- Born: Cir 1718, Virginia
- Marriage: Anne Fairfax in Jul 1743
- Died: 1752, Mt. Vernon, Virginia at age 34
Lawrence is believed to have been born in 1718, the second child of Augustine Washington and Jane Butler (whose first-born son, Butler, died in infancy.) The family was then living in Westmoreland County, Virginia, near the Rappahannock River. In 1729, Augustine took Lawrence and younger son Augustine, Jr., to England and enrolled them in the Appleby School. Augustine would return to Virginia months later and discover that his wife had died, leaving daughter Sarah in the care of the extended Washington family in Westmoreland County. The father remarried in 1731, to a young heiress, Mary Ball.
Lawrence completed his education and returned to Virginia in 1738, to oversee the management of his father's 2,000-plus acre plantation on the Potomac River at Little Hunting Creek (then in Prince William County; after 1742 Fairfax County). In late 1738, Augustine moved his young (second) family to a farm he had recently purchased on the edge of Fredericksburg. Prince William County Deed books reveal that the following spring, March 1739, Lawrence began to purchase tracts of land bordering the family's Little Hunting Creek estate: the purchase, in his own name, indicates Lawrence had attained his "majority" (age 21).
Washington was married in July 1743 to Anne Fairfax (1728-1761), the eldest daughter of Colonel William Fairfax of neighboring Belvoir, himself a land agent for his cousin, Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron. The marriage of the 15-year old Anne to the newly returned 25-year old army veteran appears to have been prompted by Anne's disclosure to her parents that the family's minister, the Reverend Charles Green of Truro Parish, had taken opportunites with her.
The new county of Fairfax was created (from northern Prince William County) in 1742, and Lawrence was elected to Virginia's House of Burgesses in 1744 as a representative for Fairfax (both the county and the family.) In 1747, he joined with his father-in-law and other prominent landowners and businessmen in the Northern Neck to create The Ohio Company of Virginia, with the intention of opening trade to the American interior linked to the Potomac River. To do so, the Company required an "entrepot", a gateway for trade. The site of Hugh West's tobacco warehouse, on the western banks of the Potomac near the mouth of (Great) Hunting Creek, was deemed a suitable location because its deep water access allowed ships from London to sail directly to the wharf. However, the local tobacco planters were desirous of siting a new town away from the river (and its "played out" tobacco fields) and further upstream on Hunting Creek. During the legislative session of 1748-49, Lawrence was responsible for promoting the river site and securing the votes necessary to approve a new town on the Potomac, where it would best serve the interests of the Ohio Company. In May 1749, Governor William Gooch signed an Act to establish the town of Alexandria, and Lawrence was granted permission to "be absent from the Service of the House, for the Recovery of his Health." Prior to the first public auction of town lots, in July 1749, Lawrence sailed to London to conduct business on behalf of the Ohio Company, and to consult English physicians regarding his health. His younger brother George, an aspiring land surveyor, attended the "Public Vendue" (auction) and copied the town map, "A Plan of Alexandria, Now Belhaven", and listed the selling prices of individual lots for his brother. Although established as "Alexandria", the town was immediately called "Belhaven" - in honor of Scottish patriot John Hamiliton, 2nd Lord Belhaven. In 1751, the town council held the "Belhaven Lottery" to raise money for a city hall, and George Washington's correspondence throughout the French and Indian War of the late 1750s referred to "Belhaven".
George Washington accompanied his half-brother Lawrence to the warm springs at Bath (present-day Berkeley Springs, West Virginia), which Lawrence visited frequently to improve his health. In 1751, they travelled together to Barbados </wiki/Barbados> hoping that its climate might further help Lawrence who was now very ill with tuberculosis. This was the only trip that George Washington ever took outside the confines of what was to become the United States of America. Upon the death of Lawrence's widow, George inherited his estate at Mount Vernon, which Lawrence had named in honour of British Admiral Edward Vernon, with whom Lawrence had served. Lawrence died of tuberculosis at his "Mount Vernon home, in July 1752. His widow remarried into the Lee family shortly thereafter, allowing 20-year old George to live at, and manage, the Mount Vernon plantation.
Lawrence and Anne had several children (none of whom survived childhood):
b. Sep. 27, 1744
d. Jan. 1745
b. Aug. 22, 1747
d. Oct. 1747
Note: It was common for the first-born male child to be given his mother's surname.
b. Sept. 28, 1748
b. Nov. 7, 1750
d. 1754 (?)
Note: She was her father's heir. Had she lived she would have inherited the property now known as Mount Vernon instead of her uncle George Washington
Lawrence married Anne Fairfax in Jul 1743. (Anne Fairfax was born in 1728 and died in 1761.)