1712-1759, b. Omagh [var. Magherafelt], Co. Tyrone, son of Church of Ireland
curate; ed. TCD, BA 1731l MA, 1734; senior fellow and first librarian,
1743; DD 1745; first Erasmus Smith lecturer on oratory and history, 1753;
his Lectures Concerning Oratory (Faulkner 1758); selected sermons,
1764; preched at inauguration of Rotunda Hospital. ODNB.
W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (1984), John
Lawson, Erasmus Smiths Professor of Oratory and History from 1750
to 1759, gave a rousing series of lectures on oratory in which he commended
the Greeks as valiant lovers of Liberty, giving this
as the reason why the Arts and Sciences, and especially Oratory, flourished
among them. Stanford wonders whether Leland and Lawson, thought themselves
upholders of the Anglican ascendancy and Kings men, did not ultimately
inflame the young men of the college of a later generation - that of Tone
and Emmet - to snatch up arms [and] march against this Philip, this
Tyrant, this treacherous invader of our Country, as Lawson enthusiastically
summarised the probable effect of Demosthenes phil[l]ipics. [210-211]
Bibl, E.N. Claussen, and KR Wallace, Lectures Concerning Oratory by
John Lawson (Carbondale/London/ Amsterdam 1972).
John V. Luce, review of E. Neal
Claussen and Karl R Wallace, eds., Lectures Concerning Oratory by
John Lawson [Landmarks in Rhetoric and Public Address] (S. Illinois UP
1972), pp.liii, 457, in Hermathena, CXVII (Summer 1974), p.105.
Luce notes tht Lawson was a needy scholar from Magherafelt [sic], entered
TCD Univ., 1727, sizar, schol., fellow; Erasmus Prof. of Oratory and History,
1750 [sic], and Professor of Divinity in 1752; became first professor
of oratory in British Isle to produce major book on his subject, Lectures
&c., George Faulkner 1758), published two months posthumously;
here rep.facsimile, with intro. by Claussen and Wallace; Lawson well-grounded
in classics as undergraduate, took duties seriously as divinity instructor;
much in demand for charity sermons; special preacher at inauguration of
Rotunda Hospital; J[ohn] V. Luce, reviewing, notes that Ireland merged
with Great Britain in the preface and comments after Berkeley, we
Irish know better! (Hermathena, CXVII, Summer 1974, p.105.)
Dictionary of National Biography cites Oratory (1758, eds.
1759 & 1760), to which is appended Irene, carmen historicum
ad vicecomitem Boyle, poem, rev. edn. with a translation by William
Dunkin (Dublin 1760); also a selection from Sermons (1764), being
Occasional Sermons writyen by the late Eminent Divine (1765, 2nd edn.
1776); appended to which a Latin oration at the funerla of Richard Baldwin,
4 Oct. 1758. Bibl. Ryans Irish Worthies; Cottons
Fasti Eccl. Hibern., ii, 286; Taylor, Dublin University, &c.