BROWNLOW, Sir John, 3rd Bt. (1659-97), of Belton, Lincs. and Bloomsbury Square, Mdx.
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Family and Education
b. 26 June 1659, 1st s. of Sir Richard Brownlow, 2nd Bt., of Humby, Lincs. by Elizabeth, da. of John Freke† of Cerne Abbey, Dorset; bro. of William Brownlow. educ. Westminster 1675; I. Temple 1676. m. 27 Mar. 1676, Alice, da. of Richard Sherard of Lobthorpe, Lincs., 1s. d.v.p. 5da. suc. fa. as 3rd Bt. 3 Aug. 1668, gt.-uncle Sir John Brownlow, 1st Bt., in Belton estate 1679.1
Commr. for assessment, Lincs. 1679-80, 1689-90 j.p. (Kesteven) 1680-?Feb. 1688, ?1689-d.; treas. of the Marshalsea 1686-7, sheriff, Nov. 1688-Mar. 1689.2
The fortunes of the Brownlow family were made by Richard Brownlow (1553-1638), chief protonotary of the court of common pleas for 47 years, who purchased Belton and other estates in Lincolnshire. The family was strongly parliamentarian during the Civil War. Brownlow’s grandfather sat for the county in Barebones Parliament, and his father was warmly recommended for the commission of the peace as ‘a hopeful young man’ by Major-General Edward Whalley.3
Although Brownlow’s father inherited an estate of £1,600 p.a., he died in debt, and responsibility for Brownlow’s upbringing devolved on his childless great-uncle, who bequeathed him a property of £9,000 p.a., enabling him to buy a town house for £5,000 and rebuild Belton in sumptuous style. A Tory, he was added to the commission of the peace during the exclusion crisis, and helped to bring up the Lincolnshire address congratulating James II on his accession, but he was apparently removed from local office in or before 1688. In the following year he was returned for Grantham, two miles from Belton, and apparently attended the Convention even before he had been relieved of the shrievalty. A moderately active Member he voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant, and was appointed to 20 committees, including those to consider the Lords’ proviso on the succession, to inquire into the delay in relieving Londonderry, and to prepare reasons for reversing the judgments on Titus Oates. It was probably his brother who supported the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations.4
Brownlow strengthened his influence at Grantham by lending the corporation £400 free of interest, and continued to represent the borough till his death. Although remaining a Tory, he entertained William III at Belton in 1695 ‘like a prince’, and signed the Association in the following year. After prolonged attacks of gout he took his own life at the home of Thomas Freke I on 16 July 1697, and was buried at Belton. At his death his income was conservatively estimated at £10,000 p.a. His personal fortune of at least £40,000 was divided among his four surviving daughters, all of whom married into the nobility.5
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: J. S. Crossette
- 1. E. C. Cust, Recs. Cust. Fam. ii. 72.
- 2. HMC Lords , i. 183; Kesteven Q. Sess. Mins. (Lincoln Rec. Soc. xxv), p. cxl; Lincs. Archives Comm. Refs. xii. 64.
- 3. Cust, ii. 19; Thurloe, iv. 197.
- 4. Her. and Gen. ii. 120; Cust. ii. 143; London Gazette, 23 Mar. 1685.
- 5. E. Turnor, Colls. Hist. Grantham, 14; Pryme Diary (Surtees Soc. liv), 73-74; Luttrell, iv. 254; CSP Dom. 1697, pp. 264-5; Cust, ii. 158, 170.