LOWTHER, Sir William, 2nd Bt. (c.1694-1763), of Swillington, Yorks.
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Family and Education
b. c.1694, 1st s. of Sir William Lowther, 1st Bt.. educ. Sidney Sussex, Camb. 1713. m. (1) 1719, Diana (d. 1 Jan. 1736), da. of Thomas Condon of Yorks., s.p.; (2) 17 Aug. 1736, Catherine, da. of Sir William Ramsden, 2nd Bt., s.p. suc. fa. 6 Mar. 1729.
Lowther’s first recorded vote after succeeding his father at Pontefract, was against the Government on the Hessians in 1730. His maiden speech, 4 Mar. 1731, was against a bill for preventing the translation of bishops, on the ground that
at present ... there was a nobler set of bishops than had been seen since the Reformation; that to take away the only reward of their merit, in writing against infidelity and setting a bright example, which is preferring them by translation to a better bishopric, would be destroying all learning.
On 18 Mar. next he spoke in favour of giving a second reading to a bill for preventing suits on tithes.1 He supported the excise bill, speaking ‘short but close to the purpose and had loud heerums from the ministerial bench’; but he was one of the Whigs who defected on the city of London’s petition against the bill, for which he was called ‘a whimsical fellow’ by George II.2 Later he spoke against Sir William Wyndham’s attempt to move the previous question on Walpole’s motion for dropping the bill.3 At a general meeting at York in November 1733 to choose the candidates for the county, he proposed two Whigs, Sir Rowland Winn and Cholmley Turner, thus provoking the great Yorkshire election contest next year.4 On 13 Mar. 1734 he spoke against the repeal of the Septennial Act on the ground that there had been an increase in the number of Papists. In the published list of the division on the Spanish convention, for which he voted, he is shown as having a brother with a post in the customs.5 Falling into financial difficulties, he sold his Pontefract burgages to George Morton Pitt for £9,600 in 1740 and did not stand again. He died 22 Dec. 1763.