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Edward Bowen (politician): Wikis


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Edward Bowen (December 1, 1780 – April 11, 1866) was an Irish-born lawyer, judge and political figure in Lower Canada.


Born in Kinsale in 1780, he was the son of James Bowen and Isabella Cassan. His mother was the daughter of Richard Sheffield Cassan of Sheffield, Queen's Co., by his wife Isabella Hamilton of Newtownhamilton, Co. Armagh. Educated at Drogheda Academy, he came to Lower Canada with his great-aunt Ann Hamilton, the wife of Henry Caldwell, in 1797. He studied law and entered the law office of Jonathan Sewell. He was called to the bar of Lower Canada in 1803. Bowen served as lieutenant and then captain in the militia.

In 1808, he was chosen as attorney general for Lower Canada by Governor Sir James Henry Craig; he was forced to step down after Norman Fitzgerald Uniacke was chosen by the authorities in London. He was named King's Counsel in 1809 and also served as acting attorney general from 1810 to 1812. In 1809, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada for William-Henry; he supported the English party. In 1812, he was named judge in the Court of King's Bench at Quebec. He was named to the Legislative Council in 1824. In 1849, he was named chief justice for the Superior Court. Bowen also served as French translator for the Executive Council and French secretary for the province.

He died at Quebec City in 1866 and is buried at Mt. Hermon Cemetery in the Sillery area of present-day Quebec City. Bowen had once owned the property on which Mt. Hermon Cemetery is located. For many years a portrait of Edward Bowen hung in the Senate chamber in Ottawa.


In 1807, he married Eliza, the daughter of James Davidson, doctor for the Royal Canadian Volunteers. They had eight sons and eight daughters; Alicia Catherine Aubigvey, Ann Emily, Charlotte Louise Caldwell, Eliza Cecilia, Isabella Cassan, Louisa Aylmer, Lucy Irwin, Mary Sophia, Charles Marshall, Charles William, Edward Henry, Francis Nathaniel Burton, George Frederick, George Mountain, James, Noel Hill Fox Maule and William Hamilton. The Bowen family lived in a commodious English-style residence on Cathedral Street in Quebec City.

His daughter Eliza Cecilia married Edward Hale, who later served in the legislative assembly and legislative council.

A photograph of Bowen's daughter Isabella Cassan is on exhibit at Piney Grove at Southall's Plantation in Virginia, USA. A portrait of Bowen's granddaughter, Isabella Forsyth Bell, and photograph of his great grandson, Frederick Noel Bell Hyndman, are also exhibited. Piney Grove at Southall's Plantation is the home of three generations of Bowen descendents: Joan Ellen Gordineer is a great, great, great granddaughter of Bowen, Brian Edward Gordineer is a great, great, great, great grandson of Bowen and Isabella Rae Gordineer is a great, great, great, great, great granddaughter of Bowen. The furnishings of Piney Grove at Southall's Plantation includes pieces of furniture and silver that may descend from the Bowen family in Canada.

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