Chronology of Druminnor

n r
c.775 O’Conchar forbhasach II killed a bear at the Nine Maidens’ Well and so won the duchus of Forbes.
c800 His son O’Conchar forbhasach III built the first castle on the lands of Forbes & Kearn, at Druminnor.
1060 King Lulach the Fatuous, Macbeth’s heir, slain near Druminnor by King Malcolm III ‘canmore’.
1272 Duncan Lord of Forbes received a charter of the barony of Forbes & Kearn from King Alexander III.
1303 Fall of Urquhart Castle to Edward I. Its heroic defender, Alexander de Forbes, was killed.
1306 John de Forbes killed at the siege of Kildrummy. His lands were forfeited by Edward I for ‘rebellion’.
1320 John Lord of Forbes had the church of Forbes erected into a prebend of Aberdeen.
1332 Battle of Dupplin: John Lord of Forbes killed with his commander, the Regent Donald 8th Earl of Mar, fighting against the invading army of would-be king Edward Balliol.
1335 Battle of Culblean: the invader, John de Strathbogie Earl of Atholl, defeated and killed in Forbes country by local forces commanded by the Regent Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwell.
1373 Death of Thomas 9th Earl of Mar. John Lord of Forbes was Sheriff of Aberdeen.
c.1380 Marriage of John de Forbes ‘with the black lip’ and Margaret Chisholm, co-heiress of the Aird.
1388 Battle of Otterburn: death of James Earl of Douglas & Mar. John Forbes ‘with the black lip’ knighted.
1394 Sir John ‘with the black lip’ appointed Crowner (or Colonel) of Aberdeenshire hereditarily.
1400 Andrew Leslie 4th of Balquhain abducted the Fair Maid of Kemnay, the betrothed of Sir John ‘with the black lip’. The Forbeses destroyed Balquhain Castle; Leslie was tracked down and executed.
1406 Sir Alexander Lord of Forbes travelled with Alexander Stewart 13th Earl of Mar to London to joust against English champions; to Paris where they gave magnificent entertainment; and Brussells where they had the honour of leading the van of the Duke of Burgundy’s army to victory at the battle of Liège.
1411 The Red Harlaw. In one of the bloodiest battles in Scottish annals, the royal army under Alexander Earl of Mar checked the horrid hordes of the Lord of the Isles. The Forbes and Keith cavalry comprised Mar’s right wing, and their contribution was decisive in saving the battle for Mar.
1421 Battle of Baugé. Sir Alexander Lord of Forbes took a regiment to France in the Scots army of 7,000 commanded by Darnley, Wigton and Buchan. The Scots victory at Baug& eacute; was the first defeat suffered by the English in living memory and proved to be the turn of the tide for French resistance.
1423 Marriage of Sir Alexander Lord of Forbes and Lady Elizabeth Douglas, cousin of the king and the Earls of Angus, Douglas, Mar and Crawford. His brothers married at this time: Sir William of Kynaldy to Agnes Fraser, heiress of Pitsligo, Sir John ‘le bel-aimé’ to Mariot Preston, heiress of Tolquhon, and ‘one-eyed’ Alastair to Kate Cameron, heiress of Brux.
1424 Sir Alexander Lord of Forbes helped negotiate the release of King James I, prisoner in London since 1404. Soon after, Forbes was appointed a member of the King’s Council.

Royal charter consolidating most of Sir Alexander de Forbes’s estates into the Lordship of Forbes. This was probably when Forbes was created a Lord of Parliament. The ‘makyn of ye house of Drumynnour’ probably commenced soon after.Battle of Inverlochy: the Earl of Mar, supported by the Forbeses and other vassals from the east, was defeated by MacDonald Earl of Ross; but the King came north and swiftly subdued MacDonald.

1430 Sir Alexander appointed for life Sheriff of Aberdeen and Baillie of Strathnairn.
1435 Death of Alexander Earl of Mar: his succession disputed between King James and Robert Lord Erskine.
1438 Following James I’s murder, Sir Alexander Lord of Forbes judged that Erskine was rightfully 13th Earl of Mar. Erskine granted Forbes the lordship of Auchindoir & the Cabrach and part of Strathdee.
1440 Receipt for part payment for ‘makyn ye house of Drumynnour’ from Kemlock & Inverkip, architects.
1444 Pact between the Forbeses and Lord Gordon. Gordon grants the Forbeses the bulk of his Lordship of Cluny, Midmar & Tough, to be held of him ‘blench’ (rent-free); in return the Master of Forbes gives Gordon his bond of manrent, acknowledging Seton’s overlordship.
