Edward Forster the Elder
Edward Forster the elder (1730–1812) was an English banker and antiquary.
He was the son of Thomas Forster, and brother of Benjamin Forster, born on 11 February 1730. He was educated at Felsted School. He then visited the Netherlands and Benjamin Furly, his maternal grandfather.
In 1764 Forster settled at Walthamstow. He was a member of the Mercers' Company, a director of the London Docks, governor of the Royal Exchange, and, for nearly thirty years, of the Russia Company, in which capacity he gave an annual ministerial dinner. When consulted by Pitt as to a forced paper currency he was offered a baronetcy. He is stated to have been the introducer of bearded wheat from Smyrna.
He died at Hoe Street, Walthamstow, 20 April 1812. Joseph Addison, Jonathan Swift, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau were his favourite authors, and Thomas Gray, Richard Gough and Michael Tyson were among his personal friends. One of his letters (Epistolarium Forsterianum, i. 205–26) contains a reference to Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard in 1751.
In 1774 he published the speeches made by him at the bar of the House of Commons on the linen and Russia trades. His other publication was Occasional Amusements, 1809, pp. 87, a volume of verse.
He married Susanna Furney, of an Somerset family, by whom he left three sons, Thomas Furly Forster, Benjamin Meggot Forster, and Edward Forster the Younger (1765–1849), and a daughter Susanna Dorothy (1757–1822), who married the Rev. J. Dixon, rector of Bincombe, Dorset. The collection of letters of John Locke that he was given by Benjamin Furly were published by a grandson, Thomas Ignatius Maria Forster.
- "Forster, Edward (1730-1812)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- "Furly, Benjamin". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- Victoria & Albert page.
- "Forster, Thomas Ignatius Maria". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.