LOWE, Richard (-d.1624), of Eastman Street, Calne, Wilts.; formerly of Salisbury, Wilts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press




Family and Education

1st s. of William Lowe of Shrewsbury, Salop, and Isabell, da. of Thomas Bromhall of Cheshire; bro. of George*.1 educ. ?Shrewsbury g.s., Salop 1562;2 Clement’s Inn; L. Inn 1574, called 1583.3 m. (1) (with £200), Joan or Margaret, da. of Richard Michell of Cannington, Som., s.p.;4 (2) by Oct. 1588,5 Mary, da. of Charles Wotton of Salisbury, and Calne, merchant and wid. of John Vennard (d.1588) of Salisbury, merchant, 4s. 2da.6 suc. fa. c.1588.7 bur. 24 July 1624.8

Offices Held

Steward, reader’s dinner, L. Inn 1590;9 ?att. Ct. of Requests 1616-17.10


Lowe was listed as a Shropshire man when admitted to Lincoln’s Inn.11 Under the terms of his father’s will, he inherited the latter’s Shrewsbury properties, comprising several messuages and pastures, only after his mother’s death in 1606.12 His connection with Wiltshire dated from his second marriage, to Mary Vennard, the widow of a Salisbury merchant. Lowe settled in Salisbury, where he was assessed for the subsidy in 1593.13 The marriage drew him into several disputes over Mary’s property. In 1582 five merchants, including Vennard, had lost a quantity of tin in a shipwreck. Sir William Courtenay, a Devon landowner who gained possession of this cargo, initially withheld £100 that he had agreed to pay to the merchants as compensation. He eventually handed the money over to Lowe, who acted on behalf of his wife in her capacity as John Vennard’s executrix. However, Lowe then refused to distribute the cash among the other merchants, who duly sued him.14 He also found himself at odds with his stepson, Richard Vennard, his contemporary at Lincoln’s Inn, who claimed that he had been deprived of his rightful inheritance. This battle dragged on until at least December 1599, when Vennard was imprisoned upon a suit brought by Lowe.15

Lowe’s connection with Calne also stemmed from his second marriage. In 1597 Mary inherited from her father, Charles Wotton, a share of his lease of the prebendal manor and parsonage of Calne, and within the next decade Lowe took up residence in the parish, at Eastman Street.16 He was returned to Parliament for Calne for the first time in 1597, and served again in 1601 and 1614. However, despite his long experience as a lawyer, he failed to have any impact on the Commons’ proceedings.17

In 1604 Lowe agreed to lend £16 13s. 4d. to the Crown.18 His standing within Wiltshire is suggested by the marriage alliances that his children were able to form. In 1627 his second son Richard married the sister of Edward Hyde†, later 1st earl of Clarendon, while his daughter Mary married George Hungerford of Blackland, a member of one of the county’s most prominent families.19 Lowe died in July 1624, and was buried at Calne. In his will, drafted on 31 Mar. that year, he bequeathed £1,100 to his three younger sons, and provided £20 as an endowment for the poor artificers of Calne.20 Lowe’s brother George, a London merchant, sat for Calne in the first three Caroline Parliaments, while his fourth son, also called George, took his place in the Long Parliament until disabled in 1644 for royalism.21

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Henry Lancaster / Paul Hunneyball


  • 1. Vis. Wilts. (Harl. Soc. cv-cvi), 120-1.
  • 2. Shrewsbury Sch. Regestum Scholarium comp. E. Calvert, 6.
  • 3. LI Admiss.; LI Black Bks. i. 430.
  • 4. Vis. Wilts. 121; PROB 11/47, f. 40v.
  • 5. STAC 5/L18/9.
  • 6. Vis. Wilts. 121; PROB 11/72, f. 400r-v; 11/90, f. 101; 11/144, f. 48v.
  • 7. PROB 11/72, f. 158v.
  • 8. Wilts. RO, 2081/1, unfol.
  • 9. LI Black Bks. ii. 13, 15.
  • 10. Lansd. 273, ff. 13v, 60v.
  • 11. LI Admiss.
  • 12. PROB 11/72, f. 158r-v; PROB 11/108, f. 113.
  • 13. E179/198/318.
  • 14. CSP Dom. 1581-90, p. 171; REQ 2/398/41; PROB 11/72, f. 400r-v.
  • 15. STAC 5/L18/9; 5/L23/36; LI Admiss.; HMC Hatfield, ix. 413.
  • 16. E179/199/356.
  • 17. PROB 11/90, f. 101; HMC Var. i. 81-2.
  • 18. Earl of Hertford’s Ltcy. Pprs. ed. W.P.D. Murphy (Wilts. Rec. Soc. xxiii), 184.
  • 19. Salisbury Mar. Lics. comp. E. Neville, 59; Vis. Wilts. 100, 121.
  • 20. Wilts. RO, 2081/1, unfol.; PROB 11/144, f. 48v; Guild Stewards’ Bk. of Calne 1561-1688 ed. A.W. Mabbs (Wilts. Rec. Soc. vii), 113.
  • 21. M.F. Keeler, Long Parl. 258.