Thomas Forster

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Thomas Forster

Thomas Forster (29 March 1683 – October 1738) was a Northumbrian landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1708 to 1716. He served as general of the Jacobite army in the 1715 Uprising and subsequently fled to France.

Life[edit]

Forster was a member of the prominent Forster family of Bamburgh and Adderstone Hall, the son of Thomas Forster (1659-1725) of Adderstone, who was Member of Parliament for Northumberland 1705-1708 and High Sheriff of Northumberland in 1703. His mother was Frances Forster, daughter of Sir William Forster of Bamburgh Castle. He was, in 1700, co-heir, with his aunt Dorothy Crew (wife of Lord Crew, Bishop of Durham) of the estates of Bamburgh and Blanchland which had been bankrupted by financial extravagance. Although Lord Crew purchased the forfeited estates and settled the debts, the heirs were comparatively impoverished.

Forster was returned as Tory Member of Parliament (MP) for Northumberland at the 1708 general election and was returned again at the elections of 1710, 1713 and 1715.[1] The Forsters were cousins to the Radcliffes. The head of the family Lord Derwentwater, himself a cousin of the Old Pretender, was a leader of the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion. Although a Protestant, with no military experience, Forster was elected to lead the Jacobite army. Under his direction Lancelot Errington captured the island of Lindisfarne. Forster was heavily defeated at the Battle of Preston and surrendered. Imprisoned in Newgate Prison, he escaped in 1716 to France where he served at the exiled Stuart court. The details of his escape and the text of the royal proclamation ordering his arrest were published by the contemporary commentator Boyer (1716).[2] Forster was attainted and expelled from Parliament in 1716.[3] He died in France in October 1738. His body was returned to England and buried at Bamburgh.

Physical description[edit]

He was described as follows in the 1716 royal proclamation ordering his arrest:[4]

A person of middle stature, inclining to be fat, well shaped except that he has stoops in the shoulders, fair complexioned, his mouth wide, his nose pretty large, his eyes grey, speaks the northern dialect".

Sources[edit]

  • History and Antiquities of North Durham (1852) Rev James Raine, page 307

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FORSTER, Thomas II (1683-1738), of Adderstone, Northumb". History of Parliament Online (1690-1715). Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  2. ^ Boyer, Abel, Political State of Great Britain, Volume IX, London, 1716, pp.387-90 [1]
  3. ^ "FORSTER, Thomas (1683-1738), of Adderstone, Northumb". History of Parliament Online (1715-1754). Retrieved 18 August 2018. 
  4. ^ Boyer, Abel, Political State of Great Britain, Volume IX, London, 1716, pp.387-90
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir John Delaval
Thomas Forster
Member of Parliament for Northumberland
1708–1716
With: Earl of Hertford
Succeeded by
Francis Blake Delaval
Earl of Hertford