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Irish (1823-?)

Cowen was born in Ireland in 1823. He had served on the C J Tyer's coastal survey, had travelled inland from Moreton Bay and had been on the Darling River. He had served in the Gippsland border police in 1846, had been a corporal and then a sergeant in the Native Police Corps in 1850-1, had been on the Bendigo diggings and then served as a Senior Constable in the Victorian Police Force at Mansfield. In 1858 he was dismissed for insolence. By 1860 he was married with at least three children.

He submitted an application to join the Expedition.

Original item held at the State Library of Victoria, SLV MS13071,
Boxes 2076/1-2076/5 and Boxes 2077/1-2077/4.
Royal Society of Victoria, Exploration Committee Records:
Applications to join the VEE received by the EC.

At an Ordinary meeting of the Exploration Committee of the Royal Society of Victoria held on Monday, 9 July 1860, Burke submitted a list of persons to join the party, which included Cowen.

Cowen was appointed to the VEE in July 1860 on a salary of £120 pa.

On the 18 August 1860, Brahe signed the Memorandum of Agreement at the Royal Society of Victoria.

Burke dismissed Owen Cowen on the day of departure from Melbourne, 20th August 1860 at Royal Park for becoming...

'a little too hilarious through excess of beer.'

Where Cowen went on the expedition

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