William Macarthur Bowman was born 17 September 1831 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia to James Bowman (1784-1846) and Mary Isabella Macarthur (1796-1852) and died 18 December 1878 Mount Brisbane, Queensland, Australia of unspecified causes. He married Caroline Isabella Purdon (c1838-1928) 18 May 1859 in Mount Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


Offspring of William Macarthur Bowman and Caroline Isabella Purdon (c1838-1928)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Charles William Macarthur Bowman (1860-1885)
Frederick John Macarthur Bowman (1861-1948)
Mary Macarthur Bowman (1862-1952)
Frank Macarthur Bowman (1865-1910)
Arthur Macarthur Bowman (c1865-1952)
Harry Macarthur Bowman (1867-1890)
Percy Macarthur Bowman (1869-1909)
Edward Macarthur Bowman (1870-1944)
Ernest Macarthur Bowman (1872-1904)
Archer Macarthur Bowman (1873-1948)
Emmeline Macarthur Bowman (1874-1961)
Ratcliffe Macarthur Bowman (1877-1910)


The Late William Macarthur Bowman, of Mount Brisbane.

Mr. Bowman, who has been so lately taken from our midst whilst in the full strength of manhood, deserves more than a passing notice. Mr Bowman was one of the firm of Messrs. F. and F. Bigge, whose names will be known to old residents is amongst the first settlers of Moreton Bay. He was a son of Dr. Bowman, of Glebe Point, Sydney, who in his lifetime held a leading position in New South Wales, and married Miss Macarthur, of Camden, sister of the present Sir Wiliam Macarthur, of Camden, and of the late General Sir Edward Macarthur.

The subject of this sketch was the third son of this marriage, and as his parents died when he was quite young he was brought up by his relatives, the Macarthurs. About the year 1848, he came to Mount Brisbane (the Messrs. Bigge being friends of his family) to learn station management. Having a fancy for horses, he devoted himself principally to the management of the stud, and, although at that time the stud had the name of being one of the best in the Northern districts, under Mr Bowman's management it improved, the most wilful youngsters of it having in time to recognise his quiet temper, firm seat, and light hands, and act accordingly. For many years Mr Bowman had been a partner in the station and had the entire management. Those who saw him at the last exhibition when his favorite, Westminster, distanced all competitors, could little have anticipated that in a few short months he would meet his death by the animals he was so fond of, and whose habits and ways he had so long made his study. His letter, only lately published in the columns of the Queenslander, urging and suggestlng amongst other things how to ameliorate the condition of the horse, will be fresh in the recollection of many of our readers. As a judge of horses and cattle he was considered one of the best in the colony. On Saturday, December 7, Mr Bowman had driven his family out in the afternoon, and on his return about 5 o'clock, ordered two horses that had been spelling for a short time to be put into a light buggy to give them a turn before starting with them to Ipswich, which he intended doing on the Monday or Tuesday following, both horses had been used by him as harness horses for some time, and had always gone quietly. So soon as he took the reins and got up, one of them began to buck most violently, and both getting away, rushed madly round an enclosed square, and charged directly for a cart shed, the wall plate of which was so low that Mr Bowman had no alternative but to jump out over the wheel. He was hardly clear before the horses rushed into the shed (one of them receiving injuries from which he died in a few hours). On trying to rise Mr Bowman found his leg was broken at the ankle. A doctor was at once sent for to Ipswich, and on his arrival the leg was set, and as it was a case (the fracture being a complicated compound one) which would require close watching, Dr Aspinall recommended that he should be taken to Ipswich. This was done, a litter being provided and fixed on top of a spring brake, his wife accompanying him in the brake, the doctor being in attendance, and by arrangement of pillows and pads doing everything he could for his patient. Mr. Bowman arrived in Ipswich on the 10th, and on the Sunday following Drs. O'Doherty and Rendle were called in and removed a portion of the bone, and on the following day amputated the leg above the knee. On Tuesday morning the symptoms were favorable and his friends hoped for the best, but about noon he begin to sink and died on the following morning about 1 o'clock. The funeral took place in the afternoon at 5 o'clock, and seldom have we seen at a funeral more sympathy evinced or sorrow more heartfelt. Mr Bowman was 47 years of age. No man in the district was more esteemed, and his loss will be long felt and regretted by a large circle of friends to whom he was endeared for his estimable qualities and sterling worth. He leaves a wife and twelve children, ten sons and two daughters.

The Brisbane Courier, 21 December 1878, page 5

Footnotes (including sources)

† Baptism
₪ Wedding
  • At Mount Brisbane, on the 18th inst., by the Rev. Lacy H. Rumsay, M.A., William Macarthur, third son of the late James Bowman, Esq., of Lyndhurst, to Caroline Isabella, third daughter of the Rev. William A. Purdon, Rector of Seaton, Rutland, England.
The Moreton Bay Courier, 25 May 1859, page 2