William Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale

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William Lowther

Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. Sir William Lowther and Anne Lowther
Brother of William Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale and Sir John Lowther, MP, 1st Baronet of Swillington

Managed by: Michael Lawrence Rhodes
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About William Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale


William Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale KG (29 December 1757 – 19 March 1844) was a British Tory politician and nobleman.

Background and education

Lowther was the son of Sir William Lowther, 1st Baronet, of Little Preston and Swillington, and his wife Anne Zouch. He was educated at Westminster and Trinity College, Cambridge.

Political career

Lowther was briefly Member of Parliament for Appleby in 1780, for Carlisle from 1780 to 1784 and for Cumberland from 1784 to 1790. In 1796, he was returned as Member of Parliament for Rutland, holding the seat until 1802. In that year, he inherited by special remainder the titles of Viscount Lowther and Baron Lowther from his third cousin once removed, the Earl of Lonsdale of the first creation, as well as his immense estates. He was also appointed to the northern Lord Lieutenancies of Cumberland and Westmorland. In 1807, Lowther was himself created Earl of Lonsdale and appointed a Knight of the Garter.

A coal magnate, he spent £200,000 on the Lowther estate and built a new Lowther Castle. A Tory in politics, he seems to have been tolerant and well-liked, disdaining sabbatarianism and serving as patron for a number of painters and authors, including William Wordsworth. Lonsdale died at York House, Twickenham in 1844. Lowther also enjoyed fox hunting, serving as Master of the Cottesmore Hunt from 1788 to 1802 and 1806 to 1842.


Lord Lonsdale married Lady Augusta Fane (d. 1838), daughter of John Fane, 9th Earl of Westmorland, on 12 July 1781. They had six children:

William Lowther, 2nd Earl of Lonsdale (1787–1872)

Henry Cecil Lowther (1790–1867)

Lady Elizabeth Lowther (d. 12 February 1869), unmarried

Lady Mary Lowther (d. 21 October 1863), married on 16 September 1820 Maj. Gen. Lord Frederick Cavendish-Bentinck (d. 1828)

Lady Anne Lowther (d. 8 November 1863, married on 20 January 1817 Sir John Beckett, 2nd Baronet

Lady Grace Caroline Lowther (d. 1 November 1883), married on 3 July 1815 William Vane, 3rd Duke of Cleveland

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William Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale's Timeline

Age 87