Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/297

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Lawson
Lawson
291

his probable ancestress, Catherine Parr, which had been handed down as heirlooms for nearly two centuries (Strickland, Lives of the Queens of England, iii. 295, ed. 1851). Lawson became a member of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1833, of the Royal Society in 1840, and of the British Meteorological Society in 1850, and left to each of these bodies a sum of 200l. His large fortune was divided by will among 139 persons, besides charitable institutions.

[Monthly Notices, Roy. Astr. Society, xvi. 86; Ann. Reg. 1856, p. 226.]

A. M. C.


LAWSON, ISAAC (d. 1747), physician, was born in Scotland . He became a student of Leyden University on 17 May 1780; studied medicine and botany under Herman Boerhaave and Van Royen, and became the intimate friend of Linnaeus, whom he several times assisted with gifts of money. In conjunction with Gronovius he was at the expense of the printing of the 'Systema Naturæ' of Linnaeus in 1735. Lawson graduated at Leyden as M.D. in 1737, his thesis being entitled ' Dissertatio Academica sistens Nihil.' He afterwards became a physician to the British army, but died at Oosterhout in the Netherlands in 1747. Linnaeus dedicated to him the genus Lawsonia, the henna of the East. In Dr. Maton's edition of Linneeus's 'Diary.' included in his reprint of Pulteney's 'View of the Writings of Linnaeus.' p. 530. Lawson is inaccurately spoken of as John Lawson. Another Isaac Lawson, possibly a son, entered Leyden University 13 March 1747, and is described in the register as Britanno-Edinburgensis.

[Correspondence of Linnaeus, ed. Smith, i. 18, ii. 173, 175 ; Peacock's Leyden Students (Index Soc), p. 59; Pulteney's General View of the Writings of Linnæus, 1st ed. p. 15; Corresp. of Dr. Richard Richardson, pp. 343–5.]

G. S. B.


LAWSON, JAMES (1538–1584), successor to John Knox in the church of St. Giles, was born at Perth in 1538. He was educated at Perth grammar school and at the university of St. Andrews. As tutor to the sons of the Countess of Crawford he accompanied them to the continent. There he found opportunity for acquiring a knowledge of Hebrew, and returning to Scotland in 1507 or 1568 was prevailed upon by the professors of the university of St. Andrews to teach there that language, which was hitherto unknown in Scotland. In 1569 he was appointed by the regent Moray sub-principal of King's College in the university of Aberdeen, and the same year he was elected to the parochial charge of Old Machar. He became the recognised leader of the reformed clergy in the north of Scotland, and one of the most trusted confidants of Knox. In September 1572 Knox, feeling 'nature so decayed' that he looked 'not for a long continuance' of his 'battle.' sent for Lawson with the view of having a special conference with him (letter in Calderwood, iii. 224). On 9 Nov. Lawson was admitted as Knox's colleague and successor in the ministry of St. Giles. Knox with treat difficulty officiated on the occasion, and bade the assemblage his 'last good night.' Lawson is the author of the account of Knox's last illness, originally published as an appendix to Thomas Smeton's 'Ad Virvlentvm Archibaldi Hamiltonii Apostatæ Dialogvm Responsio,' 1579, its title being 'Eximii Viri Johannis Knoxii, Scoticanæ ecclesiæ lnstauratoris Fidelissimi, vera extremæ vitæ et obitus Historia, a Pio quodam, et Docto Viro descripta, qui ad extremum usque spiritum segrotanti assedit.' An English translation is published in Appendix to Knox's 'Works' (vi. 648–60). On Knox's death Lawson became one of the recognised leaders of the kirk, and encouraged a policy of intolerance without increasing its prosperity. On 12 July 1580 Lawson was appointed moderator of the assembly. He served on most of its committees, and! took a prominent part in the disputes of the kirk with the civil power. He attended the regent Morton when under sentence of death, and plied him with somewhat inquisitorial queries. Subsequently the Duke of Lennox, who had been the chief instrument of Morton's fall, lamentably disappointed the hopes of the presbyterians, and Lawson became one of his most persistent opponents. For a time the kirk triumphed, but after the accession of Arran to power it fared worse than before. On account of Lawson's denunciation in the pulpit of the acts of the parliament of 1584 — which were supposed to interfere with the jurisdiction of the kirk — Arran vowed that 'if Mr. James Lawson's head were as great as an haystack he would cause it leap from its hawse (neck) (Calderwood, iv. 65). Arrangements were made for his arrest on 28 May, but on the 27th he escaped to Berwick, proceeding thence to London. When his flight and that of Walter Balcanquall became known an act was passed by the privy council declaring that they had left their charges void ' against their duties and professions,' and appointing other ministers to preach in their stead (Reg. Privy Council Scotland, iii. 668). During their absence their wives addressed a long joint letter of rebuke to the Bishop of St. Andrews, in which they likened him to Chaucer's