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In the Colony She Was the First

Lieutenant John Bowden (1780–1827)

Arriving in New South Wales on the convict transport Glatton in 1803, the 23-year-old officer Bowen was offered the command of a new British settlement in Van Diemen’s Land. The first settlement of 49 people arrived at Risdon Cove on 8 September 1803. Among the 49 was Bowen’s pregnant young mistress, Martha Hayes.
Five months later Lieutenant-Governor David Collins arrived on the Calcutta, the first convict transport to Van Diemen’s Land. Collins was unimpressed by the water supply at Bowen’s choice of location. Senior to Bowen, he took command and relocated the settlement across the Derwent River to Sullivan’s Cove.
By now Bowen and Martha had a daughter, and another child on the way, when Bowen was recalled to England. Leaving the Colony at the end of 1804, Bowen exited the lives of his two daughters, Henrietta and (unborn) Charlotte.

A watercolour, attributed to T.G. Gregson, of Lieutenant John Bowen and his party arriving at Risdon.  It was here at Risdon, under Bowen’s administration, that the first fatal encounter with the Tasmanian Aboriginal people took place.
A watercolour, attributed to T.G. Gregson, of Lieutenant John Bowen and his party arriving at Risdon. It was here at Risdon, under Bowen’s administration, that the first fatal encounter with the Tasmanian Aboriginal people took place.

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