Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 20.djvu/58

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Athenæum,’ the ‘London Magazine,’ the ‘Gentleman's Magazine,’ and the ‘Morning Chronicle.’ In 1817 he published ‘The Beauties of Massinger,’ and in 1820 an abridgment of Blackstone's ‘Commentaries,’ begun by John Giffard and published under his name, which has since been translated into German. On retiring from professional practice he devoted himself to collecting materials for the history of the legal profession, which he lent to Lord Campbell for his ‘Lives of the Chancellors.’ He published in 1843 ‘The Grandeur of the Law,’ and in 1848 the first two volumes of the ‘Judges of England’ appeared. The work was at first unsuccessful, owing to the obscurity and unpopularity of the subject—judges of the Norman period; but as it progressed it rose in favour, until it is now established as the standard authority in its particular field. In recognition of his labours Lord Langdale, to whom the first two volumes were dedicated, procured for him a grant of the entire series of publications of the Record Commission. The third and fourth volumes appeared in 1851, fifth and sixth in 1857, and seventh, eighth, and ninth in 1864. In 1865 he published ‘Tabulæ Curiales,’ and the printing of his ‘Biographia Juridica’—an abbreviation of his ‘Judges of England’—was far advanced when he died of an apoplexy, 27 July 1870. He also contributed to the ‘Standard.’ He was an original member of the Archæological Institute, and contributed a paper on Westminster Hall to its publication, ‘Old London,’ 1867. He contributed to ‘Archæologia’ papers ‘On the Lord Chancellors under King John,’ ‘On the Relationship of Bishop FitzJames and Lord Chief Justice Fitzjames,’ ‘On the Lineage of Sir Thomas More,’ and ‘On the Office and Title of Cursitor Baron of the Exchequer.’ For the Kent Archæological Association, which he helped to found, he wrote a paper ‘On the Collar of S.S.’ (Archæol. Cantiana, vol. i. 1858), and a privately printed volume of poems, ‘A Century of Inventions,’ appeared in 1863. He was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1822, was a member of the council of the Camden Society from 1850 to 1853, and from 1865 to 1870, a member of the Royal Society of Literature from 1837, and on the council of the Royal Literary Fund, and until 1839 secretary to the Society of Guardians of Trade. He was a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant for Kent. He married in 1814 Catherine, eldest daughter of Peter Martineau, by whom he had one son, who died in infancy, and in 1844 Maria Elizabeth, eldest daughter of William Hutchins, by whom he had six sons (of whom the eldest, Edward, a barrister, assisted in the preparation of the ‘Biographia Juridica’) and three daughters.

[Memoir by J. C. Robertson, prefixed to Biographia Juridica; Law Times, 24 Sept. 1870; Notes and Queries, 4th ser. vi. 126.]

J. A. H.

FOSTER, Sir AUGUSTUS (1780–1848), diplomatist, second son of John Thomas Foster, M.P. for Ennis in the Irish House of Commons (nephew of Anthony Foster, lord chief baron of Ireland, and first cousin of John Foster, lord Oriel [q. v.]), by Lady Elizabeth Hervey, daughter of Frederick Augustus, earl of Bristol and bishop of Derry, was born on 1 Dec. 1780, and through the influence of his mother, who had remarried William, fifth duke of Devonshire, he was appointed secretary to the legation of the Right Hon. Hugh Elliot [q. v.] at Naples. In August 1811 he was nominated minister plenipotentiary to the United States of America. His manners were not conciliatory, and he did nothing to stave off the war which broke out in 1812. In that year he returned to England, and was elected M.P. for Cockermouth, and in May 1814 he was nominated minister plenipotentiary at Copenhagen. He remained in Denmark for ten years, during which nothing of importance happened, and in 1815 he married Albinia Jane, daughter of the Hon. George Vere Hobart, who received a patent of precedency as an earl's daughter when her brother succeeded to the earldom of Buckinghamshire in 1832. In 1822 Foster was sworn of the privy council, and in 1824 he was transferred to the court of Turin, and was knighted and made a G.C.H. in the following year. He was further created a baronet ‘of Glyde Court, county Louth,’ on 30 Sept. 1831, and he remained at Turin for no less than sixteen years, until 1840, during which period no event happened to bring his name into notice. In that year he retired from the diplomatic service. On 1 Aug. 1848 he committed suicide by cutting his throat, in a fit of temporary insanity, at Branksea Castle, near Poole, Dorsetshire.

[Foster's Baronetage; Gent. Mag. September 1848.]

H. M. S.

FOSTER, HENRY (1796–1831), navigator, born in August 1796, was the eldest son of Henry Foster, incumbent of Wood Plumpton, near Preston, Lancashire, and was educated under Mr. Saul at Green Row, Cumberland. It was his father's wish that he should take orders, but in 1812 he entered the navy as a volunteer under Captain Morton in the York, and was appointed sub-lieutenant 13 June 1815. In 1815 he served in the Vengeur with Captain Alexander, and in