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Our Nathaniel Lowe is supposed to have had a brother, Stephen, who supposedly settled in or near Tyrrellspass, adjacent and immediately west of the area inhabited by the Lowe's of Westmeath and Kings/ Offaly counties - and also settled in County Monaghan, and either died very early, or died in neither place.  This from my great grandfather Joseph's eternally scrambled memory.   Nathaniel's son, Henry Nathaniel, born 1837, had a seeming cousin, Henry, born about 1828, who lived in Clones, Co Monaghan, by 1862. Both men kept general stores and had their hands in whatever pies they could think of, just like John Lowe in Moate in 1881.   


Our Nathaniel Lowe was born in County Westmeath in 1811 or 1812 (calculated from death and RIC records), and joined the Royal Irish Constabulary from there in 1831.   "Sir F. Clibborn, JP" sponsored him for admission to the RIC; only thing known for a fact about this man so far is that his first initial was not F.  Also he might have called himself Esq, but almost certainly did not call himself Sir.   Most likely this Clibborn was well to do and lived in or in the viciinity of Moate, but well to do Clibborn's occupied most of the range of distribution of Westmeath Lowe's.  One of them lived halfway to Athlone just south of what is now Rt. 6, and was the Athlone Rd and the Dublin Rd, in Hall, and another lived near Clara in the northern tip of Offaly/ Kings County.   Lowe's lived near both locations.   


Note:  Irish bmd records begin very late and have large gaps in them, and all churches may not be included.   

For bmd records, I copied only data for males who fit the naming pattern that appears to pertain to Nathaniel's family.   I particularly left out Catholic names like Patrick, and names that are not associated with this family's naming pattern, like Christopher.   


Stephen Lowe was born March 27, 1874 in Newtown, Kilcleath Parish, Westmeath.  His parents were James Lowe, farmer, and Sarah Lowe.  Clergyman was Rev. E.P Riddall.   (Occasional traces of Lowe's in Newtown pop up, and the townlands called Newtown are very close to Tyrrellspass.)  This James Lowe would have been a child, most likely nearby, when Griffiths was done in 1854.  - This is not Newtown-low, nor the parish of Newtown.   There are also atleast two places called Newtown in Kilcleath Parish, whose parish church is at Moate on its eastern boundary.)


Stephen Lowe died 24 Jun 1849, age 84 (born abt 1765), Boston, Kilkenny West parish, Westmeath.  Church of Ireland.   Rector J A Crozier.   Based on an extract from the Burgess Papers, Moate.   Below is someone's family records that a James Lowe settled in Boston, Moate, in the middle of the 18th century, and why would the Burgess Papers of Moate report on what happened some distance north of Athlone near the eastern shore of the big lake?


A Stephen Lowe married in 1861 in Co Westmeath.   Probably not Stephen the brother of Nathaniel.


Nathaniel Low died in 1826 in Co Westmeath.


 Rootsweb World Connect databases (2) mention John Lowe, Esq, occupation Gentleman.   Married Mary Ann Duffy.   Had Thomas, and Mary Ann born in May 1821 in Bellair, Offaly.    


Rootsweb World Connect database mentions William Lowe, born Kings Co, Ireland.    Parents also born Kings Co Ireland.   Married Ann Duggan, same place.   Had William, born 17 Jan 1829, Kings Co, Ireland; died 27 Apr 1909 in New Bedford, Massachusetts.   NEHGS - Massachusetts Vital Death Records, 1841-1910, Death - 1909 New Bedford MA vol 71 page 19 reg#564. William Lowe died at 35 S. Ashe St., New Bedford on 27 April 1909. He was a widower, a gardner, a resident of New Bedford, and was 80y 03m 10d old. Cause of death was Arterio Sclerosis. He was buried in Rural cemetery on 29 April 1909. The informant was Stephen Lowe. William was born in Kings County, Ireland to William and Ann (Duggan) Lowe. Both parents were also born in Kings County, Ireland.


1860 William Lowe m Mary Campbell, Chruch of Ireland, Mullingar (out of range of our group).


George Lowe died 1847 Tullamore, Offaly


Robert Lowe died 1850 Tullamore, Offaly.


Church baptisms  From

These records cost five eurodollars each to view - around $8 U.S.  Obviously there are alot of them.  If anyone views any of them, please let me know what you learned, and I will post it here.


Note that these records may not be all those from that time period in Westmeath and Kings/ Offaly counties.   


Henry Lowe b 1111 Co Westmeath  (not my typo anyway)

Wiliam Low b 1785

James Low b 1803

Samuel Lowe b 1820

John Lowe b 1826

John Lowe b 18298

Thomas Lowe b 1829

George Low b 1830  Could have enlisted in RIC

Thomas Lowe b 1831

James Low b 1833

John Low b 1834  May have enlistd in RIC.

William Low b 1834

William Low b 1839 Co Offaly

William Lowe b 1839

John Lowe b 1840  May have enlisted in RIC

James Lowe b 1847

John Low b 1848

John Lowe b 1848

Joseph Lowe b 1849

William Lowe b 1851

James Low b 1852

William Low b 1852

Hugo Lowe b 1853

John Lowe b 1853

George Lowe b 1854

John Lowe b 1854

William Lowe b 1854

John Lowe b 1856

John Lowe b 1858

John Lowe b 1862 May have enlisted in RIC.

Thomas Lowe b 1863  May have enlisted in RIC.   

James Lowe b 1865

Thomas Lowe b 1868  Could be who enlisted in RIC.

John Lowe b 1871

Joseph Lowe b 1871

James Lowe b 1873

William Lowe b 1873

John Lowe b 1874

Stephen Lowe b 1874 (have)

Thomas Jsoeph Lowe b 1874

George Lowe b 1875

James Lowe b 1875

John Lowe b 1875

Nathaniel Lowe b 1875 (have)

George Lowe b 1877

Joseph Lowe b 1877

William Lowe b 1878

William Lowe b 1880

James Joseph b 1881

John Lowe b 1882

Robert Lowe b 1882

Thomas Lowe b 1882

William Lowe b 1884

William George b 1886

John Robert b 1888

Thomas Albert b 1888

John Lowe b 1893

James Lowe b 1896

Thomas Lowe b 1899Thomas Lwoe b 1899




Thomas Low 1788

John Low 1816

Robert Low 1830

John Lowe 1830

Robert Low 1832William Lowe 1833

John Lowe 1841

Robert Lowe 1843

John Lowe 1851

John Lowe 1851

James Lowe 1853

Andrew Lowe 1857

James Lowe 1858

Thomas Lowe 1858

James Lwoe 1859

William Lowe 1860

Nathaniel Lowe 1861

James Lowe 1862

James Lowe 1862

William Lowe 1867

John Lowe 1868

John Lowe 1868

Thomas Lowe 1875




Samuel 1816

James Lowe 1817

Thomas Lowe 1817

Nathaniel Low 1826

Nr 1826

Stephan Low (spelled right) 1828

Thomas Low 1829

Thomas Lowe 1831

John Low 1833

John Low 1833

William Lowe 1836

James Low 1839

James Low 1840

James Lowe 1845

Stephen Lowe 1849

John Low 1850

William Lwoe 1852

Samuel Lowe 1859

Samuel Lowe 1859

Thomas Lowe 1859

Robert Lowe 1861

John Low 1865 Co Meath

John Lowe 1872 Co Meath

James Lowe 1874 Co Meath

James Lowe 1878

Edward James Lowe 1885 Co Meath

William Wilson 1885




Nathaniel Lowe, 19 Feb 1870, Ballinamudagh, in Assizes Court, 1869 - 1870 , for threatening notice to do with a dispute about car-way to a bog.




Tullamore directory.  1881.   In Ballycumber; Thomas Lowe.   Farmer.   See notes on Silver Hill below.   Wherever Ballycumber is, Thomas Lowe and M.A. Lowe appear there in 1870's.    M.A. Lowe had 46 acres, and Thomas Lowe had 130 acres.   

