National Records of Scotland

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Duncan Forbes of Culloden (1644-1704)

Duncan Forbes of Culloden (1644-1704)

Genealogist and politician

Duncan Forbes of Culloden was educated at Bourges and became provost of, and later MP for, Inverness. Because of his opposition to the succession of James VII and II, his estates at Culloden and Ferintosh were harried by Jacobite soldiers under viscount Dundee in 1688. As recompense, the Scottish Parliament exempted him from paying duty on the whisky he distilled.

He was a keen genealogist and published 'The Familie of Innes' for his wife, Mary, who was from that family. In his 'Plan for Preserving Peace of the Highlands' he recognized the need for the integration of the people of the Highlands into British society in order to prevent them being used as a tool of the exiled Stuart dynasty. His son, also Duncan, continued to pursue his father's ideas. He was also an MP for Inverness and rose to become Lord Advocate. He proposed the establishment of Highland regiments and was personally responsible for ensuring that many of the most powerful highland chiefs did not join Charles Edward's campaign in 1745. The younger Duncan, however, became unpopular for his appeals for lenient treatment of the rebels.

Testament of Duncan Forbes of Culloden

(National Records of Scotland, CC11/1/4 pp 318-319)

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