John Lawford was born in 1756 and entered the Royal Navy at a young age, serving during the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
He formed part of Rear Admiral Horatio Nelson’s fleet at the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, captaining HMS Polyphemus. He went on to captain eight HMShips and in 1811 was promoted to Rear Admiral, to Vice Admiral in 1819 and to full Admiral in 1832.
In 1838 he was made a KCB which was the only honorary award given specifically for gallantry at the Battle of Copenhagen 37 years previously.
He was married in 1803 and on his death had served in the Navy for 65 years. He died at his home in Grove Road, now Lisson Grove, St John’s Wood.