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Clan Forbes

Clan Forbes

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Clan Forbes is a Lowland
Scottish Lowlands
The Scottish Lowlands is a name given to the Southern half of Scotland.The area is called a' Ghalldachd in Scottish Gaelic, and the Lawlands ....

 Scottish clan
Scottish clan
Scottish clans , give a sense of identity and shared descent to people in Scotland and to their relations throughout the world, with a formal structure of Clan Chiefs recognised by the court of the Lord Lyon, King of Arms which acts as an authority concerning matters of heraldry and Coat of Arms...

 from Aberdeenshire
Aberdeenshire
Aberdeenshire is one of the 32 unitary council areas in Scotland and a lieutenancy area.The present day Aberdeenshire council area does not include the City of Aberdeen, now a separate council area, from which its name derives. Together, the modern council area and the city formed historic...

, Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

.

Origins


Concerning the origin of this Scottish clan
Scottish clan
Scottish clans , give a sense of identity and shared descent to people in Scotland and to their relations throughout the world, with a formal structure of Clan Chiefs recognised by the court of the Lord Lyon, King of Arms which acts as an authority concerning matters of heraldry and Coat of Arms...

, John of Forbes, the first upon record, seems to have been a man of importance in the time of William the Lion, and was (says MacFarlane) the father of Fergus, from whom the clan are descended. His name appears in a charter of Alexander, Earl of Buchan
Earl of Buchan
The Mormaer or Earl of Buchan was originally the provincial ruler of the medieval province of Buchan. Buchan was the first Mormaerdom in the High Medieval Kingdom of the Scots to pass into the hands of a non-Scottish family in the male line. The earldom had three lines in its history, not counting...

, dated 1236. His son Alexander, a man of high valour, lost his life when defending the Urquhart Castle
Urquhart Castle
Urquhart Castle sits beside Loch Ness in Scotland along the A82 road, between Fort William and Inverness. It is close to the village of Drumnadrochit. Though extensively ruined, it was in its day one of the largest strongholds of medieval Scotland, and remains an impressive structure, splendidly...

 against Edward I, who, with his usual barbarity, put the entire garrison to the sword in 1303; but he left a son, also Alexander, who fell at the battle of Dupplin
Battle of Dupplin Moor
The Battle of Dupplin Moor was fought between supporters of the infant David II, the son of Robert the Bruce, and rebels supporting the Balliol claim in 1332. It was a significant battle of the Second War of Scottish Independence.-Background:...

 in 1332.

The posthumous
Posthumous birth
A posthumous birth is a birth of a child after the death of a parent. A person born in these circumstances is called a posthumous child or a posthumously born person...

 son of the latter, Sir John Forbes of that Ilk, was a man of eminence in the days of Robert II
Robert II of Scotland
Robert II became King of Scots in 1371 as the first monarch of the House of Stewart. He was the son of Walter Stewart, hereditary High Steward of Scotland and of Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Robert I and of his first wife Isabella of Mar...

 and Robert III
Robert III of Scotland
Robert III was King of Scots from 1390 to his death. His given name was John Stewart, and he was known primarily as the Earl of Carrick before ascending the throne at age 53...

. He had four sons by Elizabeth Kennedy of Dunure, and from the three younger, sprang the Forbesses of Pitsligo, Culloden, Waterton, and Foveran
Foveran
Foveran is the name of both a parish and village in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The village is located 11 miles north of Aberdeen and 4 miles south-east of Ellon; the main group of houses and the village school are located adjacent to the main A90 trunk road. The hereditary baronetcy of Foveran is...

. By Robert III
Robert III of Scotland
Robert III was King of Scots from 1390 to his death. His given name was John Stewart, and he was known primarily as the Earl of Carrick before ascending the throne at age 53...

. he was made Justiciary of Aberdeenshire
Aberdeenshire
Aberdeenshire is one of the 32 unitary council areas in Scotland and a lieutenancy area.The present day Aberdeenshire council area does not include the City of Aberdeen, now a separate council area, from which its name derives. Together, the modern council area and the city formed historic...

, and died in 1406.

15th century


His eldest son, Sir Alexander of that Ilk
Alexander Forbes, 1st Lord Forbes
Alexander de Forbes , 1st Lord Forbes , also feudal baron of Forbes, was a Scottish nobleman.-Life:He was the eldest son of Sir Alexander de Forbes Alexander de Forbes , 1st Lord Forbes (c. 1380-1448), also feudal baron of Forbes, was a Scottish nobleman.-Life:He was the eldest son of Sir Alexander...

