English Christian Hebraist; born in Bath 1760; died in Dublin 1838. He was made regius professor of Hebrew and canon of Christ Church, Oxford, in 1814, and Archbishop of Cashel, Ireland, in 1822. His chief contribution to Biblical scholarship was his study of the Ethiopic versions of certain pseudepigrapha: "Ascensio Isaiæ Vatis" (Oxford, 1819); "Primi Ezræ Libri . . . Versio Æthiopica" (ib. 1820); "The Book of Enoch the Prophet" (ib. 1821; other ed. 1832, 1838), from a manuscript in the Bodleian Library brought from Abyssinia by Bruce; these were all provided with Latin and English translations. Though these editions have been superseded, through the discovery of better texts and the employment of better critical methods, Laurence is entitled to the credit of having revived the study of Ethiopic, which had been neglected in England since the time of Walton. He published also "The Book of Job" (Dublin, 1828)—the Authorized Version, arranged in conformity with the Masoretic text.
- Dictionary of National Biography.