Select Lowe Miscellany

Here are some Lowe stories and accounts over the years:

Lowe and Low in England and Scotland

Henry Guppy in his 1890 Homes of Family Names in Great Britain described Lowe and Low as follows: 

“Lowe - essentially a name of the Midlands and adjacent NW counties, being most numerous in Derbyshire, Warwickshire, and Cheshire.  Lowes is the north of England form occurring in Northumberland and Durham.  In Scotland Low has an independent home in Aberdeenshire."

Thomas Lowe the Methodist Minister at Rusholme

Thomas Lowe, a young Methodist, left his home in Congleton, Cheshire for Manchester in 1835.  He wrote at the time: “I am now residing in the town of Manchester, a place where wickedness abounds.  Oh! that I may have the grace to stand in the evil day!”  He arrived in the nearby village of Rusholme one year later. 

William Royle in his History of Rusholme referred to Thomas Lowe and said this of him:

"Thomas Lowe, one of my best friends, was known to most people in Rusholme.

He came to the village in 1836 and took part in most of the public affairs of the village.  He was one of the founders of the Rusholme Public Hall in 1850 and also of the Working Men's Club in Nelson Street.  He was the pioneer of temperance work and established the first teetotal society in the village in 1845 which held its meetings in the Chapel in Moor Street.  He was an unflinching advoacate of total abstinence and some who today hold aloft the banner of temperance in Rusholme owe their inspiration to him.

His public work in connection with the village was justly recognized when he was unanimously invited to occupy the chair at the Jubilee celebration in the Public Hall in 1887 and presided over a splendid meeting.  A well read and cultured man he was never tired of talking about his favorite science, astronomy.

As is well known, he was the father of Wesleyan Methodism in Rusholme and passed away in 1892 at the ripe age of seventy eight, having lived in Rusholme for fifty six years."

John Low and the Lowe Teachers of Scottish Dance

The first of the family known to have been a dance master was John Low of Brechin in Scotland.  He had been admitted in 1785 as a master shoemaker to the Incorporated Craft of Shoemaking.  He was also a dance teacher. As was usual in this period, he probably provided the music for his instruction by playing the fiddle.  According to his son Joseph, he was the composer of the well known dance tune Rachel Rae. 

In the first years of the 19th century, his family was influential in establishing Scottish dance in its modern form. Four brothers taught in different parts of Scotland: John in Perth, Arbroath and Elgin; Robert in Glasgow, Montrose and Brechin; James in Dundee and Fifeshire; and Joseph in Edinburgh and Inverness.  It was Joseph, now spelling his surname as Lowe, who established the family as Scottish dance teachers in Australia and New Zealand. 

The dancing masters of succeeding generations of the family did continue to use a fiddle well into the 20th century.  Charlotte Lowe, teaching then in Christchurch, is remembered for disciplining her pupils with a smart tap of the violin bow.

Lowes at Grand Turtle Cay

Three generations of Lowes are to be found in the island cemetery:
  • John Lowe (1823-1898)
  • his son John Aquila Lowe (1858-1925)
  • and his son Howard Lowe (1898-1927).
In 1976 the Albert Lowe Museum was opened in honor of William Albert Lowe (1901-1985), a renowned woodcarver of ship models.   His son and artist Alton was the mastermind behind the museum.  Following in his father’s footsteps, another son Vertrum has been hand-crafting model ships for over thirty years.

Lowe and Variants Arrivals in America

The following were the numbers recorded as passengers in ship arrivals to America by country of origin..







Christian Lau's Terrfiying Journey

On October 9, 1732 the Pennsylvania Gazette featured an article of the struggles on-board the vessel John and William, a ship that was carrying 220 Palatine immigrants to America.  Seventeen weeks earlier Christian Lau and his family had boarded the vessel in Rotterdam.  They had no idea what traumas lay ahead of them.

Most of the ships carrying Palatine immigrants were stocked with the cheapest supplies the ship’s master could find.  Often food and water ran out before the voyage was completed.  Since this vessel was overcrowded and unsanitary, sickness was rampant.  Some 20% of the passengers – 44 out of 220 – died before the vessel was in sight of America.

Suffering from extreme hunger and exhaustion, the Palatines became fed up, mutinied and took control of the vessel.  When they came in sight of land, they had no idea where to go.  T
hey compelled the sailors to cast the anchor near Cape May where eight of them took the boat by force and went ashore.  They and the vessel eventually ended up in Philadelphia.  The ringleaders of the mutiny ended up in prison.

Harriet Low in China

In 1829 Harriet’s uncle William Henry Low and wife prepared to move to China for a five-year stay. While William would be managing his business interests in Canton which was off-limits to women, his wife would be staying in Macau. They then asked Harriet to accompany them and to provide companionship for her aunt.

The party boarded the Sumatra for a four-month voyage across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, which included a three-week stopover in Manila.  Harriet arrived in Macau in September 1829 and took up residence at 2, Pátio da Sé at the top of Calçada de S. João. She soon became acquainted with many of the well-known residents of Macau.  As the only unmarried young woman in the colony, she was invited to many "fancy balls, dances, teas and dinners."

During her stay from 1829 to 1833, she wrote a journal in the form of letters to her older sister Molly.  After her return to the United States, she married and moved to London.  Her journal is now part of the Low-Mills collection in the Library of Congress.

Don't Try a Bobby Lowe with Me

The Sydney Morning Herald of April 10, 1863 had the following report: 

“On Saturday intelligence reached Mudgee that Mr. Robert Lowe, who was travelling in a buggy on the Talbragar Road accompanied by a man on horseback, had been stuck up by two bushrangers who had the last few days been successfully carrying on their depredations in the neighborhood of Slapdash. 

Mr. Lowe, upon being ordered to stand, was covered with a revolver and commanded with a threat to get out of his buggy.  Seeing that the determined villain was bent upon mischief, Mr. Lowe quickly leveled the gun he happened to have with him, the contents of which he lodged in the fellow's neck and breast.  This proved fatal.  Mr. Lowe at once dispatched a messenger to Mr. Warburton who sent the police with a conveyance for the body.  

Bushrangers later commemorated his name with the warning: ‘Don’t try a Bobby Lowe with me.'"

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