, joined the constable Buchan in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 at the head of 100 Horse and 40 Pikeman; and, after serving with honour in the war against Henry V
Henry V of England
Henry V was King of England from 1413 until his death at the age of 35 in 1422. He was the second monarch belonging to the House of Lancaster....

, was raised to the Peerage
Peerage
The Peerage is a legal system of largely hereditary titles in the United Kingdom, which constitute the ranks of British nobility and is part of the British honours system...

 by James I
James I of Scotland
James I, King of Scots , was the son of Robert III and Annabella Drummond. He was probably born in late July 1394 in Dunfermline as youngest of three sons...

 as Baron Forbes
Lord Forbes
Lord Forbes is the senior Lord of Parliament in the Peerage of Scotland. The title was created sometime after 1436 for Alexander de Forbes, feudal baron of Forbes. The precise date of the creation is not known, but in a Precept dated July 12, 1442, he is already styled Lord Forbes. Brown's 1834...

 about 1442. In 1426 he obtained bond of Manrent
Manrent
Manrent refers to a Scottish mid 15th century to the early 17th century type of contract, usually military in nature and involving Scottish clans...

 from Ugston of that Ilk, to attend him with three armed horsemen against all mortals, the King excepted. He married Elizabeth, daughter of the Earl of Angus
George Douglas, 1st Earl of Angus
George Douglas, 1st Earl of Angus was born at Tantallon Castle, East Lothian, Scotland. The bastard son of William, 1st Earl of Douglas and Margaret Stewart, Dowager Countess of Mar & Countess of Angus and Lady Abernethy in her own right....

 by the Princess Margaret, daughter of Robert III
Robert III of Scotland
Robert III was King of Scots from 1390 to his death. His given name was John Stewart, and he was known primarily as the Earl of Carrick before ascending the throne at age 53...

, and died in 1448, leaving two sons, James the Master of Forbes, and John, who became Provost of St. Giles
St. Giles' Cathedral
St Giles' Cathedral, more properly termed the High Kirk of Edinburgh, is the principal place of worship of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh. Its distinctive crown steeple is a prominent feature of the city skyline, at about a third of the way down the Royal Mile which runs from the Castle to...

 at Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

.

James, second Lord Forbes, married a sister of the first Earl Marischal
Earl Marischal
The title of Earl Marischal was created in the peerage of Scotland for William Keith, the Great Marischal of Scotland.The office of "Marischal of Scotland" had been held heritably by the senior member of the Keith family since Hervey de Keith, who held the office of Marischal under Malcolm IV and...

, and had three sons: William, the third Lord, Duncan, ancestor of the Forbesses of Corsindse and Monymusk
Monymusk
Monymusk is a planned village in the Marr area of Aberdeenshire, Scotland which was almost entirely rebuilt in 1840, although its history dates back to 1170.It is a site for fishing on the nearby River Don.-External links:* *...

, and Patrick, ancestor of the Forbesses, Baronets of Craigievar
Forbes Baronets
There have been five Baronetcies created for people with the surname Forbes, four in the Baronetage of Nova Scotia and one in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom...

, now Lord Sempill
Lord Sempill
Lord Sempill is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in circa 1489 for Sir John Sempill, founder of the collegiate Church of Lochwinnoch. Sempill was killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. His grandson, the third Lord, was known as "The Great Lord Sempill"...

, and also of the Earls of Granard
Earl of Granard
Earl of Granard is a title in the Peerage of Ireland. It was created in 1684 for Arthur Forbes, 1st Viscount Granard. He was a Lieutenant-General in the army and served as Marshal of the Army in Ireland after The Restoration and was later Lord Justice of Ireland...

.

Alexander, fourth Lord Forbes, was in arms with his clan to revenge the murder of James III
James III of Scotland
James III was King of Scots from 1460 to 1488. James was an unpopular and ineffective monarch owing to an unwillingness to administer justice fairly, a policy of pursuing alliance with the Kingdom of England, and a disastrous relationship with nearly all his extended family.His reputation as the...

, but after the defeat at Tillymoss he submitted to James IV
James IV of Scotland
James IV was King of Scots from 11 June 1488 to his death. He is generally regarded as the most successful of the Stewart monarchs of Scotland, but his reign ended with the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Flodden Field, where he became the last monarch from not only Scotland, but also from all...

. John, the sixth Lord, stood high in the favour of James V
James V of Scotland
James V was King of Scots from 9 September 1513 until his death, which followed the Scottish defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss...

, from whom he got many charters.

16th century


In 1529, Clan Forbes was involved in a feud with the citizens of Aberdeen
Aberdeen
Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 25th most populous city, with an official population estimate of ....

