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Louise de Kiriline Lawrence


Internationally renowned naturalist, author and nurse, Louise de Kiriline Lawrence was born in 1894 to Swedish aristocrats. Married to a Russian soldier, she was imprisoned in Moscow during the Revolution and her husband executed. Lawrence survived that tragedy to come to Canada in 1927 where she worked as a Red Cross nurse in the hamlet of Bonfield. She was known for driving her dog team around the area. Dr. A.R. Dafoe hired her to help nurse the Quints during their first year but she objected when the little girls were taken from their parents and put on public display.

She married Len Lawrence and moved to Calvin Township (near Mattawa) where she studied wildlife and ornithology. She wrote over 500 reviews, 17 scientific papers, and 5 books on birds and animals and contributed regularly to Audubon Magazine. Her autobiography “”Another Winter, Another Spring”" detailed her early life in Europe and the tragedies that befell her. Her many honours included receiving the John Burroughs Medal for her book “”The Lovely and the Wild”" and an honorary doctorate from Laurentian University where there is a scholarship in her name.

Lawrence passed away at the age of 98 in 1992. Her written work is stored in the National Archives in Ottawa.