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Armorial Bearings of Dr Joseph John Morrow CBE QC LLD DL Lord Lyon King of Arms. (Click to visit the Court of Lord Lyon website.)

Coats of Arms of the House of Forbes

While the Coat of Arms of the Lord Forbes may grace many banners, mugs, and mousepads, this “heraldic achievement” may only be used by the current Lord Forbes. The use of the arms by any other person is illegal in Scotland – as one well-known American company discovered. Members of the House of Forbes have many Coats of Arms registered by the Lord Lyon King of Arms. In fact, you can petition for your own Coat of Arms, either a new one or “matriculated” (derived) from an ancestor who had his own Coat of Arms.


The use of Coats of Arms date back to the 12th century when they were used by knights for identification. The number and variety led to great confusion. This led to the development of an official class of “heralds,” who regulated the registration of “heraldic achievements” or "armorial bearings." The monarch would grant these Coats of Arms and allowed them to be inherited by the first sons of each family. While only one person may use a specific Coat of Arms, any clan member may use the family crest. The crest is that part of a Coat of Arms that appears at the top, above the shield.


Armorial Bearings granted in 1939 to Joseph Edward Davies, left; coat of arms appropriated by the Trump Organization, right. They are exact except "Integritas" has been changed to "Trump."

The Scots take the registration and use of Coats of Arms very seriously. The Trump Organization attempted to use its “coat of arms” on its Turnberry golf property in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. However, the arms were actually granted in 1939 to Joseph Edward Davies, an American of Welsh descent who once served as ambassador to the Soviet Union. Davies married Marjorie Merriweather Post, who built the Mar-a-Lago resort which sported Davies’s cost of arms. The company changed the motto from “Integritas” (Latin for integrity) to “Trump” and continued to use the arms. This was illegal under the Lyon King of Arms Act passed by the Scottish Parliament in 1672. The company was forced to create a new Coat of Arms which was successfully registered with the Lord Lyon four years later. 

Anyone can create and register his or her own personal or corporate arms. You can also incorporate the armorial bearings from one of your ancestors. Such “matriculated” arms are more complex because they must follow specific heraldic rules for symbolism and placement. In fact, most of the current House of Forbes Coats of Arms are matriculated based on the ancestry of the bearer. For more information on how you can create and register your own Coat of Arms, please visit Lord Lyon King of Arms website at


The Right honourable William Lord Forbes for his atchievement, bears. Azure, three bears’ heads, couped, 2 & 1 argent, muzzled gules. Above the shield his Crowne; over the same ane helmet befitting his degree (mantled gules, double argent). Next is placed on ane torse, for his crest, a stag’s head, attired with ten tynes, proper. Supported by two blood hounds, collared gules, the motto in ane scroll above the crest, Grace me Guide.”

Lyon Register, Vol. I., p.94

Chief of the Name and Arms of Forbes

(see arms on left)

Alexander Forbes, 1st Lord Forbes (1380–1448)

James Forbes, 2nd Lord Forbes (d. 1462)

William Forbes, 3rd Lord Forbes (d. 1483)

Alexander Forbes, 4th Lord Forbes (d. 1491)

Arthur Forbes, 5th Lord Forbes (d. 1493)

John Forbes, 6th Lord Forbes (1475–1547)

William Forbes, 7th Lord Forbes (1513-1593)

John Forbes, 8th Lord Forbes (1561–1606)

Arthur Forbes, 9th Lord Forbes (1581–1641)

Alexander Forbes, 10th Lord Forbes (d. 1672)

William Forbes, 11th Lord Forbes (d. 1697)

William Forbes, 12th Lord Forbes (1656–1716)

William Forbes, 13th Lord Forbes (d. 1730)

Francis Forbes, 14th Lord Forbes (1721–1734)

James Forbes, 15th Lord Forbes (1689–1761)

James Forbes, 16th Lord Forbes (b. before 1749–1804)

James Ochoncar Forbes, 17th Lord Forbes (1765–1843)

Walter Forbes, 18th Lord Forbes (1798–1868)

Horace Courtenay Gammell Forbes, 19th Lord Forbes (1823–1914)

Atholl Monson Forbes, 20th Lord Forbes (1841–1916)

Atholl Laurence Cunyngham Forbes, 21st Lord Forbes (1882–1953)

Nigel Ivan Forbes, 22nd Lord Forbes (1918–2013)

Malcolm Forbes, 23rd Lord Forbes (b. 1946)


Lords Forbes of Pitsligo

Alexander Forbes, 1st Lord Forbes of Pitsligo (d. 1636) descendant of Sir William Forbes, brother of Alexander Forbes, 1st Lord Forbes.

Alexander Forbes, 2nd Lord Forbes of Pitsligo (d. c.1690)

Alexander Forbes, 3rd Lord Forbes of Pitsligo (c.1655–1690)

Alexander Forbes, 4th Lord Forbes of Pitsligo (d. 1762) (forfeit 1746)


Earls of Granard

Sir Arthur Forbes, 1st Baronet (died 1632) Descended from a younger son of James Forbes, 2nd Lord Forbes.