1445 Parliament formally recognises James Master of Forbes as heir to the earldom of Angus. Creations of the Earls of Moray, Ormond and Huntly (Lord Gordon), and Lords Hamilton, Gray, Glamis and others.
1446 Battle of Arbroath. The Lindsays under Earl Beardie defeated the Ogilvies and their guests, among them Alexander Seton Earl of Huntly and Sir William Forbes of Pitsligo, who was killed.
1449 Death of Alexander 1st Lord Forbes.
1452 Battles of Brechin and Dunkinty. Alexander Earl of Huntly and James 2nd Lord Forbes took their revenge for Arbroath by utterly defeating Earl Beardie and his rebellious Lindsays. They returned north and suppressed the rebellion of the Douglas Earls of Moray and Ormond.
1456 Licence from James II to James Lord Forbes to fortify Druminnor with battlements and gates of iron.
1457 Thomas 2nd Lord Erskine was deprived of the earldom of Mar by King James II. Lord Forbes lost the lordship of Auchindoir & the Cabrach and the middle of Strathdee, given him by Robert Erskine in 1438.
1460 Alliance between James Lord Forbes and Huntly; marriage of Forbes’s son and Huntly’s daughter.
1467 Alliance between William 3rd Lord Forbes, Pitsligo, Tolquhon & Brux; and Mackintosh & his brothers & Hugh Rose of Kilravock; signed at Druminnor.
c.1487 Marriage of Alexander 4th Lord Forbes and Marion Boyd, the King’s niece. Forbes a Privy Councillor.
1489 After the murder of King James III, Alexander Lord Forbes led Huntly, Erroll and Marischal in revolt. Defeated at the battle of Touch Moss, the rebels submitted to James IV but Alexander Lord Forbes died soon after.
1509 Alexander Lord Elphinstone granted Kildrummy, displacing the Forbeses from control of Strathdon.
1513 Battle of Flodden. James Master of Forbes was killed “to the great grief of all who knew him”. John 6th Lord Forbes and most other Forbeses survived, being in Huntly’s wing which escaped lightly. Great Council invited the Duke of Albany from France to become Regent: John Lord Forbes present. Lord Forbes married Elizabeth Barlow, widowed at Flodden, owner of the Lordship of Kildrummy.
1522John Lord Forbes was the spokesman of the Anglophile Lords who refused to follow Albany’s French army in invading England. In fury, Albany returned to France. The Forbeses were now political allies of the Earl of Angus, the King’s step-father, who seized power in 1525.
1525 The Leslies (Balquhain, Wardes) and Meldrum invaded Aberdeen and killed 80 citizens. Shortly after, Forbes of Brux was attacked in Aberdeen by the citizens, wounded and robbed, and then prosecuted for assault. John 6th Lord Forbes captured and demolished Balquhain Castle. The Forbeses fined a vast sum.
1526 Murder of Alexander Seton of Meldrum in Aberdeen by John Master of Forbes and others.
1528 Trial of the Master of Forbes for Meldrum’s murder: acquitted. John Master of Forbes allegedly plotted to murder the King at Aberdeen. The Regent Angus granted John Lord Forbes the bailliery of the earldom of Huntly, the young earl being Angus’s ward, aggravating Huntly’s animosity against the Forbeses.
1535 Marriage of John Master of Forbes and Elizabeth Lyon, Angus’s niece.
1537 John Master of Forbes was beheaded for plotting the King’s death, on a false accusation by Huntly. A week later, his mother-in-law Lady Glamis (Angus’s sister) was burned to death on a similar false charge.
1539 John 6th Lord Forbes and William Master of Forbes at last released from prison in Edinburgh Castle. Huntly was disgraced and lost the superiorities of the lands which Forbes held of him. William was married to Elizabeth Keith, co-heiress of Innerugie; his brother Arthur a gentleman of the bedchamber.
1542 Battle of Solway Moss and death of James V. Many southern nobles allied themselves to England, but the Forbeses remained committed to independence under Cardinal Beaton, Governor Arran & Huntly.
1547 Battle of Pinkie. Many Forbeses killed, including Alexander 6th of Tolquhon and Alexander 5th of Brux.
1560 Siege of Leith. The Scottish army, including Black Arthur of Putachie and John Master of Forbes, watched the English army force the surrender of the French garrison and expel them from Scotland. The Reformation Parliament: Scotland adopted the Protestant creed. The only Forbeses present were Mr Duncan of Monymusk and Arthur 4th of Rires.
1562 Battle of Corrichie. George 4th Earl of Huntly was defeated by Queen Mary. The local men (Forbeses, Leslies, Irvines, Hays etc) formed the vanguard, led by their hereditary Crowner, William 7th Lord Forbes.
