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. He became Provost of Inverness and later an MP. His opposition to the succession of James VII and II led to his estates at Culloden and Ferintosh being 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 whom he had married in 1668. In his 'Plan for Preserving Peace of the Highlands' he recommended 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, rose to become Lord Advocate.

Birth in 1644

Duncan Forbes, son of John Forbes of Culloden and [blank in the record] Dunbar, was baptised on 12 March 1644. The entry in the Old Parish Register for Inverness records that, on that day, his father compeared (appeared personally) and presented the child to John Annand, one of the ministers of Inverness. The witnesses were Thomas Mackenzie of Pluscarden, Hugh Ross of Kilravock, Thomas Fraser of Strichen and James Campbell of Moy.

Baptism entry for Duncan Forbes of Culloden

Baptism entry for Duncan Forbes (33 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 98/1, page 59

Here is a line by line transcription:

12 day of march 1644
The whilk day Comperit Johnne forbis fiar of 
Culloddine and presentit ane barne procreatit be-
tuixt him and [blank] dunbar his spouse. to maister
Johnne a[n]nand ane of the ordinarie minister[is] of in[ver]nis
to be baptized, who being baptized, and Called
to his Name Doncane, Befoir thir witness[is]  t
    mcKenzie of pluscardie, hew ross of kilra
wock. Thomas frass[er] of streahen and maister ja
mes Campbell of moy.

The Scottish Handwriting resource on the ScotlandsPeople website provides help with reading entries from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The Dictionaries of the Scots Language website provides definitions of terms like fiar (possessor of a property).

Testament of 1704

The testament records that Duncan Forbes of Culloddin (Culloden) died on 9 June 1704 within the commissariot and parish of Inverness. His son John Forbes, was the executor.

View transcript (5 KB pdf)

View first page of the actual document
View second page of the actual document

Testament of Duncan Forbes (150 KB jpegs)
National Records of Scotland, CC11/1/4, pages 318-319