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Only on this website, not on any estate agent or council or community websites, is it revealed that purchasers/leaseholders of residential Sovereign Harbour property must pay a unique annual and increasingly expensive flood defence and harbour charge averaging £290 a year in 2019 (£265 a year in 2018) in addition to council taxes, property insurance, management fees and ground rents. In no other flood area or harbour or marina area or private estate anywhere else in Britain, the UK, Europe or the world does this apply. A much wider flood zone area than just Sovereign Harbour is involved, affecting  more than 17,000 homes, yet the Sovereign Harbour Trust, owned by The Wellcome Trust makes only 3,104 Sovereign Harbour residents and their successors pay it, to the Environment Agency, not businesses including managing agents and property developers. As Members of Parliament and Eastbourne Borough and East Sussex County councillors have refused to help right this wrong applicable uniquely and solely to Sovereign Harbour residents, the matter has now been referred to overseas agencies . A second unique covenant  requires owners/leaseholders of 369 South Harbour properties in the water feature precinct to pay a further annual charge of £328 in 2018. It is the only such water feature in the world that applies such a charge to properties overlooking it.

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Forbes Clan began in Strathdon, Aberdeen-shire, Scotland

This British Scottish family traces its roots back over 900 years and has a unique history

Forbes Clan tartan and badge

By Keith A. Forbes and his wife Lois Ann Forbes. Both disabled, they moved from Scotland in 2016 and now live in Eastbourne, East Sussex. They write, administer and webmaster this website.  Keith is a member of the UK's The Society of Authors and a consumer activist for the elderly and the disabled.

Forbes Coat of Arms  Aberdeenshire rural heartlandForbes Highlander Chief

Part 1 of 2

Forbes Clan The Forbes Clan is a member clan of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs. Members of the Forbes clan are descended from Sir John de Forbes, 1373, of Scotland. All the Forbes families in Scotland or once there and now worldwide can trace their descent to him. This author does not do genealogy himself but will welcome contributions from other Forbeses. For more details of what may apply to your own particular family history or genealogy please check with Family History or specific genealogical societies or  

Strathdon, in Aberdeen-shire, was once the ancestral home of the Forbes, many of whom are now spread throughout Scotland and the rest of the world.  It originates in the lands of Donside once in the southern part of the Pictish kingdom. It gets its name from the Gaelic Forba, meaning field. Early Forbeses were known as the Forbais, from the Pictish place-name suffix. The boars' heads on the Forbes arms to the right commemorate the exploit of a distant ancestor. He is said to have rid his part of Aberdeen-shire of a wild boar terrorizing the area. A Charter was given to the family by King Alexander III who died in 1286. Duncan of Forbes, or de Forbes, was an early distinguished figure. His descendants were raised to the peerage in 1445 when Sir Alexander Forbes married a granddaughter of King Robert III.  After that it became a distinguished Scottish clan. 

Later distinguished Forbeses include one of Scotland's greatest judges and patriots, Duncan Forbes (1685-1747) of Culloden, Inverness-shire. By that time, the Forbes influence and power had spread well beyond Aberdeen-shire. Hereditary Chief of Clan Forbes is The Right Honorable Lord Forbes, KBE, Premier Baron of Scotland. His son, Malcolm, is the Master of Forbes. 

The gathering cry of 'Lonach' is the name of a hill in Strathdon where the clan assembled in times of trouble. 

The March of the Forbes Men at the annual Lonach Gathering at Strathdon is now an established, hugely popular and stirring part of modern Highland life. 

Books about the Forbes Clan include

Septs of the Forbes

Bannerman, Berrie, Berry, Boyce, Boyes, Fordyce, MacOuat, MacOwat, MacQuattie, MacWatt, Mechie, Mekie, Meldrum, Michie, Middleton, Walter, Walters, Waters, Watson, Watt, Watters, Wattie, Watts.

Tartans of the Forbes

Can be acquired from Heritage of Scotland in various heights and weights, costing from £40..

Forbes Ancient Forbes Ancient 1842Forbes Ancient ClansForbes Ancient ModernForbes Brown Modern

Forbes Dress Clans Originaux ModernForbes Dress ModernForbes Dress Modern 2Forbes Fashion Modern

Some of the Forbes Clan tartans mentioned below

Branches of the Forbes Clan

 Mostly in Aberdeenshire, are or were the Forbes of Balfluig; Forbes of Belnabodach; Forbes of Boyndlie; Forbes of Brux; Forbes of Callendar; Forbes of Castleton, Forbes of Corse, Forbes of Corsindae, Forbes of Craigievar, Forbes of Culloden (see "Culloden House"), Forbes of Culquhonny, Forbes of Echt, Forbes of Foveran, Forbes of Invernan, Forbes of Kildrummy, Forbes of Ledmacoy, Forbes of Leslie, Forbes of Monymusk, Forbes of Newe, Forbes of Newtownforbes (Eire), Forbes of Pitnacalder, Forbes of Pitsligo, Forbes of Rothiemay, Forbes of Thainston, Forbes of Tolquhoun, Forbes of Towie, Forbes of Waterton.

