Lawrence, John Laird Mair Lawrence, 1st Baron, 1811–79, British colonial administrator in India; brother of Sir Henry Montgomery Lawrence. He went to India in 1829 and served in many administrative posts. In 1846, after the first Sikh War, he was made commissioner of the newly acquired Sikh territory. After the total annexation (1849) of the Punjab, Lawrence and his brother Henry reorganized the province, creating a system of administration by which all government functions in each district were concentrated in the hands of a single official, the district commissioner. The Punjab remained quiet during the Indian Mutiny (1857–58), and Lawrence directed the British troops in the recapture of Delhi. He returned to England in 1859 but in 1863 was appointed viceroy of India. Lawrence was a vigorous opponent of the expansionist policies that led to the Afghan Wars.
See studies by D. Pal (1952) and M. Edwardes (1958).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.