Robert Lowe, an English statesman, born at Bingham, Notts, where his father was rector, in 1811. He was educated at Winchester and Oxford, graduating in 1833. In 1835 he became a fellow of Magdalen college, and from 1836 to 1842 was a private tutor. In the latter year he was called to the bar, and went to Australia, where he acquired a large fortune by his practice. He was a member of the legislative council of New South "Wales in 1843-'50, and for a short time represented Sydney in the legislative assembly. As a leader of the opposition party, he took an important part in elaborating the system of education which has prevailed in the colony. Having returned to England in 1851, he was member of parliament for Kidderminster from 1852 to 1859, and for Calne from 1859 to 1868. He was one of the joint secretaries of the board of control in 1852-'5, vice president of the board of trade and paymaster general in 1855-'8, and vice president of the education board in 1859-'64. He was one of the most earnest opponents of the reform bill in 1866 - '7. He had even previously become very unpopular with the working classes, his election in 1857 being attended with serious riots.

He declined office under Lord Derby, but in 1868 became chancellor of the exchequer and a member of the council on education under Mr. Gladstone. The same year he was elected the first representative in the house of commons for the university of London, which seat he continues to hold. In 1873 he was transferred to the post of home secretary, which he resigned on the fall of the Gladstone ministry in February, 1874.