1568 Queen Mary forced to flee into England. The country drifted towards Civil War: the Forbeses split between Lord Forbes, the Master, Monymusk etc, who remained loyal to Huntly and the Queen, and Black Arthur, Pitsligo, Brux etc who supported the Regent Moray and the baby King.
1571 Battles of Tillieangus and Craibstane and the Massacre of Corgarff: Black Arthur of Putachie and at least 150 other Forbeses were killed. John Master of Forbes was imprisoned by the Gordons at Spynie while his wife Lady Margaret Gordon committed ‘filthie cryms’ with Patrick Hepburn at Druminnor.
1573 ‘Pacification of Perth’: the Master of Forbes was released from Spynie and shortly after divorced his wife.
1574 Arthur of Logie, 5th son of William Lord Forbes, was killed in Paris trying to assassinate Adam Gordon of Auchindoun, the man responsible for the Massacre of Corgarff.
1576 Adam Gordon of Auchindoun started legal proceedings to evict the Forbeses from their lands of Putachie & Monymusk and the feud burst into flame again.
1577 Restoration of Druminnor Castle by William 7th Lord Forbes & his wife Elizabeth Keith of Innerugie.
1578 Fall & restoration of the Regent Morton: John Master of Forbes was appointed Privy Councillor.
1579 ‘Act of compromit betwix the Gordonis and fforbessis’: Auchindoun and Huntly obtained an Act of Parliament forcing the Forbeses to quit their lands of Putachie & Monymusk: which they ignored. Skirmish at Dundee: Alexander Forbes yr. of Towie killed by Gordon of Gight; Gight killed by John Master of Forbes. The Master was ordered to pay Gight’s family 4,000 merks compensation: he refused.
1582 Raid of Ruthven: successful coup led by Gowrie and the Protestant lords, with John Master of Forbes.
1583 Fall of Gowrie’s regime. Uneasy truce between the Protestant and Catholic lords.
1584 Unsuccessful coup by the Protestant Lords: Gowrie and Mr John Forbes executed; John Master of Forbes forfeited and exiled; the King ordered William Lord Forbes to surrender Druminnor.
1585 Raid of Stirling: triumphant return from exile of the Protestant Lords, including John Master of Forbes.
1589 Brig o’Dee Rebellion: the Catholic earls (Crawford, Huntly, Erroll) surrendered to James VI. The Master of Forbes the leading Royalist in the north-east.
1593 The Spanish Blanks: treasonable correspondence of the Catholic earls (Angus, Huntly, Erroll) with the King of Spain, fuelling terror of a Spanish invasion. John Master of Forbes appointed Privy Councillor. Raid of Holyroodhouse: the Stewart Lords (with John 8th Lord Forbes) captured the King and forced him to pardon Bothwell. They ruled the country for 6 months, but James soon tired of Bothwell’s antics and restored his old councillors.
1594 Raid of Leith: Bothwell crossed the Border and occupied Leith; but the northern rising under Atholl and Lord Forbes failed to march south and he was forced to return to England. Atholl and Forbes were briefly imprisoned and fined. This was Bothwell’s last effective throw and he went into permanent exile. Battle of Glenlivet: Huntly & Erroll caught and scattered Argyll’s motley highland army, preventing him reaching John Lord Forbes and the 1,100 cavalry he had mustered at Monymusk.
1596 The ‘Tumult of Edinburgh’. Lords Lindsay and Forbes led a protest against the King’s religious policy, backed by a vast rioting mob. Forbes was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle and charged with treason: he was released in 1597. Lindsay was fined “a vast sum”.
1597 James VI reconciled Huntly & John 8th Lord Forbes. Official end of the Forbes-Gordon feud.
1606 Feud between the Forbeses and the Irvines of Drum, eventually settled by Huntly. John Forbes, Corsindae’s brother, leader of the ‘Society of the Boyes’, was executed in Edinburgh for murdering Irvines. Master John (brother of Patrick Forbes of Corse), defied the King’s policy of subjecting the Kirk to the royal will, incurring the sentence of exile for life. He emigrated to Delft, where he continued his ministry.
1610 Arthur Lord Forbes acquired Dunbeath & Reay in Caithness from his brother-in-law, William Sinclair, initiating a prolonged and violent contest with the Earl of Caithness.
1624 The Earl of Caithness burned Lord Forbes’s crops at Reay; King James decided to make an example of the wicked earl and deprived him of all his hereditary offices in Caithness. Arthur Lord Forbes was compensated for his losses, but decided to sell his Caithness liabilities, Reay going to Sir Donald Mackay.
