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Cowan, 'Social change in everyday language in Britain, c. Lockwood, 'Conceptions of public opinion and the British New Right, c.

Ruth Clayton [Windscheffel], with Prof. History Our people Profile. Professor Jon Lawrence Associate Professor The Pope ordered his name to be added to the members of the Academy of St Luke, an association of artists, and awarded him a seat on the council of that body. Harrison returned to England in and exhibited his drawings from Rome at the Royal Academy. Shortly afterwards, as the result of a successful architectural competition, he was commissioned to build a bridge over the River Lune in Lancaster. The classical design of the bridge, modelled on one he had seen in Italy, had five elliptical arches of a sixty nine feet span, and was one of the first in Britain to be built with a level surface previously, bridges had a hump in the middle.

George III laid the first stone of the Lancaster bridge in , and building works were completed in This bridge later formed the basis of the designs of London bridge and Waterloo bridge by John Rennie. Even at that stage, Thomas Harrison is described as being 'of Chester', although he undertook a number of further commissions in Lancaster and in he was appointed architect for the rebuilding of Lancaster Castle.

Before building began, remarkably Harrison had also been appointed to be the architect in charge of the remodelling of Chester Castle, again as the result of a competition. He was given more freedom of expression for this design and his plans were in a Grecian Doric style, his designs including a prison, county assize courts, armoury, exchequer and gateway.

He evidently was under considerable pressure from the volume of work he had undertaken, and his commitment to the Chester castle building work came under scrutiny while he was supervising the Lancaster Castle works, resulting in an irate letter demanding he return immediately to take control of the Chester project.

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He duly left Lancaster never to return, and work there was suspended for a number of years, in part due to a shortage of funds. The work at Lancaster castle was eventually completed with Joseph Gandy, a former colleague of Harrison, as architect. Harrison's reputation in Chester was at a low point as a result of his absence, but with diligence he soon re-established himself, and by he was given the commission to design the new North gate of Chester city walls, which he completed in a simple classical style.

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In , he was appointed Cheshire County Architect. Work on Chester Castle was completed by , which coincided with the completion of St Martin's Lodge as his residence. The land on which St Martin's Villa was built was donated to the architect by the County in gratitude for his professional services'. Thomas Harrison designed and built St. Martin's Villa as his own residence, from where it overlooked the works he had undertaken at Chester Castle.

After the completion of the building, work on the Grosvenor Bridge was commenced, although he died before its completion. The building is a simple villa, built in a somewhat austere style, but is nevertheless beautifully proportioned.

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It adopts a conventional classical form, influenced by Roman villas and Palladio's villas of Northern Italy which Harrison would have studied on his European tour, and the overall effect is certainly pleasing to the eye and harmonious. The building has certainly very little in the way of ornamentation there are no cills or lintels, for instance, or Doric columns to the entrance, and similarly the interior is almost minimalist in its lack of unnecessary decoration. The Tithe map of indicates that the site of the villa was part of a large plot owned by Mr Matthews and occupied by Joseph Kay.

In , the villa was bequeathed to the parish of St. Martin as the Rectory by Thomas Harrison's daughter Anne. It was named on this map as St Martin's parish, and in a map of , and another of , the building is described as The Rectory. Interestingly, at that time Harrison built his house overlooking Chester Castle, the city was still very much a trading port with a long ship-building tradition. Here the Watergate area and the Old Port is described by J.

Hanshall, the second Editor of the Chester Chronicle, in For Lawrence, as for ourselves, mental processes were a function of the brain. John Abernethy and others thought differently: Abernethy also published his lectures, which contained his support for John Hunter 's vitalism , and his objections to Lawrence's materialism. In subsequent years Lawrence vigorously contradicted his critics until, in , he published a second book, known by its short title of the Natural history of man.

He was linked by his critics with such other 'revolutionaries' as Thomas Paine and Lord Byron. It was "the first great scientific issue that widely seized the public imagination in Britain, a premonition of the debate over Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, exactly forty years later". Hostility from the established Church of England was guaranteed. This destroyed the book's copyright. However, faced with persecution , perhaps prosecution, and certainly ruin through the loss of surgical patients, Lawrence withdrew the book. The time had not yet arrived when a science which dealt with man as a species could be conducted without interference from the religious authorities.

It is interesting that the Court of Chancery was acting, here, in its most ancient role, that of a court of conscience. This entailed the moral law applied to prevent peril to the soul of the wrongdoer through mortal sin. The remedy was given to the plaintiff the Crown , in this case to look after the wrongdoer's soul; the benefit to the plaintiff was only incidental. This is also the explanation for specific performance , which compels the sinner to put matters right.

It is difficult to find a present-day parallel. The withholding of copyright, though only an indirect financial penalty, was both an official act and a hostile signal.

