Portrait from "The Graphic", 12 May 1888.

Edwin Lawrence
(2 February 1837 – 21 April 1914), known as Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence, 1st Baronet from 1898, was a barrister and Liberal Unionist politician.

He was the seventh son and last child of William Lawrence and Jane Clarke. His father was a Cornish carpenter, who moved to London in and established a large and successful business in the Hoxton and South Bank areas.

The Lawrence family were some of the largest holders of real estate in the City of London. His brothers William Lawrence and Sir James Lawrence were Lord Mayors of London and also Members of Parliament.

Edwin studied law at the University of London and was called to the bar at the Middle Temple in 1867.

A prominent member of the Unitarian Church, together his brother James he was largely responsible for the building of the Essex Street Chapel, the headquarters of British Unitarianism.[1]

In March 1886 he became a member of the Metropolitan Board of Works as one of the representatives of Shoreditch Vestry, an office previously held by his brother, Alfred.[2] He held the seat until the board's abolition in 1889.

In 1895 he was elected MP for Truro in Cornwall. This was his fourth attempt to enter parliament, and he held the seat until 1906.

In 1898 he changed his surname to Durning-Lawrence, in honour of his wife's maternal grandfather, and was created 1st Baronet Durning-Lawrence, of King's Ride, Ascot, Berkshire in the same year.[3]

He died at his home at Carlton House Terrace, Westminster, in 1914, aged 77. He was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery. As he had no heir, the baronetcy became extinct on his death.[3]

Some details of his archives here [1]


  • "Death Of Sir E. Durning-Lawrence. An Ardent Baconian". The Times: p. 10. 22 April 1914. 
  1. ch 3, Rowe, Mortimer, B.A., D.D. The History of Essex Hall. London: Lindsey Press, 1959.
  2. "General News". Reynold's Newspaper. 21 March 1886. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 L. G. Pine, The New Extinct Peerage 1884–1971: Containing Extinct, Abeyant, Dormant and Suspended Peerages With Genealogies and Arms, London: Heraldry Today, 1972, p. 217 ISBN 0806305215

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