Forbes Baronets


Forbes Clan connections include

A British Army (Territorial Army) Unit, the Liverpool Scottish, 5/8th (Volunteer) Bn, the King's Regiment, belonging variously to the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders and the King's (Liverpool Regiment) and their successors, has worn Forbes tartan since its inception in 1900. The information was kindly supplied by Major Ian L Riley ,TD FSA Scot (retd), Trustee/Webmaster, Liverpool Scottish Regimental Museum. He wrote this to these authors: "From the Boer War to the Great War (1914-18), Narvik and St Nazaire, and most recently Iraq in 2003, Forbes has been represented. We were never quite sure how the tartan came to be Forbes; it is almost certainly NOT related to the fact that the founding commanding officer was Colonel Christopher Forbes Bell." The Liverpool Scottish Regimental Museum Trust is Registered Charity 277953). It is maintained entirely by Voluntary and Regimental Donations."

Alexander Forbes

One of the enduring Forbes forenames, with prominent Forbes who have Included:


Pronounced as Aarford, without the L by most Scots. On the south bank of the River Don, it is famous for five reasons - a battle, a poet, the nearest town to two present or past Forbes bastions and the original home of Aberdeen Angus cattle.  The battle was on July 2, 1645 between the forces of the Marquis of Montrose and covenanting General Baillie. The poet was Charles Murray, with his "Homewith." Castle Forbes and Craigievar Castle (once owned by the Forbeses) are mentioned below. See separate mention of "Forbes Estate" at Alford.

Alyson Valerie Forbes

 Solicitor, Law Society of Scotland. 

Andrew Forbes of Corse, Sir, Baronet

He lives in the mansion in the grounds of Corse Castle and is an Honorary Vice Member of the Lonach Highland & Friendly Society.

Anne Forbes

Wife of Ian Forbes.

Archibald Forbes, LLD

Archibald ForbesArchibald ForbesHistory of the Black Watch

Book Napoleon the 3rdArchibald Forbes crypt at St. Paul's Cathedral, London

Famous Scottish war correspondent, former soldier, author and writer. Born 17th April 1838 in Morayshire, the son of a Presbyterian minister. Died in 1900. Educated at Aberdeen University. Commissioned into the Royal Dragoons of the British Army and gained there considerable practical experience of military life and affairs. Invalided from his regiment, he settled in London, and became a journalist. When the Franco-German (Prussian) War broke out in 1870, he was sent to the front as war correspondent for the Morning Advertiser. His scoops included gaining and writing about the plans of the people of Paris to withstanding a siege. He was with the German army from the beginning of the campaign and afterwards witnessed the rise and fall of the Commune.  When the Daily News engaged him, his war intelligence drew world-wide attention to his reports.  He was also present at the Spanish Carlist War. On several occasions, he contracted a high fever but recovered. In Cyprus, he witnessed the British occupation.  He was in the Russian-Turkish War and the British Army's Afghanistan, Indian and Zululand campaigns. In India, he spent eight months investigating and reporting on the Bengal famine of 1874. He accompanied the Khyber Pass force during its terrible experiences in Afghanistan. In South Africa, he witnessed the British Army's invasion of Zululand. He became famous for his ride of 15 hours to convey the first news of the battle to England, even today one of the finest achievements in journalism. He went to Burma and at Mandalay wrote stirring accounts. His stories, memoirs and adventures were published in hundreds of British and American books and magazines.

They included:

Later, he delivered many lectures on his war experiences to large audiences. His closing years were spent in literary work. He also wrote a volume on his experiences of the war between France and Germany. When he died on 30th March 1900, the City of London created a special crypt in his honor at St. Paul's Cathedral, London, as the bottom right photograph below shows. He was laid to rest in Allen Vale Cemetery in Aberdeen, Scotland, in the section overlooking the River Dee. 

Archibald Forbes

Son of John Forbes (1670-1739) and Margaret Farquharson. Born 1731 in Deskry, Strathdon, Aberdeenshire, died 3 December 1793 at New Miln, of Keith, Banffshire. Buried at Strathdon Kirk.

Archibald Christian Forbes

 Born circa 1840, he emigrated to Montreal, Canada. He married twice. He returned to the UK sometime before the 1881 English Census where he is recorded as being 41 years old, a manufactory chemist living at 2 Clara Villas, West Green Road in the civil parish of Tottenham, Middlesex (now London) having a large family comprising Albert Forbes 17, Amy Forbes 27 (his second wife), Annie Forbes 10, Archibald Forbes 41 (himself), Archie Forbes 15, Christian William Forbes 12, Jane F. Forbes 13, Stanley Forbes 9 and Victor Forbes 4.

Archibald Hamilton Forbes

Archibald Hamilton Forbes 1862

Archibald Jones Forbes, DSO

Lieutenant, 2 Battalion, South Wales Borderers. Born in 1873, he served in the Niger Territories in 1898, where he was awarded his DCO medal and bar. He died of dysentery at Pretoria, South Africa on 13 May 1901, aged 28.

