E.M. Forster's Dublin Ancestors
The writer of A Room with a View, Howard’s End, and A Passage to India had Irish ancestry through his father, Edward Morgan Llewellyn Forster. (1847-1880).
Edward’s father was Charles Forster who was born and baptised in the Church of Ireland parish of St. Mary’s, Dublin in 1789. He was the first member of the Forster family to be a published author when he became the biographer in the 1830s of Bishop John Jebb of Limerick, Ardfert and Aghadoe. Having pursued a career in the church, Charles Forster left Ireland in the 1830s to take charge of the rectory in Stisted, Essex.
Charles’s older brother, James William Forster, was probably better known as a churchman in Ireland. He served as Archdeacon of Limerick and was also a published author, writing a theological book called The Apocalypse,its own interpreter, in 1853.
Charles Forster’s parents were Charles Forster and Mary Morgan who were married in St. Mary’s Church of Ireland, Mary Street, Dublin, on the 16th of March 1783. The Forsters lived in several places on the north side of Dublin city, including Dorset Street and Middle Gardiner Street.
Mary Morgan also had connections with this part of Dublin. She belonged to a family with links to Monasterevin, Co. Kildare and she was almost certainly related to Robert Morgan, who had a furniture-making business on Dublin’s Henry Street. (Trading at No. 16.)
E.M. Forster was known as Morgan and so his name memorializes his Irish great-grandmother, Mary Morgan.
When strolling down Dublin’s Henry Street, and past the plain exterior of St. Mary’s Church, fans of E.M. Forster’s novels may enjoy the thought that his direct ancestors trod these same streets.