LOWTHER, Richard (1638-1703), of Maulds Meaburn, Westmld.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

bap. 15 Nov. 1638, 3rd but 1st surv. s. of Sir John Lowther I, 1st Bt., of Lowther by 1st w., and bro. of John Lowther and half-bro. of Robert Lowther. educ. Queen’s Oxf. 1655, I. Temple 1655, travelled abroad (France) 1656. m. (1) Mary, da. of Sir Amos Meredith, 1st Bt., of Ballinakill, Queen’s Co., s.p.; (2) 13 Dec. 1679, Barbara, da. and coh. of Robert Prickett of Wressell Castle, Yorks., 3s. 1da. suc. fa. at Maulds Meaburn 1675.1

Offices Held

Capt. of ft. [I] 1663-c.692

Alderman, Appleby 1678-85, Oct. 1688-d., mayor 1680-1; commr. for assessment, Westmld. 1679-80, 1689-90, maj. of militia ft. Cumb. and Westmld. by 1685-?d.; collector of customs, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1689-d.; j.p. and dep. lt. Westmld. by 1701-d.3


Lowther, a younger son, was intended for the common law, but he was ‘too much given to tennis’ and, by his own admission, a ‘vexatious’ charge on his travels to his unfortunate bear-leader, Joseph Williamson. Even his autocratic father had to admit defeat, and packed him off to Ireland, where he succeeded Sir Thomas Wharton as captain of foot. Under his father’s will he inherited Maulds Meaburn, four miles from Appleby, of which he became an alderman. He also received an allowance of £200 p.a. from his nephew, Sir John Lowther III, who showed great patience with his ‘infinite irresolution’. He first stood for Parliament at a by-election in 1678 for the ‘Bottom’ of Westmorland, but as his nephew was already sitting for the barony, his candidature was not well received. So good a family friend as Sir Daniel Fleming would spend only 4s. making votes for him in Kendal and Kirkby Lonsdale, and another half-crown during the poll at Appleby. Although his own expenses of nearly £600 much exceeded his current ability, he seems to have contemplated a petition against Allan Bellingham, and even proposed to stand again at the general election.4

Lowther was removed from the Appleby corporation under the new charter. He signed the Westmorland petition for a free Parliament on 2 Dec. 1688, and was returned for Appleby on the family interest in the following month. According to Anthony Rowe he voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant. Nevertheless in July he was given a post in the customs. This appointment later obliged his nephew to fight a duel with the official, a warm partisan of the Stuarts, whom he had displaced. He was appointed to no committees in the Convention and made no recorded speeches. When he stood again for the county in 1701 Fleming said of him that ‘he hath been so well affected to King William that ... he keepeth not any in his family that is dissatisfied to the King or Protestant religion’, and Sir John Lowther II wrote: ‘’Twould be impossible for any but cousin Richard Lowther to fail of success’. He was buried at Lowther on 20 Nov. 1703. His grandson James inherited the Lowther and Whitehaven estates, and sat in the House from 1757 to 1784, when he was raised to the peerage.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Leonard Naylor


  • 1. Lowther Reg. 34; Collins, Peerage, v. 704; Ormerod, Cheshire, iii. 708; Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. iii. 520.
  • 2. HMC Ormonde, i. 293; ii. 187, 195.
  • 3. Westmld. RO, Appleby memo. bk.; D/Ry 2832 (militia, 5 Feb. 1685); Eg. 1626, f. 7; Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 165; xviii. 457.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1655-6, pp. 333, 387; 1656-7, p. 159; 1677-8, p. 684; PCC 20 Bence; Cumb. RO, Lowther Jnl.; HMC Le Fleming, 142-5; Flemings at Oxford (Oxf. Hist. Soc. xliv), 488, 489; Westmld. RO, D/Ry 2137.
  • 5. HMC 11th Rep. VII, 27; Westmld. RO, D/Ry, Fleming to freeholders, 23 Nov. 1700; Cumb. RO, Lowther to Lady Lonsdale, 19 Sept. 1700; Lowther Reg. 155.