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oust. Previous to this last contest, when the Tory government were muddling the “Representation of the People Bill," a large demonstration in favour of reform was promoted principally by Mr. Cowen, and many thousands of the miners of the two counties took part in it. During the agiHi tation, antecedent and subsequent to the passing of the # Education Act, Mr. Cowen united himself with several other
gentlemen in Newcastle, as an Education League, in connection with the National League, and was appointed as its chairman. This league initiated several very important meetings in Newcastle and district, and no doubt assisted is much towards getting the Education Act passed. In 1871, * he was elected a member of the Newcastle School Board,
then newly formed, and in company with Mr. R. S. Watson, and Dr. Rutherford, fought with great vigour against the sectarian tendencies of the majority. His connection with the co-operative movement in the north is known to all, and I his ardent sympathies with the welfare of the miners is also a matter of notoriety. He has held the office of president of the Northern Union Mechanics’ Institutes, and is at present a vice-president of that useful institution. He has ever advocated the establishment of Mechanics’ Institutes, Reading Rooms, and Free Schools in all small towns and villages, and Free Libraries in all large towns. From Mr. Joseph Cowen came first the suggestion which ultimately resulted in the establishment of the Newcastle Physical Science, for though Dean Lake was as active as any man could be in its promotion, it was probable that but for Mr. Cowen, no such institution would at present be in existence. In 1872, he had the extreme satisfaction of seeing a well-deserved compliment paid to his father, who was knighted in that year by the Queen, not for tuft-hunting, as too many get such honours bestowed upon them, but as a recognition of a long life spent in the service of his country, and in the assertion of manly independence, Mr. Cowen is ever ready with his eloquence or pen to advocate any cause that has right and justice upon its side, and there is scarce a public meeting held in Newcastle, or neighbourhcod, in favour of any reform, in which he does not take part, either as president or speaker.
GEORGE BAKER FORSTER.
(See Portrait, page 190.) Mr. George Baker Forster is the son of Mr. Thoma Emmerson Forster, a colliery engineer, well known in th North of England. Mr. Forster was educated at Cambridg University, where he graduated M.A., and was destined for the profession of a Clergyman in the Church of England but he was never ordained; and preferring his father' calling he threw away all chances of promotion that might have been open to him in the church, and got an engage ment as a mining engineer. He first came prominently be fore the public in connection with the Hartley aceident
, and the part he took in endeavouring to clear the shaft, not only proved him to be a man of great skill and ability but one possessing a generous sympathy with his fellow men. Since then he has often taken part in public matters con: nected with collieries, and has won a confidence not only of the majority of the coal owners in the district, but also in the entire body of men. He is also a partner in several collieries, including Cambois and Cowpen, and he was mainly instrumental in building a place of meeting for the men at the first named colliery a year or two ago.
Mr. Forster was elected as one of the examiners into the qualifications of candidates for viewerships, under the new Coal Mines Rigulation Act, and has besides been appointed by the shareholders of the Co-operative Coal Mining Company of Newcastle as their engineer.
BLYTH: John Robinson, Jun., Printer and Publisher.