Kilbeggan directory.  1881.  Thomas Lowe, farmer, Kilbeggan.

Thomas Lowe of Moate, china , glass and earthenware dealer. 1881.    A Thomas Lowe - the same one?  was a marine store dealer.   

John Lowe, Moate, 1881.  Grocer and spirit dealer (not nec both)  John was also an agent for emigration, and a boot and shoe dealer, a wool and linen draper, and a wool buyer.   By 1908 (see below) it becomes evident that his wife and daughter were doing some of this activity.   

Mar___ Lowe, grocer.   Tullamore, Kigns Co, 1881.   

Capt Addison Lowe, Victoria terrace, Tullamore, 1881. He is included among the gentry.  Mentions the RIC barracks is in Tullamore.  

A World Connect database at Rootsweb mentions him; born Offaly, married to Abigaile Shawe; had son Charles Simpson John Lowe, who emigrated to New South Wales, died 1870 in Port Stevens.   Married in New South Wales Margery Cameron from Scotland.  Had two sons.   


Griffiths Evaluation, 1854 - index.   See Westmeath Lowe and Clibborn Map Page for complete details and maps of where these people lived, and also where Clibborn's lived.   A "Sir F. Clibborn, JP" sponsored Nathaniel Lowe for the RIC in 1831, and the only thing so far known for a fact is that no Clibborn had a first name starting with F.


James Low Athlone Road Westmeath; Kilcleagh.  Townand Moategrange.  Hosue, yard, garden, less than an acre.  Rented.  

Thomas Low Blackhall Lane, off Gaol St, Westmeath; Mullingar  (far afield from our area) House, yard, small garden, not much.

Robert Lowe  Kilkenny West, Westmeath.

Robert Lowe, Toberclare, Kilkenny West, Westmeath.   

Samuel Lowe, Annaghgortagh, Westmeath.  House, offices, and land.   22 acres (rented)

John Lowe, Ballycahilroe.  Westmeath, Kilcleagh.  

Samuel Lowe, Ballynamudagh, Westmeath. Kilcleagh

Samuel Lowe, Ballynamudagh, Westmeath.  Kilcleagh   

Samuel Lowe, Ballynamudagh, Westmeath, Kilceagh.

Robert Lowe Ballyscarvan, Kilcleagh, Westmath

John Lowe, Boyanagh (Malone), Kilcleagh, Westmeath.  23 acres, rented out land RIC barracks and its garden were on.

Eliza Lowe.  Athlone Rd, Westmath, Kilceagh.   

Thomas Lowe, Rochforteridge (village), Castlelost, Westmeath.   North and west-most of the family.

Robert Lowe.  Moate Clara-Road, Kilmanaghan.   




RIC extracts.   Constable T. Lowe, Royal Irish Constabulary.  Visit to Ireland Medal, Edward VII, 1903 (officially engraved:  C. T. Lowe.  RIC). Copy bronze shamrock top suspender, Almost Extremely Fine.

Thomas Lowe, a Protestant from Co. Westmeath and King's County (now Co. Offaly) joined the Royal Irish Constabulary on  10/6/1882.  At the time of enlistment he was 18 years and 2 months old, stood some 5 feet 8.25 inches high, and "give" his trade as that of laborer.  Constable Lowe was posted for service in Mayo on 29/10/1882, transferred to  Roscommon on 10/4/1886, the Galway East Riding on 10/11/1889 and the Galway West Riding on 15/9/1890.  Subsequently Lowe saw service with the RIC Mounted  Branch, from 01/4/1895 to 1/2/1898. He was pensioned on 12/6/1909.  Constable Lowe married on 31/7/1890, his wife being from Co Mayo.   Also entitled to 1900 Visit to Ireland Medal.


Index to Royal Irish Constabulary records,


Name, birth date/ age at enlistment, marraige, date enlisted, LDS film number.


From Westmeath.

Henry 1885 #2093 (852093)

Thomas age 19, 2088 (8520855)

William 20 Westmeath Y 1831 same film as Nathaniel.  ***** (they possibly enlisted together.)

Samuel 24 1848 Emigrated 856059

George 1851, 19, emigrated, 856060

William, 25, 1855, 856062

Thomas, 19,  1864, 856064

John, 19, Westmeath, 1881, 856068.

John, 19, Kings, 1860, 856063

John, 20, Westmeath, 1855, 856062.   

(Remember that John Lowe, who does NOT appear to be one of these, rented land for the RIC barracks in Kilcleagh in 1862.)





From Irish Origins:

Catherine Low, Westmeath 8 June 1776 Kilcornan  Marriage settlement, Joshua Parker, 1096/7/23

Eusebius Low  Prerogative court, Admnistration transcript, 1 Parnell Pl, Dublin, 1832.  IAR/1832/F/116   4/237/33

Eusebius Low, Dublin.  City of Dublin.   23 Jan 1777.  Will and certificate copy Prerogative Court  T/18135 (a,b)

Low, Eusebius,City of Dublin.   Will, grant, Prerogative Court.   1777 Prerogative Will Book / F/ 2016

Low, Eusebius Dublin.   Prerogative Court.  Abstr of will in abstr of title.   25 Mar 1776.   1777.  M/ 7001 (5)


Low, Mary  1 Parnell Pl, Dublin.   Administration Trascript.   1832.  Harriett O'Hartley executor; she was apparently Lowe alias Hartley.   IAR/1832/F/116 4/237/33

Low, William.   Same.  IAR/1832/F/117  4/237/33.   Harriett O'Hartley.

Lowe, Henry.   Armagh.  Mountnorris.   Probate tarnscr Prer Ct.  Prerogative Grant Book/ F/ 176a

Lowe, Thomas.  Prer Ct Bloomhll , Kings/ Offaly.   1829.   Will transcript.   IWR/1829/F/436  4/236/15   Bloomhill is south of Athlone, and a Catherine Lowe held a lot of land there in 1854.   

Index to Prerogative Wills of Ireland:  

Samuel Lowe, 1710, Clonerill, Kings Co, Esq.

Samuel Lowe Conhahir, Co Westmeath 1803  (he was the last of the line of descent from George who inherited Newtownlow from William's descendants.)

Thomas, Kilcornan, 1735, Co Westmeath, farmer.   (Kilkenny West parish)

Thomas Lowe, 1731, Donomoney.   Near Kilkenny West.

John Lowe of Fairfield, co Wsetmeath, Gent.   1752/58.   Drumraney parish, Kilkenny West barony, north of Moate.   Possibly a descendant of John; wonder if it could be the person who sold 100 acres in Cornaher to Samuel Handy.    

Several others whose identities are known.

Edmond Low, mariner , 1742.  Sounds like Edmond the son of George, but not necessarily.




Tithe Applottment Book index available online for northern counties only.  (Similar to Griffiths but 1820's to 1830's)  People below mostly appear twice; in 1826 and 1834.  I'm including these people because of similarity of names to Nathaniel's family.   Westmeath Lowe's did migrate elsewhere.

Edward Lowe Antrim Glenavy, Ballyvannan

Edward Lowe Gleanvy, Ballyvorally

Henry Lowe Antrim, Gleanvy, Old Park.

Widow Lowe Antrim, Glenavy, Ballyvorally.

Charles Lowe, Down, Shankill, Dougher.

John Lowe Antrim, Ballinderry, Aghadavey

John Lowe Antrim Ballinderry Balyleckey

John Lowe Armagh, Kilmore, Lisavague

Joseph Lowe Down, Moira, Clare

Edward Lowe Antrim, Glenavy, Ballyvorally

Henry Lowe, Antrim, Glenavy, Deerpark

Henry Lough Armagh, Loughilly, Pornorris

Hugh Lowe, Armagh, Loughgilly, Lush.

John Lowe Armagh, Loughgilly, Lush

Patrick Lowe, Armagh, Loughgilly, Lush.

Widow Lowe Antrim, Gleanvy, Ballyvorally

William Lowe Antrim, Aghagallon, Moyntaghs.  


