S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Bowler, Mr Louis Patrick (geography)

Born: Date not known, Place not known.
Died: Date not known, Place not known.

Louis Patrick Bowler was a prospector for most of his career. In 1883 he applied for government employment in the Natal Colony, but by 1887 he appears to have moved to Barberton, requesting permission from the government of the South African Republic (Transvaal) to build a steam tram there. Some time before the British South Africa Company was established in 1889 to develop and colonise the territory north of the Limpopo River he travelled from Pretoria to Matabeleland. He published a pamphlet entitled Facts about the Matabele, Mashonas, and the Middle Zambesi, giving a full description of the countries... (Pretoria, 1889, 36p), with an addendum appearing the same year, in which he described the country of the Bechuanas, the Tati district, the Zambesi River, the people who live in these territories, and particularly the goldfields and ruins of present day Zimbabwe. His descriptions were based on notes made on the spot and served to illustrate his map, The northern goldfields: Prospecter's map of Matabele and Mashonaland, scale aproximately 1: 1 740 000, which was also published in Pretoria in 1889.

Bowler was a member of the Geological Society of South Africa by 1897, but not for long. In 1903 he published 'Notes on the Gold Coast of West Africa' in the Transactions of the North of England Institution of Mining and Mechanical Engineers. In later years he wrote two books, Gold Coast palaver; life on the Gold Coast (London, 1911, 173p) and African nights, a mystery narrative of surprises (London, 1929, using the pseudonym 'Rooinek'). At that time (1929) he held the rank of Captain.

List of sources:
Geological Society of South Africa. Transactions, 1897, Vol. 2, p. 159, list of members.

Google scholar. http://scholar.google.co.za Publications by Louis P. Bowler.

Hall, A.L. Bibliography of South African geology to the end of 1920. Pretoria: Geological Survey, Memoir No. 18, 1922.

Mendelssohn, S. South African bibliography. London, 1910.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Louis P. Bowler / L.P. Bowler.

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1980.

Compiled by: C. Plug