Children of Ann and Myles Birket Foster

Robert Foster01. Robert Foster

1812-01-27 b. North Shields, Tynemouth, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/404, /775, /1245; Annual Monitor; censuses; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigree of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England. Privately printed
1841 accountant, of Howard Street, Tynemouth; with his uncle, Joseph Spence TNA: PRO HO 107/826/3 f9 p9
1842-05-24 of St Anns Villas, Acacia Road, Portland Town, London address on envelope enclosing letter from Robert Spence to Robert Foster, c/o MBF
1844-08-16 addressed c/o Post Office, Edinburgh address on envelope from Robert Spence to Robert Foster
1845-12-24 of Union Bank, North Shields, Northumberland address on envelope enclosing letter from Robert Spence to Robert Foster
1846-12-10
1846-12-20
1847-01-21
1847-01-28
1847-01-30
1847-02-21
1847-03-16
1847-03-30
1847-04-20
1848-01-26
1848-04-28 of Howard Street, North Shields address on envelope enclosing letter from Robert Spence to Robert Foster
1851 cl. bank (joint stock)—union, of Howard Street (east side), Tynemouth, Northumberland; with the three unmarried daughters of his uncle Joseph Spence PRO HO 107/2410 f55 p?
1852-08-25 of Union Bank, North Shields address on envelope enclosing letter from Robert Spence
1852-08-28
1852-08-31
1853-03-15 of the Union Bank; North Shields agent for the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Fire and Life Annuity Office Newcastle Guardian and Tyne Mercury, 1853-03-18
1853-06-18 Newcastle Journal, 1853-06-18
1853-09-28 of Union Bank, North Shields address on envelope enclosing letter from Robert Spence
1855-01-19 has become an annual subscriber of two guineas to the Newcastle Infirmary Newcastle Courant, 1855-01-19
1856-03-20 of the Union Bank; North Shields agent for the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Fire and Life Annuity Office Newcastle Journal, 1856-03-22
1857-09-24 Newcastle Journal, 1857-09-26
1858-07-07 manager of a bank, of Howard St, North Shields; m. Ann Richardson, at Newcastle-upon-Tyne marriage digest; The Friend XV.188:153
1859-10-01 of Crescent, Cullercoats address on envelope enclosing letter from Robert Spence
1860-08-17 agent in North Shields for the Guardian Fire and Life Assurance Company Newcastle Daily Chronicle
by 1861-02-28 had subscribed 10s. for the crews of the North Shields lifeboats Shields Daily Gazette, 1861-02-28
1861 bank manager, living with his wife and three house servants at 30 Rye Hill, Elswick, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland PRO RG 9/3815 f27 p6
by 1861-04-11 had subscribed £1 1s. for the Tynemouth Ragged School Shields Daily Gazette, 1861-04-11
by 1861-05-04 had subscribed £2 2s. for the famine in India Newcastle Journal, 1861-05-04
by 1861-06-13 had subscribed £1 for the Tyne Aged Sailors and Scullermen's Asylum Shields Daily Gazette, 1861-06-13
by 1862-03-01 had subscribed £2 2s. towards defraying the expenses of clearing the shaft at New Hartley Colliery Newcastle Journal, 1862-03-01
by 1863-03-18 had subscribed £5 towards the expenses of the 33rd meeting of the British Association, to be held at Newcastle in August Newcastle Journal, 1863-03-18
1863-07-09 of 30, Rye Hill; wrote to the Newcastle Journal re Cullercoats School Newcastle Journal, 1863-07-10
1863-12-14 of 30 Rye Hill Mosscroft visitors' book
by 1864-01-21 had subscribed £2 2s. to the North Shields Fund for the Relief of the Widows and Orphans of Seamen Newcastle Journal, 1864-01-21
1864-12-09 of 30 Rye Hill, Nc Mosscroft visitors' book
1865-10-21 of 30 Rye Hill, NC
1868-01-30 of 30 Rye Hill, N'castle
1869-12-30 banker, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne; co-executor of will of aunt Sarah Foster National Probate Calendar
1869/1898 . . . an experienced gardener, and had a small meteorological station on his back green with the necessary regulation instruments. The weather records which he had begun at his former residence in Rye Hill in the year 1869 were regularly continued up to his death in 1898, when the instruments were transferred to the Merz residence next door Reminiscences of John Theodore Merz (1922) Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons: 284
1870-09-21 of 30 Rye Hill; member of the Social Science Association, meeting in Newcastle Newcastle Journal
1871 retired chemical manufacturer, living at 30 Rye Hill, Elswick, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, with his wife and three servants RG 10/5075 f77 p6
1871-08-17 of 30 Rye Hill Mosscroft visitors' book
1873 gentleman, of 120 Ryehill, Newcastle upon Tyne will of Mary Watson
1874-06-27 with his wife, staying at The Elder's, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea Morpeth Herald, 1874-06-27
1876-04-29 with his wife, staying at The Elders, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea Morpeth Herald, 1876-04-29
1876-08-26 of Rye Hill, Newcastle; with his wife, staying at The Elders, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea Morpeth Herald, 1876-08-26
1878-06-22 with his wife, staying at The Elders, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea Morpeth Herald, 1878-06-22
1878-10-12 of Rye Hill, Newcastle; with his wife, staying at The Elders, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea Morpeth Herald, 1878-10-12
1879-07-19 with his wife, staying at The Elders, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea Morpeth Herald, 1879-07-19
1881 retired bank manager, living at The Quarries, Elswick, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, with his wife, nephew, and three servants RG 11/5055 f159 p17
1881-06-18 with his wife, staying at The Alders, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea Morpeth Herald, 1881-06-18
1882-12-25 of The Quarries West, Newcastle on Tyne Bensham Grove visitors' books
1883-07-07 with his wife, staying at The Elders, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea Morpeth Herald, 1883-07-07
1883-10-04 of The Quarries West Bensham Grove visitors' books
1887-09 . . . "dear Uncle Robert & Aunt Anne Foster, who are both well & take the same kind & active interest in the various branches of the family as ever." Elizabeth Spence Watson's "Family Chronicles"
1891 living on his own means, employer, living at The Quarries West, Clifton Rd, Elswick, Newcastle, with his wife and three servants RG 12/4199 f19 p31
1895-06-30 of Newcastle Bensham Grove visitors' books
1896-04-09 of The Quarries W., Newcastle
1898-07-23 of The Quarries West
1898-11-16 gentleman, of the "Quarries", Newcastle; d. there

 

Annual Monitor; GRO index; National Probate Calendar
"Uncle Robert died after little more than 2 weeks illness—he was conscious to the last. How we shall miss his good kind presence—19 years we have lived next door"

Alice Mary Merz, 'Family Notes', typescript

1899-01-13 will proved at Newcastle by executors David Richardson and Robert Spence Watson; effects £13,408 18s. 3d. National Probate Calendar


Joseph Foster02. Joseph Foster

1813-08-19 b. North Shields, Tynemouth, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/775, /1245; censuses; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigree of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England. Privately printed
1841 merchant, of Howard Street, Tynemouth; with his uncle Joseph Spence PRO HO 107/826/3 f9 p9
1842-07-19 of Bishop-Wearmouth; m. Elizabeth Taylor (1811–1888, d. of Emmanuel and Dorothy Taylor, of North Shields), at Tynemouth Church Foster (1871); Joseph Foster (1894) Descendants of John Backhouse, Yeoman of Moss Side, Near Yealand Redman, Lancashire. London: Chiswick Press; Newcastle Journal, 1842-07-23; Durham County Advertiser, 1842-07-29
Children: Anne (1843–1913), Joseph (1844–1905), James (1845–1905), Elizabeth (1846–1914), Robert (1848–1890), Agnes (1850–1888), Emmanuel Taylor (1852–1908), Frederick (1853–1920) Annual Monitor; Foster (1871); Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; Burke's Peerage
1851 tailor, of West Percy St, Tynemouth, Northumberland, living with his family and a general servant HO 107/2410 f19 p28
  woollen draper, of Bishopwearmouth, Durham Oxford DNB
1859-02-09 tailor and woollen draper, of Sunderland, Durham; d. there Foster (1871); Joseph Foster (1873) Pedigrees of Lancashire Families. London; GRO index; National Probate Calendar
  bur. Bishopwearmouth cemetery source misplaced
1859-03-07 admon at Durham to Elizabeth Foster of Sunderland, widow; effects under £1000 National Probate Calendar


