English merchant, volunteer officer, and alderman; born at Chatham 1832; died at Buxton Oct. 22, 1899. From the first he took a keen interest in the Volunteer movement; he was a member of the Honorable Artillery Company: and in 1863 joined the Third London Rifles with three companies raised from his own workmen. He became lieutenant-colonel in this regiment, retiring in 1880 with the queen's permission to retain his rank. In 1883 he was elected sheriff of London and Middlesex during the first mayoralty of Sir R. N. Fowler, and in 1885 was elected alderman of the ward of Cordwainer, which office he resigned in 1892 owing to the claims of business.
Cowan served on the council of the Anglo-Jewish Association, and was closely associated with the Jews' Hospital and Orphan Asylum. He was a Conservative in politics, and in 1885 unsuccessfullycontested the newly formed constituency of Whitechapel with Sir Samuel Montagu, Bart.
- Jewish Chronicle, London, Oct. 27, 1899.