Alexander Forrester was made a bencher on 27 November 1762. He had a large law practice in the Court of Chancery, the House of Lords, the Privy Council, and the Board of Trade. One of his regular clients was the duke of Bedford. In 1754, he represented the lower house of the General Assembly of Virginia in a very contentious dispute before the Privy Council against the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia over fees for putting the seal to royal patents. At the time of his death, he had chambers at 6 New Square, Lincoln's Inn. He was a member of Parliament from 1758 to 1774, where he was an adherent to the duke of Bedford's party. He died unmarried on 2 July 1787 in London at the age of 761 and was buried in the vault of the Temple Church.

Forrester never intended for his reports to be published. However, he lent them to a friend, whose clerk, a Mr. Ridge of the Middle Temple, made surreptitiously a copy of part of them, and sold them to the bookseller, T. Waller. When Forrester discovered that his work was about to be published, he sued Waller in the Court of Chancery and got an injunction restraining the publication. However, he afterwards relented and allowed the books to be sold. The high quality of these reports was immediately recognized, and there were several later editions. The one by John Griffith Williams (c. 1760-1799) in 1792 being notable for its scholarly erudition. Although the first editions did not mention Forrester's authorship, it was well known internationally that they were made by him, and they are often cited as 'Forrester's Reports'

Document Type


Publication Date