amateur photographer and Anglican clergyman, was born in London, third son of John George Henry Pownall. He graduated BA from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1845, was ordained in 1847, and came to Western Australia in the Australian on 9 August 1852 where he was appointed to the parish of York and Beverley. He occupied the newly-completed parsonage at York and finished building the church there – buildings depicted in a watercolour by the wife of a later incumbent, Janet Millett . About a year after his arrival Pownall married Jane Slade; they had eleven children.
In 1855 Pownall was transferred to Perth, succeeding the late Rev. J. B. Wittenoom as colonial chaplain. Bishop Hale appointed him first dean of Perth Cathedral in 1862. A member of the High Church Cambridge Camden (later Ecclesiological) Society, he was active in the cultural life of the colony, his particular interest being church architecture. The design of the Gothic Revival deanery at Perth has been attributed to him, with the architect Richard Roach Jewell being thought to have assisted in its erection.
In 1856 Pownall was elected vice-president of the Perth Mechanics Institute. There, in September 1858, he gave a demonstration of photography at a conversazione , the Perth Gazette reporting that he had introduced 'the whole of the apparatus and chemicals together with a selection of very beautiful specimens—stereos and microscopic’.
Pownall returned to England in the Tartar in 6 January 1863, with his wife, four children and sister-in-law, Agnes Slade. He became chaplain at Isleworth, Middlesex (1863-64), vicar of St John’s, Horton (1864-98) and rural dean of Shoreditch (1870-90). He died at Buxted, Sussex, on 11 February 1900.