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John Laird Mair Lawrence

In the centre of the nave of Westminster Abbey is the grave of John Laird Mair (Lawrence), 1st Lord Lawrence. The inscription reads:

Here rests from his labours John Laird Mair 1st Baron Lawrence of the Punjaub. Born 4 March 1811 Died 27 June 1879. Be Ready. His works do follow him

On the wall nearby is a white marble bust of Lord Lawrence, by the sculptor Thomas Woolner. It shows him wearing a mantle of the Order of the Star of India. On the base of the bust is the name Lawrence. The inscription on the base reads:

John Laird Mair, First Lord Lawrence of the Punjab; who, from the Civil Service of the East India Company, rose to be Viceroy. His public life began among the races of upper India, whose hearts he won and whose lives he inspired. In the Mutiny of 1857 he maintained peace in the Punjab, and enabled our armies to re-conquer Delhi. His Viceroyalty promoted the welfare of the Indian people and confirmed the loyalty of the chiefs and princes. His devotion to public duty was ennobled by the simplicity and purity of his private life. "He feared Man so little, because he feared God so much". This monument records the love and the pride with which his memory is cherished by his widow and children. Born 4th March 1811. Died 27th June 1879

John was born in Richmond in Yorkshire, son of Major Alexander Lawrence and his wife Catherine (Knox). He was educated at Haileybury College and went to India with his brother Henry and served as Chief Commissioner of the province of the Punjab. Here he reformed the agricultural economy and built roads and canals. From 1864-9 he was Viceroy of India. In 1841 he married Harriette Hamilton and had ten children. He was elevated to the peerage in 1869.

Further reading for Lord Lawrence, his brothers and daughter Maude

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004.

Illustrations of his funeral are in the "Illustrated London News"


4th March 1811


27th June 1879



Memorial Type

Grave; bust

Material Type


John Laird Mair Lawrence
John Laird Mair Lawrence

George Frederic Watts [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

John Laird Mair Lawrence
Lord Lawrence memorial

© The Dean and Chapter of Westminster

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

John Laird Mair Lawrence
Lord Lawrence grave

© The Dean and Chapter of Westminster

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

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The biggest challenge we face is actually time – getting all our work done alongside the daily routine of the Abbey as a working church, visitor attraction and home to 1,000 years of history.


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