Dodshon Foster03. Dodshon Foster

1816-01-06 b. North Shields, Tynemouth, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/404, /775, /1245; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigree of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England. Privately printed
1829/1830 attended Lawrence Street School, York Edgar B. Collinson, ed. (1935) Bootham School Register, 2nd edn
1839 resigned from the Society of Friends, and was received into the Church of England Reynolds (1984)
1841 merchant, of 27 East Terrace, Milton, Gravesend, Kent, apparently lodging or boarding with his brother PRO HO 107460/8 f30 p54
1846 holidayed in Scotland with his brother Birket, and Edmund Evans Reynolds (1984)
1849-02-06 merchant, of St James, Paddington; m. Mary Ann Rutty (1819–1876, d. of John Rutty, merchant of Paddington), in St James's pc, Paddington, London; after banns parish register; Foster (1871); Joseph Foster (1894) Descendants of John Backhouse, Yeoman of Moss Side, Near Yealand Redman, Lancashire. London: Chiswick Press; GRO index
Children: Jessie (1851–1926), Edwin (1852 – after 1881), Charles (1854–1890) censuses; Foster (1871); Foster (1894); information from Sarah Batchelor
1850 described by his brother Birket as "very fat" Reynolds (1984)
1851 ale and porter vendor, of 1 Stranraer Pl., Paddington, London, living with his family, sister-in-law, and three servants HO 107/1466 f485 p15
1851 M.B. Foster and Sons extended to include 27 Brook Street, Grosvenor Square Reynolds (1984)
1861-03-28 of 56 Brook-street Bond-street, Middlesex, gentleman; executor of father's will National Probate Calendar
1861 ale and beer merchant, of 95 Marine Pde, Kemp Town, Brighton, Sussex, living with his family, a governess, a nurse, a housemaid, a cook, and a visitor RG 9/591 f143 p35
1865-01-14

MESSRS. M.B. FOSTER AND SONS' ENTERTAINMENT TO THEIR EMPLOYES.

One of those pleasing events which occasionally occur to revive our faltering confidence in the progressive improvement of society took place on Saturday evening under the happiest auspices. The occasion was the celebration of the thirty-sixth anniversary of the foundation of the well-known firm of M.B. Foster and Sons, Ale and Beer Merchants, of Marylebone-road and Brook-street, and the event was the thirty-sixth annual entertainment given by that firm to its employés. Lord's Cricket-ground—or rather the commodious and well-appointed hostelry which forms an integral and eminently essential portion of that famous resort—was again selected by the Messrs. Foster for the scene of the festivities, and here every preparation had been made which their liberal and genial character could suggest to render the anniversary as pleasingly memorable as its predecessors.

[more detail on the evening's events . . . ]

Mr. COXON then gave "The Health of Messrs. Dodshon Foster and John Foster," which was received with vehement and long-sustained applause. This firm, he said, had now been in existence for something like forty years, and during that long period it had been notable alike for its honourable transactions and for its wonderful progress. It was now the largest of its class in the whole world. He had had great experience upon that point; and he also said confidently that there was no business in the world that was better managed. The Messrs. Foster were not only excellent men of business, but they had a wonderful faculty of making firm friends of all their customers.—(Hear, hear.) He begged leave to propose, therefore, "The Healths of Messrs. John and Dodshon Foster."—(Loud cheers.)

[John Foster replied on behalf of himself and his brother]

Morning Advertiser, 1865-01-16
1866-02-24 of 56 Brook-street, Bond-street Morning Advertiser
1866-05-27 chairman of the Licensed Victuallers' Asylum; with his brother John, gave 500 guineas towards the Smalley Wing of the Asylum The Era, 1866-05-27, 1866-10-14
1868-02-01 senior partner in M.B. Foster and Sons, ale and beer merchants The Era, 1868-02-02
1869-06-15 at the annual dinner of the Licensed Victuallers' Asylum, at the Crystal Palace:

Mr. DICKINSON next proposed "The Brewers, Distillers, Hop Merchants, Wine and Brandy Merchants, and other Supporters of the Institution." He said nothing could be more pleasing to their Chairman than to see so many friends of the Wholesale Trade rally around him on that occasion. Amongst them he was happy to find Mr. Dodshon Foster, one of their most liberal supporters, a gentleman who gave last year 500 guineas, the year before 600 guineas, and on the present occasion he had produced something like 140 guineas for the benefit of the Asylum.—(Cheers.)

Morning Advertiser, 1869-06-16
1869-09-23 subscribed 100 guineas to the Licensed Victuallers' Protection Society The Era, 1869-09-26
1871 ale and beer merchant, of 195 Maida Vale, Paddington, Middlesex, living with his family, a niece, a lady's maid, a cook, two housemaids, and a visitor RG 10/12 f65 p29
1871-05-10 present at the cricket match of the North of the Thames Licensed Victuallers' Cricket Club, at Lord's Cricket Ground Morning Advertiser, 1871-05-12
[1873] wholesale beer bottler and aerated water manufacturer, of Maida Vale, London Joseph Foster (1873) Pedigrees of Lancashire Families. London
1873-10-22 presented the first prize, a handsome silver cup, value fifteen guineas, at the prize meeting of St George's Rifles, at Wormwood Scrubs Volunteer Service Gazette and Military Dispatch, 1873-11-01

[ . . . ] Mr. Dodshon Foster, who is so well known for his kindness and liberality towards the Volunteer movement, provided refreshments for the occasion. [ . . . ]

Volunteer Service Gazette and Military Dispatch, 1873-11-08
by 1873-12-21 had donated a handsome stained-glass window to the Licensed Victuallers' Asylum The Era, 1873-12-21
by 1874 M.B. Foster & Sons were ordering 38,600 barrels from Bass at a cost of £115,800. As well as Bass beer the firm also bottled Guinness, Devonshire Cider, "Thatched Barn", and Scottish Whiskey. The firm rapidly expanded under the control of Foster's sons, Dodshon Foster and John Harrison Foster. The firm's business was initially conducted from property in Lisson Grove until 1874 when the firms' main premises at 242-244 Marylebone Road were opened (with a further large extension in 1892). An additional store was opened in Woolwich in 1873 where all the cider was bottled and through which bottles were exported. In 1832 offices were opened at the Queen's Bazaar, Oxford Street and in 1851 were expanded to 27 Brook Street, where they remained until 1894 (when they moved to the Marylebone Road site). A2A
  collected prints and views of hostelry signboards, now at the Houghton Library, Harvard University Harvard
1876-03-29 d. 195 Maida-vale, Middlesex National Probate Calendar; London Evening Standard, 1876-03-30
1876-03-30 d. Kensington RD Foster (1894) (which says North Shields); GRO index

NORTH WOOLWICH.—DEATH OF MR. D. FOSTER.—Mr. Dodshon Foster, the head of the firm of Messrs. M.B. Foster and Sons, the proprietors of the Victoria Ales Stores at North Woolwich and Marylebone Road, died on Wednesday week, at his residence, Carlton Villas, Maida Vale, after a short but painful illness of only a fortnight's duration. He was taken ill on Saturday week with bronchitis and congestion of the lungs. Medical advice was immediately procured, yet notwithstanding the eminent advice and almost constant attendance of Sir W. Jenner and Sir G. Burrows, physicians to Her Majesty, he sank under the affliction, and peacefully passed away at half-past five on the day above mentioned. Mr. Dodshon Foster was well known as a liberal patron of the arts and sciences, his collection of objects of vertu being both unique and invaluable. The literary world loses in him a staunch and esteemed supporter, while his munificent support of all the charities, more particularly the Licensed Victuallers' Asylums and Schools, will for ever be acknowledged as most bounteous and effective. He was universally beloved for his generous nature and unbounded hospitality, and his memory will long be cherished, not only by his family and immediate friends, but by all who appreciate English character in its best and noblest form. We trust, and indeed believe, that the stores at North Woolwich, where some 120 men and boys are employed all the year round, will, notwithstanding the loss to the firm of its head, still continue to find employment for our superabundant labour as heretofore.

