Forsyth Places & People

Clan Forsyth People

William Forsyth (1737 – 1804) - (main image)
Scottish botanist. He was a royal head gardener and a founding member of the Royal Horticultural Society. A genus of flowering plants, Forsythia, is named in his honor. Forsyth was born at Old Meldrum, in Aberdeenshire, and trained as a gardener at the Chelsea Physic Garden. In 1779 he was appointed as chief superintendent of the royal gardens at Kensington and St James’s.

Peter Taylor Forsyth, P. T. Forsyth, (1842-1921)
Scottish theologian. The son of a postman, he studied at the University of Aberdeen and then in Göttingen. He was ordained into the Congregational Ministry and held a number of posts before becoming Principal of Hackney College, London.

An early interest in critical theology made him suspect to some more orthodox Christians. However, he increasingly came to the conclusion that liberal theology moral problem of the guilty conscience. This led him to a moral crisis, which he found resolved in the atoning work of Christ. His theology and attack on liberal Christianity can be found in his most famous work was The Person and Place of Christ (1909), which anticipated much of the neo-orthodox theology of the next generation. He has often been called a ‘Barthian before Barth’.

Bill Forsyth (born 1946)
Scottish film director and writer, noted for his commitment to national film-making. Forsyth first came to attention with a low-budget film That Sinking Feeling, made with youth theatre actors and featuring a cameo appearance by the Edinburgh gallery owner Richard Demarco.

Bill Forsyth

The relative success of the film was carried to a higher level by his next film Gregory’s Girl in 1981. This featured some of the same young actors, in particular John Gordon Sinclair, as well as the acting debut of the singer Clare Grogan. The film was a major hit and won ‘Best Screenplay’ in that year’s BAFTA Awards.

He later wrote and directed the successful Local Hero for David Puttnam. When Puttnam went to Hollywood, Forsyth followed but with limited success. Housekeeping was his first American film in 1987. His film Being Human was buried by the studio for four years after Puttnam was ousted. Gregory’s Two Girls appeared as a Gregory’s Girl sequel in 2000, but received mixed reviews.

Michael Bruce Forsyth, Baron Forsyth of Drumlean, (born 1954)
Conservative & Unionist Party politician. He served as Secretary of State for Scotland from 1995 to 1997, during which he led a high profile but ultimately unsuccessful campaign against the opposition parties’ plans to establish a devolved Scottish Parliament.

He particularly homed in on the proposals for the parliament to have the power to vary the basic rate of income tax by up to three pence in the pound, which he repeatedly dubbed the “Tartan Tax”. Forsyth’s persistence was widely credited with prompting the Labour Party’s unexpected decision – bitterly criticised by the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party – to separate out the tax-varying issue in a two-question referendum on devolution. However the “Tartan Tax” label was not enough to prevent the Scottish electorate ultimately voting in favour of the proposal by an almost two-to-one margin.

Forsyth first entered parliament for Stirling in the 1983 election, and lost his seat to Anne McGuire from Labour in the 1997 election. He is now a member of the House of Lords, and worked in the City of London for investment bank, JP Morgan; latterly as Deputy Chairman; he stepped down from this position in July 2005.