Archibald Walter (Bill) Forbes

Grandson of Archibald Christian (via Christian William). Born in London on November 1, 1899. He died in Bermuda when nearly 97 on August 30, 1996. On April 24, 1936 he first arrived in Bermuda by ship from Britain. He led a team of specialists who pioneered in Bermuda for the Imperial Government and Cable & Wireless a superior system and station for Air to Ground radio-direction finding for ships. In 1937, he also helped lead point-to point radio direction finding and telegraph services for aircraft, in particular Imperial Airways (now British Airways) and Pan American, which commenced services by flying boats at the same time. Thus he was very much a pioneer in the development of tourism in Bermuda. During World War 2, he was transferred to St. Lucia, Windward Islands, British West Indies, 1400 miles south of Bermuda, to manage a key wireless service in the Caribbean for the British Government, very close to Vichy-controlled Martinique. There, he married Marie Lucie Therese Devaux, only daughter of a very prominent originally French merchant and planter family. He returned to Bermuda in 1948 for Cable & Wireless with three of his four children, with the fourth born in Bermuda in 1952.

Arthur Forbes, Captain

Very little is known about him here, so far. It is assumed he got his title from his service in the British Army. However, he was important enough in England to have his portrait painted by George Romney (1734-1802). The original of this oil on canvas is owned by the Corporation of London.

Captain Arthur Forbes

Arthur Forbis

American Revolutionary War officer. A marksman who shot the first British officer at 150 yards at Guilford Courthouse. Wounded in battle and later died. A monument there indicates he is buried at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA. He may have been a Forbes whose name was not spelt correctly by his unit because he spelt it the Highland Scots way, with two syllables.


An estate in Strathdon, Aberdeenshire originally the home of the local branch of the Forbes family when first built of Kildrummy Freestone in 1819. General Charles Forbes, its first owner, after retiring from active service, was Barrack Master at Corgarff Garrison. There was also a Forest of Auchernach, complete with a narrow-gauge horse-drawn railway (stopped in 1919) to take logs.

Banana Manor

A house in Bermuda built in the 1700s by Dr. George Forbes described below.

Bart Forbes

Artist in golf subjects. Bart has a genealogy he keeps up to date that traces the family back to Scotland. The names of John Forbes and Andrew Forbes are specifically included.  Bart is the father of Ted Forbes shown below.

Bertie Charles Forbes

Scots-born (1880) American writer. He first became known for his work "Scottish Stories for the price of 500" in New York in 1945. He died in 1954. He became an American publisher and businessman who founded and edited (1916-1954) Forbes magazine. His son Malcolm Stevenson Forbes (1919-1990), who assumed the editorship in 1957, was an avid collector and set six world records in hot-air ballooning in 1973. Forbes Magazine is famous today.

Bertram Forbes

Harold Bertram Challen Forbes, so-named to honour an uncle of his father, is, by virtue of his special military-related and reserved occupation and linguistic talents a rather elusive figure, so does not and cannot appear on family records. But he is known by his peers to be of impeccable, polished pedigree.


In Strathdon, Aberdeenshire, from the Gaelic "The Howe where cows graze." It has been that for centuries. It is also an interesting archaeological site. Buildings were first recorded here in 1420. Buchaam was the seat of Robert Forbes alias Malcolmson of Culquharry. A new bridge for the Turnpike Road was constructed here in 1858 when the Forbes Family of Castle Newe wanted to improve the public highway.

Camilla (Millie) Forbes

Died in August 2004 from leukemia, at only 21 years old. Eldest daughter of Jonathan Forbes and his wife, Nicky; niece of The Master of Forbes of Castle Forbes and granddaughter of Lord Forbes. On 16th September 2003, many Forbes Clan members received a personal letter from The Master of Forbes, advising us that Nicky was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in August 2002.  On 4th September 2003, The Daily Telegraph  wrote a wonderful article about her.  The Anthony Nolan Trust (ANT) in the UK worked with The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) in the USA and other donor banks around the world to try to find to find a bone marrow/stem cell match for her. It was successful but too late.

Candacraig House and Estate 

Strathdon, Aberdeenshire. The holders for many hundreds of years were the Andersons. The sixth Laird of Candacraig, Duncan Anderson, married Agnes Forbes, daughter of Alexander Forbes of Invernochty. When she died, he married another Forbes, Helen. There was a George Forbes Anderson born in Strathdon in 1818. It can be assumed he too had some connection with the Forbes family. It was a Forbes estate proper for only three and a half decades, from 1866 to 1900 when the 13th laird of the Andersons, Alexander Anderson of Candacraig, later of Huntingdon, Quebec, Canada, sold it to Sir Charles Forbes of Newe. Sir Charles later sold it to A. F. Wallace when Forbes of Newe was in dire financial straits. The Wallaces were shooting tenants before this. The main house was burnt in a 1954 fire and subsequently reconstructed, no longer a Forbes property.

Castle Forbes - Ireland

Granard, Co Longford. The home of Lady Georgina Forbes, daughter of the last Earl of Granard.

Castles and grand homes with a Forbes connection past or present

Once, but no longer.

