Rev. Benjamin Lawrence (1644-1683)
Benjamin Lawrence was born in about 1644 and was baptised at St Andrew’s Church, Norwich on 4th December that year. He obtained his M.A. at the age of 24 at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
When he was 30, he married Elizabeth Shepard, the daughter of John Shepherd & Elizabeth, on 30th July 1674 at St Paul’s Church, Norwich.
He was the Vicar of St Mary the Virgin, Martham between 25th August 1669 and his death on 20th March 1683. During this period he also had two other short term jobs. Firstly, he was employed as the schoolmaster at the Free School at Martham during 1675 & 1676 having been appointed by Robert Pepper “to teach grammar and the art of writing in Martham and elsewhere within the diocese”. He also helped out at Repps with Bastwick with curate duties from between 22nd February 1676 and 18th September 1677.
Either he was very well thought of in Martham or he had a good sense of humour because someone wrote in the baptism church register of 1677 that “This Ben Lawrence was a clever man”. Perhaps he wrote it himself!
It is thought he died at Martham but there is no record of that or of him being buried there.
Sources: Appointment information courtesy of the: Clergy of the Church of England Database at https://theclergydatabase.org.uk