FORTH, Hugh (1610-76), of Clapham, Surr.
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Family and Education
bap. 6 July 1610, 1st s. of Robert Forth, brazier, of Standish Gate, Wigan, Lancs. by Catherine, da. of William Gardiner of Wigan. m. (1) Sarah, da. of John Fowle, merchant, of London, 1da.; (2) 8 Sept. 1645, Sarah, da. of William Essington, merchant, of London, s.p.; (3) lic. 10 Oct. 1667, Amy, da. of Robert Gurdon of Assington, Suff., s.p. suc. fa. 1622.1
Commr. for sewers, Kent 1657.2
Four generations of Forth’s ancestors had resided in Wigan. Their efforts to establish kinship with a neighbouring gentry family called Ford had failed, but Forth’s grandfather and uncle were both prominent on the corporation in the reign of James I, and engaged in bitter dispute with the local church authorities. Forth himself, left fatherless at the age of 12, went up to London and became a merchant. On the eve of the Civil War he was lodging in the house of his cousin, Robert Gardiner, in Basinghall Street. Gardiner was one of the leading City Royalists, but Forth was not implicated in his cousin’s activities. He was not allowed to draw Gardiner’s dividends from the East India Company during the war, but he did secure the desequestration of the house in 1646. He was returned to Richard Cromwell’s Parliament for his home town, and in 1660 he was re-elected, this time together with his former landlord’s son, William Gardiner. As one of the small group of Members commissioned on 9 May to raise a loan of £30,000 in the City, he immediately offered £