Lawrence, Richard (DNB00)

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LAWRENCE, RICHARD (fl. 1643–1682), parliamentary colonel, was, according to his own statement (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1656), commissary in Manchester's army from September 1643 until the new model in 1645. He then became marshal-general of the horse for the whole English army, and filled that post until he accompanied Cromwell to Ireland. Early in 1647 he published a pamphlet, 'The Antichristian Presbyter, or Antichrist transformed and assuming the new shape of a reformed presbyter in his last and subtlest disguise to deceive the nations.' London, 9 Jan. 1646-7, 4to, by R. L., marshal-general. It is virtually a discourse on Milton's text: 'New presbyter is but old priest writ large.' Popery, in his view, is antichrist, but takes many forms. Sacerdotalism in any shape is the enemy; Prynne, Bastwick, Burton, and Lilburne, are the champions of the time. Lawrence gives a vigorous description of pluralities and other cclesiastical abuses. A parliamentary ordinance of 25 Feb. 1650-1 approved Lord-Deputy Ireton's commission to Lawrence to raise twelve hundred men in England and to settle them on forfeited lands in and about Waterford, New Ross, and Carrick-on-Suir. Lawrence was already governor of the county of Waterford and a commissioner to raise money for the war (Ludlow, Memoirs, i. 292, ed. 1751). In 1652 he was one of the commissioners appointed to treat with the Irish at Kilkenny (ib. p. 352), and in 1655 he acted as go-between in the disputes of Ludlow with Fleetwood and Henry Cromwell (ib. ii. 88). Lawrence was in favour of transplanting the Irish to Connaught, and answered in his 'Interest of England in the Irish Transplantation Stated' (London, 9 March 1654-5) the pamphlet published by Vincent Gookin [q. v.] against it. His defence of the transplantation rests on two main grounds: first, that the Irish made an unprovoked attack on the English as such — 'not only English people but English cattle and houses were destroyed as being of an English kind;' secondly, that the English were overcome only because they were scattered. He says great tenderness was shown where there had been any mitigating circumstances, 'that a cup of cold water might not go unrequited.' In October 1654 Lawrence was appointed one of the committee for the survey of forfeited lands, and quarrelled with Petty, who had contracted to do the work. Petty maintained his own views, while Lawrence declared that he and his brother officers were badly treated. In 1656 he was one of the 'agents for the regiments whose lots fell in Minister.' and actively engaged in defending their interests. In 1659 he was one of those who forced Richard Cromwell to deprive Petty, with whom he was still at war, of public employment. Lawrence himself received grants of land, but apparently not large ones, in Dublin, Kildare, Cork, and elsewhere (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1658). After the Restoration it was proposed to deprive him of all, as one of thirty fanatics who had spoken favourably of regicide and opposed the king's return; but this was not actually done (Carte, Ormonde, bk. vi.; Ludlow, Memoirs, ii. 801). Having now no military employment, Lawrence occupied himself for about twenty years in schemes for the improvement of Ireland as a member of the council of trade, where he had his old antagonist Petty as a colleague (Petty, Political Anatomy of Ireland). Strong protestant as Lawrence was, he had many friends among the adherents of Rome, and seems to have had no difficulties with the government. Even in bishops he could spy desert, and he seems to have been really attached to Ormonde. Lawrence was a believer in sumptuary laws, and his ideas on trade were not in advance of the time, but his book 'The Interest of Ireland in its Trade and Wealth stated . . .' Dublin, 1682, 12mo, throws much light on the state of Ireland under Charles H. The council of trade printed some directions which he drew up for planting hemp and flax.

Wood confuses the above with another Richard Lawrence (fl. 1657), son of George Lawrence of Stepleton in Dorset. The latter, born 1618, became a commoner of Magdalen Hall, Oxford, in 1636, but left without graduating. He was author of 'Gospel Separation Separated from its Abuses.' Lond., 1657, 8vo.

[Petty's Down Survey, ed. Richard Bagwell Larcom; and the authorities quoted above; Wood's Athene Oxon. ed. Bliss, ui. 452; Marefield Clonmel.]

R. B-l.