Thomas Lawrence & Martha Cage

Sally’s ten-great Grandparents?:

Thomas Lawrence 1539 – 1593 | his parents
& Martha Cage | her parents
of Chelmarsh, Shrops and Chelsea, Middlesex

This is my working hypothesis – the way I see it as of this moment!!

Thomas Lawrence, Esq’s monument
against the north wall of Lawrence Chapel in Chelsea

photo by Paul E Lawrence 2000

1539 – Thomas Lawrence is born, the son of Thomas Lawrence est. 1500 at Chelmarsh, near Bridgenorth, in Shropshire, England. [and grandson of another Thomas Lawrence est. 1470 of the same place.]

Thomas Lawrence of St. Michael Bassishaw Parish married 22 July 1572 Martha Cage daughter of Anthony Cage and wife Elizabeth Dale of All Saints in Honey Land, London. The Harleian Society, Volume XXV, Allegations for Marriage Licences issued by the Bishop of London, 1520 to 1610 (London, 1887), page 53 (hereafter cited as Harleian Society, London Marriage Licences, 1520-1610).
1573 son Thomas Lawrence was born.
Thomas Lawrence of Chelsea, Middlesex, became a goldsmith. The London Goldsmiths 1200-1800 lists Thomas Lawrence, goldsmith, Parish of St. Mary Woolnoth, 1582-1624. This likely refers to both father and son. Thomas Lawrence “made a considerable fortune in his business as a goldsmith, which in those days generally included banking, and in that of merchant adventurer.

a 16th century Goldsmith Shop

1583 Thomas Lawrence “bought the old manor-house of Chelsea and the lord’s chapel in Chelsea parish church attached to it, since known as the Lawrence Chapel.
There on his death he was buried and there his son Sir John and his daughter Sara are also commemorated by monuments.”

Chelsea-a2 The Lawrence [or Monmouth] House ca 1583
built by the Lawrence family; house was demolished in 1835
in 1714 Lady Lawrence let her Chelsea house to Ann, Duchess of Monmouth
after sketch by R Schnebbelie 1835
“Memorials of Old Chelsea” by Alfred Beaver
with numerous Illustrations by the author, 1892

1588 son John Lawrence was born
1590 – he was conveyed land in Iver, Buckinghamshire [probably Delaford Manor]
1591 – daughter Sara Lawrence was born
“In 1593 the College of Heralds granted Thomas the following coat of arms: Argent, a cross raguly gules, motto: “In Cruce Salus.” In other words, a red cross of the “raguly” type is on a silver shield. The motto loosely translated is “In the Cross there is Salvation.” Full description of the Arms: Argent, a cross ragul√©e gules, on a chief azure three leopard’s heads or.; an escucheon of Ulster. Crest: A demi-turbot, tail upwards, gules.

Arms of Thomas Lawrence
of Chelsea

October 28, 1593 – Thomas Lawrence died, aged 54
He was interred November 7, 1593 in his Chapel at Chelsea Old Church


Thomas Lawrence, Esq’s monument
against the north wall of Lawrence Chapel in Chelsea:
“a handsome Jacobean tablet with two arches springing from Corinthian columns, and strapwork above, bears his arms and those of the Goldsmiths and Merchant Adventurer Companies”

from “Descriptions of Chelsea and its Environs”
by Thomas Faulkner of Chelsea 1810
represented are himself, his three sons, Elizabeth [Martha?] his wife and six daughters, all kneeling.
[On the cushion on which his wife kneels are the figures of two infants.]
Underneath are these words:

“The yeares wherein I lived were fifty-fowere,
October twenty-eight did end my life.
Children five of eleven God left in store,
To be comfort of theyr mother and my wife.

The world can say what I have been before,
What I am now, examples still are rife;
Thus Thomas Lawrence spekes to himself ensving,
That Death is sure, and Tyme is past reneving.”

Abstract of Will:
Thomas Laurence, citizen and goldsmith of London
— his wife Martha.
— To the poor of Chesey parish.
— To his executors 400¬£ to be employed by them in “the finishing of the buildings which are in hand at Iver, in the county of Bucks.”
— To my sister-in-law Katherine Cage, wife of Mr. John Cage.
— To my sister Lowton’s children.
— To my sister Heades children.
— Cousin Joice Jackson.
— Executors his wife and son Thomas.
— Overseers, brother-in-law Mr. John Cage of London, salter, and John Taylor of London, mercer.
— Real property in Bucks, Chelsea, and London.
— To his wife his house at Chelsey, with all the grounds, archardes, gardens, &c.; over to his son Thomas in tail; over to his son John in tail.
— Daughters Blanch, Martha, and Sara.
— Proved at Hadleighe, co. Middx Nov. 1593
Source: Nichols, The Herald and Genealogist, volume IV page 537
web-site of Paul E Lawrence

After Thomas Lawrence’s death, his widow Martha married John Bromley.
From Sir John’s will it appears that he secured a judgment for 7010¬£ against the heirs of John Bromley.

