Person:Robert Cowan (26)

Robert Cowan, The Justice
b.1738 Scotland
  • HRobert Cowan, The Justice1738 -
  • W.  Elizabeth Irvine (add)
m. 9 June 1769
Facts and Events
Name Robert Cowan, The Justice
Gender Male
Birth[1] 1738 Scotland
Marriage 9 June 1769 Bedford (county), Virginia, United Statesto Elizabeth Irvine (add)


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Marriages of Bedford County
Document. Letter of James Calloway concerning Robert Cowan


Notebook. Cowan Records, Bedford County, PA


This article is about Robert Cowan The Justice, who married the widow Elizabeth Anthony Irvine, in 1769. Prior to the Revolution Robert served as a justice to the Bedford County Courts. A loyalist, he fled with his wife and children to New York, and then England, at the beginning of the Revolution. [2] After the Revolution he apparently returned to America, as he appears as a lawyer in court cases, and in 1784 he gave consent for the marriage of his step daughter Nancy Irvine. [3] (It is possible that there were two separate Robert Cowans in Bedford County, one the Justice, and the other a lawyer. In this view the Justice was a loyalist and fled to England at the beginning of the Revolution. The other remained in America and practiced law after the Revolution. In the view adopted in this article, based on the legal backgound of "both men", it seems likely that they are the same person, and that Robert the Justice returned to Virginia at some point. There is some reason to believe he never left America, and filed his petition from New York, as he soon returned to reoccupy his lands in Bedford County. See N1, below. Additional evidence on this point is needed.)


  1. "James Calloway in May 1779 gave information that one Robert Cowan, Scotchman and a Tory, who had been refused admission into the state, had in defiance come and settled upon his land." See Notebook. Cowan Records, Bedford County, PA for source information. See Also :Document. Letter of James Calloway concerning Robert Cowan. Calloway's letter describes Cowan as "of North Britain". Plausibly that's Scotland.
  2. Document. Robert Cowan, Petition for Relief, 1778
  3. Dennis and Smith, 1932:12.