One has to wonder if we had relatives in Deerpark and Glenavy, Antrim, especially as our Nathaniel died in Belfast.   




Census, 1911, Westmeath.


Lowe, Alice








Ella Frances


























From Dictionary of Athlone Biography, typescript at Athlone public library, sent to me by Athlone library - pages on Lowe's only.   


1662 Thomas, tenant of Mr. Eccles, Coosan (A. 17.c - Ref is article "Athlone in the 17th Century".   Coosan, area next to St. Mary's parish, granted to Gilbert Eccles in 1641.  The Rochforts bought it later.    Coosan is an area north of Athlone bounded by the river Shannon and Lough Ree, that contains the townlands of Clonbrush, Coosan, Meehan, and Creaghduff, and with other lands constitutes the Barony of Brawny.

1732.  Edward, Kilcoman, co Westmeath.  Mortgagee of 12 Church St.   1738 he and Letitia Low, wife of Geo. West, Lessors (564)  (Numbers in parentheses are deeds.)   The deed extract, looks like she married a Wright.   "Letitia Wright owise Lowe" and Edward Lowe of Kilcornan, I get.

(From will index, Catherine Low of Kilcornan and Joshua Parker, marriage settlement, 8 June 1776 1096/7/23)

Kilcornan is a 21 acre townland in Kilkenny West parish, where Nathaniel Lowe owned land in the 1760's.   It is about two and a half miles east of the location of the Kilkenny West parish church.   If Nathaniel Lowe ever owned the same land, he had to have owned ALOT of land, or a number of properties that are not contiguous.   Deeds that the Athlone public library has info about make it clear that he owned properties in Athlone that were close together but weren't contiguous.   

Found deaths of two Thomas Lowe's there in Prerogative will index.   Thomas Lowe, farmer, died 1731, Kilcornan, and Thomas Lowe, of Donomoney, 2 miles north of Kilkenny West, 1725.   Either could have been Thomas the settler, but he was born before his father died in 1638, and would have been unusually long lived for a Lowe to have lived that long.

1759  Nathaniel, A. Esq., '64 holds 18 Church st.  (52); also Ct. Devenish Ho. (108); assignee of Rockfoeld, co R. (597(; att.v. 59; c.w. St. M's 60.   - attended vestry 1759, church warden St. Mary's 1760.  

31 Aug 1764.   Joseph Sroule of Athlone gent and Nathaniel Low esq 80 pounds.  Joseph Sproule built a property, Catherine Daly now lives there, and someone built stuff.   

1767 James, 14th Dragoons.  m. St. Mary's to Elizabeth, d.o. John Hanna, St. P's, she buried St. Mary's 1797.  issue - I - a son Symone bapt St. M's 69; 2 Mary, wife of William Gumbleton (758)

1770 Cornaboy, wife, Cathn., c. bapt St. Mary's Gilbert 70, and Dorothy 72.

3 Apr 1771.  Another deed with Nathaniel Low Esq an dSproule of Athlone.  Adam Sproule of Athlone Co, Westmeath gent, lands of Rockfield, Co Roscommon, lease of 3 lives - sold lease to Nathaniel Low Esq.

1 May 1790.   John Robinson of Dublin, Nathaniel Low of Lowville Co Galway Esq, George West by ___ 1749 deceased.  Joseph Sproule property vested on Low.  Nathaniel Low to hold premises.  0.

25 Mar 1797 between Wm Handcock late of Athlone decd 26 Mar 1765 and Saml Simpson late dcd.   concerning all that house and garden in possession of Nathaniel Lowe Esq.   

1782.  Charles, ESq.  '84 tenant of 6 Church St. (map); wife Ruth in 1809 bur K. West, issue bapt St. Mary's 1. John Gustavus 82; 2 Mary 84.

1824.  James and Elizabeth, their child, Mary bapt St. Mary's.

1830 Samuel, St.Mary's to Louisa French, issue baptized St. Mary;s - Samuel 33; George 33; Elizabeth 35; John 36 Nathaniel 38 Louisa 39, confirmed 54; Mary 40, confirmed 54; Margaret 42; William 43; Robert & Henry James, twins 45; Thomas, 51.

1843 James, m St. Mary's to Margaret French.

1844.  Maria, A. m St. Mary's to John Lennon.

8151 Patrick, Irishtown (Athlone?) voter, do 52.r

1854 Nathaniel 'Low', Canada, F.F. Grant of 18 church st. to R.H. Low (1088)

1855 Rev. Richard Hugh 'Low', 3rd s.o. William of Lowville, to Gal. & grandson of 4th Vixc. Boyne, vicar of Kiltoon, '56 sold 18 Chruch st. (1105); 1855 m. at Kiltoom to Isabella, 4th d.o. late thomas Jefferson, Esq. Newry (WI, 20jan); 60, d. at Rathgar (WI, 1 Dec)  Rev. Richard Hugh Low of Kiltown Glebe and John Galway Holmes of Dublin, on one part, and Patrick Roule of Athlone on the other part for 100 pounds.  Piece of land indenture of 23 Oct `749 and 26 Feb 1791 and renewals.  To hold during the interest of Nathaniel Low, the Revd Richard Henry Low, and John Galway Homes or any of them under indenture of 23 Oct 1749.  

1860 Isabella, Ballycashelroe, co Westmeath, d.o. John, farmer, m. at St. Philip's to John Nash.  (widow daughter of ghkers?

      This John is John of Ballycahilroe and of Boyanagh Malone, in Griffiths; he owned a number of pretty much adjacent plots in the two townlands.

1861 John, tailor,, Northgate, st. voter 68, his daus Susan in 61, a. 19 dressmaker, Irishtown, m. at St. Mary's to Jhon Duff, gunner; Elizabeth, Mardyke st. m St. Mary's to John Longsdon, pte.  5 Dragoons

1862 Francis tailor, Mardyke st. voter 62-8 later tenant of 13 Church St.

1868 George, farmer, his dau. Delia Heveron wid. married at St. Mary's to Charles Nunn, pensioner.

1881.  George, widower, carpenter, Ballyloghloe, m at St. Mary's to Sarah comber.   

From Liam Cox's book on Moate.   Some notes found by someone at the Moate historical society who had the book handy.   

The 1881 directory shows a John Lowe, store keeper, in Moate, who seemed to have his finger in every pie.   He sold wine and spirits, groceries, boots and shoes, purchased wool, hung drapes, and acted as some sort of emigration agent.    And possibly more.   By 1908 Mrs. Lowe sold wine and spirits, and Jane Lowe hung drapes.   Probably family members had always done some of the business activities attributed to John Lowe in the 1881 directory.

From the Tithe Applotments, for Moate only, in 1825.

In 1825, a Robert Lowe lived in Moate.   

In 1834, a Lowe lived in Kilbeenboyleegan, on Dublin Rd.   (Don't have the first name of this Lowe).   The townland is immediately east of Moate.   

Tithe Applotments


Castlelost Toryboggan

George Lowe 3.00 best 6.00 middling 3.20 worswt ?

Catletown Kindalen, Broadwood

John Low 1.238 acres  


Lowe, Patrick, Jr 2.0, 2.14, 2.0/ 8.3

Lowe, Patrick, Sr 1.0, 1.3.0, 4.7

Ballykilroe - no Lowe

Boyana Malone - no Lowe


Thomas Lowe 2 best, 5 middling, 2 worst 52 1/2 total acreage of Humpreys  ?  


John Hand 1/2 acre


Thomas Lowe and Jhon Adamson 5 best, 8 middling, 31 worst 2 lbs

Kilcumreah parish

Newtown townland John "Tone" 1.2 shillings

Kilkenny West parish

Kilkenny townland

William Lowe 3.06 worst land 1.9 shillings

John Lowe 4.2 middling. 1.0 worst 6.42 shillings


"Francis Tone" Rathue?   1.3 middling, 3.0 w, 3.1 shillings

Killervally, Furtullagh parishes William and Samuel Glanville.  


Thomas Lowe 1 acre 3.5 shillings


Joseph Robinson and his under-tenants 123 acres.