Asloun Castle Balfluig Castle Brux Castle Brunchew House
Byth House Callendar House Candacraig House & Estate (see above) Castle Forbes, seat of the Forbes, see below
Castle Newe (see below), demolished see below Colinton Castle Colquhonnie Castle Corgarff Castle (see below)
Corse Castle (see below) Corsindae House Craigievar Castle (see below) Culloden House (hotel, Inverness, see below)
Dounreay Castle Druminnor Castle (see below) Foveran Castle Herbertshire Castle
House of Schivas Leslie Castle Lickleyhead Castle Menie House
Midmar Castle Monymusk Castle Newhall Castle Pitfichie Castle
Pitsligo Castle Skellater House Thornton Castle Tillycairn Castle
Tolquhon Castle Towie Castle Waterton Castle  

Castle Forbes

Forbes Estate Office, Alford, Aberdeenshire AB33 8DR. Telephone 019755 62574/62524. Fax 019755 62898. A private castle, with an elegant and exclusive private guest house on its  6,000-acre Forbes Estate. Also has holiday (vacation) self-catering cottages. Offers traditional Highland hospitality and heritage. The Georgian castle was built in 1815 by the 17th Lord Forbes, the Premier Baron of Scotland. Overlooks the River Don. Weekly rates for the self-catering furnished cottages in the grounds of the castle which sleep 4 to five persons. The property has been continuously in the Forbes family since it was built and is now the home of the son and heir of Lord Forbes, Malcolm, the Master of Forbes and his wife Jinny. The Castle Forbes Collection here has its own brand of perfumes. The Master of Forbes, a Deputy Lieutenant of Aberdeen-shire, is an Honorary Vice President of the Lonach Highland & Friendly Society.

Castle Forbes

Castle Newe and estate

Castle Newe, until 1925

Castle Newe (pronounced Niaow), until demolished in 1925.

Castle NeweAs also shown below in a painting. The castle no longer exists. Before that, it was unique with its onion-shaped tourelles. It was Aberdeen-shire's equivalent to the palaces of the Indian Raj constructed in the hill country of the old Indian Empire. Indeed, the highest tower of Castle Newe was higher than that of the Balmoral home of the Empress of India, Queen Victoria of Great Britain. The facings of Castle Newe, in Kildrummy freestone, were used by the University of Aberdeen at Elphinstone Hall. 

The family fortunes of the Forbes owners of Castle Newe were founded by "Bombay Jock" John Forbes (1743-1821) who made his fortune in then-British India. After him and his wife, there still exists in Bombay both Forbes and Wallace Streets, monuments to Imperialism and its mercantile ramifications. 

The estate of the castle and John Forbes once included Ardgeith, Bellabeg, Buchaam, Colquhonny, Deskrie, Invernochty, Newe and the Forest of the Bunzeach, Skellater and Tollaskink. It was here that Sir Charles Forbes used his greenhouse studio to experiment successfully with colour photography. 

Armour, fine paneling, furniture, paintings of Forbes forbears and their properties and weapons from the castle went into the old coach house of the castle, which continues to this day as the private house, House of Newe, shown separately below. The Castle Newe papers, not cataloged, are preserved in the special collection at the University of Aberdeen.

Charles Forbes

Colin Forbes

Corgarff Castle

Strathdon, Aberdeenshire. Phone 01975 651460. On a height near the head of Strathdon, on the Lecht road leading to Tomintoul, the highest village in Scotland.  In 1571 the home of the Forbeses when 27 members of the family and their household were burned to death by their enemies of the time, the Gordons. A Scots ballad describes the fate of the Forbes daughter who tried to escape from the blazing castle wrapped in sheets: "They row'd her in a pair of sheets and tow'd her owre the wa, but on the point of Edom's spear she got a deadly fa." It became a Forbes castle again from 1715 after the disaster that befell the immediate family of the Earl of Mar when he led the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion. It is a tall tower, four storeys high, oblong in plan, with star-shaped ramparts. It replaced the structure destroyed in 1581and dating from 1537 which had been a hunting lodge for the Earls of Mar and in which the tragic events recounted in the ballad "Edom o' Gordon" occurred. It was burnt by the Jacobites in 1689 and by the government in 1716 after the first Jacobite uprising, to punish Mar. It became a barracks for Hanoverian troops in 1748. The Jacobites repossessed it in 1745 during the second Jacobite uprising. The government then took it over and turned it into a garrison again. Its last military use was to combat whisky smuggling. Restored, it is now in care of Historic Scotland. At Corgarff Garrison, after retiring from active service, General Charles Forbes was Barrack Master. Corgarff Kirk was rebuilt in 1834 by Sir Charles Forbes.

Corse Castle

What is left of it is three miles north west of Lumphannan. It is a Z-plan tower with a rectangular main block, a square tower to the north east and a circular tower, now collapsed, to the south east. There is another tower. The lands of Corse formed part of the barony of Coull and O'Neill. The barony was bestowed in 1746 by King James III on his armour-bearer, Patrick Forbes, youngest son of the second Lord Forbes. The builder of the castle was William Forbes, who married Elizabeth Strachan and whose descendants included Patrick Forbes who in 1618 became Bishop of Aberdeen, ten years after his brother, John Forbes, became Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The castle was raided by Highland freebooters in 1638. It was abandoned in the 19th century in favor of the nearby mansion. Sir Andrew Forbes of Corse, Baronet, who lives in the mansion, is an Honorary Vice Member of the Lonach Highland & Friendly Society.

