Edward Ernest Bowen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Edward Ernest Bowen
Personal information
Full nameEdward Ernest Bowen
Born(1836-03-30)30 March 1836
Glenmore, County Wicklow, Ireland
Died8 April 1901(1901-04-08) (aged 65)
Moux, Côte-d'Or, France
RelationsCharles Bowen (brother)
I. M. B. Stuart (grandson)
Domestic team information
Only First-class11 August 1864 Hampshire v Sussex
Career statistics
Competition FC
Matches 1
Runs scored 0
Batting average 0.00
100s/50s 0/0
Top score 0
Catches/stumpings 0/–
Source: Cricinfo, 21 August 2009

Edward Ernest Bowen (30 March 1836 – 8 April 1901) was an influential schoolmaster at Harrow School from 1859 until his death, and the author of the Harrow school song, "Forty Years On".


Edward Bowen was born in Glenmore, County Wicklow, Ireland; his elder brother was Charles Bowen, a well-known judge. He was educated at Blackheath Proprietary School and King's College, London before entering Trinity College, Cambridge.[1] He was appointed an assistant master at Marlborough College in 1858, and moved to Harrow in 1859.[2]

As a schoolmaster, Bowen believed that boys must be interested in his lessons and at ease with him. This was in contrast with the grave formality typical of the Victorian era. He was the founder of the "modern side" at Harrow, which gave prominence to subjects other than Latin and Greek.[2]

Bowen was also an enthusiastic sportsman and pedestrian. As a Cambridge undergraduate he walked the 90 miles from Cambridge to Oxford in 26 hours; at Harrow, he was the first master to identify himself thoroughly with sports and games; and he was involved in the establishment of the English Football Association, also playing in and winning the first FA Cup Final in 1872 and winning the trophy again in 1873 with Wanderers F.C. Bowen also played one English County Cricket match for Hampshire, in 1864, but was dismissed for a duck both times.

Bowen is perhaps best remembered as the author of the Harrow school song, "Forty Years On", which is still sung today, and to which an extra verse was later added in honour of Winston Churchill. He also wrote many other Harrow School songs along with the then Master in Charge of Music, many of which are sung by the school to this day at occasions known as songs every term. While at Harrow, he was housemaster of The Grove boarding house.

He died at Moux, Côte-d'Or, France. Cyril Norwood said of him that he had "kept the eternal boy alive within his own breast to the very end".[3]


  1. ^ "Bowen, Edward Ernest (BWN854EE)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ a b 'Obituary: Mr. E. E. Bowen' in The Times (London), issue 36426 dated 11 April 1901, p. 4
  3. ^ Jeffrey Richards, Happiest Days: The Public Schools in English Fiction (1988), p. 121

External links[edit]