Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Forrester, Thomas (1635?-1706)

FORRESTER, THOMAS (1635?–1706), Scotch theologian, brother of David Forrester, a merchant and burgess of Stirling, was born at Stirling about 1635, and admitted minister of Alva in Stirling under the bishop in 1664. The perusal of John Brown's (1610?–1679) [q. v.] ‘Apologetical Relation’ led him to renounce episcopacy, and he became a field preacher. He was imprisoned in Edinburgh, but liberated by the indemnity of March 1674, and was deposed on the 29th of the same month. He was proclaimed a fugitive 5 May 1684, and settled at Killearn. After the revolution he became in succession minister of Killearn (1688) and of St. Andrews (May 1692). He refused calls to Glasgow and other places, and was appointed principal of the new college at St. Andrews on 26 Jan. 1698 (St. Mary's), in which office he died in November 1706. He is well known as one of the ablest advocates of presbyterianism of his day. His principal work is ‘The Hierarchical Bishop's Claim to a Divine Right tried at the Scripture Bar,’ 1699. Here he controverts Dr. Scott, in the second part of his ‘Christian Life,’ Principal Monro's ‘Inquiry,’ and Mr. Honeyman's ‘Survey of Naphtali.’ Other works bore the titles of ‘Rectius Instruendum,’ 1684; ‘A Vindication and Assertion of Calvin and Beza's Presbyterian Judgment and Principles,’ 1692; ‘Causa Episcopatus Hierarchici Lucifuga,’ 1706.

[Scott's Fasti, ii. 356, 391, 691; Wodrow's Hist.; Wodrow's Analecta.]

W. G. B.