, who withheld a sort of blackmail
Blackmail
In common usage, blackmail is a crime involving threats to reveal substantially true or false information about a person to the public, a family member, or associates unless a demand is met. It may be defined as coercion involving threats of physical harm, threat of criminal prosecution, or threats...

, a yearly tun of wine for the fishings of the Don
River Don, Aberdeenshire
The River Don is a river in north-east Scotland. It rises in the Grampians and flows eastwards, through Aberdeenshire, to the North Sea at Aberdeen. The Don passes through Alford, Kemnay, Inverurie, Kintore, and Dyce...

. In July 1530 Arthur Forbes of Brux and his accomplacies attacked Aberdeen. The citizens took arms and drove the invaders to Greyfriars Place. The street fights lasted twenty-four hours. One of clan Forbes and some of the citizens were killed, a good many on both sides were wounded. Several of the inhabitants of Aberdeen, and commissioner
Commissioner
Commissioner is in principle the title given to a member of a commission or to an individual who has been given a commission ....

s were sent to the king to lodge a complaint. On the 19th December the following year, the magistrate
Magistrate
A magistrate is an officer of the state; in modern usage the term usually refers to a judge or prosecutor. This was not always the case; in ancient Rome, a magistratus was one of the highest government officers and possessed both judicial and executive powers. Today, in common law systems, a...

s served letters of law-burrows against Pitsligo, Tolquhain, Corsindae, Brux, Echt
Echt, Aberdeenshire
Echt is an Aberdeenshire crossroads village in northeast Scotland with a population of approximately 300 people. Echt has a number of prehistoric remains, including the so called Barmekin of Echt which is on a hill to the northwest...

, and other gentlemen of the name of Forbes and Lord Pitsligo was obliged to find caution to the council at Perth
Perth, Scotland
Perth is a town and former city and royal burgh in central Scotland. Located on the banks of the River Tay, it is the administrative centre of Perth and Kinross council area and the historic county town of Perthshire...

 for his own and friends good behaviour towards the town of Aberdeen. At that time a deadly feud subsisted between Clan Forbes and Clan Leslie
Clan Leslie
Clan Leslie is a Lowland Scottish clan.-Origins:The family name comes from the Leslie lands of Aberdeenshire and was to become famous in Germany, Poland, France and Russia...

; and it is probable that some of the Aberdeen town's people had interfered in that quarrel, which furiously raged throughout Aberdeenshire
Aberdeenshire
Aberdeenshire is one of the 32 unitary council areas in Scotland and a lieutenancy area.The present day Aberdeenshire council area does not include the City of Aberdeen, now a separate council area, from which its name derives. Together, the modern council area and the city formed historic...

, and was attended by mutual massacres and murders.

In 1571 the Clan Forbes fought against the Clan Gordon
Clan Gordon
Clan Gordon, also known as the House of Gordon, is a Scottish clan. The chief of the clan was the powerful Earl of Huntly, now also Marquess of Huntly.-Origins:...

 at the Battle of Tillieangus
Battle of Tillieangus
The Battle of Tillieangus was fought on 10 October 1571 between the Gordons and the Forbes near White Hill of Tillyangus, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.-Battle:...

 and also the Battle of Craibstone
Battle of Craibstone
The Battle of Craibstone was fought on 20 November 1571 between Clan Gordon and the Clan Forbes on an area that has now been constructed over, found in central Aberdeen, Scotland....

.

17th century


Alexander, the tenth Lord Forbes, was a General under Gustavus Adolphus, and Colonel of Scottish Infantry in 1648.

18th century


During the Jacobite Risings the Clan Forbes and their chief supported the British government. The Jacobites laid siege to the chief's historic seat of Culloden House in both the 1715 and 1745 risings.

Branches


The Lord Forbes of Pitsligo
Lord Forbes of Pitsligo
Lord Forbes of Pitsligo was a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created on 24 June 1633 for Alexander Forbes. He was a descendant of Sir William Forbes, brother of Alexander Forbes, 1st Lord Forbes...

 were descended from William, second son of Sir John Forbes of that Ilk, in the time of Robert II
Robert II of Scotland
Robert II became King of Scots in 1371 as the first monarch of the House of Stewart. He was the son of Walter Stewart, hereditary High Steward of Scotland and of Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Robert I and of his first wife Isabella of Mar...

. Alexander, fourth Lord, was attainted after the battle of Culloden
Battle of Culloden
The Battle of Culloden was the final confrontation of the 1745 Jacobite Rising. Taking place on 16 April 1746, the battle pitted the Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart against an army commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, loyal to the British government...

, and living long secretly in one of his own gate lodges, died in 1762. Three families now claim the title.

