Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/85

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Cowen
Cowie
73

1866 it was reorganised with Cowen as chairman.

He wrote much for the public press, being a contributor from boyhood to the 'Newcastle Chronicle,' of which, in later life, he became proprietor and editor. He also established a monthly, the 'Northern Tribune.'

On his father's death in 1873 he succeeded him as member for Newcastle, having a majority of 1,003. He was chosen again at the general election in 1874. His maiden speech was delivered in 1876 on the Royal Titles Bill, and it produced a strong impression on the House of Commons, Disraeli sending his compliments. Cowen did not conceal his satisfaction that a political opponent should have done so, nor his chagrin that Gladstone, whom he supported, had disparagingly referred to one of his speeches as smelling of the lamp. Indeed, all his speeches were carefully prepared and very rhetorical in form, as were his writings. It was obvious that he had adopted too many of the mannerisms of Macaulay. In the House of Commons his delivery was marred by a strong Northumbrian accent; but this was no defect when he addressed his constituents.

His popularity was somewhat lessened by what was considered to be his erratic conduct, such as the support he gave to the tory government in the case of the Russo-Turkish war; but he always cherished his right to independence in judgment and action. A home ruler before Gladstone took up the question, Cowen remained so to the end of his life, but he also remained an imperialist of a pronounced type. He cultivated independence in all relations of life. His customary dress was that of a Northumbrian miner on a Sunday, which was then a novelty in the House of Commons. He had an aversion to society, yet, being very rich, open-handed, and well read, he was a welcome guest everywhere.

When entering a public meeting of the electors of Newcastle on 18 March 1880 he was crushed and injured internally, never wholly recovering from the effects. Re-elected in 1880, he retired at the general election in 1885, refusing to be a candidate again. He continued to conduct the 'Newcastle Chronicle' till his sudden death on 18 Feb. 1900. In 1854 he married Jane, the daughter of John Thompson of Fatfield, Durham, and he left behind him a son and daughter. A portrait of Cowen is prefixed to his 'Life and Speeches,' by (Major) Evan Rowland Jones, 1885.

[Supplement to Newcastle Chronicle, 19 Feb. 1900; The Times of same date; Life and Speeches, by Major E. R. Jones, 1885.]

F. R.

COWIE, BENJAMIN MORGAN (1816–1900), dean of Exeter, born in Bermondsey, Surrey, on 8 June 1816, was the youngest son of Robert Cowie, a merchant and insurance agent, descended from a Cornish family long settled in London. When about eight years old he was placed at a pensionnat at Passy under an instructor named Savary, and was taught mathematics for four years by two Savoyards named Peix and Sardou. He was admitted to St. John's College, Cambridge, as a sizar in July 1833, and as a pensioner on 12 Oct. He graduated B.A. as senior wrangler in 1839, M.A. in 1842, B.D. in 1855, and D.D. in 1880. In 1839 he was chosen second Smith's prize-man, being placed below Percival Frost [q. v. Suppl.], who was second wrangler.

Cowie was admitted a fellow of St. John's College on 19 March. He was admitted a student of Lincoln's Inn on 8 Nov. 1837, but relinquished the study of the law and was ordained deacon in 1841 and priest in 1842 by Joseph Allen, bishop of Ely. He resided for some years in college, and during this period prepared his 'Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts and scarce Books in the Library of St. John's College, Cambridge' (Cambridge, 4to), which was issued by the Cambridge Antiquarian Society in 1843. In that year he vacated his fellowship by marriage, and became curate at St. Paul's, Knightsbridge, under William James Early Bennett [q. v. Suppl.], with whose high-church views he was in sympathy. In 1844 he was appointed principal and senior mathematical lecturer of the recently founded college for civil engineers at Putney, and during his residence there he acted as honorary secretary to the committee of management of St. Mark's College at Chelsea for training parochial schoolmasters, then under the principalship of Derwent Coleridge [q. v.]

Upon the dissolution of the college for civil engineers in 1851 he took up his residence for four or five years at the Manor House, Stoke D'Abernon, Cobham, Surrey. In 1852 and again in 1856 he was chosen select preacher at Cambridge. His sermons, preached at Great St. Mary's, Cambridge, in 1856, were published under the title 'On Sacrifice; the Atonement, Vicarious Oblation, and Example of Christ, and the Punishment of Sin' (Cambridge, 8vo). In 1853 and 1854 he was Hulsean lecturer, and his lectures, entitled 'Scripture Difficulties,' were published in two volumes, the first in 1853 and the second in 1854. In 1855 he was appointed professor of geometry at Gresham College. On 28 Nov. 1856 he was appointed fifth minor canon and succentor