Lawrence, George (DNB00)

LAWRENCE, GEORGE (1616–1695?), puritan divine, son of George Lawrence of Stepney, was born in the county of Middlesex about 1615. He was a scholar of St. Paul's School under Alexander Gill, was Pauline exhibitioner at New Inn Hall, Oxford, from 1632 to 1640, proceeded B.A. 2 July 1636, and M.A. 2 May 1639. Wood (Athenæ, iv. 783) is unable to state whether he took holy orders from a bishop or not. He was a 'most violent puritan, and a great admirer of the Scotch covenant.' In 1640 he was lecturer at the church of St. George, Botolph Lane, but ceased to act by the end of the following year. In the churchwarden's accounts (1589-1675, No. 2), under date 19 Nov. 1641, there is a note saying that he is to be desired to preach no more, but proposing to pay his dues till Christmas if he will behave himself quietly. The last payment to him, however, seems to have been on 20 Dec. 1640, and the last allowance of coals on 30 June 1641. He afterwards took the covenant, and became lecturer in another church in London, and before 1650 was minister of the hospital of St. Cross, near Winchester, where he constantly preached against the king and the royalists. In the south choir chapel of the hospital are two slabs to the memory of a daughter and son of his who died respectively in 1650 and 1651. At the Restoration Lawrence was silenced and ejected. He remained some time in the neighbourhood of Winchester, and 'carried on the trade of conventicling, as he did afterwards at London to the time of his death' (Wood, Athenæ, iv. 783).

He published: 1. 'The Debauched Cavalleer, or the English Midianite. Wherein are compared, by way of Parallel, the Carriage, or rather Miscarriage, of the Cavalleeres, in the present Reigne of our King Charles, with the Midianites of old . . . Penned by G. L. and C. L, for publique good.' London, 1642 (anon.) In this pamphlet he was assisted by 'his dear brother.' Christopher Love [q. v.] 2. 'Laurentius Lutherizans, or the Protestation of George Lawrence . . . against certain Calumniations asperged on him by the Corrupt Clergie and their Lay-Proselytes ....' London, 1642. At the time of the publication of the pamphlet he was preparing for the press the sermons on the 'English-Protestation ' which had caused the 'calumniations.' Wood considers them to have been printed. 3. 'Pepium Olivarii, or a Good Prince bewailed by a Good People . . . Upon the Death of Oliver, late Lord Protector.' London, 1658. Lawrence dedicated his sermon to Richard Cromwell, and expresses his gratitude for his 'personal undeserved respects.' Wood erroneously ascribes to him a sermon on transubstantiation, really written by Edward Lawrence [q. v.]

[Gardiner's Reg. of St. Paul's School, pp. 36, 400; Palmer's Nonconformist's Memorial, Hi. 616-617; Wood's Athenæ (Bliss), iv. cols. 783-4; Wood's Fasti (Bliss), i. cols. 489, 508; Humbert's Memorials of St. Cross, p. 44; Brit. Mus. Cat; Cat. of Advocates' Library; Halkett and Laing's Dict. of Anonymous and Pseudonymous Literature.]

B. P.