Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/86

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Cowper
Cowper
74


of St. Paul's Cathedral, and on 17 March 1857 he was presented to the rectory of St. Lawrence Jewry with St. Mary Magdalene, Milk Street, by the dean and chapter of St. Paul's. He showed his sympathy with high-church tendencies hy developing an elaborate ritual, without showing any marked sympathy with Roman doctrine. He acted as government inspector of schools from 1857 to 1872, and on 14 Jan. 1871 he was appointed chaplain in ordinary to the queen, In 1866 he was Warburton lecturer on prophecy at Lincoln's Inn, publishing his lectures in 1872 under the title 'The Voice of God' (London, 8vo).

In October 1872 he was nominated by Gladstone dean of Manchester, and in 1880 he was chosen prolocutor of the lower house of the convocation of York, an office which he filled for three years. As dean of Manchester Cowie was custodian of the collegiate church, and the restoration of Chetham chapel was due to his efforts. He did good service in Manchester in the cause of education, acting as a governor of the grammar school and as a member of the council of Owens College. In 1879, after the death of Francis Robert Raines [q.v.], he was elected a feoffee of Chetham College. Upon the death of Turner Crossley he undertook the completion of the supplementary catalogue of Chetham's library.

In 1883 Cowie was appointed dean of Exeter. He died in London on 3 May 1900. On 10 Aug. 1843 he was married at Poughill, Cornwall, to his cousin, Gertrude Mary (d. 15 March 1860), second daughter of Thomas Carnsew of Flexbury Hall, Poughill. By her he had several children.

Besides the works already mentioned, Cowie was the author of numerous published sermons, letters, and addresses, and contributed an essay on 'Toleration' to the second series of the 'Church and the Age' (London, 1874, Svo), edited by Archibald Weir and William Dalrymple Maclagan.

[Eagle, June 1900; Times, 4 May 1900; Boase's Collect. Cornub. 1890; Men and Women of the Time, 1899; Hennessy's Novum Report. Eccles. 1898, pp. 65, 267; Crockford's Clerical Directory.]

E. I. C.

COWPER (afterwards COWPER-TEMPLE), WILLIAM FRANCIS, BARON Mount-Temple (1811–1888), born at Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire, on 13 Dec. 1811, was second son of Peter, fifth Earl Cowper (1778–1837), and his wife, Emily Mary, sister of William Lamb, second Viscount Melbourne [q. v.], the prime minister. His elder brother, George Augustus Frederick (1806-1856), succeeded as sixth Earl Cowper, and was father of the present earl. The fifth earl died on 27 June 1837, and on 11 Dec. 1839 his widow married as her second husband Henry John Temple, third viscount Palmerston [q. v.]; her salon as well as her wit and charm materially aided Palmerston in his career; she died on 11 Sept. 1869.

Her son, William Francis, was educated at Eton, where he afterwards remarked that he learnt no English whatever, and in 1827 entered as a cornet the royal horse guards; he was promoted to be lieutenant in 1832, captain (unattached) in 1835, and brevet major in 1852. In 1835 he became private secretary to his uncle, Lord Melbourne, then prime minister, and was returned to parliament as member for Hertford, which he continued to represent until 1863. In 1841 he was appointed a junior lord of the treasury, and when the whigs returned to office in 1846 he became a lord of the admiralty. He held this post until March 1852, and again from December 1852 to February 1855, when he was made under-secretary for home affairs. Six months later he was appointed president of the board of health and sworn of the privy council; from February 1857 to 1858 he combined with this office the newly created vice-presidency of the committee of council on education. In 1858 he passed the Medical Practitioners Act establishing the Medical Council, and his speech explaining its provisions was published in the same year. In August 1859 Cowper became vice-president of the board of trade, and in February 1860 .commissioner of works, an office he continued to hold until 1866.

In this capacity Cowper did much useful work; in 1862 he carried the Thames Embankment Bill, and in 1863 the Courts of Justice Building Bill. He initiated the practice of distributing for charitable purposes flowers from the London parks, and was keenly interested in the efforts to check enclosures. In 1866 he carried the Metropolitan Commons Act, the first measure which empowered a local authority to undertake the care and management of a common as an open space, and in February 1867 he became first president of the Commons Preservation Society, which had been started in 1865. In 1869, as chairman of the select committee on the enclosure acts, he was instrumental in preserving many rural commons, and to his action in 1871 was largely due the failure of the attempt to enclose Epping Forest. Cowper also waged war with many of his neighbours in the New Forest over the same question. His action may have been stimulated by his friend