Duncan Forbes of Culloden

1685 - 1747

Duncan Forbes of Culloden
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Duncan Forbes of Culloden

Statesman and jurist. Born at Bunchrew (Highland), Forbes studied at the Universities in Edinburgh and Leiden before being appointed an Advocate. He rose quickly guided by John Campbell, the 2nd Duke of Argyll (1680 - 1743), serving as Sheriff of Midlothian, Lord Advocate (1725-37) and Lord President of the Court of Session (1737-47). He did much to consolidate Scotland's position following the Union with England which had taken place in 1707.

Forbes opposed the Jacobite Rebellions of 1715 and 1745, keeping the town of Inverness loyal to the Hanoverian Government and persuading the MacDonald and MacLeod clans against joining the Jacobite cause. Having succeeded his brother to the family estates around Culloden House in 1734, he was forced to defend his property from the Jacobites during the Battle of Culloden in 1746. He lost influence when he suggested leniency in pacifying the Highlands following the battle.

Forbes was also a keen golfer and did much to promote the formation of one of Edinburgh's early golf clubs, the Gentlemen Golfers of Leith.

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