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Cordelia Sarah Bowerman (1834–1878)

On the 1st of March the Queensland Executive Council released from penal servitude Frank Sydney Bowerman, who, nine years ago, was convicted before the Chief Justice in Brisbane of an assault with intent to murder Arthur Wilcox Manning, then Under Colonial-Secretary, and was sentenced to penal servitude for life. The trial at the Criminal Court took place within a few days of the committal of the offence, and before the excitement of the event had time to be allayed. Hence there cannot be the slightest doubt that the prisoner's trial and his conviction and sentence were very much influenced by the natural horror and excitement which the event occasioned. Wo do not for one moment wish it to be supposed that we have any sympathy whatever with the crime committed by Bowerman, but we have always been of opinion in company with hundreds of others in Queensland, that the sentence was one of unusual severity, and which, when the excitement had moderated, and the victim was shown to have sustained little if any injury at all, should have been very much mitigated. Mr. Manning is receiving a pension of £600 a year for the injuries he then sustained, and his wife is to receive a pension of £300 per annum after her husband's decease. This recipient of this pension is now in Sydney in the best of health and strength, and living in the metropolis of New South Wales at the expense of the taxpayers of Queensland, and is likely to enjoy his pension for many years to come. Mrs. Bowerman, the wife of the unfortunate prisoner, has shown a devotion towards her husband which has been quite heroic in its character. For the last three years she has been in constant communication with the editor of this journal, who can bear testimony to the unceasing energy and perseverance she has shown in endeavouring to get the sentence of her husband mitigated. Day after day, week after week, month after month, has this lady worked unceasingly to bring about the desired end, and when resource after resource has failed, she has been fruitful in suggesting other expedients in order to again be joined with her husband. .... For the past two years Mrs. Bowerman's health has been very delicate, but, in spite of her health, her courage and devotion to her husband never abated. The intelligence that the Executive intended to release her husband at the expiration of nine years from the date of conviction, only reached her a few days ago. On Saturday last the editor of this journal received a telegram to say that Mrs. Bowerman's health had completely given away, and that her medical advisers had given it as their opinion that she could not possibly live the night through. On Sunday a further telegram was received, stating that Mrs. Cordelia Bowerman died at Bathurst at 11 o'clock on Saturday night. Thus, after the poor lady's devotion and arduous labours for such a lengthened period to secure her husband's release, she expired almost at the very moment that her labours were successful, but without having an opportunity of seeing him on whom so much of her future depended. We are quite sure there will be throughout the colony an expression of general sympathy with the unfortunate Bowerman under such very painful and distressing circumstances. We do not envy the feelings of those who might long ago have restored man and wife, and united a broken-hearted family. Mrs. Bowerman, we may state, was the daughter of Mr. B. Suttor, of Wyagdon Hill, near Bathurst, one of the most respectable families in the Bathurst district, her two nephews being now members of Parliament, and one of them a Minister of the Crown in New South Wales.

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Citation details

'Bowerman, Cordelia Sarah (1834–1878)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Suttor, Cordelia Sarah



2 March, 1878 (aged ~ 44)
Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia