LAWRENCE, Edward (c.1594-1647), of Creech Grange, Steeple, Dorset
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Family and Education
b. c.1594, 1st s. of Sir Edward Lawrence of Creech Grange and his 1st w. Margaret, da. of William Denton of Tonbridge, Kent.1 educ. Oriel, Oxf. 1610, aged 16.2 m. settlement 21 Sept. 1614 (with £900), Grace (d.1664), da. of Henry Brune of Rowner, Hants and Athelhampton, Dorset, 3s. (1 d.v.p.), 2da. suc. fa. 1629;3 kntd. 17 May 1643.4 bur. 24 Sept. 1647.
Lawrence’s great-grandfather, Sir Oliver Lawrence†, purchased the ex-monastic manor of Creech Grange in 1540, and represented the county in the 1558 Parliament. Lawrence himself was returned for Wareham with his kinsman Sir Nathaniel Napper in 1626, and was appointed to a single committee, this being for a bill to restrict the making of malt to certain times of the year (9 March). He is not known to have stood for re-election in 1628, when the seat went to Sir John Meller.9
In 1631, soon after succeeding to his father’s estates, Lawrence received a summons for having failed to take up a knighthood at the Coronation in 1626, even though he had not then been the head of his family. He compounded for his offence, paying £10. He was appointed a magistrate in 1637, and as sheriff five years later helped execute the Dorset commission of array, for which service he was later knighted at Oxford.10 He did not play an active part in the latter stages of the Civil War, although his son Robert served as governor of the royalist garrison at Corfe Castle. His estate, valued at £445 p.a., was nevertheless seized. He began proceedings to compound in March 1647, but died shortly thereafter, being buried at Steeple on 24 September. He left no will, presumably because his lands had been sequestrated. His son later compounded by settling endowments worth £160 p.a. on various Dorset rectories, including Wareham and Melcombe Regis. Robert Lawrence was the losing candidate in a double return at Wareham in 1661; no subsequent member of the family sat in Parliament.11