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2020 Clan Forbes Tour: Day Two

The Clan Forbes Society has partnered with Thistle Dubh Enterprises and Jamie, Lord Sempill, of Clan Chief Tours to create a bespoke Forbes ancestral tour for twenty people in August 2020.

Tolquhon Castle

Now in ruins, Tolquhon Castle was a grand showplace in the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1420, Sir John Forbes, married Marjory, daughter of Sir Henry Preston, Thane of Fermartyn, who willed the property to Sir John, then 1st Lord of Tolquhon, in 1433. The castle was vastly extended by William Forbes, 7th Lord of Tolquhon, between 1584 and 1589. Between 1690 and 1710, the Forbes of Tolquhon lost a great part of the family fortunes on speculative ventures, such as the Darien Scheme. Tolquhon was seized by the government in 1716 due to the mounting debts. The military had to remove William, 12th Lord Tolquhon, by force. The castle was eventually bought by a clan rival, William Gordon, 2nd Earl of Aberdeen, who used it as a farmhouse and let it decay.

Pitsligo Castle

Pitsligo Castle was the home of the Forbes of Pitsligo for over three centuries. William Forbes of Kynaldy, the younger brother of Alexander, 1st Lord Forbes, acquired the lands of Pitsligo in 1423 on his marriage to Agnes Fraser, elder daughter of Sir William Fraser of Philorth. In 1633, Alexander, the 9th laird, was named Lord Forbes of Pitsligo by an Act of Parliament. The Lords Pitsligo were partisans of the cause of “Bonnie Prince Charlie” to restore the deposed monarchy of the Stuarts over the Hanoverian William III and Mary I. After the 1746 Stuart defeat at Culloden, the crown seized the Pitsligo Estate, ransacked the castle, and declared Alexander, 4th Lord Forbes of Pitsligo, an outlaw.

Fyvie Castle

Fyvie Castle was transformed by the Preston, Meldrum, Gordon and Forbes-Leith families over 800 years. Born in Aberdeen but becoming a steel magnate in the United States, Alexander Leith purchased the castle in 1889. Alexander adopted the additional name Forbes to his surname in memory of his mother, Mary Forbes of Ballogie. In 1984, his grandson, Sir Andrew Forbes- Leith, 3rd Baronet, sold Fyvie Castle and its contents to the National Trust for Scotland.

For more information on the 2020 Clan Forbes Tour, see

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