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LAURENCE, or LAWRENCE, EDWARD (d. 1740?), land surveyor, was a brother of John Laurence (d. 1732) [q. v.] About 1707 he established himself as a land surveyor, estate agent, and valuer, residing chiefly at St. Martin, otherwise Stamford Baron, Northamptonshire. He became an expert on all agricultural subjects, and was famous for his books of maps, with particulars drawn from his surveys, showing the different kinds of land in the possession of each tenant. He was a member of the Spalding and Stamford societies (Nichols, Lit. Anecd. vi. 5, 93), and joined with William Stukeley and George Lynn in the formation of the Brazen-nose Society at Stamford, to which he communicated accurate meteorological observations (Stukeley, Family Memoirs, Surtees Soc., ii. 427). He died in 1740 or 1742.

To the 'Clergyman and Gentleman's Recreation,' by his brother John, 4th edit. 1716, Laurence appended 'A new and familiar way to find a most exact Meridian Line by the Pole-star, whereby Gentlemen may know the true Bearings of their Houses and Garden Walls, and regulate their Clocks and Watches, &c.' (Nichols, iv. 576). He also published:

  1. 'The Young Surveyor's Guide,' 12mo, London, 1716; 2nd edit. 1717.
  2. 'The Duty of a Steward to his Lord … To which is added an Appendix showing the way to Plenty proposed to the Farmers; wherein are laid down general Rules and Directions for the Management and Improvement of a Farm,' &c., 4to, London, 1727.

Both treatises were written originally for the use of the stewards and tenants of the young Duke of Buckingham. Exception was taken to some passages in the book by John Cowper, a Surrey farmer, in 'An Essay proving that inclosing Commons … is contrary to the interest of the Nation,' 8vo, 1732. 3. 'A Dissertation on Estates upon Lives and Years, whether in Lay or Church Hands. With an exact calculation of their real worth by proper Tables,' &c., 8vo, London, 1730.

[Laurence's Works; Donaldson's Agricultural Biog.]

G. G.