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THE house numbered eight on Park Street is on the site of the Bridewell. This estate was owned successively by Thomas Amory, Dr. John Jeffries, William Payne, John Gore, and Jonathan Amory, Junior. It was bought by the last named in June, 1811, and he lived there until 1828. In October, 1836, the Honorable Abbott Lawrence became its owner, and he occupied it until his death in 1855. Mr. Lawrence was a native of Groton, Massachusetts. At an early age he served as an apprentice in the store of his brother Amos, at Number Thirty-One Cornhill (now a part of Washington Street), Boston. On attaining his majority the brothers formed a partnership under the firm name of A. & A. Lawrence. In 1834 Mr. Lawrence was elected a member of the Twenty-Sixth Congress, and served two years. In 1849 he was appointed U.S. Minister to England, and retained the position until the autumn of 1852, when he returned to Boston. By his will he bequeathed “the mansion-house estate situated in Park Street, Boston,” to his wife, Katharine Bigelow Lawrence, who continued to reside there for several years.
In December, 1863, the trustees of Mr. Lawrence’s estate leased the property to the Union Club of Boston; and the latter became the owner thereof, February 1, 1868. The Union Club was founded in the year 1863, “For the encouragement of patriotic sentiment and opinion.” A condition of membership was “unqualified loyalty to the Constitution and Union of the United States; and unwavering support of the Federal Government in its efforts for the suppression of the Rebellion.”Click the book image to turn to the next Chapter.