Lawyer, planter, and amateur scientist.
Received a broad liberal education in Scotland. Admitted to the Edinburgh bar. Also attended Dr. Cullen’s lectures on chemistry and medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Friend of scientific enthusiast Johann Rodolphe Valltravers and physician Sir John Pringle. Bowman and his father each received orders in council for 5000 acres of East Florida land (1769). Traveled to Florida and attempted to hire an overseer and purchase slaves but failed to establish a working plantation (1769). He was likely the Mr. Bowman who planned to travel to New York in 1770 and for whom Franklin wrote a letter of recommendation. Consulted Franklin about use of carbon dioxide to dissolve bladder stones (1777). Acquired a South Carolina rice plantation, Peachtree, by marriage and became a successful planter on the Santee River.
Son of John Bowman, the Lord Provost of Glasgow. Married Sabina (Lynch) Cattel of South Carolina and had issue.