Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lawrence, Frederick

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
1421972Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 32 — Lawrence, Frederick1892William Prideaux Courtney

LAWRENCE, FREDERICK (1821–1867), barrister and journalist, eldest son of John Lawrence, a considerable farmer at Bisham, Berkshire, who married Mary, daughter of John Jennings of Windsor, was born at Bisham in 1821. After being educated in a private school at St. John's Wood, London, he found employment with Messrs. Simpkin & Marshall, the publishers. In December 1846 he entered the printed book department of the British Museum, following the example of his friend, afterwards the well-known Serjeant Parry, and remained there in the task of compiling the general catalogue until May 1849, when, like Parry, he resigned, in order to qualify for the bar. He was called at the Middle Temple on 23 Nov. 1849, joined the Oxford circuit, and attended the Berkshire sessions, but subsequently practised with some success at the Middlesex Sessions and the Old Bailey. Lawrence frequently contributed to the periodical press, especially to the 'Weekly Dispatch' and 'Sharped London Journal,' to the last of which he contributed a series of articles on 'literary impostures' and on eminent English authors.

Social and political questions always interested him, and he acted as chairman of the Garibaldian Committee. While at Boulogne in the autumn of 1867 he was attacked by dropsy, which compelled him to return to London, and on 25 Oct. 1867 he died suddenly at his chambers, 1 Essex Court, Temple. He was buried at Kensal Green cemetery.

Lawrence is said to have edited at Guildford in 1841 three numbers, seventy-two pages in all, of 'The Iris, a Journal of Literature and Science.' He was author of: 1. 'The Common Law Procedure Act, 1852, with an Introduction' 1852. 2. 'The Life of Henry Fielding, with Notices of his Writings, his Times, and his Contemporaries,' 1855, a work of great research and taste, the substance of which originally appeared in vol. iv. new series, of 'Sharpe's London Magazine;' for a second edition he collected many notes. 3. 'Culverwell v. Sidebottom. A Letter to the Attorney-General. By a Barrister.' 1857; 2nd edit., with further matter, 1859. This related to a gambling case at the Berkeley Hotel in Albemarle Street, London. The volumes from 1864 to 1868 of the 'Lawyer's Companion' were edited by him for Messrs. Stevens & Sons, and he made large collections for a 'Memoir' of Smollett.

[Law Times, xliv. 46, 1867; Cowtan's British Museum, pp. 363-4; Olphar Hamet's Anon. literature, p. 205; Halkett and Lang's Dict. of Anon. Lit i. 548, ii. 1251.]

W. P. C.