Richard Bowen (1761 – 25 July 1797) was an officer of the Royal Navy who served during the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary Wars. Bowen saw service with Horatio Nelson, and was killed fighting alongside him at the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Bowen was born into a naval family, and first saw service alongside several distinguished naval figures, including John Jervis, who would become a long-standing friend and patron to Bowen. Bowen rose to prominence after distinguishing himself in several actions, but was unable to gain a commission by the end of the war with America, and spent several years in the Caribbean, hoping to receive promotion. He took the opportunity to carry out a resupply mission to the colonies in Australia during the interwar years, a task he completed successfully, even though it involved a circumnavigation of the globe. Away from Britain for a considerable length of time while carrying this out, he found on his return that war had broken out with France. Reuniting with his old patron Jervis, Bowen returned to the Caribbean and after distinguishing himself in actions against the French colonies there, finally received his own commands. He followed Jervis to the Mediterranean and took part in several hard-fought frigate actions, and even went so far as to attack the Santísima Trinidad, the largest warship in the world at the time, in his 32-gun frigate, HMS Terpsichore. He was operating off Tenerife in 1797 when he came under the command of Rear-Admiral Horatio Nelson, who was quickly impressed by Bowen's zeal and ability. Bowen was given the task of leading the first wave of the assault on the town of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, but the attack went badly. The defenders poured grapeshot onto the attacking British, killing and wounding many, Bowen was killed while Nelson was badly wounded.
Bowen's body was recovered and buried at sea. His friends and relations pressured the authorities for the erection of a memorial in one of the main London churches, but their requests were turned down.
|Geburtsdatum:||1761 (♑ Steinbock)|
|Sterbeort:||Santa Cruz de Tenerife|