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BOWNESS [21739]

Gen George BOWNESS [1980]
(1762-1833)

 

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Spouses/Children:
1. Harriet Martha ROBINSON [1966]

Gen George BOWNESS [1980]

  • Born: Feb 1762, Bolton WES
  • Marriage (1): Harriet Martha ROBINSON [1966]
  • Died: 6 Jul 1833, Sutton Benger WIL aged 71
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bullet  General Notes:


GENERAL OFFICERS LATELY DECEASED
1833
MAJOR-GENERAL GEORGE BOWNESS.
This officer, who belonged to the Madras Establishment of the Honourable East India Company service, was, on his first arrival in India, attached to the grand army, then lying a little beyond the Mount, and continued with it till after the battle and siege of Cuddalore. He next went on detach-ment to the northward with the late Colonel George Muat, to secure a refractory Ranee, who was living in a fort in the Polaveram jungle. After some trouble and delay she gave herself up and the subject of this memoir was ordered to escort her within a march of Masulipatam, where he was relieved, and ordered to march through an unsettled district to Muddipullam, and place himself under the chief of that factory, Mr. John Chamier, who, on his arrival, gave him the charge of the fort of Mugleetore, four miles distant from his residence, wherein resided the widow of a late Rajah, with particular instructions to prevent all intercourse between her and her late husband's prime minister, Bopiah, a clever and intriguing character. After some time Bopiah waited upon this officer by night, and requested he would permit his admission into the fort, at the same time offering a present, which was, of course, refused. Before, however, taking his leave, he said, that if his request was reconsidered and complied with, he would make the fortune of the young officer. Early on the following day, our subject wrote to Mr. Chamier all that occurred, who, in reply, complimented him in the most handsome manner fur his conduct.
From Mugleetore he was detached into the Noozed Zemindary, and for his services received a letter of thanks from General Braithwaite, the chief and council of Masulipatnm. He was also frequently detached into the jungles after the disturbers of that part of the country. Mr. Gambier, being subsequently appointed collector of Mugleetore, Bopiah, finding he could make no impression upon that gentleman's integrity, resolved to attempt to carry by force what he could not effect by intrigue. He accordingly came upon Mugleetore at the head of n large chosen hand of Rajpoots. with the view to plunder the Company's cash chest, and carry off the collector. To oppose this force, Lieutenant Bowness had only one company of sepoys and a few invalids. Bopiah's intentions were, however, completely frustrated, and Mr. Gambier wrote to Lord Hobart, then Governor of Madras, an account of the whole circumstance, at the same time requesting that a revenue corps might be formed for the protection of his district, and the command given to the subject of this memoir. The request was immediately complied with a battalion was formed, and it was commanded by Captain Bowness for twelve years, during part of which period the regular regiment to which he belonged accompanied the army against SeringnItatam, and Captain Bowness solicited permission to join it but, situated as he then was, leave could not be granted to him.
Some time after this, General Braithwaite appointed this officer, then Major Bowness, to the command of Nellore, in his division, where, shortly after assuming the command, he received an express from Madras, by night, to remove with all the force that could be spared from the garrison with the utmost expedition. He accordingly quitted that place early in the morning, with five companies, and reached the Presidency early on the third day following, a distance of 102 miles.
After the Newaub was placed upon the musnud, Major Bowness carried the battering train into the Mysore country, preparatory to the formation of the grand army. He remained with that part of it that was left on the banks of the Toombuddra, and was from thence detached with a large sum of money to Hyderabad. On his return thence, he received an order, as his tents were pitching, for them to be struck immediately, and marching off through very thick jungle, arrived about six in the same evening in time to prevent a second attack upon the Company's treasure, three lacs of pagodas, under charge of Lieutenant Wight.
From the encampment on the banks of the Toombuddra, this officer marched under the command of the late Colonel Alexander Macleod to the Malabar coast, to settle disturbances in that quarter, which object was effected by this force.
When in the ceded districts, Sir W. Clarke selected this officer to the command, which government were pleased to approve of on the termination of the service.
Whilst in command at Masulipatam, he received an express from Hyderabad, that a large force of freebooters had passed the Residency, with a view, as he was well informed, of plundering the pettah of Masulipntam. He instantly consulted the civil judge, and proposed to march with part of the garrison to the northern frontiers, to prevent their making a dash into the Company's territories, but was told, in reply, that the panic of the inhabitants in the pettah and the surrounding country was so great, that if Major Bowness left the garrison, he, the judge, believed all the numerous inhabitants would quit their houses. As no time was to be lost, Major Bowness immediately ordered a strong detachment, and selected some active officers to command (including the late Lord Molesworth). It immediately marched, and thus prevented any thing happening to Masulipatam or the pettah.
Soon after, Colonel Bowness found his health giving way to the effects of the climate, and he was consequently obliged. in 1817, to return to England, after a residence in India of upwards of thirty-three years without a furlough. He attained the rank of Lieut-Colonel, 21st September, 1804; of Colonel, 4th June, 1813; and of Major-General. 12th August, 1819. He died at Sutton Benger, Wiltshire, on the 6th of July last, very generally respected.
Ref: The United Service Journal 1833


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George married Harriet Martha ROBINSON [1966] [MRIN: 634], daughter of Martin ROBINSON [1964] and Mary ELLITHORNE [1963]. (Harriet Martha ROBINSON [1966] was born on 6 Jan 1777 and was christened on 16 Feb 1777 in St James Clerkenwell.)


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