John Lowther, 1st Viscount Lonsdale
He was born at Hackthorpe Hall, Lowther, Westmorland, the son of Colonel John Lowther of Lowther and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Henry Bellingham, Bart, of Hilsington, Westmoreland. He was educated at Kendal Grammar School and Sedbergh School before admission to Queen's College, Oxford (matriculated 1670). He was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1671 and called to the Bar in 1677.
On 3 December 1674, he married Lady Katherine Thynne (d. bef. 1713), daughter of Sir Henry Frederick Thynne, 1st Baronet. They had children:
- Richard Lowther, 2nd Viscount Lonsdale (d. 1713)
- Henry Lowther, 3rd Viscount Lonsdale (d. 1751)
- Hon. Mary Lowther (c.1676 – 16 April 1706), married in February 1692 Sir John Wentworth, 1st Bt., of North Elmsall.
- Hon. Elizabeth Lowther, married on 6 August 1695 Sir William Ramsden, 2nd Baronet
- Hon. Margaret Lowther (d. 15 September 1728), married on 20 April 1706 Sir Joseph Pennington, 2nd Baronet
- Hon. Barbara Lowther (d. 1716), married c.1703 Thomas Howard of Corby (d. 1740)
- Hon. Anthony Lowther (d. 1741)
- Hon. Jane Lowther (d. 1752), unmarried
Prior to his creation as a viscount in 1696 John had succeeded his grandfather, another Sir John Lowther (1605–1675), as a baronet, and was twice member of parliament for Westmorland between 1677 and 1696. In 1688 he was serviceable in securing Cumberland and Westmorland for King William III, and was appointed to the Privy Council in 1689. In 1690 he was first lord of the treasury, and he was Lord Privy Seal from March 1699 until his death. He was badly injured in a duel in 1691.
On 20 December 1699, he was admitted a Fellow of the Royal Society.His candidacy citation noted that he was "A Gentleman who is well acquainted with many of the works of Nature and Art, & who hath lately obliged the Society with Some Curious Experiments relating to the damps of Coal Mines",
He died at Lowther in 1700 and was buried in Lowther churchyard.
Lonsdale wrote Memoirs of the Reign of James II, which were printed in 1808 and again in 1857. His family became extinct when his son Henry, the 3rd viscount (1694–1751), died unmarried in March 1751.
- "J. V. Beckett, ‘Lowther, John, first Viscount Lonsdale (1655–1700)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004". Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- "Lists of Royal Society Fellows". Retrieved 2006-12-21.