Simon Lowe alias Fyfield

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Simon Lowe, alias Fyfield (alive by 1522, died 1578), was a rich English merchant tailor in the City of London, and also a landowner in several counties, briefly one of the members of the House of Commons of England representing two boroughs in other parts of England.

Lowe was Warden of the Merchant Taylors' Company for the year 1549-50, and was a Member (MP) of the Parliament of England for Stafford in October 1553 and New Shoreham in November 1554.[1]

He was Master of the Merchant Taylors' Company during the reign of Queen Mary and one of the jurors who acquitted Sir Nicholas Throckmorton in 1554: the court had been openly hostile to Throckmorton, and as a result of the unexpected verdict it fined and imprisoned the jury.[2] He was a mourner at the funeral of Maurice Griffith, Bishop of Rochester and Rector of St Magnus-the-Martyr, when Griffith was interred in the church on 30 November 1558 with much solemnity.[3] With Sir William Petre and Sir William Garrard he was an executor of Maurice Griffith's will[4] and, in consequence of this, played a part as an initial trustee in the founding of Friars School, Bangor.[5]

Lowe was included in a return of recusants in the Diocese of Rochester in 1577,[6] but was still buried at St Magnus-the-Martyr on 6 February 1578.[7] Stow refers to his monument in the church.


Simon Lowe had married Margaret Lacy, a daughter of Christopher Lacy (died 1518) of Brearley, Yorkshire, by 1550.

His eldest son, Timothy Lowe (died 1617), was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, and was knighted at the Coronation of King James on 23 July 1603.

His second son, Alderman Sir Thomas Lowe (1550–1623), was Master of the Haberdashers' Company on several occasions, Sheriff of London in 1595/96, Lord Mayor of London in 1604/05, and a Member of Parliament for London.[8]

His youngest son, Blessed John Lowe (1553–1586), having originally been a Protestant minister, converted to Roman Catholicism, studied for the priesthood at Douay and Rome and returned to London as a missionary priest.[9] His absence had already been noted; a list of 1581 of "such persons of the Diocese of London as have any children ... beyond the seas" records "John Low son to Margaret Low of the Bridge, absent without licence four years". Having gained 500 converts to the Church of Rome between 1583 and 1586, he was arrested while walking with his mother near London Bridge, committed to the Clink, and executed at Tyburn on 8 October 1586.[10] He was beatified in 1987 as one of the eighty-five martyrs of England and Wales.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Bindoff, S.T., ed., The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1509 - 1558 (1982). For the family of Simon Lowe see: Lowe family Archived 7 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ The Diary of Henry Machyn, Nicholas J.G. ed., Camden Society Original series 42: London, 1848, p. 180.
  4. ^ Thomas F. Mayer and Courtney B. Walters (2008) The Correspondence of Reginald Pole, IV: a Biographical Companion. The British Isles, p.231
  5. ^ W. Ogwen Williams in The Dominican Jones & Haworth (eds.)(1957), p. 30
  6. ^ Miscellanea XII, Catholic Record Society, p.11: London, 1921. The text reads: "Bromleighe. Mr Simon Lowe of Bromleigh cometh to the churche, but never received the communion, since the Queenes Maiesties Raigne; and is esteemed to be worth in landes 200 markes a yeare, and valued at 300 poundes in goodes."
  7. ^ St Magnus Parish Register for February 1577/8. See also Index of wills proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury 1558-1583, Smith, S.A. and Duncan, L.L., Vol. III: London, 1898; the entry reads: "1577 Fyfilde als. Lowe, Simon, esquier, Bromley, Kent ; St. Magnus the Martir, London ; Lincoln ; Northants. 13 Langley".
  8. ^ Cockayne, G. E., Some account of the Lord Mayors and Sheriffs of the City of London during the first quarter of the seventeenth century, 1601-1625 (London, 1897)
  9. ^ Memoirs of Missionary Priests, Vol. I, Challoner, R., 1741-2
  10. ^ Anstruther, G., The Seminary Priests: a dictionary of the secular clergy of England and Wales, 1558-1850, Vol. 1, pp. 214-5. See also The Penal Laws: understanding the era of the eighty-five martyrs, article by Patrick Barry in L'Osservatore Romano (Weekly Edition in English), 30 November 1987, p. 8, available at Penal Laws