Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bowers, George Hull

BOWERS, GEORGE HULL, D.D. (1794–1872), dean of Manchester, born in Staffordshire in 1794, was the son of Mr. Francis Bowers. He was sent to the Pembroke grammar school, and thence proceeded to Clare College, Cambridge. After a successful university career he was appointed perpetual curate of Elstow, Bedfordshire. He graduated B.A. in 1819, proceeding B.D. in 1829, and D.D. in 1849. He was select preacher of his university in 1830. In 1832 he became rector of St. Paul's, Covent Garden. On the death of Dean Herbert in 1847 he was nominated by Lord John Russell to the deanery of Manchester, an office which he held until 26 Sept. 1871. He was not a frequent preacher in Manchester, but his pulpit discourses were at once simple and scholarly, and his delivery effective.

His chief writings are:

  1. 'Sermons preached before the University of Cambridge.'
  2. 'A Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury on a Proposed School for Sons of Clergymen,' London, 1842.
  3. 'A Scheme for the Foundation of Schools for the Sons of Clergymen and others,' London, 1842; this led to the establishment of Marlborough School, of which, conjointly with the Rev. C. E. Plater, he was founder. Similarly Rossall and Haileybury owed their origin to Bowers's suggestion, and the latter gained much on its establishment from Bowers's personal help and experience.
  4. 'Sermons preached in the Parish Church of St. Paul, Covent Garden,' London, 1849.
  5. 'Open Churches with Endowments preferable to Pew Rents, a Sermon,' Manchester, 1855.
  6. 'Pew Rents injurious to the Church, an Address,' Oxford, 1865. He was a warm advocate of the 'free and open church movement.' He was for this reason instrumental in the erection of St. Alban's, Cheetwood, and various addresses which he delivered there have been printed. On his resignation of the office of dean of Manchester he retired to Leamington, where he died Friday, 27 Dec. 1872. He was twice married. He bequeathed 300l. for the support of the special Sunday evening services at the Manchester Cathedral, where a window and a brass were placed by his widow to his memory. A portrait by Charles Mercier is at Rossall School. One of his daughters, Georgiana Bowers, has distinguished herself by successful pictures of hunting and country life in 'Punch.' Some of these have been issued in book form.

[Manchester Guardian, 30 Dec. 1872 ; Parkinson's Old Church Clock, ed. Evans ; private information.]

W. E. A. A.