Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/283

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Lawrence
Lawrence
277

an exaggerated importance to the possession. After successfully keeping his opponents at bay for over fifteen months, Lawrence, on the approach of the rains in 1754, withdrew his troops into cantonments, and on 11 Oct. that year arranged a three months' cessation of hostilities, which ended in a conditional treaty. 'A Narrative of Affairs on the Coast of Coromandel from 1730 to 1764.' written by Lawrence himself forms the first part of the 'History of the War in India.' London, 1759, 4to (2nd edition, 1761, 8vo), compiled by Richard Owen Cambridge [q. v.] Lawrence returned from Trichinopoly to Madras, where he was presented by the government with a diamond-hilted sword, valued at 750 guineas, in recognition of his distinguished services. He received the king's commission of 'lieutenant-colonel in the East Indies only' from 26 Feb. 1754. The first king's regiment which had served in India — the 89th foot (Primus in Indis) — arrived in 1754, under Colonel John Adlercron, who, by seniority, superseded Lawrence in the chief command. Lawrence regarded the supersession by an officer unversed in Indian affairs as an injustice, and he steadily refused to serve under Adlercron's orders. But during a period of alarm in 1757, when Clive was away in Bengal, Lawrence offered his services, and was welcomed in Adlercron's camp as a volunteer. In that capacity he served in the operations against Wandiwash, and afterwards, receiving the local rank of brigadier-general, commanded in various operations in 1757-9. The latter year saw the return of the 39th to England, and the first formation of the Madras native army by the union in battalions of the independent companies of sepoys, armed and drilled in European fashion on the plan originally adopted by the French at Pondicherry (Wilson, Hist. Madras Army, i. 142). Lawrence commanded in Fort St. George during the famous siege by the French under Lally, when between 17 Dec. 1758 and 17 Feb. 1759 over twenty-six thousand shot, eight thousand shells, and two hundred thousand rounds of small-arm ammunition were poured into the place. On the arrival of an English fleet under Admiral Focock, the French withdrew to Pondicherry. Lawrence afterwards successfully persuaded the Madras authorities against any reduction or withdrawal of the English force in the field.

Lawrence's health had suffered severely during his past campaigns, and in March 1759 he represented his inability to retain the command. He received the rank which he held at his death, that of 'major-general in the East Indies only,' on 9 Feb. 1759, and at the end of that year he left India, carrying with him the respect of both Europeans and natives. He was received with high honours at the India House, where his statue was placed in the sale-room, beside those of Clive and Pocock. His friend Clive supplemented his modest income by settling on him an annuity of 500l. (Malcolm, Life of Clive, ii. 187). Lawrence appears to have been consulted by the home government in 1763 respecting the transfer of king's officers to the company's ordnance (cf. Cal. State Papers, Home Office, 1760-6). In October 1760 he was president of a board ordered to advise on the reorganisation of the Madras army (see Wilson, Hist. Madras Army, i. 213) This appears to have been Lawrence s last recorded service. One of his monuments (that at Dunchideock) describes him as having held the chief command in India 'from 1747 to 1767.' Lawrence died at his residence in Bruton Street, London, on 10 Jan. 1775, within a few weeks after the death of Clive. He was buried on 22 Jan. 1775, in the little village church of Dunchideock, near Exeter, which contains his tomb, erected by the Palk family, with an epitaph by Hannah More (see Gent. Mag. lxiv. 730). Except an annuity of 800l. to a married nephew named Twine, and bequests to servants, he bequeathed all his effects to his friend, Robert Palk, governor of Madras in 1763, and afterwards the first baronet of Haldon (cf. Foster, Peerage, under 'Haldon'), whose son, Lawrence, afterwards the second baronet, was Lawrence's godson. A tall column, set up by the Pains on Haldon Hill, near Exeter, is known as the Lawrence monument. In after years the East India Company erected a monument to Lawrence in Westminster Abbey, surmounted by his bust by Taylor, and inscribed: 'For Discipline established, Fortresses protected, Settlements extended, French and Indian armies defeated, and Peace restored in the Carnatic.' Monuments exist at Madras and Calcutta. A portrait of Lawrence by Sir Joshua Reynolds is in the India office.

Sir John Malcolm says (Life of Clive, ii. 66) that Lawrence neither was nor pretended to be a statesman, but was an excellent officer. Though without the brilliancy of genius, he showed sound practical knowledge, good judgment, and a marked absence of jealousy. He was especially generous in recognising the merits of his subordinates, and to this quality we are not a little indebted for the early successes of Clive.