Kentish Independent, 1876-04-08
1876-04-12 formerly of Stranraer-place, Maida Vale, but late of 195 Maida-vale, gentleman; will proved at the Principal Registry by Mary Ann Foster, widow and sole executor; effects under £40,000 National Probate Calendar
left everything to his wife Diss Express, 1876-06-02

 


John Harrison Foster04. John Harrison Foster

1818-01-22 b. North Shields, Tynemouth, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/404, /775, /1245; censuses; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigree of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England. Privately printed
1829/1831 at Lawrence Street School, York Old York Scholars' Association (1971) Bootham School Register. London: Oyez Press
1839 resigned from the Society of Friends, and was received into the Church of England Reynolds (1984)
1841 porter merchant, of Charlotte St, St Marylebone, Middlesex, living with his family, a cousin, and two female servants PRO HO 107/675/1 f13 p18
1847-05/1847-06 visited the Lake District with his brother Birket, his sister Mary, and Edmund Evans Reynolds (1984)
1849-05-24 gentleman, of Cavendish Villa, Carlton Hill, Paddington, Middlesex; m.1. Mary Heseltine Howes (cal 1820 – 1882, d. George Pigott Howes, of the Adjutant-General's Department, Horse Guards, London) at St Mary's Church, Paddington, London, after banns parish register; banns book; censuses; Foster (1871); Joseph Foster (1894) Descendants of John Backhouse, Yeoman of Moss Side, Near Yealand Redman, Lancashire. London: Chiswick Press; John Bull, 1849-05-26 Manchester Courier and General Advertiser, 1849-05-30
1851 bottled ale and porter merchant, living at 13 Blenheim Rd, St Marylebone, Middlesex, with his wife and a house servant HO 107/1491 f867 p19
1851 M.B. Foster and Sons extended to include 27 Brook Street, Grosvenor Square Reynolds (1984)
Children: Edith (1852–1877), Alice Mary (1854–1945), Amy Gertrude (1855–1859), Fanny Isabel (1857–1919), Walter John (1860–1885) censuses; Foster (1871); Foster (1894); information from Sarah Batchelor
1861 ale and beer merchant, of 55 Clifton Road, St Marylebone, Middlesex, living with his family, a governess, a wet nurse, a cook, a housemaid, and two visitors RG 9/90 f28 p57
1862 joined his brother Myles at Witley; got on well with the vicar of All Stains church, and one of his first endowments in Witley was to fund the building of the turret staircase to the belfry of the church; also funded the mosaic wall decoration in ths sactuary Stephen Mills (2018) 'Witley's Great Benefactor, John Harrison Foster, 1818–1905', All Saints Witley Parish Magazine
1863/1864 qualified to vote by ownership of a freehold house at Fernside, Wormley Hill, Witley, Surrey electoral register
1865-01-14

MESSRS. M.B. FOSTER AND SONS' ENTERTAINMENT TO THEIR EMPLOYES.

One of those pleasing events which occasionally occur to revive our faltering confidence in the progressive improvement of society took place on Saturday evening under the happiest auspices. The occasion was the celebration of the thirty-sixth anniversary of the foundation of the well-known firm of M.B. Foster and Sons, Ale and Beer Merchants, of Marylebone-road and Brook-street, and the event was the thirty-sixth annual entertainment given by that firm to its employés. Lord's Cricket-ground—or rather the commodious and well-appointed hostelry which forms an integral and eminently essential portion of that famous resort—was again selected by the Messrs. Foster for the scene of the festivities, and here every preparation had been made which their liberal and genial character could suggest to render the anniversary as pleasingly memorable as its predecessors.

[more detail on the evening's events . . . ]

Mr. COXON then gave "The Health of Messrs. Dodshon Foster and John Foster," which was received with vehement and long-sustained applause. This firm, he said, had now been in existence for something like forty years, and during that long period it had been notable alike for its honourable transactions and for its wonderful progress. It was now the largest of its class in the whole world. He had had great experience upon that point; and he also said confidently that there was no business in the world that was better managed. The Messrs. Foster were not only excellent men of business, but they had a wonderful faculty of making firm friends of all their customers.—(Hear, hear.) He begged leave to propose, therefore, "The Healths of Messrs. John and Dodshon Foster."—(Loud cheers.)

The toast having been enthusiastically drunk,

Mr. JOHN FOSTER, replying for himself and his brother, said he sincerely thanked Mr. Coxon for the very kind and flattering manner in which he had proposed their healths, and their old friends present for the cordiality with which they had drunk it. If it were true, as he had said, that they were the first house in the trade, they must remember that they were travelling, as it were, in an express train, and that therefore it behoved them to keep a good look out ahead and to take care that no other train on the same line ran into them.—(Cheers and laughter.) He regretted to say that that figure was not his own—(renewed laughter)—but it had an obvious and striking application to themselves that made it relevant. With the hearty service thus rendered to them—with Mr. Coxon's firm [Bass] brewing the best beer, and their preparing it for market in the best way—so long as they continued to be thus true to one another, there was every chance of their keeping the place assigned to them by Mr. Coxon.—(Cheers.)

[article continues for a few short paragraphs]

Morning Advertiser, 1865-01-16
1865-09-01 of the firm of Messrs M.B. Foster and Sons; took the chair at the 68th anniversary dinner in aid of the funds of the Licensed Victuallers' School, Kennington-lane London Evening Standard, 1865-09-02
1865-10-21 of Witley, Surrey Mosscroft visitors' book
1866-05-27 with his brother Dodshon, gave 500 guineas towards the Smalley Wing of the Asylum The Era, 1866-05-27, 1866-10-14
1866 initiated the North of the Thames Licensed Victuallers' Cricket Club Morning Advertiser, 1867-10-03

Though it is now, we believe, barely four years since Mr. John Harrison Foster gave the first impulse to the movement which primarily contemplated the systematised cultivation of cricket as a diversion for their leisure moments by the Licensed Victuallers of the metropolis, it has been taken up and continued with such energy by the members of the Trade, that the Surrey Club, which now numbers 200 members, can boast a capital team, and last season played 12 matches against opponents of repute, in 10 of which it came off victorious.

Morning Advertiser, 1871-03-02
1867-05-10 present at the annual festival in aid of the Licensed Victuallers' Asylum, Old Kent-road, held at the Crystal Palace The Era, 1867-05-19
1868 build Fernside, in Brook Road, for his family  
of Fernside, Wormley Hill, Godalming electoral register
1869-09-11 of Fernside, Witley, Surrey Mosscroft visitors' book
1869-09-23 president of the Licensed Victuallers' Protection Society Morning Advertiser, 1869-09-21; The Era, 1869-09-26
1869-12-08 of Witley, Surrey Mosscroft visitors' book
1869-12-30 during the year, had donated £105 to the Licensed Victuallers' Protection Society Morning Advertiser
1869 bishop Samuel Wilberforce came to Winchester diocese, and John developed an enthusiastic relationship with him, becoming an active and generous member of the Old Surrey Church Association, parent of the present Winchester Diocesan Society Mills (2018)
1871 beer merchant, and landowner in London, of Fern-Side House, Godalming, Surrey, living with his family, a governess, three general servants, and a gardener RG 10/815 f37 p5
presented a £500 organ to All Saints church, Witley Mills (2018)
1871-08-17 of Fernside, Witley Mosscroft visitors' book
1871-12-30 during the year, had donated £52 10s. to the Licensed Victuallers' Protection Society Morning Advertiser
1874-01-17 one of the executors of the will of Sarah Howes, proved at the Principal Registry Reading Mercury, 1874-01-31
by 1874 M.B. Foster & Sons were ordering 38,600 barrels from Bass at a cost of £115,800. As well as Bass beer the firm also bottled Guinness, Devonshire Cider, "Thatched Barn", and Scottish Whiskey. The firm rapidly expanded under the control of Foster's sons, Dodshon Foster and John Harrison Foster. The firm's business was initially conducted from property in Lisson Grove until 1874 when the firms' main premises at 242-244 Marylebone Road were opened (with a further large extension in 1892). An additional store was opened in Woolwich in 1873 where all the cider was bottled and through which bottles were exported. In 1832 offices were opened at the Queen's Bazaar, Oxford Street and in 1851 were expanded to 27 Brook Street, where they remained until 1894 (when they moved to the Marylebone Road site). In 1890 the firm became a limited company and in 1894 a branch was opened in Brighton. A2A
1875-07-01 presided at the Licensed Victuallers' School anniversary festival; "of the well-known firm of M.B. Foster and Sons, the agents to Messrs Bass and Co., of Burton-on-Trent, and Messrs Guinness and Co., of Dublin. The Era, 1875-07-05
1874-12-24 gave two shillings to each of the aged inmates of the Licensed Victuallers' Asylum The Era, 1874-12-27
1877-07-14 daughter Edith d. at Fernside, Witley London Evening Standard, 1877-07-17
1877-10-24 of Fernside, Witley, where his sister-in-law Emily Ann Howes, died Sussex Agricultural Express, 1877-10-30
1878 Rev. John Chandler d., and John donated a silver communion cup made in 1639 in memory of his friend Mills (2018)
1880 paid 25% of the £100 cost of a new church clock
1881 ale and beer merchant, of 'Fernside', Wormley Hill, Godalming, Surrey, living with his family, a governess, a dress maker, four domestic servants, and three visitors RG 11/780 f32 p3
  wholesale beer bottler and aerated water manufacturer OYSA (1971)
1882-08-11 wife of Fernside, Witley, near Godalming, at the date of her death there National Probate Calendar; Morning Post, 1882-08-14
1882-09-19 of Fernside, Witley Bensham Grove visitors' books
1882-11-16 of Fernside, Witley, where died a Martha Dive Morning Post, 1882-11-22
1883-08-01 of Fernside, Witley Bensham Grove visitors' books
1883-10-18 gentleman, of Fernside, Witley; m.2. Juliana Odlin (1845–1921, d. of Charles and Juliana Odlin, the former a gentleman, of Stamford, Lincolnshire), at All Saints pc, Witley, Surrey parish register; GRO index; Foster (1894)

WITLEY.

