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Dorothy Lawson (Constable)

Also Known As: "Lawson;"
Birthdate: (52)
Birthplace: Burton-Constable, Yorkshire, England
Death: March 26, 1632 (48-56)
Newcastle, Northumberland, England (consumption)
Place of Burial: Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland, England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Sir Henry Constable, Kt. and Margaret Constable
Wife of Roger Lawson, Esq.
Mother of Henry Lawson; Ralph Lawson; Dorothy Lawson; Elizabeth Yorke; Edmund Lawson and 3 others
Sister of Catherine Fairfax; Sir Henry Constable, Viscount Dunbar and Mary Constable

Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:

About Dorothy Lawson

Dorothy Constable was born about 1575 in Burton-Constable, Yorkshire, England and died on 26 March 1632 'of consumption.' She was buried on 27 March 1632 in All Saints, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland, England.

Parents: daughter of Sir Henry Constable of Burton Constable, Yorkshire (d. December 15, 1607) and Margaret Dormer (1553-April 26, 1637).


  1. on March 10, 1597, Dorothy married Roger or Robert Lawson of Hilton (b. 1570/1 - d. 1613/4) (son of Sir Ralph Lawson and Elizabeth Brough) 10 Mar 1596/7 Contrated and had at least fourteen children.

Children include:

  1. Ralph (d.1612)
  2. Dorothy (1600-1628), canoness at Louvain
  3. Henry (c.1601-1636)
  4. George
  5. Margaret, Benedictine nun at Ghent
  6. John
  7. Mary, Benedictine nun at Ghent
  8. Roger
  9. Thomas
  10. Edmund (d. 1642/3)
  11. James
  12. Catherine (d.1637)
  13. Anne
  14. Elizabeth

Both Dorothy’s mother and Roger’s (Elizabeth Burgh) were recusants who spent time in prison for their faith. When Dorothy arrived at Brough Hall after her marriage, where she and her husband were to live with his parents until 1605, one of her first acts was to arrange for regular visits from one of the Jesuit priests secretly working in Yorkshire. She was something of a missionary, convincing her in-laws to return to the Catholic faith and seeking converts in the neighborhood, as well. In other houses, at Heaton Hall, Northumberland and St. Anthony’s, she supported a succession of Jesuit chaplains and continued her proselytizing. She was somewhat remarkable in that she was never prosecuted for recusancy. She died of consumption. Three of her daughters embraced the religious life, Dorothy as a canoness at Louvain and Margaret and Mary as Benedictine nuns at Ghent. Biography: William Palmes, Life of Mrs. Dorothy Lawson of St. Antony’s near Newcastle-upon-Tyne in Northumberland was written in the early seventeenth century by her former chaplain; Oxford DNB entry under “Lawson [née Constable], Dorothy.”


After the celebration of Dorothy's marriage, it is stated that

"she was conducted from Wing to Burton, in external pomp and shew like a glorious bride. Shee rested att Burton untill all Holderness came to congratulate, some as friends and allies, others as servants and vassalls, but all promiscously pretending tith to a proportion of the solmenity. From Burton shee departed towards Brough with a far larger retinue than before: But it most encreased at Leeman, a village six miles from the end of her journey, where she was forced to make a halt by Sir Ralph Lawson, who att his first approach (which was glorious to envy) with a hundred horse of his attendance, saluted her with ordinary salute of the kingdom, but after an extraordinary manner, not permitting her to alight; then he took her from horse himself, imparted his benediction, which she humbly craved on her knees in the dust, and mounted her again on a snow white steed he brought for her. ..."


view all 12

Dorothy Lawson's Timeline

Yorkshire, England
Age 15
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, England
Age 20
Age 32
Age 38
Halton, Northumberland, England
March 26, 1632
Age 52
Northumberland, England
March 27, 1632
Age 52
Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland, England