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Forrester (Foster) Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: BLAW HUNTER BLAW THY HORN

Let me share with you the intriguing history of your family, the Forrester clan. Your family name originated from the office of ‘forest keeper,’ denoting an important role in managing and protecting the forests. The earliest known holder of the name was Archebaldus Forrestar, who witnessed a grant to the church of Lesmahagow in 1144.

The founder of the Forrester clan is generally considered to be Sir Adam Forrester, the first of Corstorphine. He held various prestigious positions, including alderman of Edinburgh in 1373, ambassador, merchant, Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland, and Deputy Chamberlain of Scotland. In 1376, he acquired the estate of Corstorphine in Midlothian, where the family built Corstorphine Castle (now demolished) and the Collegiate Church of Corstorphine, which houses the effigies of three clan chiefs. The Forrester family’s townhouse in Edinburgh also gave its name to Forrester’s Wynd.

Sir Adam’s son, Sir John Forrester the elder, followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland, Chamberlain of Scotland, and Keeper of the Household to James I. The seventh chief, Sir James Forrester, tragically lost his life in the Battle of Pinkie in 1547. The tenth chief, Sir George Forrester, was honored with the creation of a Baronet of Nova Scotia and was later raised to the peerage as Lord Forrester of Corstorphine in 1633. Upon his death, the baronetcy became dormant, but his sons-in-law assumed the Forrester name and arms under a re-grant of the peerage. Over time, the male line of the chiefly family declined, and the title passed through heiresses to the Earls of Verulam.

The Forrester family had several notable branches, including the Forresters of Niddry and the Forresters of Carden. The Niddry branch suffered losses in battle, with Sir John Forrester of Niddry falling at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. Additionally, the family held the heritable position of Keepers of Torwood Castle, which was built around 1566. Several Forresters served as hereditary provosts of Stirling burgh, with eight members holding this office. The Forrester Aisle, a former private family chapel, can be found in the Church of the Holy Rude in Stirling. Another branch of the family, the Forresters of Strathendry, originated from a cadet of Garden and built Strathendry Castle, a sixteenth-century tower house in Leslie, Fife.

Today, the potential chief of the Forrester clan is Sir John Duncan Grimston, Baronet, seventh Earl of Verulam, sixteenth Lord Forrester of Corstorphine, and patron of the Clan Forrester Society. His seat is Gorhambury in St Albans.

This is the remarkable history of your distinguished Forrester family, spanning from the twelfth century to the present day, filled with prominent figures, significant estates, and notable contributions to Scottish history.

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Family Crest Motto: BLAW HUNTER BLAW THY HORN

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