Parsons, Sir Lawrence (c.1637–1698) landowner and soldier, was the eldest son of William Parsons, of Parsonstown (Birr), King's Co., and Dorothy, daughter of Sir Thomas Phillips (qv) of Newtown Limavady, Co. Londonderry. His father, who died in 1652, was a parliamentary colonel who withstood a lengthy siege in Birr Castle, of which he was governor, after the outbreak of rebellion in 1641. His grandfather, Lawrence Parsons, was attorney general for Munster, and a younger brother of Sir William Parsons (qv), joint lord justice (1640–43), and first of the family in Ireland.
In 1662 he was a sheriff of King's Co., and was appointed one of the trustees for arrears of pay due to officers in the king's service before 5 June 1649; this commission was reconstituted in 1675. In 1677 he was made a baronet. Under the lord deputyship of Tyrconnell (qv), as Irish protestant apprehensions grew, he moved his family to England after a servant alleged that his wife had made a treasonable remark. He left a tenant and servant of long standing, Heward Oxburgh (qv), in charge of his estate, with instructions to use his rentals to pay certain debts, and to remit payments to him in England; when these did not materialise, he returned to Ireland. He found his agent had become high sheriff of the county, and was colonel of a regiment which was financed with the income he should have received.
When he reoccupied his castle, he quickly found himself besieged by Oxburgh's forces. Under duress he signed articles, only to find himself tried for treason, and sentenced to death. Imprisoned in his castle, he was reprieved from execution several times, and eventually in April 1690 he was moved to Dublin, and was released shortly after the battle of the Boyne. He was again appointed high sheriff of King's County, and returned to Birr to secure the area against Jacobites and tories. He was involved in one notable skirmish on 11 August, before returning to Dublin to meet his wife and children who had travelled from England. Birr was subsequently occupied by Williamite forces, who levelled much of the town in order to make their positions more defensible.
He is said to have been promised £5,000 by King William (qv) in compensation for the depredations he endured, but this sum does not appear to have been paid. In 1695 he petitioned to be excused from crown rent arrears on the rectory of Dunboyne, advancing as reasons both the fact that Dunboyne had been occupied by Jacobites and his defence of Birr; this request was granted in 1697.
He married Frances, youngest daughter of William Savage of Rheban Castle, near Athy in Co. Kildare and of Frances, daughter of Walter Weldon, of St John's Bower, Co. Kildare. His eldest son, William (1661–1741), who succeeded to the baronetcy, served in the Williamite forces, and was MP for King's Co. (1692–1741). Lawrence Parsons died in 1698.