Elizabeth Lawrence was born in Suffolk to Captain Adams Lawrence and his wife Elizabeth Cutts. When she was four years old, Elizabeth's father was killed in the English Civil War and her mother remarried to a radical Anglican minister. During Elizabeth's teenage years, the Commonwealth fell apart and King Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660. Within two years, Elizabeth's stepfather and thousands of other so-called religious Dissenters were ejected from the Church of England and persecuted. It was during this turbulent time that Elizabeth herself became a Dissenter, and began to keep a daily diary, which she encoded for safety. In 1667, she married Griffith Lloyd, a former Parliamentary army officer. The couple were childless, and Lloyd died about five years later. In 1697, she married Samuel Bury, a Nonconformist minister from Bury St. Edmunds. Mrs. Bury studied music, philology, philosophy, history, mathematics, and Hebrew, and became extremely knowlegeable about herbal remedies. Her diary is the basis of the Account of the Life and Death of Mrs Elizabeth Bury, which was compiled by her her husband and published posthumously. In 1722, the London Mercury printed a piece about Elizabeth Bury's life drawn from this book.