Calendarfor the Session 1899-1900
- Mason University College, Birmingham
Thomas Aubrey Bowen was one of the first medically trained oculists to practise in Australia.' Born in Cradley, Worcestershire, he was the third son of a 'dissenting' Unitarian minister, the Reverend William Bowen, MA. His mother, born Marianne Priestley, was a granddaughter of the radical Reverend Joseph Priestley, LLD, FRS, the famous chemist. Aubrey Bowen began his medical training at Sydenham College and the Birmingham General Hospital, but his studies were interrupted. In 1857 his parents and their 2 youngest sons migrated to Melbourne because of the health of Aubrey and his brother. Aubrey's health must have improved, as he returned to Birmingham to complete his medical training. He then served for 16 months as resident surgeon to the Birmingham and Midland Counties Eye Hospital before returning to Melbourne (1864), where after 2 years as resident surgeon to the Melbourne Hospital he commenced private practice.' His portrait as a young man is shown in Fig. 1. He gave prolonged honorary service to the Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, the Children's Hospital, Melbourne, the Industrial School for unwanted and destitute children, the Medical Society of Victoria, and various governments of the Colony of Victoria. Over the years he rose to the top of his profession. He married a daughter of the Honorable Henry Miller, one of the richest financiers in the colony.