Name: Nathaniel Lowe
Given Name: Nathaniel
Birth: 1732/1737 in prob Westmeath, Ireland
Death: 1807 in Lowville, Galway, Ireland
I do not think that James b 1712 and settled in Moate is the father of Nathaniel; a deed supposedly proves his father was Eusebius, jsut for starters. Also the socioeconomic status of this family does not match.
Change Date: 3 Oct 2009 at 11:40:07
Eusebius is in several wills index and there is a file of info on him that LDS filmed. He died in 1776/1777, too late to be the source of Nathaniel's wealth, which Nathaniel allegedly inherited, having been a mere silversmith until he inherited it. Nor could Nathaniel have inherited from someone else before his father was dead, unless someone else took a shine to him. Nathaniel first shows up as a wealthy landowner in the 1750's, so is this when his actual father died?
Actually Norman Nash says that he became rich by marrying into the wealthy and influential Handcock family, and his wife's father died in 1758, the date when Nathaniel begins to show up with the status of a wealthy landowner. Norman had the marriage record of Eusebius' first marriage, which was 1731, and Nathaniel was definitely of age in 1758 when he inherited via his wife and thence owned property. Nathaniel was born between 1732 and 1737.
Lowville House, Lowtown, Galway.
In 1783 Lowville was the seat of Nathanial Lowe. Nathanial was a member of a Cromwellian family who had settled in county Westmeath, he was the owner of the estate at Cloonbiggin, and then later Lowville. By 1814 the owner of Lowville House is recorded as the Hon. Mrs. Low, and by 1837 the seat of Walter McDonagh who also owned extensive commercial interests around Ballinasloe. McDonagh had been the agent to Rev. LePoer Trench and it was from him that the Lowville estate was purchased.
In the 1870s James W McDonagh of Lowville ws the owner of over 1500 acres in Co Galway. Sometime after this the property was mortaged to Thomas Seymour Blake who was the registered lessor form 1884 - 1893. By 1906 it was in the possession of Bernard Connaughton and was valued at 33 pounds. Thhe Lowville estaet was finally divided by the Land Commission in the 1920s and 1930s.
Lowville became home to the Byrne family but was sold in the early 1970s and fell into ruin.
Prerogative wills index suggests that Nathaniel Low, Esq, died in 1807.
A John Drought of The Heath, Kings Co, married Alice, a daughter of Nathaniel, and had descendants on that estate.
He had apparently grandchildren born in the 1790's. Can't have been born later than 1750, probably 1740 or so.
Snippets on children and grandchildren gained in Burkes and the Web, other sources; there may be more of them.
A local history librarian in Galway told me that Lowville consisted of 2000 acres of land.
. Nathaniel Lowe was a Grant Juror in Co. Westmeath and he held the Lowville property around 1768 (Liam Cox, The Parish of Moate, (Athlone 1972), p161).?
A Nathaniel Lowe lived in Church St., Atlhone, in 1759. (From info e-mailed to me by a local librarian in Co Galway) Most likely the same one, unless there was already more than one Nathaniel Lowe of his generation. From a Gentleman in Athlone (?)
An entire family lived at Kilcornan.
Prerogative wills, Thomas Low of Donamoney, 1725. Thomas Low of Kilcornan, farmer, 1731. Don't know if these were same person or cousins. Thomas was a brother of George and William, and rented land in Coosan and also one piece in Moycashel Barony in 1667.
Donamoney and Kilcornan each consist of two pieces of land, and are close together or adjacent, mostly in Drumraney parish - was Kilkenny West in that time. Within a mile or two of Kilkenny West. Both large plots of 400+ acres, each apparently with a castle. Kilcornan was Dillon land in the early 17th century. Griffiths and Tithe Applotment show each mainly in the possession of one landowner. Beginning in the 19th century they seem to have been much sold, but not split up.
In 1732, Edward Lowe of Kilcoman, co W, mortgagee of 12 Church St. 1738 he adn Letitia Low, wife of Geo West, lessors.
1759 Nathaniel A. Lowe, esq, '64 holds 18 Church St. Also Ct. Devenish Ho, assignee of Rockfoeld, co R. Att v. something c.w. St. Mary's ?
Edward Lowe of Kilcornan died in 1763.
Eusebius Lowe of Dublin died 1777.
