LAWSON, Gilfrid (?1657-1749), of Brayton, Cumb.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1702 - 1705
1708 - 1734

Family and Education

b. ?1657, 1st s. of Wilfred Lawson, M.P., of Brayton by Sarah, da. and coh. of William James of Washington, co. Dur.; nephew of Sir Wilfred Lawson, 3rd Bt.. educ. Queen’s, Oxf. 19 Oct. 1675, aged 18. unm. suc. cos. as 6th Bt. and to Isel estate 8 Aug. 1743.

Offices Held


Gilfrid Lawson was the grandson of Sir Wilfred Lawson, 1st Bt., M.P. Cumberland 1660, who left Isel to his eldest son, the father of Sir Wilfred Lawson, and Brayton to his second son, Gilfrid’s father. A moderate Tory, though a member of the October Club, he voted after 1715 consistently against the Government. On 4 Apr. 1717 he rebuked James Stanhope for declaring that no one but ‘such as ... were not the King’s friends’ could refuse to support the vote of credit for measures against Sweden. He said that if a Member

must be accounted an enemy to the King when he happens not to fall in with his ministers ... they had nothing else to do but to retire to their country seats.1

On 15 Dec. 1720 he attacked the South Sea directors and on the 19th seconded Sir Joseph Jekyll’s motion for a select committee of the Commons to inquire into the affairs of the Company. On 6 Apr. 1723 he opposed the bill of pains and penalties against Atterbury.

No further speeches by Lawson are reported till 1730, when he spoke in favour of removing the duty on salt, as most affecting the poor. In the same and the succeeding session he is referred to in the 1st Lord Egmont’s diary as ‘an ancient Member’, giving his opinion on points of parliamentary procedure. He also spoke against the removal of the duty on Irish yarn, and against the wool bill in 1731.2 In 1734 he retired, giving his interest to his first cousin once removed, Sir Joseph Pennington, having ‘broke with all other considerable people in the county’.3

He died 23 Aug. 1749.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. Chandler, vi. 117.
  • 2. HMC Egmont Diary, i. 62, 72-73, 147, 177, 186.
  • 3. B. Bonsall, Sir Jas. Lowther and Cumb, and Westmld, Elections 1754-75, p. 7.