Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/238

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Forsyth
Forsyth
226

scribed it as an accident, but this did not suit the English government, and, with a view to exacting compensation, Russell's death was represented as the result of a deliberate plot.

Meanwhile various accusations, prompted perhaps by local feuds, were brought against Forster; he was said to have winked at murder, set thieves at liberty, executed others on insufficient ground, and had dealings with Northumberland wreckers. Articles embodying these accusations were drawn up on 27 Sept. 1586, and Forster was dismissed from his office. Lord Hunsdon, however, thought the charges frivolous, and about April 1588 Forster was restored. He held the wardenry until October 1595, when he was superseded by Lord Eure: his removal was due partly to his old age, and partly to a renewal of the charges against him. On 24 Oct. 1597 he was nearly surprised at Bamborough Castle by a party of Scots, and was only saved by Lady Forster promptly bolting the door of his chamber (Border Papers, ii. 441). He died at Bamborough on 13 Jan. 1601-2 (ib. ii. 780), leaving several sons and daughters by his wife Jane, daughter of Cuthbert Radcliffe, and widow of Robert, fifth baron Ogle; his son Nicholas was deputy-warden under his father, was knighted in 1603, and was father of Sir Claudius Forster, created a baronet on 7 March 1619-20 (see G. E. C[okayne], Complete Baronetage, i. 137); his daughter Juliana, wife of Francis, lord Russell, was mother of Edward, third earl of Bedford, and another daughter, Grace, married Sir William Fenwick of Wallington, and was mother of Sir John Fenwick (1579-1658?) [q. v.]

[Border Papers, 1560-1603, passim; Hamilton Papers, vol. ii.; Thorpe's Cal. of Scottish State Papers, 1509-1603; Bain's Cal. of Scottish State Papers, 1547-69; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547-1602, and Addenda, 1547-65; Cotton MSS. Calig. B. viii. 217, ix. 222, 230, 278-9, 337, 360, 390, C. i. 303, 384, iii. 442-3, 449, iv. 7, 48-50, v. 24, 40, vi. 74, 163, vii. 2, 71, 76, 233, viii. 2, 14, 39, 155, 273, ix. 157, 172 287, 314-5, D. i. 308; Lansd. MS. viii. 65; Harleian MS. 6999, art. 97; Acts P.C. ed. Dasent, vols. i-xxi.; Strype's Works (general index); Froude's Hist. of England; Burke's Landed Gentry, 1900; Hodgson's Hist. of Northumberland; A. H. Foster-Barham's Descendants of Roger Foster, 1897.]

A. F. P.

FORSYTH, WILLIAM (1812–1899), man of letters, eldest son of Thomas Forsyth of Birkenhead by his wife Jane Campbell (Hamilton), was born on 25 Oct. 1812 at Greenock, where his parents were then residing. After education at Sherborne school, he was on 9 Dec. 1829 entered as a pensioner at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was admitted scholar 4 May 1832, minor fellow 2 Oct. 1835, major fellow 4 July 1837. He took his B.A. degree in 1834, being third senior optime, third in the first class of the classical tripos, and second chancellor's medallist, and he proceeded M.A. in 1837. He became a student at the Inner Temple on 10 April 1834, was called to the bar on 22 Nov. 1839, and went the Midland circuit, where he had considerable success as an advocate. In 1841 he published his first legal treatise, 'On the Law of Composition with Creditors.' This was succeeded by 'The Law relating to Simony' (1844), 'The Law relating to the Custody of Infants' (1850), 'Fides Laici,' an essay (1850), a careful and trustworthy study of 'The History of Trial by Jury,' 1852 (quoted with high commendation in Lieber's 'Civil Liberty and Self-Government,' 1856), and, many years later, by 'Cases and Opinions on Constitutional Law … with Notes' (1869). In 1859 Forsyth was appointed standing counsel to the secretary of state for India, and this appointment he held until 1872. He was also a member of the council of legal education from 1860. His interest in politics led him to stand for parliament, and he was elected for the borough of Cambridge in the conservative interest in July 1865. But he was unseated on petition on the ground that the office of standing counsel to the secretary of state for India was one of profit under the crown, and disqualified him from sitting in parliament. After he had relinquished this office he was an unsuccessful candidate for the representation of Bath in 1873; but he was returned for Marylebone at the general election of 1874, and held the seat until 1880. Though a clear and forcible speaker, his public utterances in the House of Commons were not frequent. High expectations were formed of him when he first entered parliament, but they were never realised. Men of far less knowledge and experience, but with a greater command over the house, easily passed him by in the race. There was, in fact, much more of the student and the fellow of Trinity about Forsyth than of the politician or the parliamentary hand. His claims as a man of letters were recognised not only by his appointment as editor of the 'Annual Register' (1842-68), but by his being urged repeatedly to write both for the 'Edinburgh' and 'Quarterly' Reviews. To the former he contributed essays on 'Brougham' and 'Criminal Procedure; 'to the latter 'The Kingdom of Italy' (1861), and a cordial review of Foss's 'Judges