December 31, 1859, Foulden, Norfolk, England.
September 9, 1922, Watford, Hertfordshire, England. At his memorial service, Salvation Army General Bramwell Booth said,
He sang his way through this life and he will sing his way through Eternity.
Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington, London, England.
Son of farm worker John Lawley, young John worked on farms until his family moved to Bradford, where he became an
engine-lad. He came to a Christ at a meeting in Pullan’s Theater in Bradford, and a few months later became a Christian Missions evangelist. He wrote his first Gospel song in 1878 while serving at Jarrow-on-Tyne. He went on to work at Salvation Army (SA) corps and divisions, with SA founder William Booth for over 20 years, and also with SA General Bramwell Booth. He was married to Harriet Charteris.