Manuscripts and Special Collections

Biography of William Drury Lowe (1753-1827)

William Drury was the eldest son of William Drury esquire, of Nottingham. His grandmother Anne was a daughter of John Lowe of Denby (1642-1722).

William inherited the Denby and Locko estates after the death of his cousin Richard Lowe in 1785.   In his will, Richard left his estates to his younger daughter Anne, on condition that she married one of her cousins William, Thomas or John Drury, or one of the sons of Edward Miller Mundy.

Anne refused, and after some years of litigation, it was agreed that William would inherit the estate, on payment of £50,000 to Anne. William Drury assumed the name of Lowe by Royal Sign Manual dated 10 July 1790.

One of William Drury Lowe's first acts as owner of the estates was to become involved in the scheme to dig the Derby Canal. This connected the Denby collieries to the canal system. The profits from the collieries enabled William to enlarge the estate and consolidate his landholdings around Locko. In the 1790s he employed William Emes to improve the parkland at Locko. William was also responsible for alterations to the inner court of Lock Park house in 1813.

As a landed estate owner, William served as Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1795, and was Deputy Lieutenant of Derbyshire in 1797. He was a Lieutenant, and subsequently Captain of the 5th (Locko) Troop of Derbyshire Volunteer Cavalry, 1794-1805.


He married Anne, dau. of William Steer of Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire (d 1848, aged 103), and had:

Archive Collections

  • Title deeds, settlements, estate and legal papers relating to William Drury-Lowe's ownership of his estates are part of the Drury-Lowe papers held in Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham
  • The collection includes a large number of loose letters sent to William Drury Lowe (Dr C 8-39), letter books (Dr 3C 1-3), estate papers (Dr E 62-102), medical papers and day book (Dr F 3-4), papers relating to the 5th (Locko) Troop of Derbyshire Volunteer Cavalry (Dr N 1-16), papers relating to the Shrievalty of Derbyshire (Dr O 3-4), and journals and accounts (Dr 3A 1-18).


Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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