Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/267

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Lawrence
Lawrence
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now conspicuously displayed. He insisted on the Sikhs sending a force to compel Imam-moodeen to hand over the province to Goolah, and put himself at the head of it, Brigadier-general Wheler co-operating with a British force. He put down without difficulty all efforts at resistance, and Imammoodeen surrendered himself personally to Lawrence. The feat was remarkable, when it is considered that within eighteen months of the battle of Sobraon ten thousand Sikh soldiers, at the bidding of a British officer, made over in the most marked and humiliating manner the richest province in the Punjaub to the man most detested by the Khalsa.

No sooner had Goolab Sing been placed in possession of Cashmere than Lawrence returned to Lahore to bring Lai Sing to justice. Imammoodeen turned king's evidence. Lai Sing was tried, deposed from the vizarut and removed without any excitement to Ferozepore. At the same meeting of the sirdars which condemned the vuzeer, a discussion was raised respecting the withdrawal of the British troops in accordance with the agreement. Such a measure could only lead to anarchy, and, as the governor-general was unwilling to annex the Punjaub, the outcome of the discussion was the so-called treaty of Byrowal, which prolonged the independence of the country, subject to the continued occupation of the capital by British troops, while a resident was to be appointed with supreme power in the state. On 8 Jan. 1847 Lawrence was appointed resident at Lahore, and thus, with the assent of the assembled sirdars, became in all but name, and uncontrolled save by the supreme government at Calcutta, master of the Punjaub. The system of a native ruler and minister relying on foreign bayonets and directed by a British resident was, as Lawrence himself had written, a vicious one. The most that can be said was that in this instance the resident was a capable man and had under him assistants such as George Lawrence, MacGregor, James Abbott, Edwardes, Lumsden, Nicholson, Taylor, Cocks, Hodson, Pollock, Bowring, Henry Coxe, and Melville, 'men,' as Lawrence wrote to Sir John Kaye, 'such as you will seldom see anywhere, but when collected under one administration were worth double and treble the number taken at haphazard.' His chief help, however, was in his brother John (afterwards Lord) Lawrence. The intrigues of the maharanee continued to give much trouble, and Lawrence deemed it expedient to separate the young Maharajah Dhuleep Sing from her and remove her from Lahore. The durbar consented, but his anxious work and long sojourn in India told on Lawrence's health, and in October 1847 he proceeded on sick leave to England. On his homeward journey he was the companion of Lord Hardinge, and after their arrival in England in March 1848 Lawrence was made K.C.B., at Hardinge's recommendation, on 28 April.

Lawrence spent his holiday between England and Ireland, in the society of relatives and friends. Tidings soon came of the murder of Vans Agnew and Anderson, and of the outbreak in the Punjaub, which ended in the second Sikh war. Lawrence was at once occupied in assiduous consultation with the Indian authorities at home, but he was eager to return, and left England with his wife in November 1848. He landed in Bombay the following month, and at once proceeded to the Punjaub, joining the army then in the field against the rebels. He was present during the last days of the siege of Moultan, and left that place on 8 Jan. 1849, in time to witness the doubtful contest of Chillianwallah. After the battle he prevailed on Hugh Lord Gough [q. v.] to hold his ground and demonstrate thereby that the battle was at worst a drawn one. Lawrence resumed his duties as resident at Lahore on 1 Feb.

Lawrence found in Lord Dalhousie, the new governor-general, a self-willed man, with strong views which did not always accord with his own. Difficulties soon arose between them. The question of annexation led to differences which were strongly expressed on both sides, and Lawrence sent his brother John, a veteran revenue administrator, to discuss the question personally with Dalhousie at Ferozepore. In the result the Punjaub was annexed and Lawrence resigned. But Dalhousie prudently succeeded in persuading him to withdraw his resignation, and on 14 April 1849 he was appointed president of the new board of administration for the affairs of the Punjaub, with his brother John and Charles Greville Mansel [q. v.] as colleagues, while he was also made agent to the governor-general.

The system was one of divided labour and responsibility. On Henry Lawrence devolved the political work. The disarming of the country, negotiations with the chiefs, organisation of new regiments, education of the young maharajah, were among the immediate duties which he personally undertook, while John Lawrence took the civil administration and the settlement of the land revenue, and Mansel the judicial management of the province. Each commissioner had a voice in the general council, and was responsible for the acts of the other two, although Henry Lawrence was supreme