an ingenious self-taught sculptor, born at Carluke, Lanarkshire, in
1790, was bred a stone-mason in the quarries of Clydesdale. His first
public work was the statue of Sir William Wallace, which, in 1817, was
placed in the steeple of the parish church at Lanark. His next work was
the colossal figure, fourteen feet high, of the first Viscount Melville,
which, in 1821, was placed on the elegant pillar, a copy of Trajanís
column at Rome, in the centre of St. Andrew Square, Edinburgh. The
height of the column is 136 feet, the diameter at the base, 12 feet. Mr.
Forrest was also the sculptor of the well-known statue of John Knox in
the Necropolis of Glasgow.
In 1832, Mr. Forrest
opened a public exhibition of statuary on the Calton Hill, Edinburgh,
with four equestrian statues, under the patronage of the Royal
Association of Contributors to the National Monument of Scotland. In
progress of time the gallery was extended to about thirty groups, all
executed by the indefatigable sculptor himself, and the statuary soon
took its place as one of the most popular exhibitions in the Scottish
metropolis. His figures all display remarkable boldness of attitude,
great accuracy of proportion, and minute attention to detail. Several of
the finest of them are strikingly original in design, as well as show
great skill in execution. In 1843, a statue by him, of the then recently
deceased Mr. Ferguson of Raith, was erected at Haddington, considered
one of the best of his works. Mr. Forrest died at Edinburgh, Dec. 29,
1852, in his 63d year.