Elizabeth Bowes (1502?-1568) was an English follower of John Knox, her son-in-law.
She was the daughter of Roger Aske, of Aske, Yorkshire. Her father died when she was a child, and she and her sister Anne were coheiresses of their father and grandfather. Their wardship was sold in 1510 to Sir Ralph Bowes of Dalden, Streatlam, and South Cowton. In 1521 Elizabeth Aske was betrothed to Richard Bowes, youngest son of Sir Ralph, and the king granted to him special livery of half the lands of William Aske, which he was to receive on his marriage. Richard Bowes, like the rest of his family, was engaged in border business, but seems to have lived chiefly at Aske, where his wife bore him five sons and ten daughters, among them George Bowes and Robert Bowes.
In 1548 Richard Bowes was made captain of Norham. His wife and family followed him northwards and lived in Berwick. Elizabeth, religious and much affected by the Protestant Reformation, met John Knox, who was living at Berwick in 1549. Her husband's family pride was hurt by Knox's proposal to marry their daughter Marjory, and he refused his consent. Knox, however, who was about the same age as Elizabeth, contracted himself to Marjory; and in July 1553 they were married in spite of opposition. At this time Knox's fortunes were at a low ebb, and Queen Mary had just ascended the throne. His letters to Elizabeth were intercepted by spies, and in January 1554 he left England.
In June 1556 Elizabeth and Marjory joined Knox at Geneva, where two sons were born to the couple. In 1558 Richard Bowes died, and in 1559 Knox left Geneva for Scotland. He was soon followed by his wife, and Elizabeth after a short stay in England made her way to her son-in-law, who wrote for the queen's permission for her journey. In 1560 Marjory died, but her mother still stayed near Know, leaving her own family. She died in 1568, and after her death Knox gave an account of the relationship in the Advertisement to his Answer to a Letter of a Jesuit named Tyrie (1572), published a letter to Elizabeth, dealing with her troubled conscience.
- Cathy Hartley, Susan Leckey (2003), A Historical Dictionary of British Women, article p. 60.