John Bowman

John Bowman

Internet searches uncover puzzles that can lead, in time, to surprising results. A reference to Byers Hall School, Yorkshire in a paper by Daniel Livesay (1) has led me over the months, by way of Michigan University and Devon, to learning about the Tailyour family, and being able to place the school referred to as being here at the Old Hall in Byers Green with a letter sent from John Bowman in April 1793 to Robert Taylor (Tailyour) regarding the well being of James Tailyour, a pupil at the school.

James is reported as ‘very hearty, and few there be that can exceed him in learning at his age ‘One hopes the school was unlike the notorious ‘Yorkshire schools’ of the time.

As to who else was present at the school remains unknown, though it is likely the younger sons Simon and John were also schooled here. In an earlier paper D. Livesay (2) makes reference to a recommendation  by Jasper Hall about the school, and suggests it had been here some time being run by John Bowman Snr.

In the history of the house this coincides with the period when the Shafto family of Whitworth had possession, rather than the Trotter family.

As yet little information has come to light concerning the John Bowman’s.

  1. Extended Families:Mixed-Race Children and Scottish Experience 1770-1820 Daniel Livesay
    International Journal of Scottish Literature Issue Four Spring2008                                     
  2. Children of Uncertain Future: mixed race migration from the West Indies to Britain 1750-1820 .
    D.A. Livesay  ( Thesis published 2010)