Anthony Foster

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Anthony Foster (1705 – April 1779), of Collon, Co Louth, was an Irish politician and judge.

He was the son of John Foster of Dunleer and Elizabeth Fortesque. He was Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer 1766-1777. Prior to appointment to the Bench he represented Dunleer in the Irish House of Commons from 1738 to 1761 and subsequently Louth from 1761 to 1767.[1]

He attended the school in Dublin run by Thomas Sheridan, the friend of Jonathan Swift and grandfather of Richard Brinsley Sheridan.[2] He matriculated from the University of Dublin in 1722 and took his degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1726. He entered Middle Temple in 1726 and was called to the Irish Bar in 1732.[2] He became King's Counsel in 1760 and acted as counsel to the Board of Revenue; unlike many of his judicial colleagues he was never a Law Officer or Serjeant-at-law.

As a member of Parliament he worked tirelessly to promote the interests of the manufacturers of Irish linen ;[3] there is no reason to doubt his belief in the cause, although Ball rather cynically notes that it brought him rich rewards, including a gold box. As an orator ( a much -prized skill among public figures then ) he was badly thought of, being described as "slow. sleepy and charmless".[3]

He married firstly Elizabeth Burgh, daughter of William Burgh,[2] in 1736; she died in 1744. They had three children:

He married secondly Elizabeth's cousin Dorothea Burgh, daughter of Thomas de Burgh in 1749.[4]


  1. ^ Ball, F. Elrington The Judges in Ireland 1221-1921 John Murray London 1926 Vol.2 p.213
  2. ^ a b c d Ball p.214
  3. ^ a b Ball p.161
  4. ^ Burke's Peerage, see Massereene and Ferrard
Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by
Francis North
Thomas Tennison
Member of Parliament for Dunleer
With: Thomas Tennison
Succeeded by
John Foster
Thomas Tennison
Preceded by
Thomas Tipping
William Henry Fortescue
Member of Parliament for Louth
With: James Fortescue
Succeeded by
Stephen Sibthorpe
James Fortescue