FASHIONABLE MARRIAGE.—The residents of this village were early astir on Thursday last, in consequence of the marriage of Miss Julina Odlin, second daughter of the late Mr. Charles Odlin, formerly of Stamford, and Mr. John Harrison Foster, of Fernside, Witley. The sacred edifice was crowded fully half an hour before the time fixed for the ceremony, there not being even standing room in the aisles, even the members of the choir finding great difficulty in securing their seats. The bridegroom arrived shortly before eleven o'clock, accompanied by Mr. W. Foster as best man. The bride, who entered the church leaning on the arm of Mr. Richards Odlin, who subsequently gave her away, was received at the door by her six bridesmaids, viz., Miss S. Odlin, Miss J. Foster, Miss Harrison, Miss Evans, Miss L. Evans, and Miss H. Evans, the three first-named ladies carrying magnificent bouquets, whilst the three last named carried baskets of flowers consisting of rose buds, Japanese anemones, and primroses, each being attired in coral pink cashmere and white hats. The bride wore a dress of fawn-coloured satin, with bonnet to match, trimmed with orange blossoms, and carried in her hand a superb bouquet of flowers, consisting of gardinias, camellias, bouvardias, eucharis, rose buds, and white chrysanthemums. As the bride entered the choir sand the hymn "The voice that breathed or Eden," ably accompanied on the organ by Mr. Myles B. Foster, Psalm 128 being subsequently sung to the music by J. Turle. The Rev. J.B. Chandler (vicar) performed the ceremony, assisted by the Rev. A. Burd (formerly curate-in-charge) At the conclusion of the ceremony Mr. Myles B. Foster played Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" with great skill and effect, the wedding party proceeding to the vestry, the couple appending their signatures to the contract, the names of the witnesses thereto being—Lizette M. Odlin, William Foster, Julina Odlin (mother of the bride) Edmund Evans, Robert Foster, R. Odlin, and F.T. Foster. It was a lovely day, and as the happy couple left the church the pathway, which had been covered with matting, was strewn with flowers by the girls of the National Schools, duly marshalled by Sergeant Morris, whilst the boys, who lined the roadway, threw rice and heartily cheered the occupants of the carriages as they drove away. On leaving the church the wedding party proceeded to the residence of Mr. Edmund Evans, at Wormley Hill, where a recherche breakfast was provided, Messrs. Harvey and Son, of Godalming, being the caterers. There were also present, in addition to those already emntioned:—Mr. and Mrs. Birket Foster, Miss Birket Foster, Mrs. Myles Foster, Mr. Robert Foster, Mrs. Odlin, Mr. and Mrs. Harrison, Mr. Ollard, Brs. Burd, Mr. and Mrs. Atchison, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Foster, Mr. A. King, and the Rev. H.T. Howes. In addition to the numerous and costly presents given to the bride, including one presented to her by the choir (of which she was a member), consisting of an antique writing-set, in brass, the bridegroom was (on the Tuesday evening previous) invited to the school-room, there to be presented with a testimonial—consisting of an illuminated address signed by two hundred inhabitants, originated by the Vicar, and ably assisted by Mr. W. Rothwell (churchwarden),—which in a situable [sic] speech was handed Mr. Foster by the Rev. J.B. Chandler, together with a very handsome clock, subscribed for at the same time. There was also a very handsome double reading lamp, presented by the playing members of the cricket club, together with an illuminated address, written by Mr. Gibbs, and framed by Mr. Milton—both gentlemen having given their services gratuitously—and read by Mr. Bowles, who zealously and readily obtained the necessary subscriptions. There was also, at the same time and place, a presentation made by Mr. Bowles, on behalf of the children attending the Witley, Greyswood, and Brook National Schools, consisting of six very superb volumes of books. The happy couple left Witley station at 1.40 p.m. for Oxford, en route for the North, to spend the honeymoon, the bride's travelling dress being composed of grey cashmere, with bonnet to match. The bells rang out a merry peal during the whole of the afternoon and evening, and the inmates of the Hambledon Workhouse were liberally regaled with roast beef, plum pudding, &c., at the expense of the bridegroom.

Sussex Agricultural Express, 1883-10-23
Julian Odlin had been employed by Edmund Evans as governess to his children; she was a member of the All Saints church choir Mills (2018)
1883-11-02 of Fernside, Witley, Surrey Bensham Grove visitors' books
1883 began building The Institute (Foster's Club) for men and boys aged over 16 who paid a quarterly subscription Mills (2018)
1884 the Institute completed and officially opened in Easter Week; the institute contained inter alia a games and paper reading room and a smaller non-smoking room with a library holding some 1000 books
paid for the £120 cost of new settings for the church bells, new frames, and a new floor in the ringing chamber, plus a further £43 10s. for a sixth (treble) bell
built a schoolroom at Grayswood which had a curtained off area at one end to form a little chapel for communion on the first Sunday of every month
1885 gave £105 towards refurbishment works at St Michael's church, Thursley, and assisted in the formation of St Catherine's, Bramley, a CofE school for girls
funded the building of a storeroom and kitchen at Witley School for the 'Penny Dinners'
1887 a governor of King Edward's School; as part of the celebrations for Queen Victoria's golden jubilee, funded the building of a gymnasium (now the Dance Studio and Exhibition Hall), which was named The Foster Drill Hall; also funded the building of an organ chamber in the chapel
1888/1889

John’s most notable endowment to All Saints Church was the significant refurbishment and extension works in 1888 and 1889. The works included removal of the organ from the west end of the nave and placing it in the north transept, re-fixing the north porch, extending the north transept with a boiler room and storage below, revising the heating, laying new flooring including mosaics (which is now largely covered by carpet), restoring some existing flooring, installing marble steps to the altar, moving some monuments, reseating the chancel with carved oak seating, reseating the nave and, removing the ceilings in the transepts and north chapel thus exposing the sixteenth century oak beams.  It was during these works that the medieval murals were discovered under layers of whitewash.

During the works of 1888/9, John donated three stained glass windows to the church. The first is the lancet window depicting Nathaniel in the north aisle in Walter’s memory; his face features in the window. The second is the north-west window depicting Miriam in the north aisle in Edith’s memory; her face features in the window.  The third window is in memory of his first wife, Mary, and is the east window in the chancel (above the altar). [ . . . ] John also donated twelve brass single tier chandeliers. 

1890-03-03 subscription list to open, for M.B. Foster and Sons (Limited), with share capital of £500,000; JHF, of Fernside, Witley, Godalming, is chairman; JHF, the vendor, to be paid £382,042 2s. 8d, for the several premises, goodwill, stock, trade marks, plant and machinery Morning Post, 1890-02-28
1890-08-18 of Fernside, Witley, where his brother-in-law Richards Odlin died Sussex Agricultural Express, 1890-08-22
1890 heath began to deteriorate,

but religion was still the most important part of his life; he attended church and gave readings. He was, according to the Reverend E J Seymour, a brilliant raconteur and entertainer as well as having a good singing voice. His connection with King Edward’s School continued and he entertained the boys in the choir at his home at Christmas when they would sing carols.

