Lt. John Mitford Bowker

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John Mitford Bowker, b1

Birthdate: (46)
Birthplace: Mitford Hall, Northumberland, England
Death: November 4, 1847 (46)
Oakwell, Grahamstown, Cape, South Africa
Immediate Family:

Son of Miles Bowker, SV/PROG and Anna Maria Bowker, SM/PROG
Husband of Mary Anne Standen
Father of Duncan Campbell Bowker; John Mitford Bowker; Thomas Standen Bowker; Miles Bowker; Bourchier Bowker and 1 other
Brother of William Monkhouse Bowker, b2; Miles Brabbin Bowker, b3; Cmdt. Thomas Holden Bowker, J.P.; Bertram Egerton Bowker, J.P., M.P.; The Hon. Robert Mitford Bowker, J.P. and 6 others

Managed by: Private User
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About Lt. John Mitford Bowker

Lt. John Mitford Bowker (1801-1847) only went to South Africa 2 years later after he had tied up his father's affairs in England.


He took part in the campaign against the M'fecani in 1828 and served as Lieutenant, 1st battalion Provisional Colonial Infantry in the war of 1834-1835, being appointed Resident Agent with the Fingo Settlement near Fort Peddie. He was signatory to the Treaty with the Gaika Chiefs at King William's Town in 1836. In the war of 1846-1847 he was Commandant, Lower Koonap River Burghers and Field-Cornet, Fish River in 1847.

He was a member of the 1828 expedition party into Kaffirland, described in Harold Edward Hockly's book, 'The Story of the British Settlers of 1820 in South Africa', on pages 117 and 118. " About the middle of the following year, 1828, news was received that Chaka's Zulus ( or the Fetcani), were again threatening to overrun Kaffirland, and once again the Kaffirs prepared for a wholesale migration into the Colony for protection. A small volunteer force of fifty men under Major Dundas was immediately despatched into Kaffirland to investigate the position, to persuade the Zulus or Fetcani, (whichever the raiders turned out to be), to retire, and if necessary, drive them back. Settlers who were members of this small expedition were J.M., W.M., and B.E. Bowker, James and John Cawood, W.Biddulph, C.Baillie, T.Foxcroft, Thomas Pullen and E.Phillips. Together with a body of friendly kaffirs, they advanced as far as the Bashee River without coming into contact with the enemy. With half a dozen of the settlers just named, Dundas then rode into Pondoland to make further reconnaissances: there they saw the ruin and desolation caused by the invaders (who turned out to be Fetcani, not Zulus), and narrowly escaped coming into conflict with them. After this small scouting party had again rejoined the main body, Dundas's force moved into Temboland, where they again saw the evidence of the terrible havoc wrought by the Fetcani. near the Umtata River, the opposing forces at last met, the Fetcani being defeated after a short but sharp encounter. On the return of the expedition to the Colony after an abscence of seven weeks, Col. Henry Somerset led a large and well equiped force into Kaffirland which overtook the Fetcani at the Kei River, defeated them in a decisive battle, and drove them back." . Distinguished himself in action in the Sixth Kaffir War in 1835, and became a Government Agent with the Fingoes after this war - Fort Peddie 1835. He died during the Seventh War.

  • VOLUME_NO 6/9/42
  • SYSTEM 00
  • REFERENCE 8947
  • PART 1
  • STARTING 1847
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Lt. John Mitford Bowker's Timeline

April 13, 1801
Mitford Hall, Northumberland, England
March 22, 1838
Age 36
Fort Peddie, Eastern Cape, South Africa
June 7, 1839
Age 38
Grahamstown, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa
March 27, 1841
Age 39
Age 41
Willow Fountain
February 1845
Age 43
Grahamstown, Western District, Eastern Cape, South Africa
March 27, 1847
Age 45
Grahamstown, Western District, Eastern Cape, South Africa
November 4, 1847
Age 46
Oakwell, Grahamstown, Cape, South Africa