Craigievar Castle

4 miles south of Alford in Aberdeenshire, east and a little south of Strathdon, in secluded hilly country. Now a property of the National Trust for Scotland. One of the jewels of castles of Scotland. It is a tall and lovely castle without comparison. It exemplifies the best of Scottish baronial architecture. It was built in 1626 by William ("Danzig") Forbes, who made his fortune exporting fish and woolen goods to the Baltic and importing Swedish memel pine. He lived there with his wife, Margaret (nee Woodward). In 1630, his eldest son, a zealous Covenanter and Member of Parliament, was created a Nova Scotia baronet by King Charles I.  His portrait is on display, by the Scottish painter George Jamestone. The castle has a wonderful collection of Forbes family portraits and 17th to 18th century furniture, available for public viewing in the castle.  There is also a remarkable, twisting, spiral staircase.  It was once a Forbes ancestral home and is a "must-see" for its uniqueness, for those who can get there by car. The baronets of Craigievar sprang from Patrick Forbes of Corse, armour bearer to King James III. The fifth baronet married Sarah, daughter of the twelfth Lord Semphill. A grandson, Sir William Forbes, 8th Baronet of Craigievar, became the seventeenth Lord Semphill in 1884. Their seat was Craigievar.  It was acquired in 1963, with 30 acres of land, from the eighteenth Baron Semphill-Forbes family by the National Trust for Scotland. Open from April 13 to September 30 from 1:300 to 5:30 pm and the grounds (no formal garden) all year daily from 9:30 am to sunset. Photo 1997 by author Keith A. Forbes - all rights reserved - showing co-author Lois A. Forbes and her late sister Carol facing front at the base of the castle.

Craigievar Castle 2

Shown admiring the castle are co-author Lois Forbes and her sister Carol from the USA.

Culloden House

Culloden House Hotel

Now a hotel, it was the seat of the Forbes of Culloden from 1626 to 1897. Two miles north-west of the Culloden battlefield, it was then the home of Lord Duncan Forbes of Culloden (see below), then Lord President of the Court of Session. Personally opposed to the Jacobite Uprising because it pitted Scots against Scots as well as Scots against the English and Hanoverians, he did his ineffective best to mitigate the fury of the Duke of Cumberland and English king against the defeated Highlanders of Bonnie Prince Charlie. At that time, his house was a square Renaissance building but it was burnt later. A new Georgian one was built on the site 1772-1783, with the design of the Adam type. Bonnie Prince Charles is recorded as having stayed there just before the battle of Culloden nearby - on land then owned by the property.

Dame Katherine Trefusis-Forbes

See Founder and Air Chief Commandant of the UK's Woman's Auxiliary Air Force.  1899-1971, buried with her husband in Holy Trinity Churchyard, Pitlochry, Perthshire, Scotland. 

Dana-Marie Forbes 

Solicitor, Law Society of Scotland. Procurator Fiscal Service; Sheriff Court House, Carnegie Drive, Dunfermline, KY12 7HW.

David Gordon Forbes

 Solicitor, Law Society of Scotland. Walker Laird; 7/9 Gilmour Street, PAISLEY, PA1 1DG.

Donald F. Forbes

Canadian with a Scottish background. In 1945, he wrote "A Short History of the 1st Battalion North Nova Scotia Highlanders in World War Two." Possibly for the Regiment.

Don Forbes

Doctor. A research scientist with the Government of Canada.

Druminnor Castle

Druminnor Castle

On the banks of the burn of Keron, in a sloping steep valley two miles east of Rynie in Aberdeen-shire, possibly the original Castle Forbes of the Aberdeen-shire Forbeses, pre-dating by centuries the present Castle Forbes. A still older castle further up the Don River existed from 1271 as a result of a grant of land to Duncan Forbes made by King Alexander III. This third Druminnor was built between 1440-1470 and was originally a rectangular block attached to the second tower. The tower house of the 1450s was completely demolished early in the 19th century. The doorway arch of the castle, made of five straight sections, is probably unique in Scotland. The heavy corbelling which carries the circular stair tower squared out to provide the watch-room above three Forbes crests, dates from 1577. The castle suffered many tribulations over the years but was finally rescued and restored by the late Honorable Margaret Forbes-Semphill. All the basements are vaulted. The first floor has a superb Great Hall, in which it was said that fifteen Gordons were murdered  by Forbes men during a banquet in 1571, after the latest bout of the protracted Clan feud. It was also from this castle that the battle of Tillyangus occured between the Forbeses and Gordons after the Master of Forbes repudiated his wife who was the daughter of the Earl of Huntly. Black Arthur, the brother of Lord Forbes, was killed by William Gordon of Terpersie and the victorious Gordons chased the fleeing Forbes right up to the gates of Druminnor Castle.

Dudley Henry Forbes, Captain

3 Royal Scots. He died of enteric fever at Kroonstad, South Africa, on 21 April 1901 at the age of 28. He was the son of William Forbes of Callander, Perthshire.

Duncan Forbes of Culloden (1685-1747), Lord 

Lord Duncan Forbes of CullodenScottish jurist and patriot. Born at Bunchrew or Culloden near Inverness on 10th November 1685. He attended the universities of Edinburgh and Leiden, Germany. He was called the Scottish Bar in 1709. His own talents and the influence of the Argyll family secured his rapid advancement, which was still further helped by his loyalty to the Hanoverian cause at the period of the rebellion in 1715. In 1722 Forbes was returned as member of Parliament for Inverness and in 1725 he succeeded Dundas of Arniston as Lord Advocate. He inherited the patrimonial estates on the death of his brother in 1734, and in 1737 he attained to the highest legal honors in Scotland, being made lord president of the court of session. As Lord Advocate, he did much to improve the legislation and revenue of the country, to extend trade and encourage manufactures, and no less to render the government popular and respected in Scotland. He initiated many much-needed legal reforms with prompt and impartial administration of the law. 

