John Foster of Bedford

???? - 1832


Son of William Foster of Bedford, and with his brother Frederick William Foster co-heir to Dawkins otherwise Bogue and Eden estates.

  1. Will of John Foster [of Brickhill in the parish] of St Peter Bedford proved 14/02/1832. He left his half share in the estates inherited from his father, together with the people and land since bought jointly with his brother, in trust for Arthur Fitzjohn Foster, his oldest son by his present wife. His estate at Bedford was committed under his marriage settlement to his wife Amelia and then his eldest son; he left another estate at Shelton [?] Hall to his daughter Margaret by his first marriage; and land known as Knotts Corner that he had bought from the Corporation of Bedford to his son 'Hugh Morgan' [sic].

  2. Washington Irving, the American writer, met John Foster's family in Dresden in 1823, and appears to have courted Foster's daughter Emily. Irving subsequently visited the family at home in Bedford in 1824.

  3. John Foster's son, Morgan Hugh Foster, became the General Manager of the Ottoman Bank; John Foster's grandson was the chess player Sir George Thomas.


  1. PROB 11/1795/289.

  2. Andrew Burstein, The Original Knickerbocker: the Life of Washington Irving (2008) pp. 172-178, in which John Foster is described as 'an English aristocrat'; Reichart, Walter A. "Washington Irving, the Fosters, and the Forsters." Modern Language Notes 50.1 (1935): 35-39.

  3. Chess Notes, by Edward Winter [accessed 13/11/2017].

Further Information


Associated Estates (4)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1787 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Joint owner
1768 [SY] - 1799 [LA] → Joint owner
1792 [EA] - 1799 [LA] → Not known

Appears as owner of Elim intermittently between 1792 and 1799. If the John Foster who appears again 1826-1832 after the death of Eugene Frederick Foster was the same man, he cannot nevertheless be the same man as the claimant as tenant-in-tail in 1834.

1789 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Owner

Possibly tenant-for-life

Legacies Summary

Physical (1)

Country house
Brickhill House [Purchased] 
description →
The Brickhill estate was bought by John Foster at an uncertain date in the late 18thC or early 19thC: he was living there by 1807. The house, dating from the 16thC, was destroyed by fire in...

Relationships (6)

Son → Father
Uncle → Nephew
Nephew → Uncle
Nephew → Uncle

Addresses (1)

Brickhill House, Bedford, Bedfordshire, Central England, England