Papers of the Drury-Lowe family of Locko Park, Spondon, Derbyshire, late 12th century-2003

Scope and Content

This collection contains the papers of the Drury Lowe family comprising the Lowes of Denby and Parkhall, Derbyshire, the Drurys of Nottingham and the Holdens of Darley Abbey, Derbyshire and Nuthall Temple, Nottinghamshire. The papers relate primarily to estates in Derbyshire centred upon Locko and Denby but other counties including Nottinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Middlesex, Yorkshire and Wiltshire also feature. The collection includes estate accounts, rentals, deeds, maps and surveys and a large amount of correspondence and general estate papers covering such subjects as coal mining, canals, railways, tenancies, tithes and rents.

In addition to the large amount of estate papers, there is a wealth of material relating to the family's business and financial affairs and various papers also illustrate their daily lives, interests and pursuits. There are a number of papers relating to Richard Lowe who was engaged in a number of business pursuits whilst the personal papers of William Drury Lowe reflect his deep interest in Italian art and culture.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1746 John Lowe (1704-1771) of Denby, Derbyshire purchased the Locko estate, the site of a former leper house, at Spondon, Derbyshire, from the Gilbert family. The Lowe family traces its origins back to Thomas Lowe (d 1415) of Macclesfield, Cheshire and Alderwasley, Derbyshire, whose grandson Lawrence acquired by marriage, property in Denby, the main family home until the purchase of Locko.

On John's death in 1771, Locko passed to his brother Richard (1716-1785), a woollen draper in Covent Garden, London, whose many interests included banking businesses in London and Manchester and supplying the army with clothing.

Like his brother John, Richard died without children and the family estates passed to William Drury (1753-1827) of Nottingham. William Drury's grandmother, Anne Lowe, was the daughter of John Lowe (1642-1722) of Denby and the aunt of brothers John and Richard Lowe. She married William Drury of Nottingham and Oakham, Leicestershire.

Following his inheritance, William Drury assumed the name of Lowe by Royal Sign Manual dated 10 July 1790. He also had no son to succeed him. His only daughter, Mary Anne (1783-1840), eloped to Gretna Green in 1800 with Robert Holden (1769-1844) of Darley Abbey, Derbyshire.

Robert Holden and Mary Anne did not actually occupy Locko as William Drury Lowe's widow outlived them both. Upon her death in 1849, in her 104th year, the Lowe estates passed to their eldest son, William Drury Holden, who assumed the name and arms of Lowe in 1853. In 1819 Robert Holden had purchased the Nuthall Temple estate in Nottinghamshire and this and other Holden lands passed to William's younger brother Robert (1805-1872).

William Drury Lowe (Holden) was a great collector of paintings with a fascination for Italian art and culture. When he died in 1877 he was succeeded by his son William Drury Nathaniel Lowe (1828-1906) who obtained licence in 1884 to take the additional name of Drury and to bear the arms of Drury quarterly with Lowe. Two of William's younger brothers, Sir Drury Curzon Drury-Lowe (1830-1908) and Robert Henry Curzon Drury-Lowe (1831-1907) had particularly distinguished military careers.

William Drury Nathaniel Drury-Lowe was succeeded by his son William Drury Drury-Lowe (1877-1916) who was killed during the First World War. Locko passed to his brother John Alfred Edwin Drury-Lowe (1881-1949). John married Dorothy Casberd-Boteler in 1905 and was succeeded by their son John D B Packe-Drury-Lowe (1905-1960).


The papers in Dr- Dr 4 are arranged by record type.

Access Information

Some items, particularly in Dr 3, Dr 4 and Dr 5 are fragile and cannot be produced. Other parts of the collection are accessible to all readers.

Other Finding Aids

Copyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

In the Reading Room, King's Meadow Campus: 4 Typescript Catalogues for DR -Dr 4 and typescript box lists for Dr 5 and Dr 7.

At the National Register of Archives, The National Archives, Kew: 4 old Typescript Catalogues for Dr-Dr 4

Online: Catalogue for Dr- Dr 4 accessible from the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue. Box lists for Dr 5 and Dr 7 are available on the website in pdf format.

Access to the old typescript catalogues for Dr - Dr4 was also made available online during the national Access to Archives (A2A) project in 2000-2004. These catalogues are now available through Discovery, hosted by The National Archives ( The versions on our own Manuscripts Online Catalogue will be more up to date.

Family and Estate Resource relating to the Drury-Lowe family and their records, published on the Manuscripts and Special Collections website:

Conditions Governing Use

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email The Department will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but the responsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the reader.

Photocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

Custodial History

The initial collection (Dr) was acquired in 1961. Several accruals were subsequently acquired.

Related Material

Papers of the Holden Family of Nuthall Temple, Nottinghamshire, 1296-1948 (reference: Hn)