James Low 2 middling 3 worst

John Low Sr

John Low Jr  very small plots.    

Kings/ Offaly


Robert Hicks 3 acres middling

Stephen Lowe 20 acres middling 18.4 shillings

Thomas Lowe 3 acres middling 2.9 shillings

John Lowe 11 acres middling 10.1 shillings

Thomas Lowe 1.1.0 acres 20 1/2 Shillings?

In 1800, there is a list of freeholders who voted or were entitled to vote in an election about a union of Moate and neighborhood or something.

Nathaniel Lowe of Moate, a freeholder, appears on this list.   

At some time, apparently not in 1825 nor in 1800;

James Low in Killeenboylegan on Dublin Rd (Rt 6), and Thomas Lowe in Annaghargit (west of Moate).   

Grave Inscriptions from St. Mary's in Moate.  (Church of Ireland) - not very many of them.  

Arthur Lowe of Ballynamuddagh.  No date and no other info.

John Lowe of Ballycahilroe (pronounced Ballyahilroe).   The farmer of the 1850's and 1860'?   Again no date and no other info.

Robert Lowe of Cornahir.  Died 18th June 1893, age 84.   (b abt 1809)

His daughter Elizabeth Lowe died 13 Jun 1888, age 28.  Born abt 1860.

His wife Jane died Oct 1901, age 71.   

Christopher Dixon Lowe, Dixon somehow spelled differently than normal diedd 14th Nov 1898, age 28, is what I got down.  His daugther Fanny died 18__ 1903.   

A Methodist Church that was probably also Baptist, is on Lower Main St.  A house that was the Lowe's is right next to it.  House was called Southside, and it belonged to Lowes.   


From a document she compiled sent to me by one of the descendants of John Lowe of Ballycahilroe I've been working with, of Lowe information from the Moate area.   Unfortunately I can't find the e-mail with the document.


Moate burials 6-8-1876 to 19-4-1999

Burial Date Lowe Name Address Age Est Birth Date  
2-7-1888 Elizabeth Cornaher, Tyrrellspass 28


20-06-1893 Robert Cornaher, Tyrellspass 84 1809   His family lived there
15-08-1893 George Moate 20 1873  
8-08-1895 Lily Boston, Moate ? ?  
4-1-1897 Helena J Castlebar (Co Mayo 9 1887  
16-11-1898 Christopher Cornahir 28


14-10-1901 Jane Cornahir 17 1830  
10-01-1904 John Moate 55 1848 The storekeeper?
24-09-1909 Ellen Maote 61 1848  
23-02-1910 Caroline Kate Clara Road, Moate 38 1872  
8-02-1913 Stanley Robert Beechmount 16 1897  
24-02-1913 Florence Elizabeth Killala, Co Mayo 23 1890  
12-06-1917 William Cecil Beechmount 15 1/2 1901  
26-06-1919 Eva Beechmount, Moate 47 1872  
7-09-1920 James Newtown 80 1840 Prob Newtown, Moate
1-06-1922 George Lurgan, Moate 70 1852 Owned land there 1889 - after Robert to Cornahir apparently.
3-9-1922 Jane Main St. Moate 53 1869  
17-10-1922 Dora Moyvalley 29 1893  
24-01-1925 Sarah Newtown, Moate 86 1839  
28-06-1929 Mary L Killaloe, Ennis (Co Clare) 75 1854  
13-02-1929 ? ditto 72 1857  
23-02-1930 Dora Hotel, Moate 50 1880  


(see above)

Mary Killaloe, Ennis (Co Clare) 75 1854  
13-02-1931 Arthur Ballinamuda, Moate 70 1861  
15-10-1933 Robert Moyvalley 67 1866  
17-06-1934 Mary Moyvalley 69 1865  
6-09-1936 Anna Ferbane, late of 92 1844  
    Ballykilroe, Moate      
20-09-1938 John 1 Auburn Tce, Athlone 76 1862  
23-10-1938 Jane Lurgan, Moate 68 1852  
11-02-1939 William George Beechmount, Moate 73 1866  
23-08-1946 Evangealine Millicent Lurgan, Maote 52 1894  
9-03-1947 William Newtown House 66 1881  
    Tobar, Moate      
28-04-1951 William Ballylammon, Ferbane 69 1882  
28-01-1952 Elizabeth Ann The Hotel, Moate 75 1877  
  John Gre..e Ballykilroe, Moate ?    
5-05-1959 Ellen Newtown 77 1882  
11-09-1961 John Robert Moate 73 1888  
11-03-1972 Thomas Albert Lurgan, Moate 83 1889  
4-03-1980 William Herbert Moate View, Moate 55 1925  
12-05-1981 Elizabeth Winifred South Side, Moate 91 1890  
29-07-1989 Elizabeth Lurgan, Moate 80 1909  

There are numerous Lowe entries in the C of I registers for Ballyloughloe, Willbrook (Moydrum) and Ballymore as well as further Birth and Marriage entries for Moate.  Most of these will be post 1864.

A book published in 1989 entitled "Offaly 100 years ago" which is a reprint of a book "The King's County Directory" published by John Wright, contains numerous references to the Lowe family in various polling lists, etc.

Clara Polling List 1889

George Lowe, Lurgan, Valuation 24 pounds.   (I wonder if this was George Samuel?)

R. Lowe (Robert)   Cornahir, Co Westmeath 46 pounds   Robert who formerly or even still owned land in Lurgan.   Clara Polling list?   Had to own land there.  Lurgan is in Kings Co.


Thomas Lowe Ballyboughlin  36 punds.


Ballycumber Polling List 1889   Philip Lowe  Castlearmstrong  10 pounds

Samuel Lowe ditto 14 pounds

Thomas H Lowe Bellair   36 pounds

Ferbane Polling List 1889  William Lowe Bloomhill 13 pounds.


A list of Protestants in Kilcleagh (Moate) Parish in August 1802 included the following Head of Households and number of children:

Thomas Lowe (2)

Widow Lowe (1)

Stephen Lowe (3)

Samuel Lowe (3)

John Lowe (3)

The Index of Prerogative Wills 1620 - 1810 includes:

Period 1620 - 1700 : Ebenezar Low, Newtown (Newtown parish)

                                   William Low, Newtown

Period 1700 - 1750 Barekah Low, Newtown

                                    Thomas Low, Dunamoney

                                     Thomas Low, Kilcornan (Possibly these were the same person)

Period 1750 - 1810  Ann Low, Newtown

                                 Barecah Low, Newtown

                                 Ricahrd Low, Newtown

                                  Samuel Low, Cornaher

From Grand Juries of the County of Westmeath.   The following served on grand juries.

Richard Lowe, Grand jury, 1760, 1761, 1765, 1769.

Ebenezer Lowe 1736, 1744, 1745

Samuel Lowe 1735, 1738, 1762, 1795.   

Nathaniel Lowe 1757, 1759.  (Same one who founded Lowville, apparently.)

Samuel Lowe, Esq., high sheriff in 1757 at summer assizes.   (This role seemed to be switched off atleast once a year among the gentry of the region.)


From The Burgess Papers.   Mentions of Lowe  in Westmeath..

1662 Thoms Lowe in Athlone.   

1732 Edward Lowe

1759 Nathaniel Lowe lived in Church St, Athlone.

1830 Samuel Lowe and wife Lousie French.

1838 Nathaniel Lowe.   


From the wills index at Irish Origins.   Catherine Low, of Westmeath, address Kilcornan (think I've also seen it as Kilcoman), marriage settlement, 8 June 1776, married Joshua Parker.  1096/7/23 from the appropriate national office.  

Thomas Lowe of Bloomhill, 1  WR/1829/F/436 4/236/15.  1929.  Prerogative Court - which means there was substantial property.   Executor was William Lowe.  I don't specifically have a note that this was in Westmeath, but unlikely I'd have written down information if it weren't.  


A Nathaniel Lowe of Ballinamudagh came before the assizes court 19 Feb 1870, for threatening notices, in a dispute about a car-way to a bog.

