Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Foster, Augustus John

FOSTER, Sir AUGUSTUS (1780–1848), diplomatist, second son of John Thomas Foster, M.P. for Ennis in the Irish House of Commons (nephew of Anthony Foster, lord chief baron of Ireland, and first cousin of John Foster, lord Oriel [q. v.]), by Lady Elizabeth Hervey, daughter of Frederick Augustus, earl of Bristol and bishop of Derry, was born on 1 Dec. 1780, and through the influence of his mother, who had remarried William, fifth duke of Devonshire, he was appointed secretary to the legation of the Right Hon. Hugh Elliot [q. v.] at Naples. In August 1811 he was nominated minister plenipotentiary to the United States of America. His manners were not conciliatory, and he did nothing to stave off the war which broke out in 1812. In that year he returned to England, and was elected M.P. for Cockermouth, and in May 1814 he was nominated minister plenipotentiary at Copenhagen. He remained in Denmark for ten years, during which nothing of importance happened, and in 1815 he married Albinia Jane, daughter of the Hon. George Vere Hobart, who received a patent of precedency as an earl's daughter when her brother succeeded to the earldom of Buckinghamshire in 1832. In 1822 Foster was sworn of the privy council, and in 1824 he was transferred to the court of Turin, and was knighted and made a G.C.H. in the following year. He was further created a baronet ‘of Glyde Court, county Louth,’ on 30 Sept. 1831, and he remained at Turin for no less than sixteen years, until 1840, during which period no event happened to bring his name into notice. In that year he retired from the diplomatic service. On 1 Aug. 1848 he committed suicide by cutting his throat, in a fit of temporary insanity, at Branksea Castle, near Poole, Dorsetshire.

[Foster's Baronetage; Gent. Mag. September 1848.]

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