In 1738, he repeatedly urged the government to consider the expediency of embodying Highland regiments, putting them under the command of colonels whose loyalty could be relied upon, but officering them with the native chieftains and cadets of old families in the north.  He believed that if government could pre-engage the Highlanders in the manner he proposed, they would not only serve well against the enemy abroad, but will be hostages for the good behavior of their relations at home; and he was convinced that it would be absolutely impossible to raise a rebellion in the Highlands. If he had been listened to, it would have stopped the 1745 Jacobite Uprising before it had even started.

In 1739, with Sir Robert Walpole’s approval, the original (1730) six companies (locally enlisted) of the Black Watch were formed into the famous “Forty-second” regiment of the line. The credit given to the earl of Chatham in some histories for this movement is an error; it rests really with Forbes and his friend Lord Islay, afterwards 3rd duke of Argyll. 

He was Lord President of the Court of Session of 1745. On the first rumor of the Jacobite rising, he hastened to Inverness, and through his personal influence with the chiefs of Macdonald and Macleod, those two powerful western clans were prevented from taking the field for Charles Edward. Inverness itself he kept loyal and well protected at the commencement of the struggle, with many of the neighbouring proprietors won over by his persuasions. Personally opposed to the Jacobite Uprising of 1745, he tried in vain to have the battle avoided. But his influence amounted to nothing. Lord Forbes did his best to mitigate the fury of Cumberland and the British Government against the Highlanders. 

But the Scots lost and the British followed up their victory with appalling slaughter. 

His correspondence with Lord Lovat, published in the Culloden papers, affords a fine illustration of his character, in which the firmness of loyal principle and duty is found blended with neighborly kindness and consideration. But the apathy of the government interfered considerably with the success of his negotiations. Advances of arms and money arrived too late, and though Forbes employed all his own means and what money he could borrow on his personal security, his resources were quite inadequate to the emergency. It is doubtful whether these advances were ever fully repaid. Part was doled out to him, after repeated solicitations that his credit might be maintained in the country; but it is evident he had fallen into disgrace in consequence of his humane exertions to mitigate the impolitic severities inflicted upon his countrymen after their disastrous defeat at Culloden. The ingratitude of the government, and the many distressing circumstances connected with the insurrection, sunk deep into his mind. He never fairly rallied from the depression thus caused, and after a period of declining health he died in December 1747.

He was a patriot without ostentation or pretence, a true Scotsman with no narrow prejudice, an erudite scholar without pedantry, a man of genuine piety without asceticism or intolerance. His country long felt his influence through her reviving arts and institutions; and the example of such a character in that coarse and venal age, and among a people distracted by faction, political strife, and national antipathies, while it was invaluable to his contemporaries in a man of high position, is entitled to the lasting gratitude and veneration of his countrymen.

In his happier moments, he cultivated with some success the study of philosophy, theology and biblical criticism. He is said to have been a diligent reader of the Hebrew Bible. His published writings, some of them of importance, include A Letter to a Bishop, concerning some Important Discoveries in Philosophy and Theology (1732); Some Thoughts concerning Religion, natural and revealed, and the Manner of Understanding Revelation (1735); and Reflections on Incredulity (2nd edition 1750). His correspondence was collected and published in 1815, and a memoir of him (from the family papers) was written by Mr Hill Burton, and published along with a Life of Lord Lovat, in 1847. His statue stands in the Parliament House, Edinburgh.

William, Duke of Cumberland, son of the British-Hanoverian monarch George II, earned his nick-name of The Butcher both for the atrocities he personally ordered against captured or wounded Highlanders and for his introduction for many years of petty restrictions on everything unique in Scottish culture and tradition. In comparison, the German-British composer Handel composed the See the Conquering Hero Comes to welcome the Butcher back to London and was present personally at the victory parade in London. Both there and throughout England, a flower was named Sweet William in tribute to William, Duke of Cumberland. The same flower used to be known on Scotland for many years as Stinking Willie. Only relatively few of the Hanoverian troops died in the battle. Despite their names, they are buried in the Field of the English. It is one reason why even today most Scots feel they have much more kinship with the Irish than they do with the English. Laird Duncan Forbes of Culloden, who presented a memorial plaque of the Battle of Culloden in 1881, was the last resident owner of the entire Culloden estate - including the famous Culloden House hotel once owned - as a private house - by this branch of our Forbes Clan. Culloden House is two miles north west of the battlefield. It is of the Adam type. It is not as old as it looks as it replaced in 1772-83 a burnt-down square Renaissance building. It was the seat of the Forbes Clan from 1626 to 1897.

