LAWRENCE, Sir Edward (bef.1674-1749), of St. Ives, Hunts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1705 - 1710

Family and Education

b. bef. 1674, 1st s. of Rev. Paul Lawrence, rector of Tangmere, Suss. by Jane, da. of William Palmer of Peppering, Suss. unmsuc. fa. 1674; kntd. 21 Jan. (or 6 Feb.) 1701; cr. Bt. 17 Jan. 1748.1

Offices Held

Gent. usher of privy chamber 1700–?20; gent. of privy chamber 1702–26.2


Descended from a junior branch of the Lawrences of Slepe in St. Ives, Lawrence inherited the family estates on the failure of the senior line. He was a friend of Lord Cutts (John*) and Richard Steele*. In 1700 Lawrence purchased for £800 the office of gentleman usher of the privy chamber, which had a salary of £200 p.a. He successfully contested Stockbridge in 1705, on which occasion he was classed as a gain for the Whigs by Lord Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer*). Lawrence voted on 25 Oct. for the Court candidate for Speaker, and in February 1706 he supported the Court in the proceedings on the ‘place clause’ of the regency bill. During this time he was one of the Whigs appointed a j.p., in his case for Middlesex, by Lord Keeper Cowper (William*). In the 1706–7 session, on 5 Feb. 1707, Lawrence acted as a teller in favour of a motion to put the question that there had been a ‘notorious riot and tumult and other illegal practices’ at the election in Coventry. In the 1707–8 session, on 16 Feb. 1708, he acted as a teller for a motion to agree with an amendment to a bill relating to army pay arrears, and on the 20th reported on the petition of Colonel Josselyn for his arrears as aide-de-camp to the Duke of Ormond.3

Lawrence was noted as a Whig in two analyses of Parliament before and after the 1708 general election, at which he was returned unopposed for Stockbridge. In the 1708–9 session he acted as a teller for the Whigs in three divisions relating to disputed election cases at Reading (2 Dec. 1708), Abingdon (20 Jan. 1709) and Newcastle-under-Lyme (1 Feb.). During February and March 1709 he managed a private bill through the House. He supported the naturalization of the Palatines, and the following session voted for the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell. In April 1710 he was one of the Westminster j.p.s who signed an address expressing abhorrence of persons who under pretence of the Church being in danger, had taken the opportunity to publish ‘seditious doctrines and make injurious insinuations’. Before the dissolution of Parliament in 1710, Lawrence made it known that he would not stand for Parliament again. In 1711 he was one of the Whigs turned out of the commission of the peace for Westminster and Middlesex. He seems to have taken no further part in politics although he retained his court offices into the reign of George I. Lawrence died on 2 May 1749, when he was succeeded by his nephew Isaac Woollaston.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Paula Watson / Ivar McGrath


  • 1. Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. lxxxix), 82; VCH Hunts. iii. 218.
  • 2. R. O. Bucholz, Augustan Court, 72, 139, 263; Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 290; N. Carlisle, Gent. Privy Chamber, 213, 224.
  • 3. VCH Hunts. 218; Steele Corresp. 9, 271–2; HMC Astley, 87, 196, 208; Herts. RO, Panshanger mss, D/EP F152, list of j.p.s put in or put out by Ld. Cowper, [n.d].
  • 4. Add. ch. 76123, Westminster address, 12 Apr. 1710; Hants RO, Jervoise mss, ?P[eter] King* to [?Thomas Jervoise*], 12 Sept. 1710; Boyer, Pol. State, i–ii. 160; Gent. Mag. 1815 (2), p. 16.