The Viscount Ullswater
Lord Ullswater in 2019
Minister of State for Housing
In office
20 July 1994 – 6 July 1995
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byGeorge Young
Succeeded byRobert Jones
Chief Whip of 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
In office
24 July 1963 – 11 November 1999
as a hereditary peer
Preceded byThe 1st Viscount Ullswater
Succeeded bySeat abolished
Assumed office
1 April 2003
as an elected hereditary peer
Preceded byThe Viscount of Oxfuird
Personal details
Born (1942-01-09) 9 January 1942 (age 79)
Political partyConservative
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge

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.

He was the Minister of State for Housing from 1994 to 1995.

Early life

Lowther was the son of John Lowther (1910–1942), and Priscilla Lambert (1917–1945). His father was secretary to HRH The Duke of Kent, who served as best man at their 1937 wedding.[1] His father died alongside the Duke in the Dunbeath air crash.

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

Political career

Lowther 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. He became Minister of State for Housing at the Department of the Environment (as well as a Privy Counsellor) in 1994, but left the Government in a 1995 reshuffle.

Princess Margaret

In 1998, he was appointed 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 the Princess's death.

Return to politics

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.[2]

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. He served as one of the Deputy Speakers in the Lords until May 2020; from June 2020 until May 2021, he served as Deputy Chairman of Committees.[3] His great-grandfather, James Lowther, served as Speaker of the House of Commons 1905–1921.

Other interests

Lord Ullswater is the Chairman of Lonsdale Settled Estates Ltd and a Director of Lowther Trustees Limited, both companies that manage the family landholdings in Cumbria.[4]


Coat of arms of Nicholas Lowther, 2nd Viscount Ullswater
A Coronet of a Viscount
A Dragon passant Argent
Or six Annulets three two and one a Crescent for difference
On either side a Horse Argent gorged with a Wreath of Laurel Vert and charged on the shoulder with a Portcullis chained Or
Magistratum Indicat Virum (The office shows the man)

Personal life

Lord Ullswater was an amateur jockey in his youth.

In 1967, he married Susan Weatherby. The couple has two sons and two daughters:

The family lives at Docking in Norfolk.


  1. ^ "London Wedding 1937". British Pathe News. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  2. ^ "Ullswater wins Lords byelection". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  3. ^ "Viscount Ullswater: Parliamentary Career". House of Lords. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  4. ^ "Register of Interests". House of Lords. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
Political offices Preceded byThe Lord Hesketh Chief Whip in the House of Lords Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms 1993–1994 Succeeded byThe Lord Strathclyde Party political offices Preceded byThe Lord Hesketh Conservative Chief Whip in the House of Lords 1993–1994 Succeeded byThe Lord Strathclyde Peerage of the United Kingdom Preceded byJames Lowther Viscount Ullswater 1949–present Member of the House of Lords(1963–1999) IncumbentHeir apparent:Hon. Benjamin Lowther Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byThe Viscount of Oxfuird Elected hereditary peer to the House of Lordsunder of the House of Lords Act 1999 2003–present Incumbent