John Lawrence (lord mayor)

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Inscription at the gates of Bunhill Fields burial ground, noting that the ground was first enclosed during John Lawrence's mayoralty

Sir John Lawrence (died 26 January 1692) was an English merchant who was Lord Mayor of London from 1664 to 1665. He was therefore Lord Mayor during the period of the Great Plague of London.

Lawrence was a city of London merchant and a member of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers. In 1658 he was elected an alderman of the City of London for Queenhithe ward. He was one of the Sheriffs of London from 1658 to 1659 and was Master of the Haberdashers Company at the same time. He was a member of the committee of the East India Company in 1659–60, and colonel of the White Regiment from 1659 to 1660. He was knighted on 17 June 1660. In 1664, he was elected Lord Mayor of London and was also Master of the Haberdashers. He was Governor of the Irish Society from 1668 to 1676, and president St Thomas' Hospital from 1668 to 1683.[1]

Lawrence was one of the leaders who opposed the influence of the court in civic affairs. An account of him written in 1672, said that "he hath put all the affronts and indignities imaginable upon all those persons that have been willing to venture their lives and estates in any military employment for His Majesty" and that he "hath always had three or four busie turbulent followers to crye him up in all parts of the cittie, and to assist him in all popular elections.[2] From 1675 to 1678 he was again a member of the committee of the East India Company, and in 1677 Master of the Haberdashers Company. He served twice more on the committee of the E.I.C. from 1679 to 1680 and from 1681 to 1683. He interrupted his period as alderman in 1683 but was re-elected for Queenhithe in 1688. He was president of St Thomas' Hospital again from 1688 to 1692, and Governor of the Irish Society again from 1690 to 1692.[1] He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1673. [3]

Lawrence was buried at his death in St Helen's Church, Bishopsgate. He had married and had children. One daughter married Sir George Vyner, 2nd Baronet, son of Sir Thomas Vyner (Lord Mayor from 1653 to 1654), and another married Charles Chamberlain (Alderman from 1687 to 1688).[2]


  1. ^ a b "Chronological list of aldermen: 1651-1700", The Aldermen of the City of London: Temp. Henry III – 1912 (1908), pp. 75–119. Date accessed: 15 May 2012
  2. ^ a b "Notes on the aldermen, 1502-1700", The Aldermen of the City of London: Temp. Henry III – 1912 (1908), pp. 168-195. Date accessed: 15 May 2012
  3. ^ "Fellows Details". Royal Society. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
Civic offices
Preceded by
Anthony Bateman
Lord Mayor of the City of London
Succeeded by
Thomas Bloodworth