John Bow was born at Penrith, NSW, about 1843. The son of a small farmer, he left home after getting some education and got a job as a stockman at Burrowa. It was at this time that he met and became good friends with Frank Gardiner, John Peisley and Johnny Gilbert. The bushrangers used him to keep an eye on the police for them. Although he was only a teenager the gang paid him well, but his drinking and gambling habits brought him to the attention of the police.
Frank Gardiner enlisted John Bow’s assistance when he was planning the raid on the Gold Escort at Eugowra. After the successful hold-up, John Bow received his share of the proceeds. As usual he went on a spending spree and the police became suspicious. They arrested him and on 26th February 1863, in the Sydney Criminal Court, he was sentenced to death for his part in the robbery. Because he had not committed murder, his sentence was commuted to life. This meant he worked on the roads, for the first three years he was in irons.
Eleven years later in August 1873, the Sheriff recommended that he be awarded a conditional pardon. But for some reason he failed to take advantage of it. Bow was finally set free in June 1874 after the Governor of NSW approved his freedom within the colony.
It is believed that John Bow went to Lake Cargellico and took up some land. There is nothing more known about him after that.