FORBES, ARTHUR [SSNE 132]

Surname
FORBES, OF CORSE
First name
ARTHUR
Title/rank
LIEUTENANT COLONEL
Nationality
SCOT
Region
ABERDEENSHIRE, CORSE, GRANARD in IRELAND
Social status
OFFICER

Text source

Sir Arthur Forbes of Granard was the fourth son of William 4th of Corse and a brother of "Danzig Willie" [SSNE 382] and Patrick Forbes, Bishop of Aberdeen who was married to James Spens' [SSNE 1642] sister. He apparently had a long career in the European armies and served in the Danish-Norwegian army between 1626 and 1627. This may be the same Arthur Forbes who formed part of an Irish delegation sent to approach King Charles I in January 1628 - certainly an 'Arthur Forbes' is among the 11 named delegates. This delegation obtained a 51-article reform from the English Privy Council that year, covering a wide range of spheres. In return for this, the delegates agreed to raising of three annual subsidies of £40,000 (English) for the army. In 1628 Arthur Forbes was created baronet of Castle Forbes, County Longford. A few years later, at the age of 50, he served in the Swedish army in the regiment of Alexander, Master of Forbes. On 29 July 1631 Sir Arthur and Captain John Baillie acknowledged receipt from Alexander Forbes of 1,500 rixdaler for the raising and transportation of 500 men from Ireland. The men embarked from Leith on 1 September in vessels provided by Alexander, Master of Forbes. Sir Arthur was killed soon after in a duel near Hamburg on 14 April 1632. He was buried at Buxtehude. This is possibly the same as the Arthur Forbes who wrote King Karl IX of Sweden from the Hague in 1608, and if so he was the brother of Rev John Forbes of Delft. John and Arthur visited Sweden in 1608, arriving at Stockholm on 6 September 1608.



National Archives of Scotland GD 52/93, Contract between Alexander Forbes, Arthur Forbes and Captain Baillie; G. Lind, Danish Data Archive 1573; T. Fischer, The Scots in Germany (Edinburgh, 1902); Swedish Riksarkiv, brev till Karl IX; R. Monro, Monro, His Expedition with a worthy Scots regiment called Mac-Keyes, (London, 1637), II, p.102; P. Wieselgren, (ed.), Dela Gardiska Archivet, part 9, (Lund, 1837), p.64. Erik Wikland, Elizabethan Players in Sweden 1591-2 &c. (Stockholm: Almqvist&Wiksell, 1971), p.217. Thanks also to Alex Forbes for some of this information. See also A. Clarke, "Selling Royal Favours, 1624-32" in T.W. Moody, F.X. Martin and F.J. Byrne, eds. A New History of Ireland, vol.III (Oxford, 1976), p.237.

Thanks to Dominic Rooney for the reference to Byrne and Dr Bernd Warlich for the following: Detlev PLEISS, Das Kriegstagebuch des schwedischen Offiziers William Forbes: Von seiner Landung an der Unterelbe im Sommer 1634 bis zu seiner Rückkehr nach Stade im Winter 1649/50, in: Stader Jahrbuch Neue Folge 85, (1995), p. 152.

Service record

DENMARK-NORWAY, MACKAY'S REGIMENT
Arrived 1626-04-01, as LT. COLONEL
Departed 1627-02-28, as LT. COLONEL
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY
SWEDEN, ALEXANDER FORBES' REGIMENT
Arrived 1630-01-01, as LT. COLONEL
Departed 1632-12-31, as LT. COLONEL
Capacity OFFICER, purpose MILITARY