Walter Roper Lawrence

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Sir Walter Roper Lawrence, Bt
Walter Lawrence Vanity Fair 15 June 1905.jpg
Born (1857-02-09)9 February 1857
Moreton, Herefordshire, England
Died 25 May 1940(1940-05-25) (aged 83)
Occupation Baronet, Author
Notable work The Valley of Kashmir (1895); The India we served (1929);
Spouse(s) Lilian Lawrence
Parent(s) George Lawrence and Catherine Lewis

Sir Walter Roper Lawrence, 1st Baronet, GCIE CB GCVO[1] (9 February 1857 – 25 May 1940) was a member of the British Council-09[2] and an English author who served in the Indian Civil Service under the British in India and wrote travelogues based on his experiences of traveling around the Indian Subcontinent. Over the course of his wanderings, he developed a close affinity with the Indian and Kashmiri people, who figure prominently in his work. His best-known books are The Valley of Kashmir (1895) and The India we Served (1929).

Sir Walter Roper Lawrence was born on 9 February 1857 at his home town Moreton, Herefordshire, England, the son of George Lawrence and Catherine Lewis. He married Lilian Gertrude James on 18 March 1885.

Life in British India[edit]

Sir Walter Roper Lawrence served in the Indian Civil Service Punjab (1879–1895),[3] during which he was a Settlement Commissioner of Kashmir.[4] While traveling in Kashmir, he recorded and produced a brief history on account of the geography, the culture of the people and the tyrannic Dogra rule over Kashmir. During his brief visit to Kashmir Valley, he authored, a first ever recorded, a complete encyclopaeda of Kashmir, The Valley of Kashmir.[5]

Sir Walter Roper Lawrence was the first man who reported about the miseries faced by the people of Kashmir under the autocratic rule of Dogras. He wrote in his book The Valley of Kashmir:[6]

The passage from Hazlitt‘s life of Napoleon, Bonaparte gives a fair idea of Kashmir before the settlement commenced:-

"The peasants were overworked, half-starved, treated with hard words and hard blows, subjected to unceasing exactions and every species of petty tyranny... While in the cities a number of unwholesome and useless professions, and a crowd of lazy menials, pampered the vices or administered to the pride and luxury of the great."

Sir Walter Roper Lawrence served as Private Secretary to Viceroy of India Lord Curzon during 1899–1903. He also accompanied the Prince and Princess of Wales to British India as Chief of the Staff.[7] As an author his major works are The Valley of Kashmir (1895) and The India we served (1929). He died at the age of 83 on 25 May 1940.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34898. p. 4398. 16 July 1940. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  2. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "Sir Walter Roper Lawrence". Retrieved 2012-06-22. [unreliable source]
  3. ^ "Sir Walter Lawrence designations". Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  4. ^ "Walnut In Pandit Heritage – Rituals and Recipes". Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  5. ^ Dov Gavish (2005). A Survey of Palestine Under the British Mandate, 1920–1948 | The valley of Kashmir. Routledge, 2005. p. 275–. ISBN 9780714656519. 
  6. ^ Sir Walter Roper Lawrence (1895). The Valley of Kashmir. Asian Educational Services, 1895. p. 2–. ISBN 9788120616301. 
  7. ^ Helene Petrovna Blavatsky (1929). Theosophical Quarterly Magazine, 1928 to 1929. Kessinger Publishing, 2003. p. 178–. ISBN 9780766152861. Retrieved 22 June 2012.