James Bowman R.N.
Convict Ship Surgeon-Superintendent and Settler
Ravensworth - Map 5
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.
Convicts Assigned to Ravensworth Estate
per Camden 1833
per Georgiana 1831
- per John 1827
per Countess of Harcourt 1822
per Camden 1831
per Surry 1834
per Tottenham 1818
per Hive 1835
per Marquis of Huntley 1826 - Occupation Stonemason
per Portland 1832
- Exmouth 1831 - Occupation Waterman
per Sir Godfrey Webster 1826 - Occupation Shepherd
per Hive 1834
per Guildford 1827. Occupation Shepherd
per Cambridge 1827. Occupation labourer
per Waterloo 1836. Occupation Pavoir's boy
per Midas 1825. Occupation Housemaid.
per Lord Sidmouth 1819. Occupation - Organ builder
per Morley 1828
per General Hewitt 1814
per Calcutta 1837
per Lady Feversham 1830. Occupation Basket weaver
per Eliza 1827 - Occupation Shepherd
per Bengal Merchant 1838. Occupation Labourer
per Bussorah Merchant 1828. Occupation Labourer
per Ocean 1823. Occupation Shepherd
per Eliza 1827. Occupation Labourer
per Isabella 1818. Occupation Labourer
per Lloyds 1833. Occupation Wheelwright
per Recovery 1819. Occupation Gardener.
per Jane 1831. Occupation Carter
per Roslin Castle 1833. Occupation Inddor servant, footman and valet
per Hive 1834. Occupation Servant boy.
per Layton 1829. Occupation ploughman and butcher.
per Buffalo 1833
per Morley 1829
per Roslin Castle 1834. Occupation labourer
per Exmouth. Occupation Ploughs, milks, reaps.
per Marquis of Hastings 1828. Occupation Labourer
per Countess of Harcourt 1824. Occupation Labourer.
per Grenada 1825
per Prince Regent `827. Occupation Labourer
. Age 11. Apprentice
per Exmouth 1831. Occupation Jeweller
per Speke 1826. Occupation Stonemason
per Agamemnon 1820. Occupation Shoemaker.
per Marquis of Huntley 1835. Occupation Cabinet maker's boy.
per Hooghley 1834
per Lady Nugent 1835
per Asia 1825 (III)
per Layton 1829. Occupation cotton spinner.
per Bengal Merchant 1835. Occupation groom.
per Midas 1827. Occupation Shepherd.
per Elizabeth 1820. Occupation Shepherd.
per Royal Sovereign 1834
per Heroine 1833
per Morley 1817. Occupation labourer.
per Parmelia 1832
per Heroine 1833. Occupation labourer.
per Portland 1833. Occupation labourer.
per Bussorah Merchant 1831
per Sophia 1829
per Tottenham 1818. Occupation labourer.
per Mary 1822
per Fairlie 1834
per Lady Harewood 1832. Occupation ploughman
per Bussorah Merchant 1828
per Sophia 1829. Occupation Shepherd.
per Jane 1831
per Aurora 1833
per Royal Sovereign 1834. Occupation Groom and Dragoon.
per John 1832. Occupation Steam loom weaver
per Eliza 1827. Occupation shoemaker
Robert (Edward) Scott
per Sophia 1829
per Sophia 1829. Horse dealer and farrier.
per Henry Porcher 1825
per Manlius 1827
per Lady Feversham 1830. Occupation Tailor.
per Royal Charlotte 1825
per Daphne 1819
per Agamemnon 1820
per Bussorah Merchant 1828. Occupation Labourer.
per Bussorah Merchant 1831.
per Sarah 1829. Occupation top sawyer.
per Burrell 1830. Occupation groom.
per Vittoria. Occupation Labourer.
Elizabeth Wadley pe
r Grenada 1827. Occupation house servant.
per Guildford 1822. Occupation Blacksmith.
per Mermaid 1830. Occupation Ploughman
per Mellish 1829.
per Eliza 1820. Occupation Stockman
per America 1829
per Marquis of Huntley 1835
per Albion 1827. Occupation carpenter.
per Mermaid 1830. Occupation errand boy.
per Strathfieldsaye 1836.
per Ocean 1823. Occupation Shepherd.
per Lloyds 1833
per Manlius 1827. Occupation Shepher.
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 and became a pastoralist and agriculturalist. He later acquired 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
.Dungog Chronicle : Durham and Gloucester Advertiser
(NSW : 1894 - 1954) Fri 18 Feb 1927, Page 4, Early Days Of Port Stephens