Bowring Albums

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Manuscript letters from various eminent persons collected by Bowring, including some to or concerning Jeremy Bentham.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Bowring was born in Exeter on 17 October 1792, and was educated in Moretonhampstead. After leaving school, he entered a Merchant's house at Exeter where he started to learn languages through the different nationalities of the people he met there. He showed a great aptitude for languages and learned a great many in his lifetime. In 1811 he became a clerk in London at Milford and Co. Later he started his own business and in 1819 travelled abroad for commercial purposes. Bowring was friend and adviser to Jeremy Bentham who founded in 1824 the 'Westminster Review' a publication for philosophical radicals. Bowring was one of the first editors of it and wrote many of the political articles and some of the literary ones. In 1824 he issued some volumes of poetry and volumes about poetry. He travelled a great deal in his life. In 1831 he was appointed Commissioner to investigate the commercial relations between England and France. He wanted a seat in parliament and stood for some elections. He was elected for Bolton in 1841. Later, after resigning his seat, he travelled in China. In 1854 he was knighted. He died in Exeter on 23 November 1872.

Conditions Governing Access

Open

Acquisition Information

Part of the C.K. Ogden Library purchased in 1953.

Other Finding Aids

Name index