Roland Lawrence's Recollections
These reminiscences are collated from contributions elsewhere on the website
|My grandfather Frederick James Lawrence (abt. 1862-1942), like his ancestors (- see below), was born and lived most of his life in Wrington. With his brother John Noble Lawrence (about 1868 -1927) he ran the family butcher’s business “Lawrence Bros” which they had inherited from their father Frederick Lawrence (born abt. 1828 in Wrington).
F J Lawrence left Wrington in about 1901 to marry, and he set up a branch of the butchers’ business in Clapham Road, Lambeth, London but the business failed and he separated from his wife returning to live in Wrington, and carry on the family butchers business there, in approximately 1910. He lived in Wrington for the rest of his life, eventually as a lodger at the Golden Lion under the care of the landlady Mrs Puddy. (He is mentioned on Trevor Wedlake’s history page.)
Frederick James Lawrence, John Noble Lawrence and their sister Mary Blanche Sparks are all buried in Wrington churchyard, the brothers in adjacent plots near the west door.
The butcher's shop was on the corner of the High Street and School Road and is now an
estate agent (CJ Hole). The family lived in premises adjoining and over the shop, and owned farmland behind. The butchers’ business was acquired by MF Bathard (see 1939 Parish magazine)
My father Tudor Noble Lawrence (born 1909) and his two brothers never lived in Wrington, but he visited his family there occasionally as a boy. He remembers that on the family land behind the shop was a large old derelict house belonging to and formerly occupied by the family (Wrington House? see reference in Church history The effigy of a Priest of circa 1340, at the east end of the south aisle. We know nothing of its early history, but it was found, built upright, into the wall of an outhouse on the premises of Mr. Lawrence of Wrington House, since demolished; also Wrington House appears to be in the right location on the 1900 ordnance survey map).
My father remembers that his uncle John Noble then had one of the few motor cars in Wrington, and also had a farm (called Cox’s Piece?). His aunt Mary Blanche (abt. 1861-1950) was married to Joseph Sparks (abt 1865 to 1950) who had a builders business in Wrington.
According to the 1881 census my grandfather Frederick Lawrence’s wife was Susan (maiden name unknown) who was also born in Wrington. It also appears that a Frederick Lawrence (probably the same) was (with his sister Louisa) christened in Wrington church on 18 December 1831. This Frederick Lawrence was the son of James Lawrence and Fanny Tudor (compare my father’s name - Tudor Lawrence).
According to my father there was some family connection with the Counsell family (he inherited a family silver bowl/cup engraved “ C W+M 1757), and with the Wrington farming family Hardwick. There was possibly a connection with the Noble family (my father’s and great uncle’s second Christian names were Noble). Also it appears from the 1861 census that there were a number of butchers called Lawrence in surrounding villages, e.g. Banwell, Burnham, Yatton and Cheddar and Lawrences who were farmers in Congresbury, some of whom may have been related.
If anyone has information that throws more light on any of the above, or any knowledge of my grandfather or his ancestors, I should be delighted to hear from them.