entered the Royal Navy as an assistant surgeon in 1806. He was promoted to surgeon in 1807. He was employed as Surgeon Superintendent
on the convict ships Mary Anne
in 1816 and Lord Eldon
He arrived in Australia on the John Barry
in 1819 having been appointed Principal Surgeon for the colony of New South Wales.
Australian Agricultural Company
James Bowman was on the local committee of the Australian Agricultural Company
from 1824 until 1829. Other members of the committee were James Macarthur, Hannibal Macarthur, and Captain King.
He married Mary Isabella Macarthur, the second daughter of John Macarthur in 1823.
By 1832 he had established a sheep run on more than 11,000 acres at his Hunter Valley estate Ravensworth
. He continued to work at the General Hospital in Sydney and did not reside at Ravensworth
which was worked by overseers and assigned convicts.
Visitors to Ravensworth
In March 1832 Ravensworth
was visited by Australian Agricultural company Commissioner Sir William Edward Parry
and party on their journey to the Liverpool Plains.
The party consisting of Henry Dangar
, Charles Hall, seven white men and 2 natives (one a former acquaintance of Henry Dangar called Paddy) left Maitland at 9 am and reached Glendon, the estate of Helenus and Robert Scott
by 4pm. The following day they left Glendon at 10am and proceeded across Black Creek. After this the road passed James Mudie's
Castle Forbes through Henry Dangar's Neotsfield
to the Hunter River crossing near Singleton's Plough Inn
. After crossing the river the first property was James Glennie's Dulwich
and the road then went via Ravensworth
where they arrived at at 3 o'clock.
They were kindly received at Ravensworth
by managers Mr.and Mrs. James White
who were formerly in the service of the Australian Agricultural Company
. Here Parry was comfortably lodged, although he did not think highly of the Estate. He thought a great deal of money must have been spent to clear and stump large home paddocks. The flat land near the Foy Brook, Mr. White did not consider good and the higher land was too thickly timbered with ironbark to be of any good or even middling quality. Dr. Bowman was building a substantial stone cottage for the use of Mr. White. Their garden consisted of 8 acres fenced with a paling fence and a little stream running through it. It was partly laid out in a tasteful and ornamental manner. Parry thought that if 5 or 6 men could always be employed it could soon be a very handsome garden however he thought it (the garden) too large for a private estate like Ravensworth. 
On leaving Ravensworth, Parry's party would have continued on the road which passed over Saltwater Creek and over the ridges. Once in the valley the road divided with one branch proceeding to Muswellbrook
and the other towards Edinglassie
estate was visited By Lieutenant George Pulteney Malcolm in October/ November 1835.....
Lieutenant Malcolm had arrived on the Henry Porcher
in 1835 and spent over a year in New South Wales travelling extensively. He kept a journal throughout the voyage and afterwards on his travels in Australia. A copy of the journal is held by the State Library of New South Wales
Lieutenant Malcolm spent six weeks in the Hunter region where he also visited Robert and Helenus Scott at Glendon and brothers Henry Dumaresq
and William Dumaresq
Ravensworth was also visited by missionaries Backhouse and Walker
in June 1836.
During these years James Bowman engaged architect John Verge
to design and build a mansion on 36 acres at Glebe in Sydney called Lyndhurs
t. He may not have resided here very long as he had retired to Ravensworth
by 1840 when James White departed.
At Singleton he became involved in community affairs in the district and held the position of President of the Singleton Benevolent Society and donated land for a church near Camberwell.
Free Emigrant Workers at Ravensworth
John Alexander - Occupation Mariner. Came free. Employed as superintendent by James Bowman in 1828
George Unicombe per Lady Nugent
William and Susan Aubry per James Pattison 1840
James McLaren per Brilliant
John and Eliza Edmonds per James Pattison
Death of James Bowman
James Bowman died in August 1846 at Ravensworth. After his death Ravensworth was purchased by Captain William Russell.
Captain William Russell
Captain Russell arrived in the colony in 1837. He later other properties as well including Glenridding
near Singleton, Waverley and Cheshunt Park
William Russell died in England in 1866. Ravensworth
was subdivided in 1882 and part of the estate was eventually purchased by Duncan Forbes Mackay
Notes and Links
1). Parliamentary Papers - Correspondence relative to Crown Lands
2). Among the Pastoralists
- Maitland Weekly Mercury 7 September 1895
3). Ravensworth Homestead Restorations
4). Nichols, Louise., Should a state significant heritage site be relocated to make way for a coal mine expansion?
- Singleton Argus, 21 January 2020
. Dungog Chronicle : Durham and Gloucester Advertiser
(NSW : 1894 - 1954) Fri 18 Feb 1927, Page 4, Early Days Of Port Stephens
Cite This Page
Willetts, J (n.d.) "James Bowman, Surgeon". Free Settler or Felon
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