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We do not seem to have a word for this kind of indirect pressure, though suppression of dissent comes closer than censorship. Perhaps the modern ' naming and shaming ' comes closest. The importance of respectability, reputation and public standing were critical in this case, as so often in traditional societies.

After repudiating his book, Lawrence returned to respectability, but not without regrets. He wrote in to William Hone , who was acquitted of libel in , explaining his expediency and commending Hone's "much greater courage in these matters". His last major contribution to the debate was an article on "Life" in the Rees's Cyclopaedia [22] although this volume had in fact appeared in He continued to espouse radical ideas and, led by the famous radical campaigner Thomas Wakley , Lawrence was part of the small group which launched The Lancet , and wrote material for it.

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Lawrence wrote pungent editorials, and chaired the public meetings in at the Freemasons' Tavern. Meetings for members of the College were attended by about people. In his opening speech Lawrence criticised the by-laws of the College of Surgeons for preventing all but a few teachers in London, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen from issuing certificates of attendance at preparatory lectures.

He pointed out that Aberdeen and Glasgow had no cadavers for dissection, without which anatomy could not be properly taught. A proposed change in the regulations of the College of Surgeons would soon cut the ground from under the private summer schools, since diplomas taken in the summer were not to be recognised. Lawrence concluded by protesting against the exclusion of the great provincial teachers from giving recognised certificates. However, gradually Lawrence conformed more to the style of the College of Surgeons, and was elected to their Council in This somewhat wounded Wakley, who complained to Lawrence, and made some remarks in the Lancet.

But, true to form, Wakley soon saw Lawrence's rise in the College as providing him with an inside track into the working of the institution he was hoping to reform. For some years Lawrence hunted with the Lancet and ran with the College. From the inside, Lawrence was able to help forward several of the much-needed reforms espoused by Wakley. The College of Surgeons was at last reformed, to some extent at least, by a new charter in This episode marks Lawrence's return to respectability; in fact, Lawrence succeeded Abernethy as the 'dictator' of Bart's.

His need for respectability and worldly success might have been influenced by his marriage in , at the age of 45, to the year-old socially ambitious Louisa Senior.

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At any rate, from then on Lawrence's career went ever forward. He never looked back: Before he died she made him a baronet. He had for many years declined such honours, and family tradition was that he finally accepted to help his son's courtship of an aristocratic young woman which did not succeed. Huxley — in vain, it must be said — not to broach the dangerous topic of the evolution of man.

Research interests

In Carl Gustav Carus , the physiologist and painter, made "a visit to Mr Lawrence, author of a work on the "Physiology of Man" which had interested me much some years ago, but which had rendered the author obnoxious to the clergy He appears to have allowed himself to be frightened by this, and is now merely a practising surgeon, who keeps his Sunday in the old English fashion, and has let physiology and psychology alone for the present.

I found him a rather dry, but honest man". The careful anonymity in which the Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation was published in , and the very great caution shown by Darwin in publishing his own evolutionary ideas, can be seen in the context of the need to avoid a direct conflict with the religious establishment. In Darwin referred in his "C" transmutation notebook to a copy of Lawrence's "Lectures on physiology, zoology, and the natural history of man", and historians have speculated that he brooded about the implied consequences of publishing his own ideas.

In Lawrence's day the impact of laws on sedition and blasphemy were even more threatening than they were in Darwin's time. Lawrence's Natural history of man contained some remarkable anticipations of later thought, but was ruthlessly suppressed.

Associate Professor

To this day, many historical accounts of evolutionary ideas do not mention Lawrence's contribution. He is omitted, for example, from many of the Darwin biographies, [35] from some evolution textbooks, [36] essay collections, [37] and even from accounts of pre-Darwinian science and religion. Although the only idea of interest which Darwin found in Lawrence was that of sexual selection in man, the influence on Alfred Russel Wallace , was more positive.

Wallace "found in Lawrence a possible mechanism of organic change, that of spontaneous variation leading to the formation of new species". Lawrence was one of three British medical men who wrote on evolution-related topics from to They would all have been familiar with Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck at least; and probably also Malthus. Two Prichard and Lawrence dedicated their works to Blumenbach , the founder of physical anthropology.

All three men denied soft heredity Lamarckism " [39] This account is not too accurate in biographical terms, as Lawrence was actually a surgeon, Wells was born in Carolina to a Scottish family, and Prichard was a Scot. However, it is correct in principle on the main issue. Each grasped aspects of Darwin's theory, yet none saw the whole picture, and none developed the ideas any further. The later publication of Robert Chambers ' Vestiges and Matthew 's Naval timber [40] was more explicit; the existence of the whole group suggests there was something real though intangible about the intellectual atmosphere in Britain which is captured by the phrase 'evolution was in the air'.