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Sir Henry Raeburn and the Pitsligo Boys

While many wealthy members of the House of Forbes commissioned paintings of themselves, successful banker Sir William Forbes, 7th Baronet of Pitsligo, wanted to immortalize his sons William the younger and John. Sir William was the son of Sir William Forbes of Pitsligo, 6th Baronet, who had worked his way up in the banking business from apprentice and clerk to one of the nost successful bankers in Great Britain at the time. His son, the 7th baronet, continued his legacy.

Sir William commissioned the most well-known and accomplished Scottish painter of that time, or any time, Sir Henry Raeburn (1756-1823.) The sons were featured with family pets, a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Dalmatian Pointer Cross. These portraits are currently displayed in the National Gallery of Scotland, among the other Raeburn portraits.

William Forbes, the Younger, of Pitsligo & Fettercairn, the eldest son of Sir William Forbes of Pitsligo & Fettercairn, 7th baronet, and Williamina Belsches-Stuart. Aged 6 in 1808.  


On the unexpected deaths of both his unmarried brother William in 1826 and his father in 1828, John succeeded as Sir John Stuart-Forbes of Pitsligo & Fettercairn, 8th baronet.  This brought him the Fettercairn and Pitsligo estates, Greenhill House and the George Street house; plus the major shareholding in the Forbes Bank created by his grandfather, Sir William Forbes, 6th Baronet of Monymusk and Pitsligo.


Around 1862, also succeeded to the estates of Invermay and Balmanno, on the death of his mother’s kinsman, Alexander Hepburn-Murray-Belsches of Balmanno. He adopted the name Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes, and registered new arms reflecting the inheritance.


Sir John died in 1866, leaving all his property to his only child, Harriet, wife of Charles Trefusis, 20th Lord Clinton, who adopted the surname Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis.

John Forbes, son of Sir William of Pitsligo & Fettercairn, 7th baronet, and Williamina Belsches-Stuart. Aged 4 in 1808. 

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