This post on Richard Lowry started with an appeal from Martin in Texas, who has an item engraved ‘R Lowry, Stanwix’. He’d like to find any living relatives who might be interested in it*. Should any of them read this, message Cumbrian Characters and we will put you in contact
Richard Lowry, solicitor and coroner, was born in Stanwix circa 1782, and died in 1835.
The only two incidents of interest could have been a different Richard Lowry, as news stories don’t give any occupation.
Otherwise, he was born in Stanwix to a wealthy family that had been there a couple of centuries, went to Carlisle Grammar School, became a solicitor, was elected coroner, and along the way married and had children. The house he had built in Stanwix was in 2022 occupied by Cumbria University as a teaching facility (but the building was being advertised for sale).
Of course, the many inquests he presided over are all stories. But it seems ‘mean’ to retrieve and share some of those stories with the world today, but ‘forget’ the other people involved – such as the coroner.
So here’s a bit on Richard.
Records show an Edward Lowry there in 1608, so the family were well-established there. A 1791 document has: ‘Richard son & heir of John Lowry of Stanwix, esq. who was son & heir of Richard Lowry of Stanwix esq. deceased…’
So, as so often, Richard was a family name, handed down. Which means by the time you get to Richard the solicitor, he likely had cousins also called Richard, to confuse things.
Which Richard Lowry is which?
Carlisle Grammar School has a Richard admitted and left 1794, readmitted 1797, left before Xmas 1798. First son of of John Lowry, Stanwix (lately deceased), gent (generosi).
BUT it also has a Richard admitted 1790 and 1797, son of Thomas Lowry, of Stanwix, armiger.
AND: there is a 1780 Stanwix baptism for a Richard, son of William (and Mary).
I found a baptism for Richard son of John (and Mary), in 1782. Which fits our solicitor.
A Richard Lowry became an apprentice in 1799 to a well-known Carlisle solicitor, Silas Saul.
By 1810, Richard the solicitor, had an office in Abbey Street, Carlisle. But he had a house at Stanwix, Stanwix House. Listed today, the entry is ‘Early C19 for Richard Lowry, attorney’.
1828 directory, Carlisle
- Attorneys: Lowry, Richard (and coroner for the county)
- Nobility, clergy and gentry: Lowry, Richard, Stanwix. Is this our Richard, or one of the others?
1829 Principal Inhabitants of Cumberland
- LOWRY Richd attorney/coroner/consular agent-USA Castle St Carlisle
- LOWRY Richd solicitor h.Stanwix Carlisle
Rewind to 1819: ‘We are informed that Mr. Richard Lowry, of this city, Attorney-at-Law, has been appointed by Joel Hart, Esquire, American Consul for Leith, his Consular Agent …
A few news articles
Looking only for ones that confirm by occupation it’s the right Richard:
1815. At Stanwix, the wife of Richard Lowry, solicitor, ‘of a daughter, being her 7th child’. (There’s a son born 1817, just says ‘at Stanwix, Mrs Richard Lowry’ And again, 1818, and again 1826. That’s 20 years of childbirth, if all the same Richard)
1817. Richard the solicitor was looking to borrow, on a most eligible property in Carlisle, £700. (About £47k today).
1820 Richard, attorney, was part of a group calling on the mayor, for a police force to be set up in Carlisle.
1821, Feb. The officer of coroner fell vacant, due to the death of the incumbent. Richard Lowry of Stanwix put his name forward as a candidate. And was duly elected, taking the oath in May. (tho’ he seems to have conducted inquests before then).
1835 Mr Lowry withdrew from the contest for the office of coroner, leaving two contenders. He died on May 1 that year, aged 53.
A Richard L m 30/3/1807 St Mary, Carlisle, Jane Wilson.
Richard the solicitor left a will that leaves ‘all my law books’ (and other office-related stuff) to son John Lowry, with everything else going to ‘my wife Jane’.
It mentions real estates in Stanwix, Bewcastle, and Kingsmoor. But Jane got the bulk of the estate, no other children named.
Jane looks to have died Stanwix in December 1856 (unconfirmed).
For sure, she was alive in 1851, when the census shows her at 8 Castle Street, with son Charles Henry, spinster daugthers Catherine and Charlotte, and some domestic servants.
We can be sure this is the right family as Charles Henry Lowry was baptised in 1823, Stanwix, son of Richard and Jane.
And when Charles’ son Arthur (later Sir Arthur Belmore Lowry) went to Eton, his father’s address was Stanwix House.
*this article was published in February 2023.
source for main photo: https://www.loopnet.co.uk/Listing/Church-St-Carlisle/26878229/