Lowe Deeds for Ireland

Lowe deeds from Deeds Indexes, for Westmeath and Kings Counties, 1708 through 1810, and Name indexes for Lowe, for all of Ireland, through 1793.   Highlighting is for ue by people collaborating on deeds research.   Name deed indexes are for all of Ireland, but it looks to me like most likely the Westmeath and Tipperary Lowe families are overrepresented.    The Antrim Lowe family in particular appears to be missing.   Also, Nathaniel Low of Lowville and Kilkenny West must have deeded a lot more land than it appears from what I have.   Entire pages of this index are illegible, or atleast my scans of them are.   I included only Low and Lowe, not Law or Lawe, which appeared to be one or more completely distinct families.   .   

For some reason Excel 2003's idea of a web page doesn't display in some browsers, so here is the original Excel database.  It may display in your browser, or you may have to download and open it.   Here is the link to install the free Microsoft Excel viewer, which lets you view Excel files even if you don't have Excel installed on your computer.   

Current Lowe's in Westmeath area

Herbert Lowe, who died in 1980's, married Margery Clibborn, of the Moate Castle line.   She had a brother James who now lives with her.   She lives at a historic house called Moate View in Moate.   Something about a division in the Clibborn family; Cuthbert line leads to Margery and Cooper Clibborn remained in the castle.   

There are also Lowes near Glisson or Glasson, 10 miles from Moate, and in Ballykerran.   

Notes on Silver Hill

(Silver Hill, or Silverhill townland in 1854, is a tiny hamlet just east of the village of Clara, just south of the county line, in Kings/ Offaly County.   From the above it isn't clear how long "the family" had lived there.   In 1854, Griffiths Evaluation, one man, John Andrews, Esq, owned all 124 acres of it; he rented it out; 123 acres to Charles Rolleston and one acre to Jeremiah Cormick.   John Andrews, Esq, also owned the adjacent townlands of Brownstone, Rathenny in Cullwaine Parish (with Silver Hill), and Knockaseer (sp?) in Temple___, maybe adjacent and maybe not.   Brownstone was adjacent on the west and Rathenny to the north.   Immediately north of Silver Hill, John Cliburn (Clibborn) owned the entire townlands of Lissanisky and Kilbride.)


8. Hawtrey Andrews, address Knocknacree, Cloghjordan,
owned 797 acres.
9. John Andrews, address Rathenry, Cloghjordan, owned 464 acres.
10. John H. Andrews, same address, owned 699 acres.
11. Maunsell Andrews, same address, (but spelled Ratheny) owned 151 acres26.

M. A. Lowe, address Bellais, Ballycumber, owned 46 acres.
27. Thomas Lowe      same address, owned 130 acres.

Maunsell Andrews, same address, (but spelled Ratheny) owned 151 acres


the Cloughjordan & Borrisokane Group of Parishes ... spanning counties Tipperary North and Offaly.,

CULLEN WAYNE, a parish, in the barony of CLONLISK, KING’S county, and province of LEINSTER, containing, with the post-town of Moneygall, 1653 inhabitants, of which number, 379 are in the town. This parish is situated on the road from Dublin to Limerick, and contains 3550 statute acres, of which about 1100 are reclaimable bog. The principal residences are Rathenney House, that of Maunsell Andrews, Esq., situated in a handsome demesne; Green Hills, of the Rev. W. Minchin; Silver Hills, of Mrs. Smith; and Rathenney Cottage, of J. Andrews, Esq. It is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Killaloe, and is part of the union of Templeharry: the tithes amount to £227. 9. 10 1/4. In the R. C. divisions the parish forms part of the union or district of Dunkerrin; the chapel is at Moneygall. The parochial school is aided by the incumbent and other contributors; a school in the village is supported by the parish priest, and there are two others. There is also a private school, in which are about 30 boys and 10 girls


Lowe Estates in the Book of Surveys and Distribution of the Estates of the County of Westmeath, Forfeited, in the year MDCKII.


I have a slightly more comprehensive version of this in DOC format.   

Note:  The original film was readable but the scans on FHC's hoagy new scanner/printers have problems.   The acreage typically listed appears to be that which is profitable, with a separate occasionally used column for I guess land that isn't very useful - but I can't be sure that's what it says.   Townlands may also not be transcribed correctly.   Most land was confiscated from the Geoghegans but not always.   

In Newtowne Parish, Moycashell Barony

Ballymathue 212.2.20 acres William Low  by Cert 17th Aug 1666    2-178

Loghan Lewnught in Leghan Lewnoght  37-0-20 (area unprofitable plantation measure?) 202-0-5   George Low by Cert 27 July 1666

Knockitosker  238 acres;  213 to George Low, 25 to the Duke of York  By cert 27 July 1666

Clonighhelgh  126 acres  George Low by Cert 27 July 1666

Clonighelgh 611 acres, possibly unprofitable, 126 acres   George Low By Cert 27 July 1666

Cloonorane 70 acres William Low by Cert date 17 Aug 1666

Cominstowne  526 acres  Grace Cooper by Cert date 17 1666 (Probably August)

Newtowne  065 acres  008 to William Lowe, and 57 acres jointly to William Low and George Fitz Gerald.   The land was originally confiscated from Sr. Luke Fitzgerald.   All land given to George Fitz Gerald is shown as "in tayle by Dec 22 June (63) R Roll" 8-417.

Rabinchorick 64 acres.   George Fitz Gerald in tayle by Dec 22 of June (63) R. roll, William Low by Cert 13th November 1666.   

Coronahir   174 acres.   (How was it 666 or so by Griffiths?)

Ballimathir & Spittlehouse 40 acres in two parts.  William Low by Cert 19 Nov (68)

Clanekillan, 57 acres, and Torque 48 acres, William Low  By Cert dat 17 Aug 1666

Gleabe Lands in Torque 4 acres C Land

Killevally, 164 aacres, Killelogan, 102 acres, it doesn't say.   Hard to imagine it was all church land; could have been Lowe.  It was taken from Geoghegan's.

Ardmorney 106 acres including 61 acres to noone or whoever was above, 45 acres to Grace Cooper by Cert 17  Aug 1666, "on y whole" George Fitz Gerald in tayle by Dec 22 at June (63) R Roll.

Higginstowne  105 acres George Low  by Cert 27 June 1666

Several big cuhinks of land apaprently weren't given to anyone.  


Comon to y townes a red bogg 940 acres

Comon to the Adjacent Townea  373 acres

Geoghegan land in Ballymathue ubrobbs?   2 acres.  


Rathue Killtober and Attlemaner alaTonigh   982 acres   nobody.

Capenruffe  182 acres nobody.


Monrath Monnact Donomilna Connet propetor not distinguished  179 acres not productive.   713 acres productive land including 544 to noone, 62 acres to George Low by cert 27th Jul 166, 189?  acrse to Tho Edwards by cert 21 Dec 1666?

Ballisboy  215 acres 77 to Wm Lowe, 84 and 54 to the Duke of Yorke

Luthernan   241 acres to Wm Low

011 nonproductive acres it doesn't say.

Ballygemore  77 acres; 000 to Sr. George Herbert after reprise 70 acrse;   77 to Lt Fitz harding.

Cupelahy   119 acres;   023 to William Low, 096 to George Peyton  1666

In Pallish 072 acres nonproductive land - doesn't say.

in Pallish 210 acres to Lt Futz Harding.   

Garryduffe  45 acres to Wm Low, 1666, 228 acres to Thomas Edwards.

Frenauagh   1`64 acres Lt Futz Harding

Ballybrodier, 140 acres, Derrygolan, 154 acres  William Low. 1666

740 acres a greate bogg and 48 acres a piece of bogg it doesn't say.

KILCUMREAGH PARISH - nothing to Lowe's.


Most land did not go to Lowe's.   

Ballyhast 104 acres went to William Lowe, who got only half of the land.

Ravnawlososw?   20 acres to William Lowe, who didn't get the great bulk of the land.