1776 Catherine Low of Kilcornan marriage settlement, Joshua Parker.
From Dictionary of Athlone Biography. Thomas Lowe of 1667 appears there too. Don't know if that means he settled in Athlone. Says tenant of Mr. Eccles, Coosan.
Don Lowe, I think, wrote Bernice Buell, that though Isabelle Nash's chart appears to claim that Nathaniel was the son of James who settled near Moate, in Boston/ Ballynamudagh/ Lurgan (or in Silver Hill to the south near Clara) in the mid 18th century, a deed says that his father was Eusebius.
Eusebius was a gentleman of Dublin, according to the Prerogative Wills index. He died in 1777. Online I found that he was associated with two estates near Dublin.
1753 Sir Thomas Gerard Baret (Barnonet?) Mr. Eusebius Lowe. Est n Ireland pt of Conge Abbey. Once property of Tasburgh Family. 1816 John Lowe conveyed the property to John Spea____ to Sir Robert Gerald.
1773-8 Lowe, John Blackburne, Esq.
An estate in Ireland called Conge Abbey, Sir thomas Gerard and Eusebius Lowe.
Eusebius Lowe. 1753 estate of Grange. Kill of the Grange. 158 acres, Co Dublin. From Christ Ch., Isaac Epniasse 7 miles south of Dublin. A lawsuit because an Epasse tried to use trickery to recover the land.
Nathaniel Lowe owned land near Kilkenny West, in 1769, when he built the estate at Lowville. According to both Gerard O'Brien at the Athlone Public Library, and Paul Casserly, he built a 59 foot high pillar on a 300 foot high hill on his land, between Glassan and Kilkenny West. He built a 20 foot tower at Lowville. In between was 20 to 25 miles of a huge lake, and bog land. At an appointed time, if his staff in Kilkenny West needed him to visit, for whatever reason, they would climb the pillar at Kilkenny West and signal him, possibly with flags, and Nathaniel would be watching on the pillar at his Lowville estate with his telescope. Today it's called Lowe's Folly, among other things.
Gerard O'Brien sent me scans of an article, "Kilkenny West Pinnacle", by M. W. English. He scanned it, and parts of it are not easy to read.
There is a list of local explanations of what the Kilkenny pillar is.
1. It used to be a windmill.
2. That's one of the Ruond Towers of Ireland or some ancient building (enough ancient buildings around)
3. It was built by the Rappers, something about the year of the Big Wind, and I can't make out much else.
4. Tehy sayDublin Cstle got --------------.
5. They say a rich man who had a farm in Roscommon built it, and used a spy-glass to watch his sheep.
One of these apparently relates to a story that the pillar marks the geographical center of Ireland, and I suspect it's often confused with a heap of stones that marks another spot that is one of the candidates for geographical center of Ireland. To be sure, if Nathaniel Lowe had appropriated an ancient pagan shrine considered the center of Ireland, that figured in Irish history, he probably wouldn't have cared.
Last is most interesting; they think the man was eccentric and spoiled. To be sure, Anglo-Irish gentry did build wasteful estates with features that rivalled the estates of the French aristocracy before the Revolution, particularly when looked at relative to the extreme poverty of the Irish around them.
Into the 20th century the Pinnacle is often referred to in poublished accounts of the locality, and, in all cases known to the writer, its purpose is incorrectly identified.
He gives some unreadable examples that state simply that it's the geographical center of Ireland.
The error is again repeated in 'Wonders of Ireland', in 1969.
The pinnacle, two miles east-north-east of Glasson. Tall obelisk on a 337 foot hill, erected in 1769 and said to mark the centre of Ireland.
The structure is not an obelisk, being constructed of dressed field stones bonded with lime mortar.
In June 1958 the Chairman of Athlone Urban Council received a letter from Mr. Wayne Harbour, Bedford, Iowa, USA, seeking information on the Pinnacle. He enclosed [an newspaper article stating that it marks the exact centre of Ireland.]
The Urban Council replied;
I am to confirm that this pinnacle exists and was erected in 1769 by the Ordnance Survey Office for surveying purposes.
The latter could not be correct as the Ordnance Survey of Ireland did not commence until the late 1830's. It is very likely they used this elevated positions for surveying purposes in their triangulation scheme.
The map bears the usual Trigonometrical Point of a triangle with a dot in its centre and the figures 337, which indicaets feet above ordnance datum. Since 1838, the datum line used in Ireland was the height of the low tide on 8 April 1837 at Poolbeg Lighthouse on Dublin Bay.
