Forster, William Edward
b. 1818-07-11
d. 1886-04-05
The only son of a Quaker, William Edward Forster prospered as a textile mill owner near Bradford.1 As he created a mill school and board of health for his own workers, he interested himself in matters such the Irish famine and the plight of Indigenous peoples, particularly in South Africa.2 Elected to Parliament as a Liberal MP in 1861, he became parliamentary undersecretary of state for the colonies for the government of Earl Russell during its final months from November 1865 to June 1866.3 Returning to government as vice-president of council, Forster advanced and cajoled the Elementary Education Act through Parliament in 1870.4 In 1880 he was appointed chief secretary for Ireland, but his conflicts with Irish nationalist politician Charles Stewart Parnell on elements of land reform led him to resign in 1882.5
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Russell, John