John FORREST (1761-1822)

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Dr John FORREST, was born on 3rd November 1761 in Inverkeithing, Fifeshire and baptised on the 12th November 1761[1]. He was the third child of Rev David FORREST and Christian CRAICH.

John was a member of the Friends of the People[nb 1] evidenced in him being mentioned as such in the trial of David Downie for High Treason[2].

John's first cousin (once removed) William Hutton FORREST served as an apprentice to him.[3]


In Stirling, he married on 20th January 1788 Elizabeth GLAS[4][5], daughter of John GLAS and Marion BURN . He died on 25th October 1822[6][7] and his wife died on 11th December 1847[6], leaving issue:

i. David FORREST, born on 3rd March 1789 in Stirling[8].
ii. Marion FORREST, born on 21st August 1790 but died young[6].
iii. John FORREST, born on 28th October 1791 but died young[6].
iv. Christian FORREST, born on 18th May 1793 in Stirling[8].
v. Elizabeth FORREST, born on 17th July 1795 in Stirling[8].
vi. Alexander FORREST, baptised on 9th March 1797 in Stirling[9] but died young [6]
vii. Marion FORREST, born on 28th October 1798 in Stirling[8].
viii. Alexander FORREST, born on 14th May 1799 but died young [6][10]
ix. Margaret FORREST, born on 10th July 1801 in Stirling[8].
x. Isabella Craich FORREST, born on 6th August 1802 in Stirling[8].
xi. John FORREST, born on 20th June 1804 in Stirling[11].
xii. Charles Grieve FORREST, born on 25th February 1807 in Stirling[12] but died young [6][10]


  1. The Friends of the People sought radical political reform in Great Britain, seeking wider electoral enfranchisement than existed at the time. Formed by a group of Whigs (Members of the House of Commons) in April 1792, by November of that year 87 branches of the organisation had been formed. Charles Grey was the leading figure and he stressed that the organisation would not engage in activities that would promote public disturbances. However many of the members were quite radical and some of their activities caused leading parliamentary reformers concern. The group continued to try and reform the electoral system through Parliament but met with a continued lack of success. The Prime Minister William Pitt argued that reform would give encouragement to those who sought to emulate the French Revolution. Realising that they had little chance of success the leaders of the society wound down the Friends of the People and radical activity moved on to become the preserve of other newer organisations (such as the United Irishmen and the United Scotsmen).