Newbold Lawrence (1809-1885) was my wife’s third great grand uncle. He was the son of John Burling Lawrence (1774-1844; my wife’s fourth great-grandfather) and Hannah Newbold (1732-1832). He married Anna Hough Trotter (1821-1893) of Philadelphia. She was the daughter of Joseph Trotter (1783-1853), president of the Bank of Philadelphia.
The portrait of Joseph Trotter
over the mantle at the 29th St house.
Newbold spent the summers of his childhood at Forest Hill, the house that his father Joseph had built. It was perfect for shooting. The property is now at 133rd St and Riverside Drive.
Newbold and Anna moved into 45 East 29th Street in Manhattan in 1851. It was a three story brick row house on what had recently been farm land. They both lived there during the winter season until they died.
The parlor at Christmas
The Lawrences had a Home Dramatic Society. The year 1876 saw these productions:
The house remained in the family at least until the 1920s. The daughter, Caroline (1852-1937), was the last inhabitant; she never married.
Caroline in the Quaker wedding dress of her grandmother Ann Hough.
A surprise party was given one evening to the unmarried daughter who still lived in the house. Gifts of silver were presented to her, that she might have a share in the generosity brought forth at the marriages and anniversaries of the other sisters.
The last family function was held in 1924, a wedding reception for a granddaughter.
It was an old fashioned party to suit the house, illumined only by candle light and gay with flowers. As the bride and groom descended the staircase their departure was in the midst of a shower of rose petals, which afterward lay inches deep on the floor!
Newbold and his brother Alfred developed the area that became Cedarhurst and Lawrence. They had to have a railroad built to the area, it was so remote. There also Newbold built his country house, which the family frequented during the summers.
Lawrence summer home in Lawrence, Long Island
One holiday, July 4, 1877, was commemorated in a poem by C.T. L. (Caroline Trotter Lawrence). It begins
On the bright morn of July fourth,
A party numbering ten set off,
Full of fun and right good will,
Meaning to prove their crabbing skill
Sat “Old White Bridge,” and from its side
To drop their lines in the rising tide.
This party now of which I tell,
Was first led off by N.T. L. [Newbold Trotter Lawrence]
Who carried, basket, net and bait,
For ready use the crabs t’await.
The poem goes on at length, and concludes
Much more indeed the Muse could tell
Of a day we’ll all remember well.
Yet now methinks her lengthy song,
Should finish ere the break of dawn;
And may it prove a pleasant ending
To the happy hours we’ve all been spending.