Frederick James Cornish-Bowden [Obituary]

Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. XXXVIII, (1906), p. 38.


J. Brooking-Rowe (Ed.)

Prepared by Michael Steer

The obituary was read at the Association’s July 1906 Lynton meeting. Duncan Reid’s article: “The Cornishes of South Devon” on the Whitlock Family Association website adds much of interest to information in the present obituary. Esther Priscilla Cornish of Black Hall & Crabadon Manor (b.26 Apr. 1850) was married on 14 June 1870 in Wolborough St. Mary's, to philanthropist and public benefactor, Frederick James Bowden (changed to Cornish-Bowden by deed-poll 1 Jan. 1873). They had six children; Esther Mary (b.1871),Caroline Ellery (b.1872), Frediswide Floyer (b.1874), Elizabeth Ffoulkes (b.1876), James(b.1877), & Cicely Churchill (b.1883). Frederick was a Barrister-at-Law of the Middle Temple, and a J.P. for Devon. He and Esther completed the building of St James', Avonwick together. Frederick died at Avonwick, Esther died on 22 Oct. 1922, also at Avonwick. The obituary, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

Frederick James Cornish-Bowden. Mr. F. J. Cornish- Bowden, of Black Hall, barrister-at-law, was the son of James Bowden, of Kidbrook, Kent, formerly of the Admiralty Office. He was born 24 December, 1843, and married Esther Priscilla Cornish, daughter and co-heiress of James Cornish, of Black Hall, upon which he assumed the prefix surname of Cornish. He was well known in the county, and held in great esteem by all. He was an active magistrate and useful in many public matters, the whole district benefiting by the zeal and liberality he displayed. He took much interest in agriculture, and although he did not take any prominent part in politics, the Conservative cause had his hearty support. He was a devout Churchman and a member of the English Church Union, and for many years was President of the South-Western District of the Union. He was much interested in the work of the Plympton Deanery Choral Union, and his stalwart figure carrying the cross at the head of the procession at the annual gatherings will be remembered by many. His gifts to the Church were numerous, many known only to the recipients and himself. In 1878 he supplied a great want by building the church of St. James at Avonwick, the chancel being a memorial to his father. He had been ill for some time before his death, which took place on 3 October, 1905, at Avonwick.