The Ordinance Survey do not recognize any place as the centre of Ireland.
I have access to the Ordnance Survey Map, which is keyed to Griffiths Evaluation, at two web sites. One site has an actual image of the map. I found a different little triangle with 325 feet, probably north of where the Pinnacle is. I called a local hotel in Glassan, and the owner told me that it should be about where Lisnascreen Townland is, maybe a little to the west or northwest. Could be where Pearsonsbrook is. The map is split on the site that has actual map images. Kilkenny church is on a different map than Linsnascreen. I do see that below Kilkenny West townland, and the church, is Kilkenny Lanesborough, which figures in teh Lowe story of the area someplace.
"The Ordnance Sruvey do not recognize any place as the centre of Ireland, nor was there ever any need for such a position.
It is therefore clear that the Pinnacle has nothing whatever to do with a centre of the country and was not erected for survey purposes.
John O'Donovan during the Ordnance Survey 1837-1838 visited Kilkenny West adn records:
Low's Folly, Is situated near the Southern extremity of Kilkenny Lansborough, about 8 chains N.W. of the road from Glasson to Ballymore, and about 130 links N.E. of the mearing of Lisnakreen and this townland. It is a ruond pillar built of stone and mortar about 9 ft 6 in in diameter, about 20 feet high, and nearly in the centre of a fir plantation. It is said to have been erected by a man of the name of Low, who had at one time held the townland in which it stands.
Teh tradition is still current in the Glasson locality, that the Pinnacle was erected by Nataniel Lowe, of Lowville, near Aghascragh, Co. Galway, who owned the lands of Kilkenny West in the 18th century. He erected the tower so that his land steward cuold furl a flag from a staff on its summit, whenever he required his master to vsiit the lands to inspect the livestock or discuss farming matters. Lowe could see the flag from Lowville, 25 miles to the West.
The earliest notice of this pillar known to the writer, is that found on Larkin's Map of Westmeath (1808) which bears a mark resembling a pillar, the mark being in the geographical position corresponding ot the present location of the structure.
The pinnacle bears an inscription about half-way up its southern side: This (pier? pler?) built in 1769.
Brewer writing in 1825 records:
Kilkenny West: An obelisk, 50 feet in height, was erected here, some years back, by Mr. Lowe, of Lowville. This structure occupies a commadning situation, and we regret that its erectuion was not designed to commemorate the powet who has rendered its neighbourhood classic ground." (I've found this passage much quoted. A famous poet was the son or father of a local clergyman.) Article points out that the poet died in 1774 and a monument erected in 1760 could not therefore commemorate him.
Some descriptions place the pinnacle in Kilkenny West, and others seem to place it just further south, and here is what the head librarian of the Athlone public library, who is also a local historian, said.
"The pinnacle though described as the Kilkenny West pinnacle is actuallyin the very south of the townland of Kilkenny Lanesborough - near wherethat townland joins the townland of Lisnascreen - . The reference to the 'Trigonometrical point of atriangle clearly states that it has the figure 337. This merelyindicates that this point is 337 feet above sea level."On the Discovery Series maps published by the Ordnance Survey ofIreland, Map no 47, which covers the Athlone area shows the townlands ofKilkenny Lanesborough and Lisnascreen - while the tower is notspecifically identified just north of the townland boundary is indicateda small hill and this would seem to be the location of the pinnacle."
The local tradition and published facts prove that the structure was erected by Low of Lowville to communicate with his steward at Kilkenny West.
A map datd 1783 includes:
Lowville (Ahascragh) - Lowe Esq.
A handbook for 1786 says:
Almost 11? miles from Ahascragh on the right is Loweville, that of Nathaniel Lowe, Esq.
and for 1837 Lewis records
Parish of Fohenagh, Ahascragh, Co Galway, Lowville of W. McC____, Esq. (the property had changed hands.)
Therefore between 1786 and 1837 the family of Lowe apparently disposed of the estate of Lowville. The house of Lowville is still occupied, it faces East towards Kilkenny West, and in thelawn is placed the stump of an exactly similar pinnacle now about 18 feet high, having a recessed groove in its western side which until c. 1920 contained the rusted remains of an iron ladder. Thus we have proof and the link in the story. Low would climb the ladder adn from teh Lowville tower he could with his telescope or spy-glass observe a flag flying on the other structure at Kilkenny West, 25 miles away.
