Bowtell, John (DNB00)

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BOWTELL, JOHN (1753–1813), topographer, born in the parish of Holy Trinity, Cambridge, in 1753, became a bookbinder and stationer there. He compiled a history of the town, keeping it by him unprinted; collected fossils, manuscripts, and other curiosities; and was a member of the London College Youths. He was also an enthusiastic bell-ringer, and in 1788, at Great St. Mary's, Cambridge, he rang on the 30-cwt. tenor bell as many as 6,609 harmonious changes 'in the method of bob maximus, generally termed "twelve-in."' Bowtell had no family, and dying on 1 Dec. 1813, aged 60, he made the following important bequests for the benefit of Cambridge: 7,000l. to enlarge Addenbrooke's Hospital; 1,000l. to repair Holy Trinity; 500l. to repair St. Michael's; 500l. to apprentice boys belonging to Hobson's workhouse; and his 'History of the Town' and other manuscripts, his books, his fossils, and curiosities, to Downing College. He was buried at St. Michael's, where the Addenbrooke's Hospital governors erected a tablet to his memory. The governors also placed a portrait of him in their court-room.

[Cooper's Annals of Cambridge, iv. 505-6; Gent. Mag. vol. lxxxiv. pt. ii. p. 85; Cambridge Chronicle for 3, 17, 24 Dec. 1813.]

J. H.