whom he devised his Cumberland and Westmoreland estates. His widow survived him many years, and died at Broom House, Fulham, on 5 April 1824, aged 86.
[Ferguson's Cumberland and Westmoreland M.P.'s, 1871, pp. 121–2, 126–81, 195–216, 407–410; Walpole's Memoirs of George III, 1845, ii. 354, iii. 143–6, 232, 290–2, iv. 230, 273–4; Wraxall's Memoirs, 1884, ii. 79–82, 154, 443, iii. 357, 358–60, iv. 132; Boswell's Life of Johnson (G. B. Hill), ii. 179, iv. 220, v. 112–13; Lord Albemarle's Memoirs of Rockingham, 1852, ii. 68–74, 214, 216; Trevelyan's Early Life of Fox, 1881, pp. 85, 326, 387–402; Sanford and Townsend's Great Governing Families of England, 1865, i. 60–4; Nicolson and Burn's Westmorland and Cumberland, 1777, i. 436–7, 503; Gent. Mag. 1761 p. 430, 1771 pp. 519, 549–52, 1802 pt. i. pp. 586–8; The Case of his Grace the Duke of Portland respecting two Leases, &c., 1768; a Reply to a pamphlet entitled the Case of the Duke of Portland, &c., 1768; Letters of Junius, 1814, i. 457, ii. 329–37, iii. 7–26, 34–9, 42–7, 51–7; Doyle's Official Baronage, 1886, ii. 412–13; Collins's Peerage, 1812, v. 710–11; Official Return of Members of Parliament, pt. ii. pp. 111, 125, 132, 138, 150, 157, 163; Notes and Queries, 7th ser. xi. 307, 358.]
LOWTHER, Sir JOHN, first Viscount Lonsdale (1655–1700), eldest son of Colonel John Lowther, of Hackthorp (d. 1667), by his wife Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of Sir Henry Bellingham, was a grandson of Sir John Lowther (d. 1675), thirtieth knight of the old Westmoreland family in an almost direct line, who was created a baronet of Nova Scotia by Charles I in 1640, was a member of the convention of 1660, and whose portrait was painted by Lely and engraved by Browne (Bromley, p. 128). His grandfather's brother was Sir Christopher Lowther (created baronet 1642, d. 1644), founder of the Whitehaven branch of the family. Sir Christopher's son, Sir John Lowther (d. 1706), besides the confirmation of his title to the lands of the dissolved monastery of St. Bees, secured additional grants of land from Charles II in 1666 and 1678, developed the great mineral wealth of the district, formed the present harbour of Whitehaven, to the wharves of which countless sacks of his coal were borne on the backs of small Galloway ponies, was commissioner of the admiralty 1689–96, and died very wealthy in January 1705–6, leaving his property to his son, Sir James, on whose death in 1755 it passed to James Lowther, first earl of Lonsdale [q. v.] Macaulay confuses Sir John of Whitehaven with his cousin of Lowther, the subject of the present memoir (Hutchinson, Cumberland, 1794, ii. 49).
The latter matriculated from Queen's College, Oxford, at the age of fifteen, on 12 July 1670, but appears to have taken no degree; he was called to the bar from the Inner Temple in 1677, having succeeded to the baronetcy on the death of his grandfather in 1675. He represented the shire of Westmoreland from 1676 until 1696. Though a moderate cavalier by tradition, he joined the country party, voted for the Test and Corporation Acts, and was a strong advocate of the Exclusion Bill. On the accession of James II he shared the feeling of reaction in favour of royalty, but before the end of 1685 joined Sir Edward Seymour in demanding an inquiry into abuses. In 1685 also he asked the house what precautions England was taking against the growing power of France, and his remarks, which fell flat at the time, caused Barillon to deplore the neglect of Louis XIV to take a few members of parliament into his pay. The Duke of Somerset, when disgraced at court for refusing to introduce the popish nuncio, D'Adda, into Windsor in August 1687, seems to have found a sympathetic reception at Lowther Hall, where he and his host doubtless concerted some measures in the interest of the Prince of Orange (Lonsdale, Memoirs). Lowther showed himself well prepared in October of the next year, when, on learning that a ship was expected at Workington with arms and ammunition for the popish garrison at Carlisle, he armed his tenants, marched down to the harbour, and forced the vessel to surrender. The town of Carlisle was thus secured for William, and the north-west road effectually barred against James. On the prince's landing in Torbay in November, Lowther was able to secure Cumberland and Westmoreland for him without difficulty. He was made vice-chamberlain of William III's household and a privy councillor in February 1688–9, and was shortly afterwards named lord-lieutenant for Westmoreland, while his cousin, Sir John of Whitehaven, became one of the commissioners for executing the office of lord high admiral (Luttrell, i. 507; Hatton Corresp., Camden Soc., i. 68). The integrity of the constitution and the established church being assured, Lowther became a mild supporter of the prerogative, gravitated towards the tories, and was regarded with favour by William. On the prorogation of 1689 he was commissioned by 150 tory members, who held a grand dinner at the ‘Apollo Tavern’ in Fleet Street, to convey their thanks and felicitations to the king, and when, at the beginning of 1690, Halifax laid down the privy seal, and the Marquis of Caermarthen [see Osborne, Thomas, Duke of Leeds]