Bowyer, Sir George 1740?-1800, admiral, third son of Sir William Bowyer, bart., of Denham, Buckinghamshire, and, by right of his wife, of Radley, Berkshire, attained the rank of lieutenant in the navy on 13 Feb. 1758, commander 4 May 1761, and captain 28 Oct. 1762, from which time he commanded the Sheerness frigate till the peace. On the breaking out of the dispute with the colonies of North America he was appointed to the Burford of 70 guns, and early in 1778 was transferred to the Albion of 74 guns, one of the squadron which sailed for North America with Vice-admiral Byron, whom he accompanied to the West Indies, taking part in the battle of Grenada, 6 July 1779. He remained in the West Indies for two years longer, and was present in Sir George Rodney's three actions with the Count de Guichen on 17 April, 15 and 19 May, 1780, in which the Albion suffered severely in men, spars, and hull, and had to be sent to Jamaica for repairs. In 1783 he commissioned the Irresistible of 74 guns, as guardship in the Medway, and commanded there for the next two years, during which time he wore a commodore's broad pennant. In 1784 he was returned to parliament by the borough of Queenborough, and in 1785 was a member of a committee appointed to consider the defences of Portsmouth and Plymouth. On the occasion of the Spanish armament in 1790, he was appointed to the Boyne of 98 guns, a ship newly launched at Woolwich, which, however, was paid off towards the end of the year. On 1 Feb. 1793 he was advanced to the rank of rear-admiral, and shortly afterwards hoisted his flag in the Prince of 90 guns, in the Channel fleet, under the command of Lord Howe. On 1 June 1794 he took an important part in the engagement off Ushant, in which he sustained the loss of a leg. For this he received a pension of 1,000l. in addition to the chain and gold medal, and on 16 Aug. was created a baronet. His wound incapacitated him from further active service, though he was in due course advanced to the rank of vice-admiral, 4 July 1794, and of admiral, 14 Feb. 1799. By the death of his brother in April 1797 he succeeded to the older baronetcy, in which his newer title was merged. He died at Radley, 6 Dec. 1800. He was twice married: first to Lady Downing, widow of Sir Jacob Downing, bart., who died without issue; and second, to Henrietta, only daughter of Admiral Sir Peircy Brett, by whom he had three sons and two daughters.

     Ralfe's Nav. Biog. i. 374
     Charnock's Biog. Nav. vi. 511.

Contributor: J. K. L. [John Knox Laughton]

Published: 1885