The intervening cuontry is occupied by the low lying lands of the Shannon valley, the flat Co. Roscommon terrain, and finally a large tract of bog stretching for miles in front or East of Lowville.
The pinnacle of Kilkenny West retains on its eastern side and close to its summit the remains of two iron hooks which suggest their use as supports for a wooden flag staff.
Nathaniel Lowe erected another stone curiosity enar Lowville, which consisted of a tower about 20 feet high, and having an internal stairway.
The story here was that Mr. Lowe ws very fond of hunting, and when he grew too old to hunt, he mountedthis building adn followed the hunt with his telescope. This further example of "Lowe's Follies", indicates his fondness for unusual stone erections, and that he was familiar with the use of the telescope.
Nathaniel served on teh Grand Jury of Westmeath from 1757 to 1759. If then living in Co Galway he must have been a Westmeath landowner to serve on that body. Lyons says of him, "I cannot ascertain who the Nathaniel of 1757 was", this clearly indicates that the author was unable to place him in the pedigree of teh Lowes of Westmeath. [He'd have had that problem with any Lowes who were not among those of the descendants of William Lowe of Newtown Low who were eligible to inherit, or a descendant of George's eldest son; I've not found any of the entire rest of teh family followed in such a way that someone could follow it.] Therefore he was of some other branch of the family not then living in Westmeath [that doesn't follow; other branches of the family could and certainly in the mid 18th century were living in Westmeath and in Knigs just south of the border.]
I have been unable to find any reference to how and when the Lowes obtained the lands of Kilkenny West, probably by purchase in teh early 18th century.
The Index to the Prerogative Wils of Ireland, 1536-1810, by Vicars lists under 1725 Thomas Low of Donamoney
Townland near Kilkenny West and in 1731 Thoams Low of Kilcornan. In the mid 17th century, see Thomas the son of John of Dublin, he apparently lived just north of Athlone and not far from Kilkenny West. This suggests that it was descendants of Cromwellian brother Thomas who lived here, but not necessarily. Cromwellian brother George had a son named Thomas. The first Thomas must have been born before 1639 and while he could have died in 1725 or 1731 he more likely died earlier. Lowes usually died in early middle age unless they were farmers. It looks as if two Thomas Lowe's died close together in time. They could have been grandsons of Thomas, or atleast one could have been a son or grandson of George.
Other descendants of Lowes in that area claim that a branch was descended from Ebenezer, the son of Barry Lowe who was disinherited, and that Nathaniel Lowe of Lowville was of this family. This has him a son of James though one report says that a deed proves his father was Eusebius Lowe of Dublin County. Others claim that the same family or a similar one just south of the border are descendants of Cromwellian brother George.
There seems to have been interaction between the Lowes of the Moate area in the 19th century and Kilkenny West; quite a few Lowes who lived around Moate are buried at Kilkenny West. This suggests that atleast many of them were related to the Lowes who lived at Kilkenny West, unless a large grave plot had been left to all of the relatives, which would certainly be one way to insure that from that time forward almost every Lowe family unit of every local branch of the family would name a son Nathaniel, which is what they certainly did.
I have learned that it is possible to obtain the deeds, Eusebius Lowe's will, and a copy of material by or about Eusebius Lowe that was submitted to one of the Irish records offices.
Like the current occupant of the Lowville estate, this article argues taht there were two contemporaneous Nathaniel Lowes. "A Nathaniel Low of Moate was one of the prominent peole of the locality (actual record read me by the head of the Moate historical society - he was actually one of the local freeholders eligible to vote) who supported the Act of Union. This list specifically meant that he owned land in or near Moate, not that he owned it in Kilkenny West - I think. I can double check. However it seems unlikely that the clan name Nathaniel first entered the family from two directions at once. Nathaniel Lowe owned land over a quarter of Ireland, and could easily have also owned land in Moate.
The article concludes that "the Pinnacle must be considered another example of a Georgian period folly of very doubtful utilitarian value". In other words people though Nathaniel not mad, but eccentric, ostentatious, and out of touch, which unfortunately was typical of the Anglo-Irish gentry of the period.
There is controversy about whether the tower at Kilkenny West/ Lanesborough is actually 59 or 20 feet tall. And the difference exists among people who've seen it recently.
Father: Eusebius Lowe b: 1690/1700 in prob Fairfield, Drumraney, Westmeath, Ireland
Mother: Anne Cooke
- Jane Lowe
- William Lowe b: ABT 1758