LOWE, John (c.1628-67), of Shaftesbury, Dorset.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1661 - 10 Oct. 1667

Family and Education

b. c.1628, 1st s. of John Lowe, barrister, of Salisbury, Wilts. by Mary, da. and coh. of William Grove of Shaftesbury. educ. M. Temple 1646-7. m. by 1655, Helen (d. 6 Oct. 1661), da. and coh. of Lawrence Hyde of Heale, Wilts., 1s. 1da. suc. fa. c.1636; kntd. 19 Apr. 1661.2

Offices Held

J.p. Wilts. July 1660-2; commr. for assessment, Wilts. Aug. 1660-d., Dorset 1661-d., Salisbury 1661-3, 1664-d.


Lowe came from a legal family. His grandfather, of Herefordshire origin, settled in Wessex, sat for Wootton Bassett in 1597, and registered his pedigree at the 1623 visitation of Wiltshire. His father, also a lawyer, was returned as a ship-money resister shortly before his death, but his offence seems to have been accidental. No inquisition post mortem was held, as an informer pointed out, but in any case Lowe would not have been liable to wardship, as none of his grandfather’s land was held in chief by knight service. Lowe’s mother married Dr Humphrey Henchman, a royalist clergyman, who became bishop of Salisbury after the Restoration. Both Henchman and Lowe’s mother-in-law actively assisted Charles II in his escape after the battle of Worcester. As stepson of the bishop of the adjoining diocese and a cousin by marriage of Lord Chancellor Clarendon, Lowe had outstanding claims to represent his fellow-townsmen in 1661, and he was knighted before the coronation. But soon afterwards he was struck off the commission of the peace, probably because Henchman had cause to regard him as unsound in religion. His ward Francis Anchitell, whose religious education had been specifically commended to his care, became a Roman Catholic, and Lowe described himself in his will as a member of the holy catholic church. No attempt was made to expel him from the Cavalier Parliament, in which he was an inactive Member. He was appointed to only 21 committees in six sessions, of which the most important were to regulate the fees of masters in Chancery in 1661 and to secure better observation of the Lord’s day in 1663. He died during the 1667 recess, leaving Henry Whittaker ‘my fellow burgess in Parliament’ as one of his executors. His son received a few votes in both elections of 1679, but died in the following year without issue.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. New writ.
  • 2. Wilts. Vis. Peds. (Harl. Soc. cv), 120; J. Harris, Epitaphs in Salisbury Cathedral, 7; M.T. Recs. 947; VCH Hants, iii. 414; PCC 143 Hene; CSP Dom. 1635-6, p. 147.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1635, p. 535; 1640-1, p. 235; Wilts. Inquisitions (Index Lib. xxiii), 326-9; A. Fea, Flight of the King, 249; PCC 65 May, 143 Hene; Wilts. RO, 413/445; VCH Hants, iii. 414.