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WILLIAM BOWMAN,
SURGEON AND SCIENTIST.
By H. LLEWELYN HOWELL.
No purpose, surely, can be more worthy of our Collections
than perpetuating a record of those, who, associated at one time
with our district, have achieved success and fame in Art, Science,
Literature, or the learned professions. In all of these categories,
William Bowman takes a high place, for the splendid profession
of which he was a member was enriched by the patience of his
research, and the lucidity with which he communciated his results,
while in the science and art of surgery his fame was European.
William Bowman was born on 20th July, 1816, and in the
following year his father, John Eddowes Bowman, a banker,
came to Welshpool as manager for the Shrewsbury banking house
of Beck & Co., who then established a branch at Welshpool. He
remained in Welshpool for several years, and ultimately took up
a partnership in Wrexham. While the family were in Welshpool
the younger members were playmates of my mother and her
family, and it was from her that I first heard of William Bowman
who was destined to take so prominent a position in later life.
While the Bowmans were at Wrexham it would appear that
William and two brothers were sent to a school near Birmingham,
carried on by Thomas Wright Hill, whose son, Rowland, after-
wards became celebrated in connection with the establishment of
penny post. By the way, there is some evidence suggesting that
the primary idea of penny post originated in the far-seeing brain
of Samuel Roberts of Llanbrynmair; but that is another story.
The reports of the school indicate that William was a lad of
marked capability and application, and that he was the recipient
of many prizes. Amongst other qualities, his deftness of hand
was conspicuous, a quality, possibly inherited from his mother,
an accomplished amateur artist, which had an obvious bearing
-on his subsequent career. His father, too, was a man of
scientific bent, especially in botany and geology.
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