Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lower, Richard (1782-1865)

LOWER, RICHARD (1782–1865), Sussex poet, born at Alfriston, Sussex, 19 Sept. 1782, was son of John Lower, who owned the barge ‘The Good Intent,’ and was the first person to navigate the little river Cuckmere from the sea to Longbridge. Richard, finding that he was physically too weak to adopt his father's calling, and having received a fair education, opened a school about 1803 in the parish of Chiddingley, where he resided till within a few months of his death. He likewise carried on the business of land surveyor, and was factotum in most of the parochial offices. From his childhood he was addicted to rhyming, much to his mother's displeasure. His best-known production is ‘Tom Cladpole's Jurney to Lunnon, told by himself, and written in pure Sussex doggerel by his Uncle Tim,’ and printed in 1830 as a sixpenny pamphlet. Of this upwards of twenty thousand copies were sold, chiefly among the cottagers in East Sussex, who, however, resented Lower's sarcasms at their expense. It was followed in 1844 by ‘Jan Cladpole's Trip to Merricur, written all in rhyme by his Father, Tim Cladpole,’ which was principally directed against the evils of slavery. In 1862 he published ‘Stray Leaves from an Old Tree, Selections from the Scribblings of an Octogenarian,’ some portions of which show that he was a true poet. He died at the residence of his third son, Joseph Richard Lower, surveyor, High Street, Tonbridge, Kent, 29 Sept. 1865. His second son, Mark Anthony Lower, F.S.A. [q. v.], is separately noticed. His eldest daughter, Mrs. Quaife, was well known as a nurse in America in the federal army.

[Gent. Mag. 1865, pt. ii. p. 792.]

G. C. B.