Charles Bowns was a Yorkshire land agent and lawyer who lived at Barnsley, first at Bank Top, then at Darley Hall (now Darley Cliffe Hall) a very fine 17th century house at Worsbrough. At the time of his death he had, for more than thirty years, managed Earl Fitzwilliam’s extensive estates near Wentworth and had been auditor for his lordship’s other estates in England and Ireland. Bowns was appointed as the Beaumonts’ Yorkshire land agent some time after the dismissal of Mark Skelton. He organised a systematic survey of their Yorkshire estates in 1805 -1810. He was also employed by Colonel and Diana Beaumont “in law business” (John Erasmus Blackett letter 26/7/1803) but from Blackett’s correspondence he acted more widely than this across the northern estates and mines. He first appeared in Blackett’s correspondence in 1799. He received accounts, dealt with banks and gave advice on land purchase. In 1805 he co-authored with James Cockshutt a paper recommending changes to the lead mining business management structure. A number of John Erasmus Blackett’s letters to Colonel or Mrs. Beaumont were copied to Bowns, suggesting he worked very closely with them.
Ian Forbes and Michael Powell