circle of Jonathan Richardson the Elder, William Lowth

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)


Country House
Doddington Hall
William Lowth
Upper Staircase From Ground Floor
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 74 cm, Overall width: 61 cm
circle of Jonathan Richardson the Elder (1667-1745)
Catalogue Number


The portrait depicts the theologian, William Lowth DD (1660–1732). The son of an apothecary, Lowth was born in the parish of St Martin, Ludgate. In 1672 he was admitted to Merchant Taylors’ School, and in 1775 was elected scholar of St John’s College, Oxford. He was ordained deacon at Christ Church, Oxford in May 1684, and made a priest the following year.1 In March 1700 Lowth proposed marriage to Margaret Pitt, daughter of Robert Pitt of Blandford Forum, Dorset. They married on 15 November.2

Lowth’s theological publications included A vindication of the divine authority and inspiration of the writings of the Old and New Testament (1692) and Directions for the Profitable Reading of the Holy Scriptures (1708). Lowth’s two sons both became clerics: Robert Lowth (1710–1787), bishop of London, and William Lowth, prebendary of Winchester. His daughters included Martha Lowth, who married Robert Eden DD, archdeacon, Winchester. Oliver Millar, who inspected the portrait at Doddington in 1952, suggested an attribution to an artist in the immediate circle of Jonathan Richardson the Elder (1667–1745).3 In the late nineteenth century the portrait hung in the Library (formerly the Green Parlour) on the ground floor at Doddington.

by Martin Postle


  1. Scott Mandelbrote, ‘Lowth, William (1661–1732)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, January 2008, (accessed 29 June 2016).

  2. Lincolnshire Archives, JARVIS V/J: The papers of Margaret Blackwell, sister-in-law of G.R.P. Jarvis, and of the Blackwell, Eden and Lowth families. JARVIS V/J/1.

  3. Oliver Millar Notebook VIII, 193, Paul Mellon Centre Collection.


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