LOWTHER, Sir Thomas, 2nd Bt. (c.1699-1745), of Holker Hall, nr. Lancaster and Marske, Yorks.
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Family and Education
b. c.1699, 1st s. of Sir William Lowther, 1st Bt., of Marske, Yorks. by Catherine, da. and h. of Thomas Preston, M.P. Lancaster 1688-97, of Holker Hall. m. July 1723, Lady Elizabeth Cavendish, da. of William Cavendish, M.P., 2nd Duke of Devonshire, 1s. suc. fa. Apr. 1705.
Lowther inherited through his mother an estate carrying an interest at Lancaster, for which he was returned unopposed in 1722. On 4 Mar. 1726 he presented a petition for a bill to grant him the freehold of this estate, which he held on a crown lease with 22 years still to run. The petition was granted but the House passed a resolution that they would accept no more petitions of this kind, though in fact they subsequently allowed other grants of crown lands.1 Like his relative, Sir James Lowther, he was noted for political independence, voting against the Government on the excise bill in 1733 and the repeal of the Septennial Act in 1734. He was absent from the divisions on the Spanish convention in 1739 and the place bill in 1740. Ministerial lists of absent Members class him as a government supporter on 21 Nov. 1739 but as Opposition on 18 Nov. 1740. In the crucial divisions before the fall of Walpole, his nephew, Lord Hartington, wrote that on the election of a chairman of the elections committee
Sir Thomas Lowther also went against us. Sir Robert sent me to him but he told me immediately that he was obliged to vote for Lee [George] because he was his particular friend.
And a few days later:
I did all I could to get Sir Thomas Lowther down at the Westminster election. I wrote to him a very civil letter but it would not do.2
On 21 Jan. 1742 Hartington persuaded him to vote against an opposition motion to set up a secret committee to inquire into the conduct of the war,3 but ten days later he reported:
As for Sir Thomas Lowther I cannot say much for him. He seems a great deal biased by Sir James, and he has declared that he thinks they are pushing matters too far ... I have spoke to Sir Thomas to attend when the army comes on, and I think he seems to think that it would be improper to diminish our forces at this time, so I hope we shall have him with us.4
Absent from the divisions on the Hanoverians in 1742 and 1744, he died 23 Mar. 1745.