January 12, 1858, Keighley, Yorkshire, England.
December 10, 1905.
West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.
Bowness was the son of Henry Briggs and Alice Jacques, and husband of Rosaline Brechemin.
He was educated at St. Marks College and the University of Pennsylvania (BMus 1893).
In 1879, he joined the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad as a stenographer, later working at the Repauno Chemical Company (1882–83), the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad (1883–87), the Wilmington and Northern Railroad (1888–1900), and the Atlantic City Railroad (1900). He was a member of the Houston Club, Union League of Philadelphia, and the Manuscript Music Society.