image forster t, im001501
Image number: RS.9556
Credit: © The Royal Society
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Portrait of Thomas Forster


19th century


Thomas Ignatius Maria Forster (1789-1860, British), Science writer

Object type

Image reference




height (print): 285mm
width (print): 220mm

Content object

   > animal
      > dog


Head and shoulders portrait of Forster with a churchwarden pipe [?] and his dog, Shargs.

Inscribed: “Dr Tho Forster & his Dog Shargs”.

Thomas Ignatius Maria Forster was not a Fellow of the Royal Society, declining Fellowship in 1816. However, he associated widely with scientists and married Julia Beaufoy the daughter of Henry Beaufoy FRS.

Forster has been seen by some as an early proponent of animal rights and his written work included eulogies on his dogs and his book Philozoia (1839) was similarly inspired. He wrote the verses Inscription for the tomb of my old dog
Shargs, commencing:

Beneath these trees I've buried my old dog,
Who, nine years by my side was wont to jog,
With him I loved the weary day to spend,
My brother mortal and my only friend.
But now his tongue is mute, his bones are old.
His nerves are quiet and his blood is cold.

Associated place

<The World>
   > Europe
      > United Kingdom