FORSTER, Thomas I (1659-1725), of Adderstone, Northumb.
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Family and Education
b. 6 Aug. 1659, 1st s. of Col. Thomas Forster of Adderstone by Mary, da. of Sir Nicholas Cole, 1st Bt., of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumb. and Brancepeth Castle, co. Dur. educ. Durham sch.; St. John’s, Camb. 1677. m. (1) 27 Jan. 1681, Frances, da. of Sir William Forster of Bamburgh Castle, Northumb., sis. of William* and Ferdinando Forster*, 3s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da.; (2) Mary (d. 1697), 1s. 1da.; (3) bond 14 Feb. 1701, Barbara Lawes, s.p. suc. fa. 1673.1
Sheriff, Northumb. 1703–4.
Descended from a family which had been established at Adderstone since the early 15th century, Forster was the son of the proposed Court candidate for Berwick in the abortive general election of 1688. His first marriage to the eventual coheir of Ferdinando Forster led to his son inheriting Forster’s heavily indebted estate in 1701. The Forsters of Bamburgh had held one of Northumberland’s seats from 1689 to 1701, and having gained this estate the Adderstone branch utilized this electoral interest in 1705. Local and family historians have stated that it was Forster snr. rather than his son and namesake who stood in 1705, but Dyer’s account of the election, the only contemporary source, stated that it was ‘Thomas Forster jun[ior]’ who headed the Northumberland poll. The return simply stated that ‘Thomas Forster of Bamburgh’ had been elected, and it is difficult to state with absolute certainty whether it was the father or son who had headed the Northumberland poll. Assuming it was Forster snr. who was successful at the poll, he voted on 25 Oct. 1705 against the Court candidate for Speaker but was to prove an inactive Member. His only notable activity was in the 1706–7 session when he guided through the House a private bill concerned with Northumberland estates, though he was classed as a Tory in an analysis of the House dating from early 1708. It was certainly Forster jnr. who was returned for Northumberland in 1708, and Forster snr. does not appear to have stood for Parliament again. He died in 1725, being buried on 25 Oct. In his will he left £1,000 to his only surviving daughter Dorothy and his estates to his younger son John (Thomas II* was by then a Jacobite exile).2