Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/237

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Forster
Forster
225

ster plenipotentiary to the Argentine Republic (9 Feb. 1878), and undertook some rather delicate negotiations for renewing diplomatic relations between Uruguay and Great Britain, which ended in his being made British minister at Montevideo as well as in Buenos Ayres. In June 1879 he was appointed to Brazil, and in March 1881 to Athens. On 15 Dec. 1884 he was appointed minister at Madrid, and when the legation there was raised to the rank of an embassy he became ambassador on 8 Dec. 1887. He felt at home in Spain, the art treasures of which country appealed to him both as a connoisseur and a collector. During his eight years' tenure of office there he acted in 1884 and 1885 as British commissioner at Paris for the settlement of the Newfoundland fisheries dispute, a subject which he had studied with minute care. Unfortunately the conventions which he drew up, and in which he got his French fellow-commissioners to concur, were never carried out.

He was more successful in the negotiations which terminated with the signature of the Anglo-Spanish commercial convention of 26 April 1886. For these services he was made a G.C.M.G. in 1886, was sworn a privy councillor on 10 Aug. 1888, and promoted G.C.B. on 29 April 1889.

In January 1892 he was transferred from Madrid to Constantinople. The promotion was unsought by Ford, who soon found himself unequal to the strain of a position so difficult, and in December 1893 he procured his transference to Rome, where he remained until he was superannuated in 1898.

He received the Jubilee medal in 1897. He died at Paris on 31 Jan. 1899. His bedside was attended by his son, John Gorman Ford, who was nominated an attaché on 16 Feb. 1892, and became third secretary of the embassy at Rome on 8 Feb. 1897.

[Times, 1 Feb. 1899; Foreign Office List; Men of the Time, 13th ed.; Camden Pratt's People of the Period, i. 402; Fraser's Magazine, October 1858.]

T. S.

FORSTER or FOSTER, Sir JOHN (1520?–1602), warden of the marches, born about 1520, was son of Sir Thomas Forster (d. 1527) of Etherston, Northumberland, marshal of Berwick, and his wife Dorothy, daughter of Robert, fourth baron Ogle. Trained from early youth in the methods of border warfare, he was in August 1542 put in command of Harbottle Castle with a garrison of a hundred men. On 23 Nov. following he fought at Solway Moss under Thomas, first baron Wharton [q. v.], and claimed to have captured Robert, fifth baron Maxwell [q. v.]; Tunstall and Suffolk, however, determined that Maxwell's real captor was Edward Aglionby. In the autumn of 1543 Forster was engaged in a burning foray on the Rule (Hamilton Papers, ii. 119, 139), and on 10 Sept. 1547 he fought at Pinkie; he was knighted by Protector Somerset at Roxburgh on the 28th (Lit. Remains of Edward VI, Roxburghe Club, p. 220). On 7 Jan. 1548-9 he burnt Hume Castle and the villages in its neighbourhood, and from November 1549 to November 1550 he served as sheriff of Northumberland. Before the end of Edward VI's reign he was granted the captaincy of Bamborough Castle inreversion after Sir John Horsey's death. Horsey died in 1555, and Queen Mary, having caused the patent to be examined,confirmed Forster's appointment (Acts P. C. 1554-6, p. 133). His implication in a border feud (see Strype, Eccl. Mem. iii. ii. 69) was pardoned on the ground that he was 'a man of great service on the borders and did notably well now of late' (Acts P.C. 1557-8, pp. 270, 338, 396). This reputation he justified in the summer of 1557 by checking a Scots raid into England, and then severely handling the raiders on their retreat to Scotland.

Forster, whose interests lay exclusively in border warfare and family feuds, had no difficulty in complying with the various religious changes of the time; he continued his service on the borders under Elizabeth, and on 4 Nov. 1560 he was appointed warden of the middle marches. This office he held for thirty-five years, and he had some part, either as warden or as special commissioner, in most of the dealings between England and Scotland almost to the end of Elizabeth's reign; references to him occupy seven columns in the index to the 'Border Papers.' On 4 Aug. 1563 he was appointed a commissioner to treat concerning the delimitation of the borders, and on 10 Jan. 1564-5 to discuss the position of Moray and other Scots exiles in England. In 1569 he assisted in suppressing the rebellion of the northern earls, and in 1570 chastised the Scots borderers who had helped them. In August 1572 he was ordered to have the Earl of Northumberland executed, and in July 1575 he was captured during a border fray and taken to Jedburgh; he was, however, immediately released by the Scots regent, Moray, on Elizabeth's remonstrances. Ten years later, on 27 July 1585, Forster and his son-in-law, Francis, lord Russell [see under Russell, Francis, second Earl of Bedford], were attacked by Ker of Fernihurst, and Russell was killed. Forster at first de-

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