William, Earl of Lonsdale (1757-1844) was a great patron of the arts. He married Augusta (d.1838), daughter of 9th Earl of Westmorland, in 1781. Having inherited Lowther Castle in 1802, he employed Robert Smirke (1781-1867) to rebuild the castle in a Perpendicular Revival style, from 1806 to 1811. The massive building was a true demonstration of the grandest Regency style, with vast rooms. He was known to be a profligate spender. Smirke wrote of him in the Farington Diary: "His income is supposed to be from £80 to 100,000 a year, but He has vast expences [sic]. He has 4 establishments, one at Lowther, also at Whitehaven, Cottesmere in Rutlandshire, and in London" (as quoted in The Complete Peerage).
Also in this sale is a pair of Regency meat dishes marked by Paul Storr with the arms of William, 2nd Viscount Lowther, later Earl of Lonsdale, lot 378.