The Prospect Heritage Trust Inc.

Rev R Forrest

© Prospect Heritage Trust Inc.

Special thanks goes to Jenny Pearce

Robert Forrest (1802-1854) officiated at St Bartholomew’s for a short period during the incumbency of Rev. Troughton.

He came from Westmoreland England, where he was educated at the local grammar school St Bees's in Cumberland a new foundation for the training of non-graduate candidates for the ministry. He was ordained deacon by Bishop Howley of London on 23 December 1827 and priest by Bishop Blomfield of London on 21 December 1828. Blomfield had known Forrest in the north and in 1831 recommended him to the Colonial Office for the headmastership of The King's School, Parramatta. (ref. Ken Cable 'Robert Forrest" ADB Vol 1 William Gunther 'A short history of the Kings School’.)

He arrived from England to take up the position of Headmaster of The Kings School, Parramatta when it opened in 1832 in temporary quarters in Parramatta with twelve pupils. The Kings School staff and religious instruction was to be Anglican but the school would be open to children of all religions. He was paid 100 pounds per annum, which included a land and housing grant. Ill health forced him to resign from The King’s School in 1939.'s_School,_Sydney

Rev Forrest was very good and conscientious teacher, but believed in firmness. He was a man of good character who inspired loyalty from those who worked with him. His main sporting interests were cricket and hockey.

In 1838, after Samuel Marsden's death, Forrest had been licensed as assistant minister at St John's, Parramatta, and the Field of Mars, with special responsibility for the latter district, later All Saints', North Parramatta. On leaving The King's School, Forrest was appointed incumbent of Campbelltown, to which Narellan was added in December. He also had charge of Camden, not yet a distinct parish. Forrest found parochial life congenial and his health began to improve. He took some pupils, among them George Fairfowl Macarthur, who was to revive The King's School in 1868.

In January 1848 he returned to the Kings School, It had fallen on bad times in the early 1840s and he had a hard struggle to revive it. His health again suffered and he was granted eighteen months leave in September 1853. He returned to England in the Kate and died on 7 November 1854 at Highgate, near Kendal, the residence of his brother George. He was buried at Troutbeck, Westmorland, near his parents' grave. Jane, his wife, who had been his active helper in his schoolmastering days, died on 8 May 1877.

His memory  was commemorated by a former pupil Robert Campbell, with the  forming of a Broughton and Forrest scholarship at Oxford or Cambridge.

( ref Ken Cable 'Robert Forrest" ADB Vol 1 William Gunther 'A short history of the Kings School)

At the school is a portrait of Forrest in 1854 by Marshall Claxton.

The King's School Parramatta, c1890 until its move to the current campus in North Parramatta 1960s.