William Appleton Lawrence

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William Appleton Lawrence (1889–1968[1]) was the third Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts (1937–57).[2][3] His father, William Lawrence, was the seventh Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts (1893–1927).

Lawrence was the grandson of the notable abolitionist Amos Adams Lawrence and a member of an influential "Boston Brahmin" family, founded by his great-great-grandfather and American revolutionary Samuel Lawrence. His great-grandfather was the noted philanthropist Amos Lawrence.

Education and career[edit]

Lawrence graduated from Harvard College, as was the tradition in his family. In 1925, he was elected as the third bishop to the newly formed Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts and, in 1929, he earned his Doctor of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School.

In 1938, Lawrence created the first diocesan council and recommended that lay employees be included under social security. Then, in 1946, he established Camp Bement, which was closed by the diocese in 2009.

In his retirement, Lawrence developed what is known today as the Clergy Deployment Office.

Lawrence's brother, Frederic C. Lawrence, was suffragan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts (1956–68).


  1. ^ "William Lawrence, Retired Bishop, 79". The New York Times. January 6, 1969. p. 47. 
  2. ^ "Father Consecrates Bishop W. A. Lawrence". The New York Times. January 14, 1937. p. 46. 
  3. ^ "Bishop Hatch Considered By Massachusetts Diocese". The Hartford Courant. June 19, 1957. p. 8. 

External links[edit]

Episcopal Church (USA) titles
Preceded by
Thomas F. Davies
3rd Bishop of Western Massachusetts
1937 – 1957
Succeeded by
Robert McConnell Hatch