Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Forrest, Robert

FORREST, ROBERT (1789?–1852), sculptor, was born in 1788 or 1789 at Carluke, Lanarkshire. He was an entirely self-taught artist, and was brought up as a stone-mason in the quarries of Clydesdale. His first public work was the statue of the ‘Wallace wight’ which occupies a niche in the steeple of Lanark parish church, and was erected in 1817. He was subsequently employed to cut the colossal figure of the first Viscount Melville which surmounts the pillar in the centre of St. Andrew Square, Edinburgh, and he was also the sculptor of the statue of John Knox in the necropolis of Glasgow. One of his best works is the statue of Mr. Ferguson of Raith at Haddington; it was erected in 1843. In 1832 Forrest opened his public exhibition of statuary on the Calton Hill with four equestrian statues, under the patronage of the Royal Association of Contributors to the National Monuments. In progress of time the gallery was extended to about thirty groups, all executed by Forrest. He died at Edinburgh, after an illness of about six weeks' duration, 29 Dec. 1852.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Builder, 1853, p. 32.]

L. F.