THIS clan takes its name from the district so-called in Ross-shire. The Urquharts of Cromarty at one time possessed nearly all the old county of Cromarty. Thomas Urquhart was Bishop of Ross in 1449, and in 1585 Alexander Urquhart was last Dean of Ross. History makes frequent reference to Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty and his family. John Urquhart of Craigfintry, who built Craigston Castle about 1604, is recorded in the Roll of Landlords as guardian to his grand-nephew, afterwards Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty, father of the famous knight of the same name. In the army of Gustavus Adolphus of 1626 we find Colonel Urquhart “a valiant soldier, expert commander, and learned scholar.” Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty attempted the destruction of Inverness Castle in 1649. He is given a place as an author and poet of some repute in the seventeenth century. He forfeited his estate during Cromwell’s rule on account of financial difficulties. In 1678 the Laird of Cromarty and Alexander Urquhart of Newhall were Commissioners in Parliament.


THIS clan is Celtic. Their March is “Cath Glinn Eurainn” (“The Battle of Glen Eurann”). John of Forbes, first of the name, figured in the reign of William the Lion, when the duthus of Forbes (which the race had held from the time when O’Conochar “killed the bear” which made the Braes of Forbes uninhabitable) was feudalised. In 1303 Alexander Forbes defended Urquhart Castle against Edward I, and was slain with the garrison. Alexander Forbes of Forbes was made Lord Forbes about 1442. John, the 6th Lord, was a favourite of James V. The 10th Lord, Alexander, was a General under Gustavus Adolphus. The family is still represented by Lord Forbes, whose seat is Castle Forbes on Donside. The Lords Pitsligo are descendants of William, a son of Sir John Forbes of Forbes, who lived in the reign of Robert II. The 4th Lord was attainted after Culloden. The Baronets of Craigievar spring from Patrick Forbes of Corse, armour-bearer to James III. The Lairds of Culloden are descended from the Forbeses of Tolquhoun, who date from 1420. Sir Alexander Forbes of Tolquhoun saved Charles II’s life at the battle of Worcester. This family was ruined by the Darien Scheme. Sir William Forbes, 8th Baronet of Craigievar, succeeded as Lord Sempill in 1884. Their seat is the tall, romantic castle of Craigievar.