Mills (2018)
1891 retired beer merchant, employer, of 'Fernside', Wormley Hill, Godalming, living with his family, a cousin, a nephew, a needlewoman, a cook, a parlourmaid, a laundress, two housemaids, a kitchenmaid; a gardener and his family in the gardener's cottage RG 12/562 f39 p2
1894 one of the first councillors on Witley Parish Council; as such, was keen on keeping the footpaths in the parish and ensured they were improved and maintained Mills (2018)
1895-01-04 gentleman, member of Witley Parish Council Surrey Mirror
1895/1905 lived at The Mount, Petworth Road, at the southern end of Witley Mills (2018), citing Craddock's directories
by 1896 the company's operations now formed a major industrial complex, which occupied two vast sites in London and Woolwich, with private railway sidings and a jetty to accommodate the shipping side of the business; now the largest firm of bottlers in the world Reynolds (1984)
1901 chairman and director of company (ltd), employer, of Fernside, Witley, Surrey, living with his wife, two nieces, a cook, a parlour maid, two housemaids, a kitchen maid, and a boarder RG 13/100 f10 p51
1902-09

THE oldest Old Scholar now living is John Harrison Foster, of Witley, near Godalming, in Surrey, whose portrait we publish. Mr. Foster was born on the 22nd of January, 1818, and he went to York School at Midsummer, 1826; he is, moreover, the only remaining link between the School as it was in the time of John Bright and the present day. In a delightful letter, giving us this information, he adds, "A stupid lad," but, when we consider the success of his life, this statement is certainly one which may give encouragement to some of us. He remembers vividly, he tells us in this same letter, "one of the older boys, Joe Mennell, first lieutenant to 'Billy' Simpson, who used to fetch his gun, and load it for him, when he shot rats in the Foss ditch out of the schoolroom windows during lessons." This practice, "lest one good custom should corrupt the world," has, we believe, been long since abandoned, but it must have afforded the pupils many a thrilling moment!

BUT Mr. Foster's recollections are not confined to such incidents as these. He tells us how, while he was at school, Jonathan Martin set fire to the Minster, and how, when the boys were taken to the Cathedral, as happened soon afterwards, he cut a piece of charcoal from one of the burnt beams. He recollects going to the Retreat in summer to play cricket, and in the winter to fields flooded by the overflow of the Foss, where the boys skated. The recollection, too, of the State entry of His Majesty George the Fourth's judges into the City, a function witnessed by the boys from Robert Waller's garden, still lives in his memory

Bootham 1.2:144-145
  of The Mount, Wormley, Godalming, Surrey 1906 electoral register
1905-11-04 of "Fernside", Witley, Surrey; d. Hambledon RD National Probate Calendar; OYSA (1971); GRO index
1905-11-06

The tolling of the Cathedral bell on Monday evening announced the death of the donor of the Cathedral organ in Peterborough Minster—Mr. John Harrison Foster, of Fernside, Witley, Surrey, and 242, Marylebone-road, London. Deceased was in his 88th year. The gift of the organ was due to a casual visit to the Cathedral. He was told that £70,000 had been spent on the restoration of the building, and it only now needed an organ. He forthwith offered to give the organ, to Dean Ingram. He offered £4000, and said if more was required it should be forthcoming. The organ cost £4000 and the case £400, for all of which Mr. Foster wrote a cheque. Mr. Foster's wife has a family connection with Peterborough. Almost every summer Mr. and Mrs. Foster have since the gift been in the habit of visiting Peterborough and hearing the organ at some of the services. The gift was made ten years ago.

Stamford Mercury, 1905-11-10
1905-11-08 bur. north side of All Saints churchyard, Witley, close to his brother Myles Birket Foster parish register; information from Sarah Batchelor

The interment took place at Witley, near Godalming, on the 8th, of Mr. John Harrison Foster, of Fernside, Witley, a well-known philanthropist and a generous promoter of Christian work. The church was crowded with members of the family and friends, many of the latter coming from long distances. Some years ago Mr. Foster gave unsolicited the noble new organ in Peterborough Cathedral. He also contributed largely to the restoration of the west front. The Dean of Peterborough and Canon Collyns, late rector of Daventry, attended the funeral out of respect to the memory of the deceased.

Clifton Society, 1905-11-16
1905-12-29 will proved at London by Lancelot Thompson Glasson, Herbert Taylor McCrae Howes, and William Foster; effects £77,006 18s. 3d. National Probate Calendar

Personal estate of the net value of £68,773 was left by Mr. John Harrison Foster, of Fernside, Witley, Surrey, lately chairman of Messrs. M.B. Foster and Sons (Limited), brewers and bottlers, of 242, Marylebone-road, N.W., who died on Nov. 4 last, aged eighty-seven years. Testator desired that six chairs formerly belonging to the Beefsteak Club, one of which was used by George IV., as Prince of Wales, should be sold at Christie's.

Daily Telegraph & Courier (London), 1906-01-02
1906-02

John Harrison Foster

ON November 4th, 1905, there passed to his reward the father of the Old York Scholars Association. John Harrison Foster was born of an old Quaker family at North Shields, on January 22nd, 1818. He was sent to school at York, when little more than 8 years old, and was there when the lunatic Jonathan Martin set fire to the Minster.

John Foster's first school days, if not all, were passed at the old school-house outside Walmgate Bar—where the master, "Billy Simpson," used to shoot rats in the "Foss Ditch" from the schoolroom window during lesson hours. He was also under the tutorship of John Ford, and although the former at any rate of these pedagogues would probably not have taken high rank among the teachers of to-day, there must have been something very sound in the methods of training of both to turn out such men as Mr. Foster and his elder brothers, his cousins Robert, John and Joseph Spence, John and Henry King, and the still more noted John Bright.

[ . . . ] In 1829 John Foster's parents settled in London, and in 1832 he was removed from school to enter his father's business, which in later years grew to be the very considerable firm of Messrs. M.B. Foster & Sons, Marylebone Road, London.

Mr. Foster's boyish recollections of London were surprisingly interesting: he knew it when there were green fields between Edgware Road and Hampstead, and he used to describe, with much vividness, the Coronation procession of King William IV and Queen Adelaide, which is father took him to see.

As soon as he reached the age of 21, Mr. Foster and his elder brother, Dodshon Foster (who was his partner in the business) left the Society of Friends, and were baptized into the Church of England, and from that time till his death, the English Church commanded his devoted affection. He became an ardent Church worker; from the first he taught in Sunday Schools, and formed the habit, probably from his Quaker training, of dedicating to God at least a tenth part of his income.

Mr. Foster lived in London until 1862, when he settled in the beautiful village of Witley, in Surrey, where his younger brother Birket Foster, the water colour painter, had gone to live a few years before.

Mr Foster found in the Vicar of Witley (the Rev. John Chandler, famous as a hymn writer and translator) a very good friend, and when he became a member of the old Surrey Church Association, he was brought into contact with Dr. Samuel Wilberforce, then Bishop of Winchester, for whom John Foster had an enthusiastic admiration.

At Witley, Mr. Foster devoted himself to good works; he began to beautify, as he was able, the ancient parish Church; he built a school, which was used for service on Sundays, and made another school suitable for the same, in outlying districts of the parish; erected the Witley Institute for working men in 1883; rebuilt most of his cottages in 1884-5; and thoroughly restored the fine old parish Church in 1888-9.

His gifts were not confined to Witley alone; he helped in the formation of a girls' Church School at Bramley, near Guildford, and was the anonymous donor of the fine organ which was placed in the restored Cathedral of Peterborough.

Mr. Foster was for many years a Governor of the Bethlem and Bridewell Hospitals, and took the liveliest interest in King Edward's School (belonging to the latter Charity) which removed to Witley from London about 40 years ago. As a Jubilee Memorial in 1887 he presented the handsome Gymnasium to the schools, and built the organ chamber to supplement the gift of an organ to the Chapel by another Governor. It was joy to him to welcome numbers of the boys to his home at Christmas time, when it was their custom to sing Carols.

John Foster was gifted with a very beautiful voice, which he never lost in extreme old age, and was often to be heard singing to himself a Tyneside ballad, or a Scotch song; but his reading can never be forgotten by those who heard it. As he read the Bible, either the lessons in Church, or at family prayers, all the beauty of his voice, his dramatic power, and the whole reverent soul of the man, were poured into the reading.

But to know Mr. Foster really, it was necessary to see him in his home. There was about his house an atmosphere of that old Quaker peace and unworldliness which startled modern men. He was a perfect host, utterly unselfish, with the tender, old-fashioned courtesy of manner, which to-day is almost gone. Affectionate, gentle, and considerate, he was also a brilliant raconteur, and his strong sense of humour emphasized his rare gift of "style" in telling a story.

To the end his brightness, like his devotion, remained undimmed. Troubles came to him in his later years; worries from business, and the sufferings which blindness and helplessness entail, but they never disturbed the perfect calm, which came from his faith in God.J.F.

Bootham 2.6:433-437
1906-03-24 four large watercolour drawings by Myles Birket Foster, from the collection of John Harrison Foster, sold at Christie's Daily Telegraph & Courier (London), 1906-03-26
1907-02-09

At Witley (Surrey) parish church on Saturday a window was unveiled and dedicated to the memory of Mr. John Harrison Foster, a generous supporter of the church, who died last year. It was designed by Mr. Geoffrey Webb, R.A., and the cost has been defrayed by subscription.

