William Lowther, 2nd Earl of Lonsdale
|The Right Honourable|
The Earl of Lonsdale
9 September 1841 – 30 December 1845
|Prime Minister||Sir Robert Peel, Bt|
|Preceded by||The Earl of Lichfield|
|Succeeded by||The Earl of St Germans|
|Lord President of the Council|
27 February 1852 – 17 December 1852
|Prime Minister||The Earl of Derby|
|Preceded by||The Marquess of Lansdowne|
|Succeeded by||The Earl Granville|
|Born||21 July 1787|
|Died||4 March 1872(aged 84)|
Lonsdale was the eldest son of William Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale, and Lady Augusta, daughter of John Fane, 9th Earl of Westmorland. Henry Lowther was his younger brother. He was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge..
Lonsdale was returned to parliament for Cockermouth in 1808, a seat he held until 1813, and later represented Westmorland between 1813 and 1831 and 1832 and 1841, Dunwich in 1832 and West Cumberland between 1832 and 1833. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1818 and served under the Duke of Wellington as First Commissioner of Woods and Forests between 1828 and 1830 and under Sir Robert Peel as Treasurer of the Navy and Vice-President of the Board of Trade between 1834 and 1835.
In 1841 he was summoned to the House of Lords through a writ of acceleration in his father's junior title of Baron Lowther and held office under Peel as Postmaster General between 1841 and 1845. In 1844 he succeeded his father in the earldom of Lonsdale. He held his last ministerial office as Lord President of the Council, with a seat in the cabinet, in 1852, in the Earl of Derby's first administration.
Lord Lonsdale never married, but had at least three illegitimate children he acknowledged. He left them substantial sums in his will. An opera enthusiast, it is believed all of his children were born to opera singers. His daughter with Caroline Saintfal, Marie Caroline, was born in Paris in 1818. Another daughter born the same year, Frances Lowther (1818–1890), married Henry Broadwood MP (1793–1878), and was the mother of Brig-Gen. Arthur Broadwood (1848–1928). With Emilia Cresotti, an Italian opera singer, he fathered Francis William Lowther (1841–1908), who was the father of Claude Lowther MP and Toupie Lowther.
- Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. p. 2398. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
- "Lowther, the Hon. William (LWTR805W)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- leighrayment.com House of Commons: Clonmel to Cork County West
- leighrayment.com House of Commons: West Lothian to Widnes
- leighrayment.com House of Commons: Dumbarton to Dysart Burghs
- leighrayment.com House of Commons: Cornwall to Cynon Valley
- "No. 18474". The London Gazette. 30 May 1828. p. 1045.
- "No. 21296". The London Gazette. 27 February 1852. p. 633.
- "Lists of Royal Society Fellows". Retrieved 21 December 2006.
- Thomas, Seccombe. "Lowther, William, second earl of Lonsdale (1787–1872), politician". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/17114. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Grieves, Keith. "Lowther, Claude William Henry (1870–1929), politician and art connoisseur". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/39465. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Earl of Lonsdale