Lawrence, Charles

Charles Lawrence, military officer, governor of NS (b in England c 1709; d at Halifax 19 Oct 1760). Though he lacked the backing of any influential patron, Lawrence enjoyed a successful career. He entered the army in 1727, serving in the West Indies and in Flanders [Belgium], and joined the 45th regiment at LOUISBOURG (Cape Breton Island) as a major 1747. In 1753 he was put in charge of establishing the settlement of German Protestants at LUNENBURG, NS. He was named lieutenant-governor of "Acadia or Nova Scotia" in 1754, and is chiefly remembered as the architect of the deportation of the Acadians from the colony in 1755. Though this event would likely never have taken place without Lawrence's influence, administrative talent and actions, final responsibility for this tragedy must be shared much more widely.

Lawrence was promoted governor in 1756 and in 1758 he commanded a brigade in the successful expedition against Louisbourg. His last years as governor were concentrated on settling migrants, principally from New England, in the colony. On his death, this controversial but respected governor was honoured by his associates with the erection of a monument in St Paul's Church, Halifax.