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British Industrial History

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Maximilian Robert Lawrence

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Maximilian Robert Lawrence (1872-1925)

c 1901 Joins the Lanchester Engine Co as Works Manager

1909 Chairman of the Birmingham Centre Committee of the Institution of Automobile Engineers [1]

1911 Living at 1 Manilla Crescent,, 158 Hagley Road, Edgbaston: Maximilian Robert Lawrence (age 38 born Gotha, Germany (British subject by parentage)), Mechanical Engineer - Manufacturer of Motor Car. With his wife Ettie Lawrence (age 41 born Toplow, Co. Durham). One nurse.[2]

1912 October. Leaves position as works manager of the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Co to take over the Wolseley depot at Deansgate, Manchester.[3].

1914 Agent for Wolseley [4]

1919 Works Superintendent of Straker-Squire [5]

1925/26 Obituary [6]

Maximilian Robert Lawrence was born in 1872, and after receiving technical education at the School of Electrical Engineering and Submarine Telegraphy was apprenticed at the Locomotive Works of the Midland Railway. On the completion of his apprenticeship he was appointed by the Midland Railway Assistant District Locomotive Superintendent at Manchester, which position he occupied for two and a half years.

He then joined the firm of Joshua Buckton and Co, Leeds, as draughtsman and assistant works manager, and from there was appointed mechanical engineer at Stanningley Ironworks.

His next position was that of works manager of the Lanchester Motor Co, Birmingham, with whom he served for four and a half years. He was then appointed work, manager of the Vickers Works at Crayford, and subsequently of Wolseley at Birmingham.

In 1912 he took over the business of the Wolseley Company in Manchester, where he remained until the outbreak of the war, when he returned to the Birmingham works of the Wolseley Company as works superintendent.

In 1917 he was appointed superintendent of the National Projectile Factory at Lancaster. At the end of the war he became manager of Burton, Griffiths and Co of London, and in 1922 joined the Sterling Telephone Co of Dagenham, as works manager, a position he occupied at the time of his death, which took place on 29th August, 1925.

He has been a Member of the Institution of Automobile Engineers since 1908, and far the greater part of the time served as a member of the Council. He was a Vice-President of the Institution from 1908 to 1913, Chairman of the Birmingham Centre from 1911 to 1913 and Chairman of the Manchester Centre from 1913 to 1915.

1925 Obituary [7]

MAXIMILIAN ROBERT LAWRENCE was born in Gotha, Saxony, on 20th June 1872, and received his scholastic education at Helmsley School, Wimbledon, and at the Buntingford Grammar School.

His early technical training was obtained at the School of Electrical Engineering and Submarine Telegraphy, Hanover Square, W.

He served his time, as a pupil, from 1890 to 1895, in the Midland Railway Locomotive Works, Derby, and at the age of twenty-one was appointed assistant district locomotive superintendent on the Midland Railway, Manchester.

Here he remained until 1897, when he left to work, first, as draughtsman with Messrs. Joshua Buckton and Co., Leeds, and then as mechanical engineer at the Stanningley Iron Works, Leeds.

Subsequently motor engineering attracted him, and he became one of the pioneers of that industry, being successively works manager during the years 1900-1904 of the Lanchester Engine Co., Birmingham, and at the Crayford branch of the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Co., Ltd., with subsequent transfer to Birmingham as manager of that Company's larger factory in that city.

In October 1911 he started in business for himself, taking up the Wolseley Agency for the North-West of England and consulting work in motor ploughs and other engineering matters. He was obliged, however, to give this business up soon after the outbreak of the War, and he then returned to works management, first as assistant to the Managing Director of the Wolseley Motors, Ltd., and then as superintendent of the National Projectile Factory at Lancaster.

Just before the conclusion of the War he suffered a severe breakdown in health, but after six months' rest he was able to resume consulting practice in London, partly for Messrs. Burton Griffiths, and partly on his own account, until 1922, when he became works manager of the Sterling Telephone and Electric Company, Ltd., at Dagenham, Essex, a position he held up to the time of his death, which occurred after a few weeks' illness on 29th August 1925.

Mr. Lawrence was extremely interested in matters of design and construction; he contrived trough lubrication in motor-cars and was responsible for many machine-tools and jigs in connexion with motor work.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1905, and in addition to being a Member of the Manchester Association of Engineers, and a Member of Council of the Institution of Automobile Engineers, was the first President of the Institution of Production Engineers, and one of the original Members of the Royal Automobile Club.

Note: His sisters are reputed to have fohhnded Roedean School.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Wednesday, Feb 03, 1909
  2. 1911 Census
  3. The Autocar 1912/10/12
  4. The Times, Monday, Jan 12, 1914
  5. The Times, Tuesday, Jun 03, 1919
  6. 1925/26 Institution of Automobile Engineers: Obituaries‎
  7. 1925 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries