James FORREST (1787-1810)

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James FORREST was born on 8th October 1787[1] and baptised 14th October 1787 at Paradice Street Presbyterian Chapel, Liverpool, Lancashire[2]. He was the first son of Captain James FORREST and Margaret HUTTON.

James set out to follow his father's career as a mariner. In the family papers is an impressment protection notice (used to protect seamen from being impressed into the Royal Navy), dated 17th December 1803: " ...the Bearer James Forest has bound himself Apprentice to James Forest of Alloa to serve at sea, by indenture dated the 24th March 1803 and that he never used the sea before that time; and he being therefore entitled to a Protection in pursuance of the said Act of Parliament, to free and exempt him being impressed for the space of Three Years from the aforementioned date of his indenture...". The left margin has a description of James Forrest: "A fair complexion and smooth faced", not unreasonable considering James was only 16 at the time!

Sadly, in only a few years James contracted tuberculosis and died on 19th March 1810. An 1822 letter from Dr. James Dinsmore of Stirling to Dr. William Hutton Forrest mentions "...your brother died of phthisis...". Phthisis is another word for tuberculosis. (Dr. Dinsmore was the partner of Dr. John FORREST of Stirling).

James' last letter to his sister Eleanor Forrest was dated 30th January 1810, and probably written from Liverpool. In the letter he mentions his 'Aunt Jenny' and 'Aunt Ann', both older sisters of his mother Margaret Hutton. He also writes, "My uncle has a new ship launched called the "Mag" (May?)... I should have gone chief mate, but my health would not allow me...". The letter is signed, "Your affectionate brother, James Forrest."

On the edge of the letter in a different hand, is written: "James Forrest Born Oct 8th 17__ Died March 19th 1810"


  1. Family Letter to "Dear Eleanor," 30th Jan 1810, signed "your affectionate brother, James Forrest". On edge of letter in a different hand: "James Forrest Born Oct 8th 17__ Died March 19 1810"
  2. LDS British Isles Parish Records "James Forrest, christened 14 Oct 1787, Benns Garden or Renshaw St. Presbyterian or Unitarian, Liverpool , father James Forrest, mother Peggy."