BROWNLOW, Sir John, 5th Bt. (1690-1754), of Arlington Street, London

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1713 - 1715
1715 - 1722
1722 - 1741

Family and Education

b. 16 Nov. 1690, 1st surv. s. of (Sir) William Brownlow*, (4th Bt.), by his 1st w. educ. ?Padua, 1710;  m. (1) 12 Aug. 1712, his cos. Eleanor (d. 1730), da. and coh. of Sir John Brownlow, 3rd Bt.*, s.p.; (2) 24 Jan. 1732 (with £2,500), Elizabeth, da. of William Cartwright of Marnum, Notts., s.psuc. fa. as 5th Bt. 6 Mar. 1701; uncle Sir John Brownlow, 3rd Bt., to Belton on d. of Lady Brownlow 1721; cr. Visct. Tyrconnel [I] 23 June 1718; KB 27 May 1725.1

Offices Held

Commr. to inquire into losses and damage sustained during Fifteen, 1716.2


Both Brownlow’s parents died before he reached the age of 11 and he was thereafter brought up by his maternal grandmother, Lady Mason, who had assumed administration of his father’s affairs. When he came of age he found great fault with the management of his property and the resulting coolness between himself and his grandmother was exacerbated by his possession of the manor of Sutton in Surrey, which he had inherited from his mother, but which Lady Mason believed rightly belonged to the children of her other daughter, Anne, formerly Countess of Macclesfield and now wife of Henry Brett*. With an income of £3,000 p.a., inherited from his father, Brownlow then made a fortunate first marriage to his cousin, one of the daughters and coheiresses of his uncle, Sir John Brownlow, 3rd Bt., who brought him £12,000 in money and a share of her father’s estates, which were divided by Act of Parliament in 1713, Brownlow thereby obtaining four manors in Lincolnshire and property in London. He also purchased much of the remaining lands from the other heiresses for about £16,000. Brownlow was returned to Parliament in 1713 on his own interest. He voted on 18 Mar. against the expulsion of Richard Steele and was subsequently classed as a Whig in the Worsley list and two other lists analysing the 1713 and 1715 Parliaments.

Brownlow continued to sit in Parliament after 1715 as a Whig. Despite his considerable wealth, he lived above his income for many years and by the end of 1715 had shut up his house in Arlington Street. Created Viscount Tyrconnel in 1718, he retired from active politics in 1741, and his nephew, Sir John Cust, 3rd Bt.†, took over the parliamentary seat at Grantham in 1743. In 1745 Tyrconnel rhapsodized about the English victory at Culloden in a letter to Cust. Without a hint of irony, he wrote that he hoped that Parliament,

who so liberally rewarded the great Duke of Marlborough [John Churchill†], will not fall short in their gratitude to the Duke [of Cumberland] but restore palaces at the public expense and a princely revenue to our glorious William, the second of the name, deliverer of this nation from popery, slavery and arbitrary power, and who I believe, if the government takes right measures, has forever quell’d that Jacobite, rebellious and turbulent people whom none but Oliver in any degree vanquished.

He died intestate 27 Feb. 1754, when his property went to his sister, the wife of Sir Richard Cust, 2nd Bt.†, who erected a monument to Brownlow praising both his ‘30 years of public service’ and ‘his considerate attention to the poor . . . whose lives were by his compassion rescued from idleness’.3

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Paula Watson / Sonya Wynne


  • 1. Unless otherwise indicated, this biography is based on E. Cust, Recs. Cust Fam. ii. 72, 185–222.
  • 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. xxx. 425.
  • 3. HMC Lords, n.s. x. 90.