Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/294

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Lawson
Lawson
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(22 June 1679), however, he permitted some covenanter tenants of his to remain on his lands without denouncing them to the authorities. He was therefore arrested again, was tried, and was condemned to be beheaded at the Cross of Edinburgh on the last day of February 1683. Many landowners in the district had been guilty of like offences, and his fate created widespread uneasiness. Lawrie petitioned humbly for his life, and the Marquis of Douglas obtained a respite of the sentence, on the special ground that no other living person knew anything about the state of his affairs. Lawrie remained in prison until the revolution in 1688, when he was set at liberty (Wodbow, Hist. Burns edition, ii. 26, 29, 88, iii. 449–52). Lord Fountainhall, who was an occupant of the judicial bench during this period, describes Lawrie as 'a man of but an indifferent character.' and believes his transactions with the covenanters 'were dictated by worldly policy, not by sympathy with their principles and aims.' (Decisions, i. 190, 213, 215).

Lawrie took an active part in the raising of Lord Angus's Cameronian regiment, afterwards the 25th infantry, which was enrolled in one day, and bravely defended Dunkeld in 1689 against the highland army.

Meanwhile Lawrie had resumed his control of the Marquis of Douglas's property, and was fast bringing it to ruin. But when he ventured to meddle with his master's second wife, Lady Mary Kerr, she turned the tables upon him, and after much difficulty secured the appointment of a commission of her husband's friends to investigate his management of the estates. They convinced the marquis that Lawrie had abused his position. He accordingly dismissed Lawrie in 1699, and clamoured for his prosecution. Lawrie was then an old man, and probably died soon afterwards.

[Fraser's Douglas Book, ii. 450–8, iii. 344, iv. 273–88; Upper Ward of Lanarkshire, by Irving and Murray, ii. 208.]

H. P.


LAWSON, CECIL GORDON (1851–1882), landscape-painter, fifth and youngest son of William Lawson, a Scottish portrait-painter, was born at Wellington in Shropshire on 3 Dec. 1851. Soon afterwards his father settled in London, and Cecil while a child learned the elements of painting in his father's studio. He depended chiefly, however, on self-instruction. At the age of twelve he used to spend whole days at Hampstead, making sketches in oil of the forms of clouds, foliage of trees, and various wayside objects. In 1866 he made his first sketching tour in Kent, Surrey, and Sussex, and began to paint in water-colours careful studies of fruit and flowers, many of which have since been palmed off by unscrupulous dealers as the work of William Hunt, whom Lawson at that time imitated. In 1869 he resumed painting in oil-colours, and studied earnestly the works of the Dutch landscape-painters in the National Gallery. His first appearance at the Royal Academy was in 1870, when his 'Cheyne Walk, Chelsea,' a view taken from the windows of the house in which his father then resided, was hung on the line. In 1871 he sent 'The River in Rain' and 'A Summer Evening at Cheyne Walk,' which were likewise placed on the line, but in 1872 another river scene, called 'A Lament,' was skied, while 'A Hymn to Spring,' a more ambitious work, in which he departed from the traditions of the Dutch school, and came under the influence of Gainsborough, was excluded. In 1872 also he painted the 'Song of Summer,' and in 1873, during a visit to Ireland, 'Twilight Grey.' 'A Pastoral: in the Vale of Meifod, North Wales,' appeared in the Royal Academy in 1873, but in 1874 his two pictures, 'The Foundry' and 'The Bell Inn,' were rejected. He then spent a few weeks in Holland, Belgium, and Paris, and afterwards settled down at Wrotham in Kent, where he began his large picture of 'The Hop Gardens of England.' This he sent to the Royal Academy in 1875, but to his great mortification it was not accepted. In 1876, however, it was hung in a good position and attracted much attention. In 1877 he exhibited a 'View from Don Saltero's in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, temp. 1777,' and in the same year painted a large and impressive landscape called 'The Minister's Garden,' which he described as a tribute to the memory of Oliver Goldsmith. This work, now in the Manchester Art Gallery, is a poetical conception of nature of very great merit. It was exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1878, together with 'Strayed: a Moonlight Pastoral,' now belonging to Mr. Cyril Flower, and 'In the Valley: a Pastoral.' In the same year he sent to the Royal Academy 'The Wet Moon, Old Battersea,' and 'An Autumn Sunrise,' suggested by the words in 'Hamlet.'

'The morn in russet mantle clad.'

His contributions to the Royal Academy in 1879 consisted of 'Sundown,' 'Old Battersea, Moonlight,' and 'A Wet Moon,' and among the seven works which he sent to the Grosvenor Gallery were 'Twixt Sun and Moon,' 'The Haunted Mill,' and 'The Hop Gardens of England,' which he had in part repainted, and renamed 'Kent.' It was