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William Edward Forster (1818-1886), Politician, MP for Bradford, industrialist and philanthropist; son of William Forster
Sitter in 19 portraits
Politician; from a Quaker background, Forster entered the Bradford wool trade in 1842 and soon took a keen interest in politics and the condition of the poor. He served as a Liberal MP for the city from 1861 until 1886, assuming responsibility for major legislation leading to a national system of education under Gladstone's first administration of 1868. Appointed by Gladstone as Chief Secretary for Ireland in 1880, he resigned office in 1882.