RETURN OF SALES OF ESTATES IN THE COUNTY WESTMEATH FROM THE FIRST SALE, VIZ - 19TH FEBRUARY 1850 to Dec 1852 - no Lowe's.   This may or may not have to do with the pages of leaseholds that follow.    

For each townland listed is the acreage and the yearly rent paid by the tenant named.   

All of these are in Moycashel Barony; there doesn't seem to be a breakdown by parish.

Tho. Low.   Ballibroder, Derigolane, Cappalagley or oy   141 acres, 154 acres, 23 acres.   Paid a total of 6 pounds, 8 shillings, 7 1/2 pence.   He probably also rented land north of Athlone.   

William Low, esqr, tenant.

Ardmorney 61 acres.   Balli__?  25? acres. Cloneron  70 acres.   Killclogher?  102 acres.   Ballinathugh?   243 acres.

Clonkeelan 58 acres.  Tengue slg Torque 48 acres.  Killarahy 165 acres.  Garry Dfufe 35 acres.  Pallis boy 77 acres.   Rahue, Kiltober, Attycourt and Tahegh? 983 acres.  Monrath als Mon____ 544 acres.   Capprarush 198 acres.  Lower Towne 641 acres.   Some of these belonged to his brother George.

Willm Low, Esqr.   In Newtown 57 acres.  Rathcorrick 66 acres.   Corraxarher?   174 accres.  Spittle Hosue  36 acres.   Some of this was land William owned, and I can't understand the date on this document.

Geo Low  Loghan Loghue, 202 acrse.  In Knockinasky 213 acres  Cloneheigh 126 acres.

Higginstowne 105 acres.

In Moyrath 62 acres.  

Monrath als Monassett 109 acres William Low.






Lowe information from Bewdley and Kidderminster area, Worcestershire.    

The Westmeath Lowes are originally from Bewdsley, Worcestershire, England.  The place is spelled more than one way.

From History of Bewdley.   Online; google Books.   John Richard ____

In 1611, Hugh Lowe.   Laid out money for mending the prison house bridge, paid for wind and cakes at my Lord riding through town, and Rode to London on town's business.

1625 Mr. Lowe schoolmaster, usher of the school.   

1643 John Lowe a benefactor of the grammar school.

In 1663, Mr. George Lowe, High Schoolmaster, buried at Bewsdley (Wribbesford or whatever - town historically had more than one name, the sister town that kept the name was across the river, and Bewdley may not have had a proper church in its own right.)


From bmd at Ancestry;  a Lowe family with all of these names but Hugh was established in Kidderminster by the late 1500's, and  in Alvley near Bewdley, 9in 1600, George was born son of John Low, and John and George were born sons of  Thomas Low.   

A large Lowe family lived in Halesowen, a little to the north but nearby, in the late 1500's to early 1600's, and in medieval times.   In the 14th century, they regularly witnessed documents for the lords of their manor.   That family included the name Hugh, but Hugh was hardly a rare name.   At the earlier end of the time period they were known as Att Lowe and de la Lowe.    Overlords were Lyttelton.   The Lyttelton Charters.   

Grant from John Gunny ....(Alveley, co Salop), Arley.  William de la Lowe.   24 Feb 1315.

Grant from John Gunny,to Thomas Cnoana.   In Arley Manor.   William de la Lowe.   21 Ot 1316.

Quit-claim from John Gunny to Thomas Conan.  Richard de la Lowe 8 Sep 1319.

Lease for lives from John Picard, and Hugonis de Waban to Thomas, son of William de Bromleye, of Arley, et of lands and tenemetns in Arley.  William de la Lowe a witness.  8 June 1323.

Covenant Philip de Luttelye, John Bottourt for manor of Luttelye (Lutley, co Worc) of Hagley Manor.  Thomas atte Lowe  a witness.

John de la Lone of Wolverhampton, Phlip de Lutteley, all land at La Lee in Alveeley.  Thomas atte Lowe, 8 Jun 1368.   

John de Hexton, Ralphe de Shawe and others.   Wednesbury, co Staff.  Arley.   Edmund Lowe.   22 Jul 1406.

Lease 12 yrs.  Thomas Whitenhull of Romsley in Halesowen, John Chircheyord, land in Romsley.   Hugh Lowe a witness.   29 Sep 1411

Same place, ame people, Hugh Lowe, 30 Nov 1420.

Grant from Hugh Lowe and Walter Longeley, chaplain, to JOhn Hexton and Agnes, daughter of John Horewode, Esquire, of the lands, etc in Arley which the said Hugh and Walter heldby feoffment from Isabella, sometime wife of John Hexton, sen.   Thomas Lowe a witness.  Dated Arley, 29 Sep 1439.   

By 1617 they weren't all gentry.   In 1617, Muriel Lyttleton brought action against Thomas and John Low, for sinking coal pits in a field called Coel Pitt Leasue near ___Wood.   They made 40 shillings for this over 2-3 weeks, apparently.   (You know that massive environmental disaster they're having with poorly contained coal ash disposal sites?  Sounds like they had a smaller scale version of the same problem in the 17th century.)

Arley is not as far away as Halesowen but in that direction; was part of the Norman manor of Kidderminster.   

What I have on the gentry Lowe families of Lindridge and Bromsgrove is in my Rootsweb database.    Their complete pedigree is supposed to be in Nash's collection of notes for a history of Worcestershire, which I've ordered from LDS.   There were two branches of this family that were entitled to coats of arms, which are different but similar and bear resemblances to that described by Joseph Lowe in his letter, though there are also differences.   Certain motifs and the motto reported by Joseph Lowe in his letter, have attached to Lowe gentry from Worcestershire.   John Low of Bewdley and Dublin had a coat of arms on his tomb, but the tomb inscription not now readable.  A resource on heraldry is an odd place for Henry Nathaniel Lowe to have spent large quantities of time and money researching an ancestor that surely his father's people in Westmeath could have told him, and it isn't clear if he came up with their actual coat of arms, or bought what was popularly known as a "pig in a poke".   

Lowes of Rowley Regis and Halesowen.   ?????????


In Google books, I am finding a lot of de la Lowe's and atte Lowe's all over England from 1200, in the subsidy rolls, and manor court documents.   Surname dictionaries note the same thing.   Worcestershire and neighboring Hertfordshire and Staffordshire particularly had a lot of them.   There seem to have been many in a position to buy and sell land, or copyhold rights to land, and to witness deeds, which in come cases involved the lord of the manor.   Lowes were also in a position to owe taxes on the subsidy rolls.   

Dictionary of English Surnames, and other references, agree that de la Lowe and Atte Lowe were always geographically based names, and never meant "wolf".   It was easy to tell the difference.   Le Lowe meant wolf, and de la Lowe or atte Lowe were geographical references.  



"Low, Lowe, Lowes:  (i) John le Lu (1207) P (Gl); Robertus Lups, robert le Lu 1221 AssWa; Walter le Lou 1242 Fees (D).  OFr lou 'wolf', occasionally interchanging with the diminutive; Gregory le Lu, Lups, Lupet 1221 (Cru (D), Martin Lovel or Love 1346, 1348, FA (Sf), ii Turgot et.  ; William le Low 1284 AssLa; Martin le Low 1275 RH (Lo).  ON Lagr 'low, short'.   (iii)  Robert de la Lowe 1275 SRWo; Roger del Lowe 1288 AssCh; Stephen Atteloue 1301 SRY.  OE hlaw 'hill', 'burial mound', cf. LAW.  (iv) From a pet-name of Laurence.  cf.  Simon Loustepsone 1297 SRY.   "

From Divergent Origins of Surnames; "Such is  Low, generally local, at the "low", or mound (Ralph de la Lowe, Hundr. R), probably also a the "lough", and also a nickname, the wolf (WIlliam le Lou, City B.).  The existence of High and Bass shows that the entry "le lowe" is often for the English adjective, and Low is also one of the shortened forms of Lawrence; hence Lowson."   

