Forster, Nathaniel (1726?-1790) (DNB00)

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FORSTER, NATHANIEL, D.D. (1726?–1790), writer on political economy, son of the Rev. Nathaniel Forster of Crewkerne, Somerset, and cousin of Nathaniel Forster, D.D., the editor of Plato [q. v.], was born in 1726 or 1727. He matriculated at Oxford, as a member of Balliol College, 12 Feb. 1741–2, but migrated to Magdalen College (where he was elected a demy in 1744), and graduated B.A. in 1745, and M.A. in 1748. He resigned his demyship in 1754 (Bloxam, Magdalen College Register, vi. 264). Returning to Balliol College on being elected a fellow of that society, he took the degrees of B.D. and D.D. by cumulation in 1778. He became rector of All Saints Church, Colchester, and chaplain to the Countess Dowager of Northington. When Dr. Samuel Parr left Stanmore in 1777 to become master of the school at Colchester, he was received by Forster with open arms, and was offered by him the curacies of Trinity Church and St. Leonard's in addition to the school. The conversation of Forster was peculiarly interesting to Parr, who never mentions him in his correspondence without some term of admiration. Forster was instituted to the rectory of Tolleshunt Knights, Essex, in 1764. He died on 12 April 1790, aged 63. He left an only son, Edward (1769–1828) [q. v.]

Besides four single sermons, which are characterised by Parr as very excellent, he published the following political treatises: 1. ‘An Answer to a pamphlet entitled “The Question Stated, whether the Freeholders of Middlesex forfeited their right by voting for Mr. Wilkes at the last Election.”’ London, 1749, 4to (anon.) 2. ‘An Enquiry into the Causes of the present High Price of Provisions,’ London, 1767, 8vo (anon.) M'Culloch remarks that ‘this is perhaps the ablest of the many treatises published about this period on the rise of prices. It contains, indeed, not a few principles and conclusions that are quite untenable; but the comprehensiveness of the author's views and the liberal and philosophical spirit by which the work is pervaded make it both valuable and interesting’ (Literature of Political Economy, p. 193). 3. ‘A Letter to Junius, by the author of the Answer to “The Question Stated,”’ London, 1769, 4to. 4. ‘An Answer to Sir John Dalrymple's pamphlet on the Exportation of Wool,’ Colchester, 1782, 8vo. He also compiled the ‘General Index to the twelfth-seventeenth volumes of the Journals of the House of Commons,’ printed by order of the house, London, 1778, fol.

[Foster's Alumni Oxon. ii. 479; Darling's Cyclop. Bibl. i. 1167; Gent. Mag. lx. 376, 473, 1145; Cat. of Oxford Graduates, 1851, p. 238; Parr's Works, ed. Johnstone, i. 94.]

T. C.