1626 Alexander Master of Forbes sent 800 of his clansmen under Colonel Arthur Forbes, Towie’s brother, to fight for the Protestant cause in Germany in the force raised by his kinsman Sir Donald Mackay of Strathnaver. Colonel Forbes and his son Captain Arthur Forbes, were both killed soon after arriving.
1628 Alexander Master of Forbes sent his brother Colonel John and 12 other Forbes officers on Buckingham& rsquo;s disastrous expedition to relieve La Rochelle.
1630 The Frendraught Tragedy, when the Marquess of Huntly’s son & others were burned in the House of Frendraucht. Lord Forbes’s sister Katherine Lady Rothiemay implicated.
1631 Battle of Breitenfeld: stunning victory of King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden over the Imperialists. Alexander Master of Forbes, Sir Arthur Forbes of Granard and Sir Frederick Hamilton raised 2,600 men in two regiments and sailed them to Germany to join the army of King Gustavus Adolphus.
1632 On arrival in Germany, Alexander Master of Forbes was captured and imprisoned for nearly two years. Sir Frederick killed Sir Arthur in a duel at Hamburg, leaving the Forbes regiments in disarray. Battle of Lutzen: King Gustavus Adolphus killed in the moment of victory.
1634 Battle of Nordlingen: the Hapsburg Princes Ferdinand and Ferdinando destroyed the Swedish army under Marshal Horn: the Scots infantry was annihilated, including the Forbes regiment.
1639 The Bishops Wars: Montrose, Marischal and Alexander Master of Forbes raised their forces for the Covenant and against the Gordons. Montrose led the army of the Covenant at the Battle of Aberdeen, defeating the Gordons and left the Forbeses and other Covenanters dominant in the North-East.
1642 Alexander Master of Forbes Admiral of a fleet of 17 ships sent to Ireland to assist the oppressed Protestants. He achieved little, but increased his own debts hugely.
1644-5 Civil War again: Montrose destroyed the armies of the Covenant in the north at the battles of Aberdeen, Fyvie, Auldearn and Alford. He captured Druminnor in June 1645, installed a garrison under John Duff and used it as his local stronghold. Alexander 10th Lord Forbes went to Sweden to escape his creditors, handing leadership of the Clan to William Master of Forbes. On returning to London, he was arrested and imprisoned for debt for two years.
1646 Montrose utterly defeated at Philiphaugh: William Master of Forbes was appointed Sheriff and secured the north-east for the Covenant until the Restoration of Charles II in 1660. John Duff continued to hold Druminnor against the Forbeses until 1647.
1649 Execution of Charles I. Disgusted, Alexander Lord Forbes agreed to go into voluntary exile in Sweden, thereby escaping his creditors. He spent his exile working for the restoration of Charles II.
1650 Battle of Dunbar: the folly of the Presbyterian ministers allowed Cromwell to escape from a hopeless position and rout the Scottish army. William Master of Forbes’s cavalry regiment escaped intact.
1651 Battle of Worcester: Charles II marched the Scots army into England (with William Master of Forbes, Alexander 10th of Tolquhon & many other Forbeses). Cromwell caught and destroyed them at Worcester.
1660 Restoration of Charles II. Extensive alterations to Druminnor by William Master of Forbes.
1689 William Master of Forbes led the government forces in Aberdeenshire. At his own expense, he garrisoned Braemar, Abergeldie and Kildrummy Castles against the rebel armies under Buchan & Cannon and the Farquharsons. General Mackay used Druminnor as a base: it was frequently attacked and plundered by the Jacobites.
1708 Jacobite invasion fleet failed to land the pretender King James VIII and his army, largely due to its admiral, Comte Claude de Forbin, one of the French Forbeses, who cynically refused to co-operate.
1715 Jacobite rising under ‘Bobbing’ John Earl of Mar: Alexander 4th Lord Pitsligo, Mr James of Putachie & many other Forbeses fought for the Pretender at Sheriffmuir.
1745 Jacobite rising for Bonnie Prince Charlie: Lord President Duncan Forbes 5th of Culloden led Government resistance to the rebellion, persuading most of the northern clans to stay loyal; but failed to convince ‘ Butcher’ Cumberland of the wisdom of mercy. Most Forbeses failed to join the rising, but Pitsligo and Skellater fought as Jacobite Colonels at Culloden. The Hanoverian Laird of Grant with his regiment occupied Druminnor; a Jacobite force failed to surpise them at night because the castle was too strong to attempt without artillery.
1770 Sale of the Lordship of Forbes. Druminnor was acquired by Capt John Forbes of Newe, who resold it to John Grant of Rothmaise, whose son Robert married Newe’s daughter Henrietta soon after.