The Forbesses, Baronets of Craigievar
Forbes Baronets
There have been five Baronetcies created for people with the surname Forbes, four in the Baronetage of Nova Scotia and one in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom...

, a branch of the old House, Craigievar Castle
Craigievar Castle
Craigievar Castle is a pinkish harled castle six miles south of Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It was the seat of Clan Sempill. The setting is among scenic rolling foothills of the Grampian Mountains...

, sprang from Patrick Forbes of Corse, armour-bearer
Armour-Bearer
The Armour-Bearer is one of the Great Offices of the Royal Household in Scotland.James IV granted the office of Armour-Bearer and Squire of His Majesty's Body to Sir Alexander Seton of Tullibody. This grant, apparently dating from 1488, was renewed by Charles II in 1651 to Sir Alexander's...

 to James III
James III of Scotland
James III was King of Scots from 1460 to 1488. James was an unpopular and ineffective monarch owing to an unwillingness to administer justice fairly, a policy of pursuing alliance with the Kingdom of England, and a disastrous relationship with nearly all his extended family.His reputation as the...

; and the Stuart-Forbesses of Pitsligo, Baronets, from Duncan of Corsindw, second son of James, second Lord Forbes. The Edinglassie Forbesses are also a branch of the parent stock.

The Forbesses of Tolquhoun, a very old branch, acquired that estate in 1420, and were
progenitors of the Lairds of Culloden. Sir Alexander Forbes of Tolquhoun commanded a troop of cavalry in the Scots army at Worcester
Battle of Worcester
The Battle of Worcester took place on 3 September 1651 at Worcester, England and was the final battle of the English Civil War. Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians defeated the Royalist, predominantly Scottish, forces of King Charles II...

; and when the King's horse was shot, mounted him on his own, put his buff coat
Buff coat
The European Buff coat was an item of leather clothing worn by both the infantry and cavalry during the 17th century, usually worn under armour...

 and a bloody scarf about him, and saw him safe out of the field. The fortunes of this house were probably consumed in the fever of the Darien Scheme
Darién scheme
The Darién scheme was an unsuccessful attempt by the Kingdom of Scotland to become a world trading nation by establishing a colony called "New Caledonia" on the Isthmus of Panama in the late 1690s...

 (like many other good old Scottish families), in which Alexander Forbes of Tolquhoun appears to have embarked beyond his means, the stock he held (500) having been judicially attached.

Sir William Forbes, eighth Baronet of Craigievor
Forbes Baronets
There have been five Baronetcies created for people with the surname Forbes, four in the Baronetage of Nova Scotia and one in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom...

, in 1884 succeeded his kinswoman as Lord Sempill
Lord Sempill
Lord Sempill is a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in circa 1489 for Sir John Sempill, founder of the collegiate Church of Lochwinnoch. Sempill was killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. His grandson, the third Lord, was known as "The Great Lord Sempill"...

, Chief
Scottish clan chief
The Scottish Gaelic word clann means children. In early times, and possibly even today, clan members believed themselves to descend from a common ancestor, the founder of the Scottish clan. From its perceived founder a clan takes its name. The clan chief is the representative of this founder, and...

 of Clan Sempill
Clan Sempill
Clan Sempill is a Lowland Scottish clan.-Origins of the Clan:The name Sempill has been known in Renfrewshire since the 12th century. It is tradition that the name originates from someone who is humble or simple. An alternate, unlikely, etymology is that Sempill is a corruption of St Pauls.Robert...

.

Clan chief

  • Clan Chief
    Scottish clan chief
    The Scottish Gaelic word clann means children. In early times, and possibly even today, clan members believed themselves to descend from a common ancestor, the founder of the Scottish clan. From its perceived founder a clan takes its name. The clan chief is the representative of this founder, and...

    : Nigel Forbes, 22nd Lord Forbes
    Nigel Forbes, 22nd Lord Forbes
    Nigel Ivan Forbes, 22nd Lord Forbes, KBE, JP, DL , known as the Master of Forbes until 1953, is a Scottish soldier, businessman and Conservative politician....

     and Chief of the Name and Arms of Forbes, KBE
    Order of the British Empire
    The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

     JP
    Justice of the Peace
    A justice of the peace is a puisne judicial officer elected or appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. Depending on the jurisdiction, they might dispense summary justice or merely deal with local administrative applications in common law jurisdictions...

     DL
    Deputy Lieutenant
    In the United Kingdom, a Deputy Lieutenant is one of several deputies to the Lord Lieutenant of a lieutenancy area; an English ceremonial county, Welsh preserved county, Scottish lieutenancy area, or Northern Irish county borough or county....