Known Children of Thomas Lawrence & Martha Cage dau. of Anthony
1. Sir Thomas Lawrence 1573 – died without issue
2. Sir John Lawrence 1589 – 13 Nov 1638 in England
married Grissell Gibbons
3. Blanche Lawrence
4. Martha Lawrence
married Mr. Jackson
a. Martha Jackson
5. Mary Lawrence
married William Jackson
6. Sara Lawrence ca 1591 – 1631
married Richard Colville
of Newton Hall in the Isle of Ely, Cambridge

chelseaa chelsea9
photo by Paul E Lawrence 2000
buried near her father – The effigy of the deceased is represented in a half-length figure of white marble wrapped in a winding sheet with her hands and eyes lifted to heaven, as rising from her tomb. Underneath is the inscription – in part: “Sacred to the blessed memory of that Unstained Copy and rare Example of all Virtue, Sarah, Wife to Richard Colvill, of Newton, In the Isle of Ely, in the County of Cambridge, Esq., Daughter of Thomas Lawrence of Iver, In the County of Bucks, who, in the 40th year of her age, received a glorious reward of her constant Piety; Being the happy mother of 8 sons and 2 daughters” [the monument was the work of the brothers Christmas]

see – web-site of Paul E Lawrence

Iver, Buckinghamshire

Delaford Manor – the house the Lawrences’ built 1593
a typical example of the stately yet homelike Elizabethan mansion of red brick with its ample stone-mullioned windows and bays, its ranges of gables and grouped chimney stacks soaring above red tiled roofs. It was built round four sides of a courtyard with a larger courtyard surrounded by out-buildings in front of it. The interior must have contained many pleasant panelled rooms — including perhaps a long gallery — and carved chimneypieces and staircases. The gardens were doubtless of the formal type usual at the period. A portion of such a lay-out subsisted in 1770 to the west of the house, though it no longer, as it must have done formerly extended on the eastern side where the oblong fishpond or “stews” still lies.

“In 1589, shortly before his death Sir Richard Blount, with his wife Mary and his son Richard, sold the Manor of Delaford and Edred’s to Thomas Lawrence, citizen and goldsmith of London. . . . till the time of the Commonwealth the Lawrence family was one of the most influential in the parish. There had been Lawrences in Iver at least as early as the first half of the fourteenth century, but there is no evidence of their kinship to this Thomas Lawrence, who came of a yeoman’s family of Chelmarsh in Gloucestershire [?], though his descendants attempted to trace descent to a more distinguished Lancashire family of Lawrences. . . . He was succeeded at Chelsea and Delaford by his son John. There is neither trace or record of the manor house of Delaford such as it was in the days of the Fords and Blounts. Thomas Lawrence must have begun at once to rebuild it for in his will made on 20 August 1593 he sets aside a sum of 400¬£ for his executors to employ “in the best order in and abowte the finishing the buildings which are in hand at Iver.” The new manor-house may have been structurally almost complete by that date. That the family did not make it their principal residence at once appears from a letter written in 1621 by Sir John Lawrence to Sir Edward Cecil in reference to the latter’s right to a pew in the Lawrence Chapel at Chelsea. “When I dwelt here,” he says, “before I went to my house at Iver there stood a seat in which my parents in their life time sate, and I their heyre so long as I continued heere.” Since Sir John was born in 1588 the move cannot have taken place much before the end of Elizabeth’s reign. “Finishing” seems to have hung fire even then, for at his death in 1638 Sir John left 100 marks for this purpose.” from “A History of the Manor and Parish of Iver” by W H Ward and K S Block 1933 London.


“Descriptions of Chelsea and its Environs” by Thomas Faulkner of Chelsea 1810
“Memorials of Old Chelsea” by Alfred Beaver with numerous Illustrations by the author, 1892

“A History of the Manor and Parish of Iver” by W H Ward and K S Block 1933 London.
“Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight County,Virginia” by John Bennett Boddie, Page 489.
“Lawrence Family of Virginia” by Joseph D Lawrence

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