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Legacy of the House of Forbes

The House of Forbes has a rich history and heritage, as is indicated on many of these pages. We also have a rich legacy that has survived to today. The most obvious are the many castles and mansion houses, some of which are still owned by the family. These include Castle Forbes by Lord and Lady Forbes; Druminnor Castle by Alexander Forbes; and Corse Castle by Sir Andrew Iain Forbes. 

The other elements of the legacy of the House of Forbes include intangible aspects as diverse as the many publications such as Lyon in Mourning by Bishop Robert Forbes (1708–1775) and the sprawling media empire of Forbes Magazine founded by B.C. Forbes (1880 – 1954). 

Here is cataloged some of the many tangible assets such as paintings, charters, and other historic items.


St. John’s Church of Edinburgh

One of the most enduring and consequential legacies of the House of Forbes is the Church of St John the Evangelist, a Scottish Episcopal church in the centre of Edinburgh, Scotland. The leading lay figures responsible for funding and building the church were the sons of Sir William Forbes of Pitsligo 6th Baronet: Sir William Forbes, 7th Baronet and Judge John Hay Forbes. Learn more here.


New Pitsligo

To honor his family estate forfeited after the failed 1745 Jacobite Uprising, successful banker Sir William Forbes, 6th Baronet, Monymusk and Pitsligo, (1739–1806), developed New Pitsligo, the largest planned village in northeast Scotland.

Learn more here.


Monymusk Reliquary

This reliquary, once used for housing relics of saints, may have been fashioned in the early 8th century. It was preserved at Monymusk House but it is uncertain for how long. Learn more here.


Fettercairn Jewel of Lord Pitsligo

This jewel is one of a very small number of Renaissance jewels to have survived in the British Isles.  The 16th century jewel is now at the National Museums Scotland from the private collection of the Forbes of Fettercairn, descended from Sir William Forbes, brother of Alexander Forbes, first Lord Forbes. Learn more here.


William Forbes of Tolquhon’s Cannon

This cast bronze cannon is from Tolquhon Castle bears the arms and initials of William Forbes 7th laird of Tolquhon and the date 1588. Learn more here.


Craigievar Mazer 

This silver and maplewood mazer was made by James Craufurd of Edinburgh in 1591. Engraved with the arms of Forbes of Craigievar. Sir william Forbes, 1st Baronet of Craigievar may have passed it on to his daughter Anna who married Robert Petrie of Portlethen. Learn more here.


Sir Henry Raeburn and the Pitsligo Boys

Successful banker Sir William Forbes, 7th Baronet of Pitsligo, commissioned accomplished portraiter painter Sir Henry Raeburn to immortalize his young sons William and John in these paintings now displayed at the National Gallery of Scotland. Read more here.


St Ninians Cathedral, Perth
St. Ninian’s Cathedral in Perth was the result of the friendship of Horace Courtney Gammell Forbes, 19th Lord Forbes (1829 – 1914), and George Frederick Boyle, 6th Earl of Glasgow (1825–1890), while at Oxford University. Not only was St. Ninian’s the first cathedral built in Great Britain since the 1560 Scottish Reformation, but it also re-united two Protestant congregations separated by doctrinal beliefs.

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