FORSTER, William (1667-1700), of Bamburgh Castle, Northumb.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1698 - 1 Sept. 1700

Family and Education

b. 28 July 1667, 1st s. of Sir William Forster of Bamburgh by Dorothy, da. and h. of Sir William Selby of Twizell; bro. of Ferdinando Forster. m. settlement 24 June 1693, Elizabeth, da. and h. of William Pert of Arnolds Hall, Mountnessing, Essex, s.p. suc. fa. 1674.1

Offices Held

J.p. Northumb. ?1689-d.; common councilman, Berwick-upon-Tweed 1686-7; commr. for assessment, Northumb. and co. Dur. 1689-90.2


Forster was descended from the illegitimate son of an Elizabethan warden of the marches, who had a grant of Bamburgh from the crown. The men of the family were short-lived; his grandfather died before the Civil War and his father became the ward of the royalist Sir Thomas Liddell, but was too young to take any active part. He served on the militia commission of 1659, no doubt through the influence of his guardian’s kinsman, Sir Henry Vane, and was proposed as knight of the Royal Oak at the Restoration with an income of £1,000 p.a.3

Forster was appointed to the corporation of Berwick at the age of 19, but removed a year later for his ‘misbehaviour’ in promoting an Anglican address. He was returned for Northumberland at the general election as a Tory. An inactive Member of the Convention, he voted to agree with the Lords that the throne was not vacant, and was named to three committees, of which the most important was to inquire into the sending of children overseas to be educated as Roman Catholics. He continued to sit for the county as a Tory for the rest of his life, initially refusing to sign the Association in 1696. He died on 1 Sept. 1700, and was buried at Bamburgh, his brother and heir succeeding him as knight of the shire.4

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Gillian Hampson


  • 1. Hist. Northumb. i. 156-7; Morant, Essex, ii. 45.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1686-7, p. 231.
  • 3. Hist. Northumb. i. 156, 164.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1686-7, p. 231; J. Scott, Berwick-upon-Tweed, 221; Luttrell, v. 88.