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Nicholas Lowther, 2nd Viscount Ullswater

Nicholas James Christopher Lowther, 2nd Viscount Ullswater LVO PC (born 9 January 1942), succeeded his great-grandfather in the Viscountcy of Ullswater in 1949, sitting in the House of Lords as a Conservative. He is one of very few peers to have succeeded a great-grandfather in a title.

The Viscount Ullswater

Official portrait of Viscount Ullswater crop 2.jpg
Minister of State for Environment and Countryside
In office
20 July 1994 – 6 July 1995
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byRobert Atkins
Succeeded byThe Earl Ferrers
Government Chief Whip in the House of Lords
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms
In office
16 September 1993 – 20 July 1994
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byThe Lord Hesketh
Succeeded byThe Lord Strathclyde
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Employment
In office
24 July 1990 – 16 September 1993
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
John Major
Preceded byThe Lord Strathclyde
Succeeded byThe Lord Henley
Government Whip
In office
26 July 1989 – 22 July 1990
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byThe Lord Henley
Succeeded byThe Lord Reay
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
1 April 2003
as an excepted hereditary peer
Preceded byThe Viscount of Oxfuird
In office
24 July 1963 – 11 November 1999
as a hereditary peer
Preceded byThe 1st Viscount Ullswater
Succeeded bySeat Abolished
(House of Lords Act 1999)
Personal details
Born (1942-01-09) 9 January 1942 (age 77)
Political partyConservative
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge



He was educated at Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge.

Political careerEdit

Lord Ullswater was made a Lord-in-waiting (whip) in January 1989 by Margaret Thatcher before becoming Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Employment in July 1990. He was retained by John Major in that role until 1993, when he became Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms (Government Chief Whip in the House of Lords). He remained in this role for a year when he became Minister of State for the Environment in 1994 (as well as a Privy Counsellor) in 1994, but he left the Government in a 1995 reshuffle.

Princess MargaretEdit

In 1998, he became the Private Secretary to Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon and continued in this office until her death in 2002. He was appointed Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order in the special Honours List issued by the Queen after Princess Margaret's demise.

Return to politicsEdit

As a member of a Royal Household he could not take part in partisan politics and did not seek to remain in the House of Lords when the House of Lords Act 1999 was passed. But after the death of the Viscount of Oxfuird in January 2003, he won the all-house by-election, enabling him to return to the House of Lords.

On 22 May 2006, Lord Ullswater was nominated for the newly created post of Lord Speaker, and in the election held on 28 June 2006 emerged in third place out of nine candidates. His great-grandfather, James Lowther, served as Speaker of the House of Commons 1905–1921.

Titles and Styles and ArmsEdit

  • 1942: Mr Nicholas Lowther
  • 1942–1949: The Hon Nicholas Lowther
  • 1949–1994: The Rt Hon The Viscount Ullswater
  • 1992–2002: The Rt Hon The Viscount Ullswater PC
  • 2002–: The Rt Hon The Viscount Ullswater LVO PC


Personal lifeEdit

Lord Ullswater was an amateur jockey in his youth. He has two sons and two daughters:

  • Hon. Emma Mary Lowther, (b. 1968)
  • Hon. Clare Priscilla Lowther, (b. 1970)
  • Hon. Benjamin James Lowther (b. 1975)
  • Hon. Edward John Lowther (b. 1981)


  • Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]
  • "Keele University Political Science Resources". Retrieved 2007-07-07.
  • "Lord Speaker election". Archived from the original on 2007-03-18. Retrieved 2007-07-07.
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Hesketh
Chief Whip in the House of Lords
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms

Succeeded by
The Lord Strathclyde
Party political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Hesketh
Conservative Chief Whip in the House of Lords
Succeeded by
The Lord Strathclyde
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
James Lowther
Viscount Ullswater