Named after the Lawrence family, the first Lawrence in the area came from Lancashire as a follower of Sir John Perrot, Lord Deputy of Ireland in the reign of Elizabeth I, and married an O'Madden, daughter of the local chieftain. Walter Lawrence (1729-1796) arranged for the erections of a victory arch to mark the success of Henry Gratten and the Volunteers. The Volunteers were a military force raised to repel a threatened French invasion which never materialised, they turned their attention to domestic politics and under the leadership of Henry Gratten and Henry Flood, by means of a series of intimidatory marches in Dublin, forced several important concessions from the Government leading to a period of significant commercial prosperity after 1780.


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