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LAWRENCE, SAMUEL (1661–1712), nonconformist divine, was only son of William Lawrence, dyer, of Wem, Shropshire, and nephew of Edward Lawrence (1623–1695) [q. v.], who was ejected in 1662 from Baschurch, Shropshire. He was baptised at Wem on 5 Nov. 1661, and educated at Wem free school and Newport school, and later at Charles Morton's dissenting academy at Newington Green. After serving two or three years as usher at Mr. Singleton's school in Bartholomew Close, he became domestic chaplain to Lady Irby, widow of Sir Anthony Irby of Dean's Yard, Westminster. At the same time he acted as assistant to Vincent Alsop, at Princess Street Chapel, Westminster. In 1688 he was chosen minister of the presbyterian congregation at Nantwich, Cheshire, and was ordained at Warrington in November that year. He continued at Nantwich twenty-four years, and was often elected as moderator by the Cheshire ministers, whose meetings he regularly attended. He was a good scholar, and in his latter years undertook the preparation of young men for the ministry. He died of fever on 24 April 1712, aged 50, and was buried in the chancel of Nantwich Church. His funeral sermon was preached by his intimate friend Matthew Henry, who depicts him as a model of piety and pastoral usefulness. Lawrence was twice married, and left three sons by his first wife and two daughters by the second. His first wife died in April 1700, and his second in November 1712. One of his sons was Samuel Lawrence, D.D. (1693–1760), minister of Monkswell Street Chapel, London.

[M. Henry's Funeral Sermon, 1712; Palatine Note-book, ii. 96; Urwick's Nonconf. in Cheshire, p. 125; Williams's Memoir of M. Henry, 1828; Tong's Life of M. Henry; Hall's Nantwich, 1883, p. 385; Wilson's Diss. Churches, iii. 28, iv. 67.]

C. W. S.