Israel Bowen

1802 - 18th Dec 1880

Claimant or beneficiary


The Bowen family had been resident in Barbados since the 17th century. Israel Bowen (1802-1880) was the third child of John Bowen (1777-1832) and Mary Campbell Archer

The children of Israel Bowen's 3 marriages were: With Sarah Frances Worme: Lewis Nurse (1828-1884; died in England; married Margaret Brathwaite Hunte, 1854); John Packer (1830-1853; died while a student at Codrington College); William Turpin (1834- ; a missionary in British Guiana then emigrated to USA); Grant Thomas (1837-1918; married Elizabeth Southwell (widow) née Fitzgerald; Vicar of St. Ambrose and St. Cyprian Churches)

With Elizabeth Sinderby: Israel Sinderby (1839-1915; married Margaret Anne Goodridge Simpson 1860)

Israel's first wife Sarah Frances died 27 May 1837, aged 33. Buried in St. Paul's Churchyard, Barbados. Within a little more than a year, on 27 June 1838, he had re-married at St Botolph's church, Aldersgate, City of London to Elizabeth Sinderby, the daughter of Francis Hayward Sinderby, a watchmaker. He and Elizabeth returned to Barbados and he continued with his bookselling business. It is not known when Elizabeth died; but at the age of 68, Israel married for a third time – to Annie Howard, who was only 17. They married in England and returned to Barbados. But at some point between 1870 and 1880 they returned to England, where Israel died 18 December 1880. He was buried in Highgate Cemetery, London. (His son Lewis Nurse Bowen was also buried there, having died 31 May 1884.) On his death Annie emigrated to Vancouver, Canada, where she died c. 1925.

Israel first started a bookshop in Church Street, Bridgetown, in 1834. Continued to run a shop (though in different Bridgetown streets) for at least the next 30 years. By 1866, the firm had become I. Bowen and Sons.

From 1863 he published the Barbados Almanac and Diary, which continued to be published by the firm after his death.

In 1839 Bowen was Secretary of the Barbados Temperance Society (which became the Barbados Society for the suppression of Drunkenness and Intemperance in the same year).

While the Bowen family was rooted in Barbados, note that Israel Bowen settled in retirement in England for the last few years of his life. It is not obvious why he should have done this, even though there had been some movement between Barbados and England over the years.


W. L. McKinstry, ‘Bowen of Barbados’, Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, VIII (1941), 47-66; repr. in James C. Brandow (comp.), Genealogies of Barbados families: from Caribbeana and the Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society (Baltimore, 1983), pp. 186-205; pp. 202-5 for Israel Bowen and his descendants.

For the marriage to Elizabeth Sinderby: Guildhall, St Botolph Aldersgate, Register of marriages, 1837 - 1846, P69/BOT1/A/01/Ms 3857/5; London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921 [database on-line].

Further Information

(1) Sarah Frances Worme (1826); (2) Elizabeth Sinderby (1838); (3) Annie Howard (1870)
With (1) 4 sons; with (2) 1 son; with (3) 1 child survived for 2 weeks
Bookseller and publisher

Associated Claims (1)

£844 14S 10D

Associated Estates (1)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1832 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Executor

Israel Bowen is styled jun. in the Slave Register entry but is probably the same as Israel Bowen associated above.

Legacies Summary

Cultural (1)

Barbados Temperance Society...... 
notes →
W. L. McKinstry, ‘Bowen of Barbados’, Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, VIII (1941), 47-66; repr. in James C. Brandow (comp.), Genealogies of Barbados families:...

Relationships (1)

Son → Father