From: "A History of the Scotch Presbyterian Church, St. Gabriel Street,
By Rev, Robert Campbell, M.A., 1887
There were two Forsyth’s, in the arm, “Forsyth, Richardson & Co.,” who appear second as subscribing twenty pounds towards erecting the St. Gabriel Street Church, Thomas and John. They were young Scotchmen, from Aberdeen, who early crossed the sea in search of fortune. In this they were eminently successful. They stood foremost among the commercial houses of the city, at the end of last century, and during the first thirty years of the present century. Their business was a general one; but like all the other merchants of the period, they dealt largely in furs, which was the most lucrative branch of their trade.
Thomas Forsyth removed to Kingston, in Upper Canada, where he carried on business until his death. Although the firm always subscribed handsomely, whenever an effort had to be put forth on behalf of the Presbyterian church, the Forsyths, individually, do not seem to have taken any part in the work of the church. Thomas appears to have had decided Episcopalian leanings, as his name is found prominent in the records of Christ Church, of which he was a warden, in 1822.
Hon. John Forsyth, although showing less capacity for public enterprises than his more distinguished partner, Mr. Richardson, yet took a small share in some of the undertakings of the period. He was a director of the Bank of Montreal, as well as of the Montreal Fire Insurance company, in 1820. He was appointed a Legislative Councillor in 1826. Having acquired a competency, he returned to Scotland, where he spent the evening of his days in well-earned repose.
But the junior member of the firm, John
Richardson, who was a native of Banffshire, Scotland, was a
man of energy and action par excellence. The Montreal of the period owed
more to him a great deal, than to any other of its citizens; for whenever
anything was to be done, requiring skill and energy for its accomplishment,
John Richardson was the man whom his fellow-citizens called to the front.
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