Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Forrester, Thomas (1588?-1642)

FORRESTER, THOMAS (1588?–1642), satirist and divine, graduated A.M. at St. Andrews University 22 July 1608. On 10 March 1623 the Archbishop of Glasgow recommended him for the ministry of Ayr, but the session reported ‘that he was not a meet man.’ Thereupon James I presented him to the post (10 April). About 1632 he gave 20l. to the fund for building the library at Glasgow University. He succeeded John Knox, a nephew of the reformer, as minister of Melrose in 1627. As an enthusiastic episcopalian, he took delight in uttering words and performing acts fitted to shock the feelings of presbyterians. At the assembly of 1638 he was accused of popery, Arminianism, &c., and was deposed 11 Dec. 1638. He took his revenge in satire. A mock litany threw ridicule on the leading covenanters and the most solemn of their doings. This was published as ‘A Satire in two parts, relating to public affairs, 1638–9,’ in Maidment's ‘Book of Scottish Pasquils,’ 1828. An epitaph on Strafford, attributed to Forrester, is printed in Cleveland's poems. Forrester died in 1642, aged 54. He married Margaret Kennitie, who died 19 Jan. 1665–6, and had a daughter, Marjory, who married a tailor of Canongate, Edinburgh, named James Alison. She obtained a pension of 20l. from Charles II 14 March 1678–9.

[Scott's Fasti, pt. ii. p. 559; Chambers's Eminent Scotsmen; A Book of Scottish Pasquils, 1828.]

W. G. B.