LOWTHER, Gerard II (1561-1624), of Penrith, Cumb.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

bap. 1561, 4th s. of Sir Richard Lowther of Lowther, Westmld. by Frances, da. of John Middleton of Middleton Hall, Cumb. educ. I. Temple 1580, called 1590. m. (1) Grace, da. of Alan Bellingham of Levens, Westmld., wid. of Edmund Cliburn of Cliburn, Westmld., s.p.; (2) Anne, da. and coh. of Sir Ralph Bulmer of Wilton, co. Dur., wid. of one Welbury of Castle Eden, co. Dur., s.p. suc. uncle Gerard I to Penrith 1597. Kntd. 3 May 1618.

Offices Held

‘Receiver and steward’ Dacre lands in Westmld. ?from 1597-1601; j.c.p. [I] from 12 Oct. 1610; treasurer King’s Inns, Dublin 1616.

MP [I] 1613.


During his early years Lowther followed the fortunes of his uncle ‘old Belzebub’, first becoming a legal adviser to Lord William Howard, with an annuity of £20, then ratting on him and helping to promote the Queen’s title to the Dacre inheritance. As receiver and steward for the Dacre lands in Westmorland (a job his uncle had held under another description) he had a vested interest in the outcome of Howard’s petition for their restoration and he therefore made every effort to block the eventual sale of the disputed property by the Queen to Howard, which took place despite him in 1601, the year he was elected junior knight of the shire for Cumberland. As such Lowther could have attended the main business committee appointed 3 Nov., the committee on monopolies, 23 Nov., and two committees on the government of the northern counties 3 and 14 Dec. Lowther then concentrated on his legal practice until his appointment to the common pleas in Ireland. The three other judges were old and infirm, and Lowther received an allowance of £100 over and above the normal fees. As an Irish judge he observed the custom of becoming a member of the King’s Inns in Dublin.

By the time of his knighthood he had property in Kildare and Meath, was an undertaker in the Ulster plantation, with grants of land in Cavan, Tyrone and Fermanagh, and had built a castle around which grew the village of Lowtherstown. He died on 14 Oct. 1624 and was buried in Christ Church cathedral, Dublin. His Irish estates passed to his nephew Richard Lowther, and his English property to a ‘godson’, Gerard Lowther, of King’s Inns Court, Dublin.

Vis. Westmld. 13-14; Reg. Lowther (Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc.), 13; CSP Carew, 1603-24, pp. 385, 400, 411; Trans. Cumb. and Westmld. Antiq. and Arch. Soc. n.s. ii. 1-8; CSP Dom. 1595-7, p. 460; Household Bks. of Ld. Wm. Howard (Surtees Soc. lxviii), 390; D'Ewes, 624, 649, 665, 685; CSP Ire. 1611-14, p. 112; 1615-25, p. 223; Ball, Judges in Ireland, i. 323-4.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: B.D.