[Prof. Moore Smith's Introduction to the Latin comedy Pedantius, Louvain, 1905, pp. xii–xvii; Lysons's Environs, iii. 249, 254; Lysons's Middlesex Parishes, p. 2; Newcourt's Repertorium, i. 695; Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser.; Overall's Remembrancia, pp. 555–6; Chester's London Marriage Licenses (Foster), col. 501; Administration Act re Ann Forsett, granted May 1645 (P. C. C.); Will of Robert Forsett, proved by decree, January 1688 (P. C. C. 125, Exton); Administration Act re Edward Forsett, April 1674 and Oct. 1693 (P. C. C.); Will of Anne Forsett, proved May 1690 (P. C. C. 69, Dyke).]
Comparative Discovrse of the Bodies Natvral and Politiqve. Wherein … is set forth the true forme of a Commonweale, with the dutie of Subiects, and the right of the Soueraigne,’ 4to, London, 1606. At page 51 he makes interesting allusion to the Gunpowder plot; he also argues strongly for union with Scotland (p. 58). 2. ‘A Defence of the Right of Kings; wherein the power of the papacie ouer princes is refuted, and the oath of allegeance iustified. (An examination of a position published by P. R. [i.e. Robert Parsons] in the preface of his treatise … concerning the lawfullnesse of the Popes power ouer princes),’ 4to, London, 1624, dedicated to James I. It had been written ten or twelve years previously, and was at length published by a friend who signs himself ‘F. B.’ Wood confounds the above Edward Forsett with another of the same names, whom he describes as ‘a gentleman's son of Lincolnshire, and of the same family with the Forsets of Billesby in that county’ (Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 5). In 1590, ‘or thereabouts, he became a commoner of Lincoln College, Oxford, aged eighteen; but leaving that house without the honour of a degree, retired at length to his patrimony.’ An Edward Forsett ‘of Billesby, co. Lincoln, gent.,’ was examined before Popham and Coke in April and May 1600, when he was charged with being a papist and with denying the queen's title to the crown (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1598–1601, pp. 423–5, 430, 434).
FORSHALL, JOSIAH (1795–1863), librarian, born at Witney in Oxfordshire on 29 March 1795, was the eldest son of Samuel Forshall. He received some of his education at the grammar schools of Exeter and Chester, and in 1814 entered Exeter College, Oxford. He graduated B.A. in 1818, taking a first class in mathematics and a second in litt. hum. He became M.A. in 1821, and was elected fellow and tutor of his college. He was appointed an assistant librarian in the manuscript department of the British Museum in 1824, and became keeper of that department in 1827. In 1828 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. He edited the catalogue of the manuscripts in the British Museum (new series): pt. i. the Arundel MSS.; pt. ii. the Burney MSS.; pt. iii. index, 1834, &c. fol., and also the ‘Catalogus Codicum Manuscriptorum Orientalium [in the Brit. Mus.]: Pars Prima Codices Syriacos et Carshunicos amplectens,’ 1838, &c. fol. He also edited the ‘Description of the Greek Papyri’ in the Brit. Mus., pt. i. 1839, 8vo. In 1828 he had been appointed secretary to the museum, and in 1837 resigned his keepership in order to devote himself exclusively to his secretarial duties. He was examined before the select committee appointed to inquire into the museum in 1835–6, and made some curious revelations on the subject of patronage. As secretary he had much influence with the trustees. He was greatly opposed to any attempts to ‘popularise’ the museum. In 1850 he published a pamphlet entitled ‘Misrepresentations of H.M. Commissioners [who inquired into the British Museum in 1848–9] exposed,’ and about that time retired from the museum on account of ill-health. After his resignation Forshall lived in retirement, spending much of his time, till his death, at the Foundling Hospital, of which he had been appointed chaplain in 1829. He died at his house in Woburn Place, London, on 18 Dec. 1863, after undergoing a surgical operation. Forshall was a man of ability, and of a kindly disposition. Besides the catalogues already mentioned he published, in conjunction with Sir F. Madden, the well-known edition of ‘The Holy Bible … in the earliest English Versions made by John Wycliffe and his followers,’ 1850, 4 vols. 4to. To this work he had given up much time during twenty-two years. He also published editions of the Gospels of St. Mark (1862, 8vo), St. Luke (1860, 8vo), and St. John (1859, 8vo), arranged in parts and sections, and some sermons. His works ‘The Lord's Prayer with various readings and critical notes’ (1864), 8vo, and ‘The First Twelve Chapters of … St. Matthew’ in the received Greek text, with various readings and notes, 1864, 8vo, were published posthumously.[Gent. Mag. 1864, 3rd ser. xvi. 128; Statutes and Rules of the Brit. Mus. (1871); Cowtan's Memories of the Brit. Mus. 6, 66, 69, 365–76; Brit. Mus. Cat.]
FORSTER, BENJAMIN (1736–1805), antiquary, was born in Walbrook, London, 7 Aug. 1736, being the third son of Thomas Forster, a descendant of the Forsters of Etherston and Bamborough, and his wife