Duncan Forbes

Born 28 April 1798 and died 17 August 1868. Scottish linguist born Kinnaird, Perthshire. Brought up by his grandfather from the age of three after his parents and younger brother emigrated to the United States. Illiterate until 13, he showed no early signs of linguistic ability, but despite this late start, at age 17 he was appointed schoolmaster of the village of Stralock. Shortly after this he attended Kirk Michael school followed by Perth Grammar School and University of St. Andrews, gaining a Masters degree from the latter. In 1823 he took a post at Calcutta Academy, India, but with poor health returned to the UK in 1826. In 1837 he became Professor of Oriental Languages at King's College London and stayed at this post until his retirement in 1861. During his time there  he also worked at the British Museum, cataloguing the collection of Persian manuscripts. He wrote a number of books. He also helped translate or edit a number of books in Urdu, Persian and Arabic, including a translation of Mir Amman's Urdu Bagh o Bahar, or Tales of the Four Darweshes, (which is itself a translation from the Persian of Amir Khusro), and of the Persian Adventures of Hatim Tai.

Edward Forbes

Professor, English naturalist, bio-geography pioneer, born at Douglas, Isle of Man, on 12 February, 1815, died 1854. Second and surviving son of Edward Forbes, of Oakhill and Cronkbane, near Douglas, and Jane, eldest daughter and heiress of William Teare, of Corvalla and Ballabeg, Ballaugh. His great-grandfather, David, one of the Forbes's of Watertown, was born in 1707. Implicated in the Jacobite Uprising of 1745, he left Scotland and went to the Isle of Man, where his son Edward acquired the property of Oakhill. His son Edward was a banker in Douglas. His mother belonged to a Manx family with the same estates in Ballaugh for several centuries. One of her chief pleasures was cultivating flowers and rare plants, probably passed on to her son. At a very early age he was regarded by his family as an intellectual. At 10, he had become a confirmed naturalist. A small wing was added to the house for him where he stored minerals, fossils, shells, dried sea-weeds, flowers, butterflies and more, all duly classified. He had already begun his geological studies and exhibited a taste for drawing. He studied first at Athole House Academy, in Douglas.

He went to Edinburgh University in October 1831 to study medicine, but preferred botany. His teachers included Professors Jameson and Graham. His holidays were spent in botany and dredging excursions with the fauna of the Irish sea on the shores of his native Isle. In 1833 when 18 he went with a fellow student to Norway for several weeks of geological and botanical observations in botanical geography; and on the summer of 1834, to the Isle of Man. In 1835, he went to France, Switzerland, and Germany for more advanced studies in his preferred field. In early 1836, he finally gave up medicine in favor of the study of nature. That summer, he went to the Hebrides and Skye, attended the meeting of the British Association at Bristol, the Isle of Man again, then Paris, to spend the winter in the botanical collections of the Sorbonne. In 1837, he was in Algiers where he investigated the land and mollusks of the sea. An account of this expedition was published in a Natural History journal. From then on, his findings were written up in Britain and abroad.  Still at Edinburgh as a senior student and then an expert, he delivered scientific lectures on zoology and geology. In February, 1841, he was appointed as Naturalist on the survey ship HMS Beacon under Captain Graves, then completing the survey of the coast of Asia Minor and  adjacent islands. His reputation as a botanist and geologist spread further. 

He caught malaria but gradually recovered. He was about to go to Egypt and the Red Sea on another expedition when he  was informed of his appointment as Professor of Botany at King's College, London. Shortly after, he became concurrently, Assistant Secretary of the Geological Society of London. Early in 1843 he joined the Linnaean Society. In February he delivered a lecture to the Royal Institute. At the end of 1844, on the establishment of the Museum of Practical Geology in connection with the Ordnance Geological Survey, Professor Forbes was appointed its paleontologist and resigned his post at the Geological Society. When the museum was removed to Jermyn Street in London, he became its Professor of Natural History. He was a pioneering British naturalist, with an awesome reputation internationally as a man of science.

Elizabeth Adela Armstrong Forbes

Nee Armstrong. Canadian/English artist and painter, 1859-1912. In 1889, she married painter Stanhope Forbes. Her artwork can be found at exhibitions in Canada and United Kingdom.

Ewan Forbes of Craigievar, Sir

Born in 1912, he was the focus of a landmark legal case. He was born a girl, Elizabeth Forbes-Sempill, at Fintray House, Aberdeenshire, daughter of John, 18th Lord Sempill. After studying and qualifying in medicine, she began practice in Alford and quietly changed her gender through application to the Sheriff Court in Aberdeen in 1952. Permission was granted for correction of the birth certificate. A notice appeared in the Aberdeen Press and Journal stating that Elizabeth now wished to be known as Ewan. Some weeks later, Ewan married his housekeeper and in 1965 inherited the baronetcy of Forbes of Craigievar following the death of his brother. Following extended legal challenges from a cousin, conducted under a veil of state secrecy, the case went from the Court of Session, in Edinburgh, eventually to the Home Secretary, James Callaghan. Callaghan ruled in favor of Ewan, who duly became Sir Ewan Forbes of Craigievar in 1968, having dropped the name of Sempill.

Forbes, Admirals

Several, as follows:

Admiral Ian Forbes

Forbes Arms Hotel

Near Alford. A hotel with restaurant and public house (bar). Owned by the Castle Forbes estate. Very convenient for anyone staying in the area generally, or attending the Lonach Gathering.

Forbes Arms Hotel

A Keith A. Forbes photograph

Forbes College

A part of Princeton University, USA.

Forbes Estate

At Alford, on the south bank of the River Don, it is famous as the original home of Aberdeen Angus cattle, a world-famous meat. The estate has 6,000 acres and belongs to Lord Forbes and his son, the Master of Forbes.