Hampshire Chronicle, 1907-02-16
1914-12-19 death of Kate Berry, who had been a faithful friend servant to John H. Foster of Fernside, Witley, for 49 years Surrey Advertiser, 1915-01-09
  Fernside is now a Surrey Heights Care Home. The Mount has been converted into flats Mills (2018)


05. Mary Foster

1821-11-19 b. Rosella Place, Tynemouth, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/404, /775, /1245; censuses; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigree of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England. Privately printed
1841 ind., of Paddock House, Willesden, Middlesex, apparently boarder or lodger in household of John Verey, brewer PRO HO 107/690/17 f4 p3
1847-05/1847-06 visited the Lake District with her brothers John and Birket, and Edmund Evans Reynolds (1984)
1851 of 14 Carlton Hill West, St Marylebone, London, living with her parents, a housemaid, a cook, and two visitors HO 107/1491 f429 p55
1852-06-22 of 14 Carlton-hill, St John's-wood; m. William Atchison (1823–1901, East India merchant, later iron and steel agent, b. Malta, s. Colonel Atchison), at St Mark's parish church, Marylebone, London, by licence GRO index; parish register; Foster (1871); RG 9/90 f36 p2; Morning Chronicle, 1852-06-25
Children: Mary Catherine (1853–1854), William Ernest (1854–1889), Thomas Percy (1857–1899), Mary Florence (1860–1907) censuses; Foster (1871); Joseph Foster (1894) Descendants of John Backhouse, Yeoman of Moss Side, Near Yealand Redman, Lancashire. London: Chiswick Press; GRO index
1861 fundholder, living with her family, a nurse, a cook, a house maid, and an under nurse at 2 Elm Bank, Marylebone, Middlesex RG 9/90 f36 p2
1871 living with her husband, son, cousin, a cook, a parlour maid, and a house maid, at 15 Greville Rd, Marylebone, London RG 10/187 f91 p66
1881 living with her husband, two children, mother, and a cook, a parlourmaid, and a housemaid at 15 Greville Road, Marylebone RG 11/165 f7 p8
1891 of 29 Greville Road, St Marylebone, London, living with her husband, a cook, a parlourmaid, and a housemaid PRO RG 12/105 f79 p63
1901 of 29 Greville Road, Hampstead, London, living with her husband, a parlourmaid, a housemaid, and a visitor RG 13/141 f54 p374
1906-10-07 of 57 Carlton-mansions, Maida Vale, London; d. National Probate Calendar; GRO index
1906-11-17 will proved at London by Lancelot Thompson Glasson and William Foster; effects £2076 11s. 10d. National Probate Calendar


Myles Birket Foster06. (Myles) Birket Foster RA

1825-02-04 b. 2 Rosella Place, North Shields, Northumberland TNA: PRO RG 6/404, /775, /1245; censuses; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigree of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England. Privately printed; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
1829 made his earliest recorded drawing, of an omnibus Jan Reynolds (1984) Birket Foster. London: Batsford
c. 1832 went to the Coars' boarding-school in Tottenham, Middlesex Reynolds (1984)
c. 1835/40 educated at a Quaker boarding-school in Tottenham, and Isaac Brown’s academy, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, where his natural flair for drawing was encouraged Oxford DNB
c. 1835 sent to Isaac Brown's Academy, Hitchin Reynolds (1984)
1841 artist, of 27 East Terrace, Milton, Gravesend, Kent, apparently lodging or boarding with his brother; incorrectly named as John H. Foster PRO HO 107/460/8 f30 p54
1841 holidayed in Scotland with father; afterwards joined the family bottling firm Reynolds (1984)
1842-05-24 of St Anns Villas, Acacia Road, Portland Town, London address on envelope enclosing letter from Robert Spence to Robert Foster, c/o MBF
  after a short while, gashed his thigh in an accident with a bottle, and it was decided he could pursue an art-related career Reynolds (1984)
  due to be placed apprentice with a die-engraver, Mr Stone, but the latter committed suicide before the articles of apprenticeship were signed; then placed as a pupil with Ebenezer Landells; first met Edmund Evans, with whom he was later closely associated as his engraver, while with Landells
1845-05-18 of Stranraer Place, Edgware Road, London address on envelope enclosing letter from Robert Spence to Robert Foster, c/o MBF
1845 sketched in Scotland and the Shetland Isles; around this time was thrown from a chaise, breaking his right arm in two places, and injuring his spine, leading to a lumbar abscess; he had to take to his bed for six months Reynolds (1984)
1846 holidayed in Scotland with his brother Dodshon, and Edmund Evans; left Landells that year
1847-05/1847-06 visited the Lake District with his brother John, his sister Mary, and Edmund Evans
1848-09-17 of 4 Stranraer Place, Maida Vale, London address on envelope enclosing letter from Robert Spence to Robert Foster, c/o MBF
1849-03-15 resignation from the Society of Friends accepted by Westminster mm Reynolds (1984)
1850-01-04

LONGFELLOW'S EVANGELINE, ILLUSTRATED EDITION.

Just ready, handsomely bound, 8vo., price 10s. 6d.,

EVANGELINE: a Tale of Acadie. By H.W. LONGFELLOW. Beautifully Illustrated with Forty-five Engravings on Wood, from Designs by JANE BENHAM, BIRKET FOSTER, and JOHN GILBERT.

David Bogue, Fleet-street.

Morning Post
1850-08-13 artist, of Seaton Sluice; m.1. Anne Spence at Earsdon parish church, Northumberland, by licence marriage certificate
1850 of Marsden Villa, 45 Clifton Road, St John's Wood Reynolds (1984)
1850-12 with Anne, went to see the Exhibition works in Hyde Park, and after seeing the Glass Palace went to Kew Gardens
1851 artist draughtsman on wood, of Marsden Villas, Clifton Road, St Marylebone, Middlesex, living with his wife and a servant PRO HO 107/1491 f397 p41
Children: Myles Birket (1851–1922), William Frederick (1853–1924), Henry (1854–1928), Margaret Ann (1856–1923), Ellen (1857–1946) censuses; GRO index; Foster (1871); Oxford DNB; Philip Spence, ed. (1939) Robert and Mary Spence of North Shields. Newcastle, privately printed; information from Sarah Batchelor; Reynolds (1984)
1852 went on a tour of the Rhineland with Henry Vizetelly, in preparation for his edition of Longfellow's Hyperion Reynolds (1984)
1853-06-06 son b. at Marsden Villa, St John's Wood London Evening Standard, 1853-06-08
1854 with Anne and their nephew Robert Spence Watson (acting as interpreter), travelled for six or seven weeks through Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, gathering material for The Rhine and its Picturesque Scenery (published in 1856) Reynolds (1984)
1856-01-27 daughter b. at 45 Clifton Road, St John's Wood Dundee, Perth, and Cupar Advertiser, 1856-02-01
early 1857 moved to 12 Carlton Hill East, St John's Wood Reynolds (1984)
1859 artist wife's death certificate
1860-02 elected an Associate of the Society of Painters in Water-colours Reynolds (1984)
1860 autumn spent three weeks touring the Rhineland, Switzerland and France with Joseph, Sarah, and Robert Spence Watson, and Polly Brown
1861 painter in water colors, with his niece and three boarders in Godalming, Surrey; actually resident at 12 Carlton Hill East, St John's Wood; from 1860 to 1876 rented a small house as a summer residence—Tigbourne Cottage, Witley—which he was visiting at the time of the census RG 9/429 f132 p7; information from Sarah Batchelor; Reynolds (1984)
1862-02-13 elected as a full member of the Society of Painters in Water-colours Reynolds (1984)
1863-06-15 baptised as an adult at St Peter's, Belsize Park, London parish register
1863/1893 lived at The Hill, Witley, Surrey, a large house largely designed by himself on three acres of land, extensively decorated by William Morris and Co. Reynolds (1984)
1864-02-29 of The Hill, Witley, Surrey Mosscroft visitors' book
1864-05-15 of Witley, Surrey
1864-08-25 artist, of Godalming, Surrey; m.2. Frances Watson (1841–1921, d. of Dawson and Mary Watson, the former a solicitor, of Sedbergh), at St Mark's, St Pancras, London; by licence parish register; Foster (1871); Oxford DNB; Reynolds (1984)
  Contrary to what is stated by Jan Reynolds (1984), Frances Watson is not known to be related to Birket Foster in any way.  
1865 visited Switzerland with Fanny Reynolds (1984)
1865-09-20 of The Hill, Witley, Surrey Mosscroft visitors' book
1866-09-07 of The Hill, Witley
1867-09-19/-20 of Witley, Surrey
1868-05/1868-06 toured in North Italy and Switzerland, with his wife, Elizabeth Foster Brown and her daughter Elizabeth, and William Orchardson Reynolds (1984)
1868-10-06 of Witley, Surrey Mosscroft visitors' book
1869-10-28 of Witley, Surrey
1869-12-08 of Witley, Surrey
1871 artist, figure and landscape painter, of The Hill, Godalming, Surrey, living with his family and four servants RG 10815 f36 p4
1871-09-24 of The Hill, Witley; "When the wine's in the wit's out" Mosscroft visitors' book
1871-09-27 of The Hill, Witley; pen & ink sketch: "The High level of Newcastle & the dead level of the artist"
1875-04-03 "The Family Friend contains a portrait of Birket Foster, the artist" . . . Hampshire Telegraph
1875-04-10 . . . "Mr. Birket Foster, the exquisite water-colour painter, who, from making a few pounds per week as an engraver, has become an artist whose gains are as much as one of her Majesty's Judges." Cheshire Observer
1877-09-13 of the Hill, Witley; with his wife, attended the Witley and Milford Cottagers' Show, where his gardener, Mr Jordan, was among the exhibitors Sussex Agricultural Express, 1877-09-18
1879-09-02 that month's Men of Mark included a portrait of Mr Birket Foster The Scotsman
1881 artist- painter, of "The Hill", Wormley, Godalming, Surrey, living with his family, a cook, a parlour maid, two house maids, and a laundry maid; The Hill also has a coachman's lodge and a gardener's lodge, with the families of each RG 11/780 f31 p2
1883-10-04/-06 of Witley, Surrey Bensham Grove visitors' books
1890-09-27