In Worcestershire, Hertfordshire, and Staffordshire, in the 13th through 15th centuries, the term was ALWAYS "de la lowe" or "atte lowe", or "De la lawe" or "atte lawe", used interchangeably, and the final e was often not included.   The a spelling was the earlier spelling and persisted as an interchangeable way to spell the name until nearly 1700.   Tellingly, the early Westmeath Lowe's sometimes spelled their name with an a.    The Westmeath Lowe family did not get their name from a word for wolf, and did not come to England with William the Conqueror.   It is however the case that some low's and lowe's were small hills or grave barrows of particular importance, so a Lowe family that lived near one may not necessarily have just happened to occupy any old hill.   Also that Worcestershire had a strong Celtic and a strong Roman presence before the Saxons.    The original word was Hlaw.   


Lowe was descended from the Saxon word for hill, and the Lowe's of Bromsgrove and Lindridge actually crossed with another family of gentry called "Hill of Hill".    

There were also the Bromsgrove and Lindridge Lowe's; so far all those I've found belong to the family of gentry with the supposedly Norman ancestors who spelled and pronounced their name in Saxon.    Lindridge was near Bewdley; Bromsgrove was east of Kidderminster.  

All of the villages near Kidderminster, as well as Kidderminster, are Saxon in origin, though the area has been settled and farmed since Neolithic times, and archeological evidence inidicates it has been consistently occupied through all phases of Britain's ethnic history.   First people there were 8,000 BCE and ate a type of nut, maybe acorns, that was plentiful then.  

A branch of the "Worcestershire" family went to London.   

Local book in last couple of years ahs small article - she is sending it to me.   (local public library near Lowville)


There is also this, from Nigel Gilbert's History of Kidderminster.

"It was possibly Sir Walter de Cokesey who fortified Caldwall, perhaps in the 1380's, at the same time Sir John Beauchamp was rebuilding Holt Csatle.  ...   Whatever the real extent of his fortifications, their erection was clearly a wise move given the disorder of the tinmes.  Even the vicar of Kidderminster, William Mountford, was in trouble in 1449 for trespass with others in Leicestershire..  Another inidication of the growing anarchy was the need for an enquiry nito the antics of Sir Hugh Cokesey, grandson of Sir Walter.  Lady Abergavenny, Joan de Beauchamp, complained that the Caldwall Lord, along with JOHN LOWE A YEOMAN OF KIDDERMINSTER and other malefactors arrayed in manner of war, had invaded her houses and park at Snyterfield in Warwick.  They had hunted there without permission and 'assaulted and beat her men, servants and tenants'.   

"This kind of marauding across the country by knights was commonplace in the 15th century, but it might have been throuht that Cokesey would have shown some restraint on the land of a family with  whom his own family was closely tied.   Sir Hugh's sister was ...

"With the excepton of the Cokeseys' diligent refurbishment of the parish church, the period was probably one of stagnation for the town of Kidderminster.  Around it enclosure would have been gathering pace.  The reference to the 'YOMAN', JOHN LOWE, COMPANION OF SIR HUGH ON HIS WARWICK EXPEDITION, is an indication of a rising class of independent farmer and of the break up of the open-field system.   In 1450, another Kidderminster yeoman, John Reynold, went on a similar adventure with Humphrey Stafford, who was later to be executed for treason.  Stafford and his band were accused of entering Oxfordshire where they 'lay in wait to slay certain the king's lieges, wounded them and carried away their goods to no small value and committed other trespases and riots.   It is worth reflecting that conditions of anarchy, where yeomen and even the vicar of Kdiderminster were getting tangled up in the private acts of pillage and robbery, were not conducive to the growth of industry in the towns.

"Nevertheless, records of cloth produced annually suggest that around 1418 Kidderminster was holding its own..."

Weavers weren't much established in Kidderminster itself, though.  "They were probably humble countryside dwellers.  In a lawless society the cloth industry migrated to the countryside, where it could not be controlled by borough authorities.   This change was linked to the enclosure of arable land for sheep pasture.  Perhaps Lowe and Reynold were early examples of farmers who took this course, which ensured a plentiful supply of wool for the cloth industry.  The displaced farm workers (displaced by enclosure) provided a pool of cheap labour for prospective clothiers.  Such was the decline of the towns that Henry VIII velt compelled to legislate on this matter in Worcestershire, and specifically in Kidderminster"

The Worcestershire Cloth Act of 1533 applied to Wrocester, Evesham, Droitwich, Bromsgrove, and Kidderminster, and described them as places where the making of woolen cloth had once thrived.  The act restricted the making of cloth for sale to these towns.   It was part of Thomas Cromwell's vison to buiild a strong nation state, which included strenghthening the position of the English cloth industry.    

Cromwell's legislation boosted the enclosure movement.   "Leleand noted that his route from Bridnorth to Kdiderminster was 'mostly by enclosed ground'" .    

The enclosure movement came from the failure of agriculture to reestablish itself as the economic base after the great plague, and the move of large numbers of people form farming families to the towns in search of work.   In Kidderminster the main industrial activity was weaving cloth.    The enclosure movement was driven by two factors; the desire to change to producing wool, and the growth of independent landowning.    Yeoman famers like John Lowe were asserting new rights to hold their own land.    Meanwhile, in their zeal to enclose land and raise sheep for the wool industry, aristocrats were raiding and enclosing each others' land.   In this milieu a yeoman, or freeholder, named John Lowe, who was established and farming in the environs of Kidderminster in 1449, was behaving like his descendants in the hills of Tyrrellspass; playing cowboys and indians.    It really appears as if the entire countryside were not in a state of disarray and there may have been only a few people acting like this in the Kidderminster area.   It is wroth noting that even two centuries later freeholders in England typically held mixed freely owned and feudal leaseholds on pieces of land scattered about an area.   What is relatively unusual is John Lowe's high level of discontent with his situation, and his ready use of gangland style violence to effect social change that he wanted to see occur.    It was the emotonality and style of his likely descendants in Westmeath.


See also my Noyes ancestors of Suffolk, and my Tuttle ancestors in Lincolnshire.  Families that had been simple yeomen and held small amounts of rental land in late medieval times, often prospered hugely during this period of the enclosure movement and the growth of English textile manufacturing; joining the ranks of gentry or becoming merchants in Ireland, having obtained an estate there, for example.   The Noyes family began as smallholders in Suffolk in the 15th century, able to will two suits of clothing or green silk gowns and silver teaspoons to offspring.   Some of them were transplanted to a nearby county to manage a feudal lord's estate.   Some of them continued as "farmers" of an estate; others began accumulating property, and sheep.  They built their holdings steadily.    By 1600 they were producing lawyers and clergy, among them Puritan clergy who are among my ancestors, along with the farmer of the manor.   The first set had become gentry; which was formally defined as something like owning land capable of producing 10 pounds a year.   It was the lowest rank of the landowing aristocracy, but didn't hold the same status.   The Tuttles went rather abruptly from a few small holdings with a few sheep, and substantial but modest homes, albeit owning several of them at a time, to some sort of international merchant enterprise that gained one of the family an estate in Ireland.   It was almost certainly small scale by the standards of the time, but it gained the family a modest amount of wealth.   


Goldberg:  Medieval England:  A Social History.  1250 - 1550.    

Significant changes in the structure and composition of the labour fource represent one important change in the period.  Another phoneomenon- ... The serted medieval village - ... has stimulated a degree of scholarly interest... On the one hand, they offer archaeological evidence for peasant housing or for burials... On the other, they present an interesting historical problematic relating to the chronology of and reasons for desertion.   ...

There is a distinct geography associaetd with village desertion.  There are particular concentrations in Midland England (which includes Worcestershire).   ... . The chronology of desertion in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire suggests many villages there had already been abandoned in the decades following the Black Death.  The desertions in Midland England, however, can largely be attributed to agrarian change and though a significant minority of desertions may be dated to the century after the Black Death, the majority occurred at some point after the middle of the fifteenth century (after about 1450).   Often it was historically smaller communities that went.

