‘The Lawrence Asylum’ was built as a memorial to Major General Sir Henry Montgomery Lawrence, CB, BT, LT.COL., ADC to Queen Victoria, KCB, who early in 1856, offered a sum of Rs.5,000 down and Rs.1,000 per annum if action were taken to found, at some Madras hill-station, an Asylum similar to those already established at Sanawar and Mount Abu. In February of 1856, a Meeting was held in Ootacamund to make every effort to carry out the project. From the beginning, difficulty arose as to the religious principles to be inculcated at the Institution. However, a prospectus for ‘The Ootacamund Asylum for the Orphans and other children of European soldiers in India’, on a strictly Protestant basis, was issued. A Committee was formed with the Bishop of Madras, Rt. Rev. Thomas Dealtry as its President.
The Committee then sought the aid of the Government, but the latter said that their action would depend on the support received from the Army. It must be noted that the Commander-in-chief objected to the restriction of the Institution to Protestants. The Government also stated that the Institution must adopt the rules of the Sanawar Asylum from which the Committee had proposed to deviate.
In his will and testament, Sir Henry Lawrence had commended the scheme of the founding of an Asylum at a hill station under the Madras Presidency, to the care of the East India Company. This led to the project being revived in 1858. At a Meeting held in Ootacamund, in August of the same year, it was resolved to found the institution by adopting the Mount Abu Rules. A new committee was formed of which Bishop Dealtry was again the Patron. The Ootacamund Lawrence Asylum was primarily instituted on 6th September, 1858 in the memory of Major General Sir Henry Montgomery Lawrence, KCB, to provide vocational education to the orphans and the other children of European soldiers in India. Early in 1859, the ‘Stone House’ was purchased at the cost of Rs.22,600 for the Institution from where it functioned until the building at Lovedale was completed.
Lovedale was selected as the permanent site for the Ootacamund Lawrence Asylum, by a Committee appointed for the purpose. According to the Committee, Lovedale was described to be, “a fine and healthy situation; a very large extent of level ground, more than sufficient for every purpose of building and play- ground; an almost unlimited extent of level ground and slopes for free and unrestrained bodily exercise…”. In its Report, the Committee also stated that Lovedale had “ample space for its present and future wants to whatever extent the Institution may hereafter grow.” Indeed, the Institution grew and with the passage of time, the School metamorphosed into one of the premier residential public schools of the country. The Senior School is housed in a magnificent two-storey building with a towering campanile of 130 feet, built in Italian Gothic style and designed by Architect Robert Fellowes Chisholm.
The School was under British administration until May 1949, after which the school was handed over to the Government of India. On the 6th of September, 1949, the School was presented the Indian Union Colour, which replaced the old King’s Colour. After the takeover by the Government of Independent India, The Lawrence School was run as a public school, open to all, with a 40 percent reservation of seats and a 20 percent fee subsidy for children of Defence Personnel.
The administration of The Lawrence School, Lovedale is vested in an autonomous body known as the Board of Governors appointed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. The School is neither exclusive nor elitist and it maintains a Secular and Cosmopolitan culture. In fact, the School is a miniature India, for children from many communities from all parts of the country and overseas, study here. They are brought up in an atmosphere that fosters a spirit of co-existence and respect for the feelings and beliefs of others.
Lovedale is situated about 6 kilometres from Ootacamund, on the central plateau of the Nilgiri Hills. It is about 7200 feet above mean sea level and its climate is temperate throughout the year. The School stands on its own estate of about 710 acres, and the local railway station, Lovedale, which is on the Ootacamund-Mettupalayam metre gauge hill Railway, adjoins the School estate.
To nurture the conscience and intellect of every student and staff member in a caring and inspiring environment.
Create a cohesive identity of a 'Lawrencian' whose learning orientation cultivates ingenuity and innovation, courage and compassion with an inherent spirit of universal responsibility.
Engender a culture of continuous 'life long learning' through the development of curricula and innovative pedagogy.
Build synergy at various levels of its human resources to facilitate a safe, healthy, caring and student's centered co-educational residential 'living and learning' space.
Develop and sustain quality systems in School governance, educational and support services, performance review and continual improvement.
Harness the collective energy and talent of our alumni, assimilate and internalise the legendary Lawrencian spirit of "Never Give In".