Sir Arthur Forbes, 1st Earl of Granard, 1st Viscount of Granard and Baron Clanehugh, 2nd Baronet (1623–1695)

Arthur Forbes, 2nd Earl of Granard (c. 1656–1734)

George Forbes, 3rd Earl of Granard, 1st Baron Forbes (1685–1765)

George Forbes, 4th Earl of Granard (1710–1769)

George Forbes, 5th Earl of Granard (1740–1780)

George Forbes, 6th Earl of Granard, 1st Baron Granard of Castle Donnington (1760–1837)

George Arthur Hastings Forbes, 7th Earl of Granard KP (1833–1889)

Bernard Arthur William Patrick Hastings Forbes, 8th Earl of Granard KP

Arthur Patrick Hastings Forbes, 9th Earl of Granard (1915–1992)

Peter Arthur Edward Hastings Forbes, 10th Earl of Granard (b.1957)


1st to 5th Forbes of Monymusk Baronets

Sir William Forbes, 1st Baronet (died c. 1650) Descended from a younger son of James Forbes, 2nd Lord Forbes.

Sir William Forbes, 2nd Baronet (died c. 1680)

Sir John Forbes, 3rd Baronet (died c. 1700)

Sir William Forbes, 4th Baronet (died c. 1720)

Sir William Forbes, 5th Baronet (died 1743)


6th to 9th Forbes of Monymusk Baronets

Sir William Forbes, 6th Baronet (1739–1806)

Sir William Forbes, 7th Baronet (1773–1828)

Sir John Stuart Hepburn-Forbes, 8th Baronet (1804–1866)

Sir William Forbes, 9th Baronet (1835–1906)


Stuart-Forbes of Pitsligo and Monymusk

Sir Charles Hay Hepburn Stuart-Forbes, 10th Baronet (1871–1927)

Sir Hugh Stuart-Forbes, 11th Baronet (1896–1937)

Sir Charles Edward Stuart-Forbes, 12th Baronet (1903–1985)

Sir William Daniel Stuart-Forbes, 13th Baronet (b. 1935).


Forbes of Craigievar

Sir William Forbes, 1st Baronet (died 1648) Descended from a younger son of James Forbes, 2nd Lord Forbes

John Forbes, 2nd Baronet (1636–1703)

William Forbes, 3rd Baronet (1660 – c. 1730)

Sir Arthur Forbes, 4th Baronet (1709–1773)

Sir William Forbes, 5th Baronet (1755–1816)

Sir Arthur Forbes, 6th Baronet (1784–1823)

Sir John Forbes, 7th Baronet (1785–1846)


17th to 19th Lords Sempill

William Forbes, 17th Lord Sempill, 8th Baronet (1836–1905) Succeeded as 17th Lord Sempill in 1884.

John Forbes-Sempill, 18th Lord Sempill, 9th Baronet (1863–1934)

William Francis Forbes-Sempill, 19th Lord Sempill, 10th Baronet (1893–1965)

Sir Ewan Forbes, 11th Baronet (1912–1991)

Sir John Alexander Cumnock Forbes, 12th Baronet (1927–2000)

Sir Andrew Iain Forbes, 13th Baronet (b. 1945)


Forbes of Foveran

Sir Samuel Forbes, 1st Baronet (c. 1663 – 1717)

Sir Alexander Forbes, 2nd Baronet (died c. 1750)

Sir John Forbes, 3rd Baronet (died c. 1760)


Forbes of Newe

Sir Charles Forbes, 1st Baronet (1774–1849) In 1833 he became the heir male of 3rd Lord Forbes of Pitsligo.
Sir Charles Forbes, 2nd Baronet (1832–1852)
Sir Charles Forbes, 3rd Baronet (1803–1877)
Sir Charles John Forbes, 4th Baronet (1843–1884)
Sir Charles Stewart Forbes, 5th Baronet (1867–1927)
Sir John Stewart Forbes, 6th Baronet (1901–1984)
Sir Hamish Stewart Forbes, 7th Baronet (1916–2007)
Sir James Thomas Stewart Forbes, 8th Baronet (b. 1957)


Baron Leith of Fyvie


Alexander John Forbes-Leith, 1st Baron Leith of Fyvie (1847–1925) son of John James Leith and Margaret Forbes, daughter and heiress of Alexander Forbes, a descendant of Duncan Forbes, second son of the second Lord Forbes. 


Forbes-Leith of Fyvie of Jessfield

Sir Charles Rosdew Burn later Forbes-Leith, 1st Baronet (1859–1930) son of Robert Burn and the Hon. Ethel Forbes-Leith, only daughter and heiress of 1st Baron Leith of Fyvie.
Sir Iain Forbes-Leith, 2nd Baronet (1902–1973)
Sir Andrew George Forbes-Leith, 3rd Baronet (1929–2000)
Sir George Ian David Forbes-Leith, 4th Baronet (b. 1967)

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