T. E. Lawrence : biography
Lawrence was born on 16 August 1888 in Tremadog, Caernarfonshire (now Gwynedd), Wales, in a house named Gorphwysfa, now known as Snowdon Lodge. His Anglo-Irish father, Thomas Robert Tighe Chapman, who in 1914 inherited the title of Westmeath in Ireland as seventh Baronet, had left his wife Edith for his daughters’ governess Sarah Junner. Junner’s mother, Elizabeth Junner, had named as Sarah’s father a "John Junner — shipwright journeyman", though she had been living as an unmarried servant in the household of a John Lawrence, ship’s carpenter, just four months earlier. The couple did not marry but were known as Mr and Mrs Lawrence.
Thomas Chapman and Sarah Junner had five sons born out of wedlock, of whom Thomas Edward was the second eldest. From Wales the family moved to Kirkcudbright in Dumfries and Galloway, then Dinard in Brittany, then to Jersey. From 1894–96 the family lived at Langley Lodge (now demolished), set in private woods between the eastern borders of the New Forest and Southampton Water in Hampshire. Mr Lawrence sailed and took the boys to watch yacht racing in the Solent off Lepe beach. By the time they left, the eight-year-old Ned (as Lawrence became known) had developed a taste for the countryside and outdoor activities. In the summer of 1896 the Lawrences moved to 2 Polstead Road in Oxford, where, until 1921, they lived under the names of Mr and Mrs Lawrence. Lawrence attended the City of Oxford High School for Boys, where one of the four houses was later named "Lawrence" in his honour; the school closed in 1966. As a schoolboy, one of his favourite pastimes was to cycle to country churches and make brass rubbings. Lawrence and one of his brothers became commissioned officers in the Church Lads’ Brigade at St Aldate’s Church.