment of Foot for their conveyance to Ireland. On 19 April she arrived at Portsmouth, and she was still there in June when a marine was hung and two other men flogged around the fleet for robbery of the ship’s stores, and for attempting to escape in one of her boats.

By now Bowen had long been suffering from a serious illness, and although pronounced as being out of danger in April 1800, he died at Portsmouth on 25 June. His body was transported to the family vault in Wales and on 9 July it was interred at Nevern in Pembrokeshire.