Baron Forester, of Willey Park in the County of Shropshire, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1821 for Cecil Weld-Forester, who had previously represented Wenlock in the House of Commons. Born Cecil Forester, he assumed the additional surname of Weld by royal licence in 1811. His son, the second Baron, also represented Wenlock from 1790 in Parliament, and later served in the Tory administration of Sir Robert Peel as Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (Government Chief Whip in the House of Lords) from 1841 to 1846.
He was succeeded by his younger brother, the third Baron. He sat as a Conservative Member of Parliament for Wenlock for 46 years, and was Father of the House from 1873 to 1874. His nephew, the fifth Baron, also represented Wenlock in Parliament as a Conservative. Both his son, the sixth Baron, and grandson, the seventh Baron, served as Mayor of Wenlock. As of 2017[update], the title is held by the latter's grandson, the ninth Baron, who succeeded his father in 2004.
The family were anciently hereditary foresters of Wellington Hay in Mount Gilbert Forest, and lived at Wellington or at Watling Street Hall (later Old hall), where they had a half virgate of land held by keeping the Hay. John Forester (died c. 1521) leased Wellington Hay from perhaps 1512, and another John Forester bought its freehold in 1555. The family became gentry and several of the family became Members of Parliament for Wenlock. Her Royal Highness Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, was a great-great-granddaughter of the 1st Baron Forester.
- Francis Forester (b. 1623) was High Sheriff of Shropshire in 1652.
- Sir William Forester (1655–1718), his son, inherited Dothill from his half-brother, Richard Steventon (died 1659), in about 1675 and became a Member of Parliament in 1678.
- William Forester (1690–1758), his son, served as MP for Wenlock (with substantial gaps) from 1715 until his death.
- Brooke Forester (1717–1774), his eldest son was its member continuously from 1734 to 1761. He married the heiress of George Weld of Willey Park and inherited that estate.
- George Forester (1735–1811) sat for Wenlock (with gaps) from 1758 to 1790, when he was replaced by his cousin and heir, Cecil, later 1st Baron Forester.
- Cecil Forester, the younger brother of Brooke Forester, held the same seat from 1761 to 1768, during a gap in George's representation of it, and he was the father of the 1st Lord Forester.
Barons Forester (1821)
- Cecil Weld-Forester, 1st Baron Forester (1767–1828)
- John George Weld Weld-Forester, 2nd Baron Forester (1801–1874)
- George Cecil Weld Weld-Forester, 3rd Baron Forester (1807–1886)
- Orlando Watkin Weld Weld-Forester, 4th Baron Forester (1813–1894)
- Cecil Theodore Weld-Forester, 5th Baron Forester (1842–1917)
- George Cecil Beaumont Weld-Forester, 6th Baron Forester (1867–1932)
- Cecil George Wilfred Weld-Forester, 7th Baron Forester (1899–1977)
- George Cecil Brooke Weld-Forester, 8th Baron Forester (1938–2004)
- Charles Richard George Weld-Forester, 9th Baron Forester (born 1975)
Male-line family tree
|Male-line family tree, Barons Forester.|
This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- 'Wellington: Manors and other estates', A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11: Telford (1985), pp. 215-221.Shropshire manor. Date accessed: 20 May 2008.
- Baggs, A. P.; Baugh, G. C.; Cox, D. C.; McFall, Jessie; Stampe, P. A., eds. (1998). "Willey". A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 10, Munslow Hundred (Part), the Liberty and Borough of Wenlock. Victoria County History (digital version courtesy of British History Online). pp. 447–460.
- Milverton, Charles. "Battling for the benefactress". Archived from the original on 19 October 2013.
- Peerage News. http://peeragenews.blogspot.co.uk
- Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990,[page needed]
- Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]