Born at Glandovan (‘Glan Duan, West Wales Records, ii, 39), Kilgerran, went to sea very early with captain John Donkley, R.N., who had married his father's sister. After serving on various ships, he was twice sent on voyages of discovery round the world, and in 1769 (as lieutenant) to the Falkland Islands (being shipwrecked before reaching port). He was at home from 1770 till 1779, but then was captain under Rodney, and from 1786 till 1788 served off Newfoundland. He was knighted in 1792 and sent to convoy H.M. Ambassador (Macartney) to China. Further service (notably under Cornwallis in 1795) led to rear-admiral's rank (1799); in 1804 he became vice-admiral. After a term (1804-7) as c.-in-c. and governor of Newfoundland, he retired and was made admiral in 1809. He died at Hambledon, Portsmouth, 21 June 1814, ‘in his seventy-second year.’ Erasmus Gower was the son of Abel Gower; his mother was a daughter of Erasmus Lewes, who was vicar of Lampeter — a Lewes of Gernos, Llangunllo, Cardiganshire (Meyrick, Cardiganshire, 2nd ed., 202, 221). The Gowers, a Worcestershire family, had come into Glandovan (c. 1700) by intermarriage with the Stedmans, who in their turn had acquired it by intermarriage with the original family, the Vaughans. These were descendants of Robert Vaughan, a cadet of the better-known Vaughans of Cors-y-gedol in Merionethshire; this Robert's wife was Elizabeth, daughter of the translator Thomas Phaer. The Gowers eventually removed from Glandovan to Clunderwen, Pembs.
Published date: 1959
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