Forbes Folio Society

An ancient and exclusive world organization that meets in different places of the world by prior arrangement, all Forbes Clan members by direct descent or marriage, who become members by invitation only for some unique literary or medical or musical or other outstanding reason. Current President is Bertram Forbes. They write reports on first editions of books and/or new authors and discuss affairs of state and/or great moments in classical music or politics in measured ways with their younger members, all sons or daughters or grandchildren of members. One of the many unique aspects of the society is how they grow, produce and serve for their families and guests, via their younger members-in-training, all wearing their Forbes kilts or skirts, their own home-grown blend of truly excellent Forbes Folio Society Arabica coffee. 

Forbes Gallery

World-famous art gallery in Manhattan, New York, USA. Owned by Forbes Inc. publishers of Forbes Magazine. The gallery has artwork, Presidential papers, historical documents galore, 12,000 lead toy soldiers from Britain and America, 500 toy boats, 12 Faberge Imperial Easter Eggs and more.

Forbes, Generals

How were Scots soldiers were first attracted to the British (English) Army? The process began in 1757 when, in London, Cabinet Minister Mr. Pitt (later, Lord Chatham) recommended to King George II that he employ Highlanders in his service, as the best means of ensuring their loyalty. The king approved the plan and letters of service were immediately drawn up to raise several Highland regiments. Most clans responded positively and many battalions of men signed up, some from the most remote parts of the Highlands. Clan chiefs or their most favored kin obtained commissions.


2nd Lieutenant Percy Forbes, 1st Royal Dragoons, was born in March, 1881. He died of enteric fever at Newcastle, Natal, South Africa, on 31 December 1900 when 19. He was the son of A. J. Forbes-Leith, of Fyvie Castle, Aberdeenshire.

Forbes, Library

Northampton, Massachusetts, USA. Established by Charles Edward Forbes.

Forbes Lodge

House and garden - including water garden - in Gifford, Borders, belonging to Lady Maryoth Hay, a member of the Gifford Horticultural Society.

Forbes, Lord Mayors beyond Scotland

Forbes Magazine

Founded by the father of American-born Scotland-descended Malcolm Forbes, until 2014 published in the USA by his son Steve.  Timothy C. Forbes was the Chairman of the Board. One of  the most widely read, influential and reliable business and investment magazines in the world, with subsidiaries such as Forbes Global, Forbes ASAP and Forbes FYI. Now owned by a Hong Kong entity.

Forbes poets

They include:

Francis Forbes

Honourable Sir. Bermuda's most distinguished native son jurist, son of the well known Doctor Francis Forbes (whose father, Dr. George Forbes) had emigrated from Scotland in the early 1700s. Dr. Forbes received his training in Edinburgh and was a distant cousin of Lord John Forbes. He became wealthy enough to acquire land in north east USA which was confiscated during the American Revolution and never returned. This Francis Forbes was born on Smith's Island in St. George's Harbour, Bermuda in 1784 and raised in the historic Town of St. George. After serving as Bermuda's Attorney General from 1810, he was appointed Chief Justice of Newfoundland in 1818. He served there from 1816-1821 and was influential in securing Newfoundland colonial status and establishment of constitutional government. With his success there, he was appointed the first ever Chief Justice (1823-1837) of the huge Colony of New South Wales, Australia. He was knighted in 1837. After retirement, he died there on November 8, 1841 and many Forbeses in that region of Australia can be traced directly to him.

Francis Forbes

In 2002, Chief of Police in Jamaica, West Indies.

Captain Frederick E. Forbes

Famous for his rescue of Sara Forbes Bonetta, originally Omoba Aina, She was born in 1843 at Oke-Odan, an African Egbado village. In 1848, Oke-Odan was raided by a Dahomeyan army. Aina's parents died during the attack and she ended up in the court of King Ghezo as a slave at the age of five. Intended by her captors to become a human sacrifice, she was rescued by Captain Frederick E. Forbes of the Royal Navy who convinced King Ghezo of Dahomey to give her to Queen Victoria; "She would be a present from the King of the Blacks to the Queen of the Whites," Forbes wrote later. Forbes renamed her Sara Forbes Bonetta, Bonetta after his ship HMS Bonetta. In 1850, she met the queen, who was impressed by the young princess's exceptional intelligence, and had the girl, whom she called Sally, raised as her goddaughter. In 1851, Sara developed a chronic cough, which was attributed to the climate of Great Britain. Her guardians sent her to school in Africa in May of that year, when she was aged eight, and she returned to England in 1855, when she was 12. In January 1862, she was invited to and attended the wedding of Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Alice.

Fyvie Castle

In the parish and close to the village of Fyvie in Aberdeenshire, in a pleasant wooded vale of the River Ythan. 500 years old  in parts, it is considered one of the crowning glories of Scottish architecture. But only in quite recent years, when it was owned by and was the home of Sir Andrew Forbes-Leith and later, Sir Ian Forbes-Leith, the Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, can it claim a Forbes connection. Before that, it was owned by Lord Leith, great grandfather of Sir Andrew Forbes-Leith. Before then, it was the property of the Preston, Meldrum, Seton and other families. To keep it in perpetuity as a monument to Scotland, it was bought from the Forbes-Leith family by the National Trust for Scotland.

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© 2019. Revised: February 14, 2019