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LAWSON, JOHN (1712–1759), writer on oratory, was born in 1712 at Omagh, co. Tyrone, of which parish his father was curate. Entering Trinity College, Dublin, as a sizar, he became a scholar in 1729, fellow in 1735, senior fellow in 1743, and first librarian. He graduated B.A. in 1731, M.A. in 1734, and D.D. in 1745 (Dublin Graduates, 1869). In 1753 he was appointed lecturer in oratory and history on the foundation of Erasmus Smith. He died on 9 Jan. 1759.

Lawson's acquaintance with European languages was wide, and he excelled as a preacher. He acquired some reputation by his 'Lectures concerning Oratory.' 8vo, Dublin, 1758; other editions 1759, 1760, to which is appended 'Irene: carmen historicum, ad vice-comitem Boyle.' Of this poem a revised edition, with an English translation by William Dunkin, was published at Dublin in 1760. A selection from his sermons appeared in 1764 as 'Occasional Sermons written by a late eminent Divine;' other editions 1765, 1776. Appended is a Latin oration delivered by Lawson on 4 Oct. 1758 at the funeral of Richard Baldwin, provost of Trinity College.

[Notice of Lawson prefixed to his Occasional Sermons, ed. 1776; Webb's Compendium of Irish Biog.; Ryan's Worthies of Ireland; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. vi. 311; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. ii. 311; Allibone's Dict.; Cotton's Fasti Eccl. Hibern. ii. 286 n.; Taylor's Univ. of Dublin, p. 412; Cat. of Library of Trinity Coll. Dublin.]

G. G.