This year's issue of the Art Annual (the Christmas number of the Art Journal) will tell the story of the life and work of that popular painter, Mr. Birket Foster. Mr. Marcus B. Huish is the biographer. There will be some forty illustrations in the text, besides some steel-plates and an original etching of "The Little Shepherds."

St James's Gazette
1891 artist painter, of "The Hill", Godalming, living with his wife, a son, a cook, a parlour maid, a laundry maid, two house maids, a kitchen maid, with a gardener and a coachman housed separately, with their families RG 12/562 f41 p5
1893 seriously ill; sold The Hill for £10,000, to Edgar Horne, chairman of the Prudential Assurance Company Reynolds (1984)
1894-06-25 left The Hill and moved to Braeside, The Heath, Weybridge, Surrey (the last house in the road now known as Hanger Hill) Reynolds (1984); Oxford DNB
1895-05-31 made his will, leaving to his wife £200, his wines and consumable stores, and the income for life of his residuary estate, otherwise all to his children as tenants in common Morning Post, 1899-06-09
1899-02-25 "Mr. Birket Foster is lying dangerously ill at his residence at Weybridge." Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser
1899-03-07

The friends of Mr Birket Foster have been in great anxiety about his health. The news from Weybridge last week was most dispiriting—it was scarcely hoped he would get the better of the sharp attack which had prostrated him. The latest news is much more hopeful, and he seems well on the way to recovery.

Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette
1899-03-27 member of the Royal society of painters and water colours, of 'Braeside,' Weybridge; d. Braeside, The Heath, Weybridge, after three attacks of haemorrhage from the stomach National Probate Calendar; Oxford DNB; GRO index; Reynolds (1984)

DEATH OF MR BIRKET FOSTER.

A GREAT TYNESIDE ARTIST.

Native of North Shields.

The great water-colour artist, Mr Birket Foster, died last night at Braeside, Weybridge. Mr Foster was born at North Shields on February 4th, 1825. He came of an old Quaker family which has for generations held an honourable name this North-country, and whose descendants still hold high positions. Among these we may, at the outset, mention Dr Robert Spence Watson, his nephew, and Mr John Foster Spence, of Tynemouth, who was the second of eighteen children born to Mary, the daughter of Robert Foster, of Lancaster, grandfather of the artist, by marriage with Robert Spence, of Darley, in Yorkshire. Birket Foster was in direct lineage from Robert Foster, of Cold Hesledon, County Durham, who was born in the early half of the 17th century. The direct heads of the families lived successively at Hawthorne, Lancaster, and Hebblethwaite Hall. His mother was Ann King, the only daughter of Joseph and Mary King, of Newcastle-on-Tyne.

Mr Foster, at the age of sixteen, was placed with Mr Landells, the wood-engraver, by whose advice, after he had practiced engraving for a short time, he became a draughtsman. At the age of 21 he started on his own account, illustrated several children's books, and drew a great deal for the Illustrated London News. He illustrated Longfellow's "Evangeline," Beattie's "Minstrel" "Goldsmith's Poetical Works," and several other works of a similar kind; and had been employed on many of the better class of illustrated books that have issued from the press, especially a handsome volume devoted to English landscape, with descriptions from the pen of Mr Tom Taylor, published in 1863. He then resolved to follow a different branch of art, and began water-colour painting; and in 1860 he was elected a member of the Water-Colour Society. He was the most widely known, and perhaps the most popular of English landscape artists in water-colour.

[continues with reproducing in full a long letter from Foster which appeared in the Shields Daily Gazette on 19 October 1869]

In August, 1850, Mr Foster was married at the little Northumbrian village of Earsdon to Ann, the daughter of Robert and Mary Spence, and had three sons and two daughters of the marriage. His eldest son, Myles Birket, has followed the profession of music, and as organist of the Foundling Hospital, and the author of many services, holds high rank among his fellows. His second son, William, is well known as a water-colour artist and illustrator, especially of children's books, in which he has displayed a considerable fund of humour. Henry Foster, the third son, is in the firm of Messrs Henry Foster and Co, firebrick manufacturers, of Backworth, Northumberland. Mrs Foster died in 1859, and in 1864 the artist married again, the lady of his choice this time being a daughter of Mr Dawson Watson, of Sedbergh, and a sister of Mr J.D. Watson, also a member of the Society of Painters in Water Colours.

Shields Daily Gazette, 1899-03-28
1899-03-29 obituary referred to him as "certainly the most popular water-colour artist of our time" The Times, 1899-03-29

MR. BIRKET FOSTER.

Mr. Birket Foster died on Monday night at Braeside, Weybridge, Surrey, at the age of seventy-four. Born at North Shields in 1825, his artistic career extended over something like sixty years, and the most considerable portion of this long period was devoted to work in water-colours. But Mr. Foster was brought up as a wood-engraver—having entered the work-room of Mr. Landels at the age of sixteen—and to the last there remained traces of his early training and his early avocation: attention to "line" and to balance of light and shade having been leading characteristics of his labour. A careful and well-equipped draughtsman, Mr. Foster engaged and deserved attention as an illustrator not only of children's books, but of many volumes of poems. His vision and his rendering of placid landscape and of rustic life were, to a remarkable degree, his own. Being an educated man, he could not, of course, affect indifference to the works of the Masters. Turner influenced him greatly; but that influence is seen not so much in the elaborately-wrought water-colours which, after a while, came to charm the somewhat naïve connoisseurship of the 'Sixties, as in the vignettes which glowed now upon the printed and now upon the painted page. Everywhere—whether in his least or in his most satisfactory work—Birket Foster was a master of Composition. As a colourist he was agreeable occasionally, though never great; and while to disparage him altogether would be to take but the very narrowest view of the functions of Art, it must be admitted that his touch was not seldom "niggling"—that in his search for finish, he habitually, thought not invariably, lacked freedom. As he himself had been influenced, so, in his time and turn, Birket Foster influenced others; and to labours to which he had undoubtedly given the first direction that they took, Frederick Walker, for instance, brought the eye of a greater colourist, and for all his minute finish, of a more powerful and penetrating observer of life. The influence, however—which there is no gainsaying—was creditable to both the men concerned in it. In 1860, Mr. Foster was elected to the membership of the Royal Water-colour Society—then the "Old" Society—and it was in the rooms in Pall-mall East that many of his more popular drawings obtained approval. Mr. Foster was established many years ago at a beautiful house in his favourite Surrey; and his work there influenced another distinguished artist, who is most of all at home in that district—Mrs. Allingham. Fashions come and go; and the lack of the masculine in Mr. Foster's art is felt, perhaps, notably nowadays; yet much is to be said for the symmetry and prettiness, the well-possessed knowledge, and the dexterous, if over-dainty, handwork, displayed in his innumerable designs. The funeral will take place on Saturday afternoon at Witley, a village between Guildford and Haslemere, where Mr. Foster resided for a number of years.

London Evening Standard

DEATH OF MR. BIRKET FOSTER.