Two particular and related phenomena have often been noted as important factors in the process of desertion in this Midland region.  One is the creation of large-scale pasture to support sheep.  The other is the enclosure of former open fields and common land.  We have already observed thhow parts of Midland England had suffered real economic dislocation in the aftermath of the Black Death as rising wage costs and subsequent erosion of grain prices made arable husbandry unecomonic for numbers of peasant producers.  Already in the few decades following the advent of plague there were high levels of emigration from the countryside both into London and into other provincial towns, but a growth in the demand for cloth by the later fifteenth century now made it much more attractive to create grasslands for pastuer where formerly smallholdesr had their cottages and open fields.  As early as 1489 parliamentary legislation tried to restrain landowners from forcibly evicting their tenants and so adding to the newly emergent problem of vagrancy, claiming 'great inconveniences daily cloth increase by desolation and pulling down and wilful waste of houses.'

Further legislation was enacted in 1515 and, soon after, Cardinal Wolsey initiated a sustained campaign against enclosures by means of a ntaional enquiry during 1517-18, resulting in a large number of actual prosecutions.  By 1523 Wolsey sacrificed this tough policy as the quid pro quo to persuade parliament, and hence the landowing classes, to grant a new subsidy, but new legislation curbing the size of individual sheep flocks and once more attacking encloseure was enacted in 1533 and 1536 erspectively.  This legislation once more resulted in litigation during the course of the 1540's. ***** However, enclosure was not just about creating fences and hedges around previously unfenced land.   It was also about landowners asserting property rights over land that had hitherto been considered common****  The issue by the last two decades of the period, moreover, was more to do with competititon for land in the face of a now rapidly growing population than the creation of pasture at the expense of arable.   It was consequently in this latter period that the disputes about enclosure most frquently boiled over into actual violence, although sometimes this was as much orchestrated by rival landowners as spontaneous popular protest.  A fresh round of inquests into enclosure initiated by Protector Somerset in 1548-49 succeeded only in provoking yet more rioting and over a wider area.  This reflects the spread of the enclosure phenomenon well beyond the Midland region as the continued growth in demand for wool, and hence strength of wool prices, rendered pasture a more profitable source of revenue for landowners than rental income from poor small holders.   Riots were provoked not just in the Midlands, but also in the southeast and the west of England.

... The enclosure, depopulation and village clearnce is symptomatic of the broaders shift in power relations between lords and tenants, with the balance swinging very much in favour of the former.

This last is reflected in the emergence of numbers of 'new men', who were able to use reoyal service as an entree to landed society.  Numbers benefited from the flood released as a consequence of the dissolution.  [of the abbeys and church lands.    


One can readily see the place of John Low and his sons Thomas, George and William in all of this.   John Low is not likely to have been buried at Chapelizod, in a grand tomb, unless he had strong ties to the aristocratic families and military people stationed there, and that two sons were officers in Cromwell's army and the third also fought in it, supports that notion.    So does the evidence that the Cromwells knew the Low family.   


Christopher Dyer, Making a Living in the Middle Ages.

In late medieval times, once they realized that agriculture was not going to recover as a profit base after the great plague, the aristocracy shifted their emphasis on renting out portions of their land holdings to "farmers" or organizations, that would manage the land.    

The landed gentry weer more innovative.   The lwer ranks of the Englsih aristocracy were given a enw precision in this period when they were identified in legal records after the Statute of Additionsin 1413 as knights, esquires and gentlemen.   Contemporaries could recognize them by their houses, their numbers of servants, their style of life, and their participation in government, especially at the local level.  But their defining feature was possession of a landed income, which in the case of gentlemen attained atleast 10 pounds, with a minimum of 20 pounds for an esquire and 40 pounds for a knight.   This meant that they often held only one or two manors, though rich knights could have estates with a dozen.

Gentry also rented out their land.   The gentry served the magnates as administrators.  They brought their experience as landlords to their work as stewards and supervisors.   They fought in some numbers in the armies in France, and were the chief ebneficiaries of the payment of ees and annunities by the magnes for estate managent, and for general political and legal work.   Above all, they manned the legal profession, which gave a useful income to many an d allowed some stars to amass large landed estates.

They tired to make advantage marriage alliances.  They tended to concentrate their estate management into renting out demesnes.   The Catesbys, who after their investigation of their unprofitable arable farming leased out their demesnes, kept on e in hand at Radbourn in Warwickshrie, converted it entirely to pasture (including the site of the village and the peasant holdings), and added lands leased from other lords to make an even alrger block of grazing land.   In 1448, when lords were generally at the trough of the mid-century depression, the pasture at Radbourn was stocked with 1,643 sheep adn twenty cattle.   The whole operation in 1449 was valued at 64 pounds, three tiems the value of the manor when it was a mixed farming demesne with tenant rents in 1386.   

The gentry also saw the advantage of investment in a wide range of commercial and industrial enterprises.   We have noted their persence in towns, where they held property and joined fraternities.   .  Members of the gentry also owned shares in ships and invested in trading ventures.   

The gentry then were actvely engaged in production, but they have also gained a reputation for taking decisive actions to change the world around htem in order to make larger profits.   They shifted the boundaries and the size and shpae of the units in which property was held.  Their most notorious actions relaet to the removal of peasant tenants and the seizzur of village territories to create enclosed pastures, which was recorded in some detail in the reports of the enclosure commissions in 1517.  In one incident, on 11 Aug 1495, Thomas Pigott enclosed the fields of Doddershall in Buckinghamshire with fences and ditches.  Twenty-four houses in the village were allowed to fall into ruin, and 120 people left 'tearfully'.  These acts of depopulation affeced villages of teh corn-growing open-field farming districts, and was only possible when a lord had control of a whole village ro atleast a substantial part of it.

More commonly, the gentry bought up land from peasants, including the customary holdings which had formerly been held by servile tenures.  

Farmers - the tenants of leased demesnes or granges, so called because they paid a fixed annual rent or farm, appear as a powerful new force for change in the countryside around 1400.  As the lords shed their demesnes, they were handing over to the farmers the managemetn of agricultural production fo perhaps a fifth or a quarter of the agricultural land in Britain.    This put new people in control of landed resoures, and the farmesr brought new methods of production and management.   

One of the major innovations was enclosure.

Peasants often still held hereditary tenure.   In the 15th century some villagers became moer acquistive.  They might for instance buy up several plots and graze livestock on them.  They were less tied to their land, and children of a family often left.

A new terminology to describe the English peasantry was introduced in the fifteenth century.  Instead of the old distinction between free and unfree, which was becoming irrelevant, the new vocabulary was based on economic stratification, with an upper rank of yeomen, who often held 80 acres or more, a middle category of husbandmen, and at the bottom a class of laborers who held only a few acres and had to work for wages.   

Peasants often kept more livestock than before the plague.  In midland open-field villages, flocks of 300 sheep belonging to individuals were not uncommon, and many teants owned thirty to sixty sheep.  Yeomen, espeically in upland or woodland districts, kept impressive numbers of animals.  ... The increase in numbers of livestock caused a good deal of firction in villages, and there were constant complaints of animals trespassing, and of the overburdening of the commons, leading to overgarzing.  Villages responded by fixing stints and repeating these limits on the number of animals that could be kept.  

Conflict could be avoided, and land could be used more efficiently, by changes in the management of land, and peasants in consequence reorganized their own holdings, and the common fields.  In the uplands they enclosed more open grazing land; in the woodlands, crofts which had previously been availabe for common grazing were closed off and neighbors' animals denied access.   The open fields could only be restrcutured after a process of exchange and consolidation of strips, which tehn formed coherent blocks of land which could be enclosed.  We find individuals carryung out this process piecemeal at Stoke Felming in Devon around 1400, adn by 1500 the village was surrounded entirely by enclosed fields.  Sometimes there was a collective agreement to enclose.    ..  Peasant enclosures of this kind were much more numerous, and enclosed a much larger area of land, than the enclosures carried out by the lords.  They attracted less dispute and attention because they were accepted by the peasants.  


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