Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/270

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Lawrence
Lawrence
264

On the first day an 8-inch shell burst in the room without injuring any one. Lawrence was entreated to move to a less exposed position, and promised to do so next day. All the early morning of the 2nd he was much occupied, and returned at 8 a.m. exhausted with the heat and lay down on his bed. A shell entered and burst, a fragment wounding him severely in the upper part of the left thigh. He was at once removed to Dr. Fayrer's house, but had hardly been placed in bed when fire was opened on the spot. Great difficulty was experienced in protecting the party, and the following day he had again to be moved to a less exposed place. The case was hopeless, and the doctors sought only to alleviate his sufferings. He remained perfectly sensible during 2 July and for the greater part of the following day. He formally handed over the chief commissionership to Major Banks, and the command of the troops to Colonel Inglis, at the same time telling them never to surrender. He was also able to give detailed instructions as to the conduct of the defence, and spoke very humbly of his own public services. He desired that no epitaph should be placed on his tomb but this : 'Here lies Henry Lawrence, who tried to do his duty.' He received the sacrament with his nephew and some of the ladies who nursed him, and died from exhaustion about 8 A.M. on 4 July 1867. He was buried in the churchyard with a hurried prayer from the chaplain, who alone could be present, as the place was under fire and all had to be at their posts.

Three weeks after his death, but before it was known in England, Lawrence was appointed provisionally to succeed to the office of governor-general of India, in case of accident happening to Lord Canning and pending the arrival of a successor from England. The sad news of his death was received in England with public demonstrations of regret. His eldest son, Alexander Hutchinson, was created a baronet in recognition of his father's services. A statue by J. G. Lough was placed in the east aisle of the south transept in St. Paul's Cathedral. A plain tombstone was erected by his friends to his memory in the English church at Lucknow, and his name is also inscribed on the monument in the gardens of Lucknow to the memory of those who fell in the siege. A portrait by J. H. Millington and a bust belong to Lawrence's grandson, Sir Henry Hayes Lawrence.

Colonel Sir John Inglis, who succeeded him in the military command, wrote officially : 'Few men have ever possessed to the same extent the power which he enjoyed of winning the hearts of all those with whom he came in contact, and thus insuring the warmest and most zealous devotion for himself and for the government which he served. The successful defence of the position has been, under Providence, solely attributable to the foresight which he evinced in the timely commencement of the necessary operations, and the great skill and untiring personal activity which he exhibited in carrying them into effect. All ranks possessed such confidence in his judgment and his fertility of resource, that the news of his fall was received throughout the garrison with feelings of consternation only second to the grief which was inspired in the hearts of all by the loss of a public benefactor and a warm personal friend.'

But his services reached much further in respect to the mutiny than the defence of Lucknow. His work in the Punjaub bore fruit in the fifty thousand Punjaubees who were raised by nis brother John for service during the mutiny, while thirty thousand soldiers drawn from that province, who belonged either to the native contingents or Hindustani regiments, remained faithful to England during that critical time. Sir Henry was naturally a man of hot and impetuous temper, which he kept under control by constant watchfulness and self-discipline. He had great energy, was indefatigable in his work, while his sympathetic and kind-hearted disposition attracted all who came in contact with him. He was essentially straightforward, generous, and disinterested. His disregard for money or personal luxury was the secret of his influence, particularly with the natives. In manner brusque, and in appearance gaunt, his shrewd sharp look at once attracted attention. His most evident failings were over-sensitiveness and impatience of contradiction.

Three children survived him. The eldest, Alexander Hutchinson, died in 1864 from an accident in Upper India, leaving an infant son, the present baronet ; Henry "Waldemar, born in 1846, called to the bar in 1867 ; and Honoria Letitia, who in 1873 married Henry George Hart, esq., of Harrow-on-the-Hill. The following are some of his writings : 1. 'Some Passages in the Life of an Adventurer in the Punjaub,' 8vo, 1842. 2. 'Adventures of an Officer in the Service of Runjeet Singh,' 2 vols. 12mo, London, 1845. 3. 'Essays Military and Political,' 8vo, London, 1869. 4. 'Essays on the Indian Army and Oude,' 8vo, Serampore, 1859.

The following articles, among others, were contributed to the 'Calcutta Review ' by Sir