We regret to announce the decease of Mr. Birket Foster, the popular watercolour painter, which occurred at Braeside, Weybridge, Surrey, on Monday night. Myles Birket Foster, to give his full name, was born at North Shields on Feb. 4, 1825. He was a member of an old Quaker family, which had for many generations held an honourable position in the North Country. Though the famous wood-engraver of those regions, Bewick, died in 1828, when Birket Foster was consequently but three years of age, his art is said, according to local tradition, to have exercised a considerable influence over the child, who, as a draughtsman, showed even more than the precocity which has been the rule rather than the exception with those who have selected art as a vocation. It had originally been intended to apprentice Birket Foster to a die-engraver, but unforeseen circumstances having rendered this arrangement abortive, he was first placed with Ebenezer Landells, a wood-engraver, and pupil of Bewick, who was, like himself, of North-Country origin. The illustrations for Punch were for the time being almost entirely produced in Landells' studio, and Foster himself remembered the day when his master, entering the engravers' workshop, exclaimed: Well, boys, we've fixed on the title; we're going to call it Punch." Birket Foster's first design in this paper appeared in the number of Sept. 5, 1841. He afterwards did much work for the Illustrated London News, and especially in connection with its annual almanack. A great boon to the youthful artist, whose tuition had necessarily been of the rough and ready order, was the protection of Jacob Bell, the friend of Landseer, and the donor of many popular pictures to the British section of the National Gallery. He was thus enabled to study closely many fine things then in the possession of this collector. In those early days—following the advice given by his master, Landells—the artist spent much of his spare time in the fields, copying faithfully every detail of the rustic scenes around him, and especially the trees and foreground plants. To this practice, and to his early training in wood-engraving on a small scale, may in a great measure be attributed his excessive love for minute stippling and tours de force in the rendering of local detail.

Birket Foster's first great success was achieved with the illustrations to Longfellow's "Evangeline," which were published in 1850, and at once won enthusiastic praise from the critics of light and leading of the day, and from the then proverbially hypercritical Athenæum in particular. He subsequently illustrated "The Minor Poems of Longfellow," "Hyperion," a book by Henry Mayhew on the Rhine, and—a labour of love to him—"Scott's Poems." The deceased artist's regular work in connection with book illustration came to an end in 1860. He supplied however, much later on—in 1871 and 1872—a series of highly-finished and very characteristic vignettes to Moxon's edition of Hood's poems, these being engraved on steel by the veteran William Miller, of Edinburgh. He had an important watercolour drawing in the Royal Academy exhibition of 1859. In 1860 he was unanimously elected an Associate of the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours. From the interesting monograph on the artist published by Mr. Marcus B. Huish, we learn that her Majesty the Queen, visiting the exhibition according to her custom in those years, expressed a wish to purchase one of the drawings with which Birket Foster had secured his election, but that the purchaser—for it was already sold—refused to part with it. The name of the churlish person had the questionable courage to act thus ungraciously is not given. By no means Birket Foster's least claim to distinction is founded on the circumstance that he showed great kindness and extended unlimited hospitality to Frederick Walker, who passed a great part of his time, and did a good deal of his work, in Foster's charming country house. The early performances of the greater painter prove, moreover, that his senior exercised over him a considerable influence—not wholly, it must be owned, for good. Yet Walker, if he took, also gave back. Birket Foster's figure painting in rustic scenes reveals on occasion marked traces of Walker's style. An excursion was made by the now deceased artist with Frederick Walker and Mr. Orchardson to Venice in 1868. This was not, however, the class of scenery to inspire him, and we cannot greatly regret that the fifty drawings on Venetian themes made for the late Mr. Charles Seeley have never been seen in public. It would serve no useful purpose to give a list here of the innumerable drawings exhibited by the painter at the exhibitions of the Royal Watercolour Society. Its catalogues, from 1860 onwards, are the best witness to the unfailing industry of an artist always more popular with the general public than with the more restricted circle of art-lovers. Fourteen oil pictures were exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1868 and 1877, but after the latter date Foster would appear to have renounced the use of the nobler medium and to have restricted himself again to his favourite method of execution.

It would be uncandid to assert, even in such a moment as this, that Birket Foster, for all his popularity in certain widely-extended circles, occupies, or will occupy, a commanding place among the masters of British water-colour. That he departed from the technical processes used by such men s De Wint, Barret, Varley, Cotman, David Cox, and the giants of their time—to say nothing in this connection of Turner, who stands by himself—is rather to his credit than otherwise, though we may not be able unreservedly to accept the innovations introduced, or to applaud the results achieved. His style—the outcome of his training as a wood-engraver and vignettist—is, however, too small in its prettiness, his execution is too mechanical in its finish, his colour too dry, too timid, too little vibrant. The Nature he loved as a rule to depict is too much Nature clipped and cropped into a decent and well-ordered neatness, but thus robbed of the better part of her power to move—of the deeper note of pathos and the sovereign charm of mystery. All the same, it would be unfair not to point out that—accepting for the moment Birket Foster's peculiar standard—the smallness, not only in the dimensions and the execution, but also in conception, of his transcriptions of English scenery—he must be credited with certain qualities of completeness, sound finish, and accomplishment which are not those of the first comer. His composition was finely balanced and harmonious to the point, often, of conventionality; his interpretation of purely English scenery showed real feeling and a genuine appreciation of its soothing, home-like beauty. He knew how to convey the impression—in itself giving a certain sense of satisfaction—that he had spared no pains in the effort to realise what he had seen or conceived. When, stepping out of the narrow circle within which his popularity, even more than his will, confined him, Birket Foster painted such things as "The Falls of the Tummel" and "Rouen Cathedral," he revealed the possession of higher qualities than those which we have just noted as his, and stood firmly on a higher level. The last exhibition of the deceased artist's work was a very pretty one, made up by vignette-like drawings of remarkable finish, which was brought together quite recently at Messrs. Tooth's, in the Haymarket.

The funeral of the deceased painter will take place on Saturday afternoon, at Witley, a village between Guildford and Haslemere, where he resided for many years.

Daily Telegraph & Courier (London)
1899-04-01

It is now announced that the funeral of Mr. Birket Foster will take place at Witley at 11.30 on Saturday morning. A train to convey friends to the funeral leaves Waterloo at 9.14.

London Daily News, 1899-03-30
bur. north side of Witley churchyard, Surrey Oxford DNB
of Weybridge; bur. All Saints, Witley parish register

FUNERAL OF MR. BIRKET FOSTER.—The funeral of the late Mr. Birket Foster took place on Saturday morning, when the body was interred in the family vault at Witley Cemetery, between Guildford and Haslemere. Mrs. Foster was buried in the same grave some years ago, and Mr. Birket Foster himself resided at Witley for many years. There was a very large attendance of old acquaintances, of friends of the family, and of artists. The chief mourners were the two sons (Mr. Miles Foster and Mr. Henry Foster), the daughter, and Mr. John Foster (brother). Among those who went down from London were Mr. James Foster, of Glasgow (nephew); Alderman King and Miss King, of Manchester (cousins); Mr. Joseph Foster, of Oxford, and Mrs. Henry Richardson (nephew and niece.; Mr. Waterlow, President of the Royal Water-colour Society; Mr. A. Hopkins, R.W.C.S.; Mr. S.J. Hodson, R.W.C.S.; and Mr. S. Evans,R.W.C.S.

Morning Post, 1899-04-03

[ . . . ] Many beautiful wreaths were sent from artistic friends, some of them bearing words of admiration for the beautiful works left by the deceased painter. The service was conducted by the Rev. S.E. Eddis, the Re. E.J. Seymour, and the Rev. Arthur Chandler. In the church the hymns selected were "Peace, perfect peace" and "On the Resurrection morning," and at the graveside the choir sang "Jesu, Lover of my soul."

Daily Telegraph & Courier (London), 1899-04-03
1899-06-06 will proved at London by Frances Foster, widow, John Postle Heseltine, stockbroker, and Lancelot Thompson Glasson, barrister-at-law; effects £30,537 12s. 4d.; resworn Dec 1899 at £35,323 14s. 4d. National Probate Calendar
  The work of Birket Foster is represented in over fifty public collections; major holdings can be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Birmingham City Art Gallery, the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, and the Henry E. Huntington Art Gallery, San Marino, California. Oxford DNB
  Bibliography  


07. James Foster

1830-11-14 b. Aberdeen Place, Maida Hill, London TNA: PRO RG 6/425; Joseph Foster (1871) Pedigree of the Forsters and Fosters of the North of England. Privately printed
1832-04-22 of John Street, Pentonville, St James Clerkenwell, London; d. Pentonville PRO RG 6/1126; Foster (1871)
1832-02-25 bur. Stoke Newington fbg RG 6/1126


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