Fairfield City Open Libraries: Heritage Blog

Thomas Bowden (1778-1834)

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Thomas Bowden was born in Devonshire, England. He opened a school in Exeter, eventually becoming master of Great Queen Street Charity School in London. He accepted a position in New South Wales for £100, making him the highest paid teacher in the colony in January of 1812.

In 1818, the Female Orphan School was moved to Parramatta and Bowden was asked to draw up a system for a male orphan school in the now empty building. He was appointed master based on this system, and the school opened in January 1819. He worked efficiently in his role, even receiving a bonus payment for his work. Bowden lost interest in the school when it was transferred to Cabramatta in 1824 and was eventually removed from the position.

He attempted to establish a boarding school for boys, known as the Australian Academy, but instead devoted himself to farming and religious pursuits until his death in 1834.

orphan school creek master residence
(Master’s residence of Male Orphan School)

For more photographs, please see our Heritage Catalogue.

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