Forbes, Alexander, first Baron Forbes d. 1448, was the eldest son of Sir John de Forbes of that ilk. The lands of Forbes in Aberdeenshire gave name to the family, who trace back their ancestors in it to the time of King William the Lion (1165-1214). Sir John de Forbes was justiciar and coroner for Aberdeenshire in the time of Robert III, and leaving four sons was the common ancestor of the families of the Lords Forbes, Forbes Lord Pitsligo, and the Forbeses of Tolquhoun, Foveran, Watertoun, Culloden, Brux, &c. The eldest son, Sir Alexander de Forbes, succeeded to the estates in 1405, on his father's death, and during his time both added considerably to their extent and obtained their consolidation into a barony, with his own elevation to the peerage as a baron of parliament. In 1407 he was one of four knights who went to England to hold a friendly tournament with an equal number of English knights. Wyntoun calls him a knight of Mar, and praises the worthy manner in which he and his comrades upheld the honour of their country on the field of chivalry. In 1419 he formed one of the contingent of Scottish knights who with their followers responded to the appeal of Charles, dauphin of France, to Scotland for help against the English. He took part in the war then going on, and was present at the battle of Beaugé, 22 March 1421. During the same year he visited James I in his captivity in London, and afterwards returned to Scotland, but came again into England as far as Durham in 1423, to convoy James I into his kingdom. Between 1436 and 1442 he was created by James II a lord of parliament, under the title of Baron Forbes. He died in 1448. He married about 1423 Lady Elizabeth Douglas, only daughter of George, first earl of Angus [qv.], and granddaughter of Robert II. By her, who afterwards became the wife of David Hay of Yester, he left issue two sons and three daughters: (1) James, second lord Forbes, (2) John, provost of the church of St. Giles, Edinburgh, (3) Annabella, who married Patrick, master of Gray, (4) Margaret, who married the laird of Fyvie, and (5) Elizabeth, who married Irvine of Drum. Through his marriage to Elizabeth Douglas his children were heirs of entail to the earldom of Angus.
Registrum Magni Sigilli, ii. Nos. 54-9, 127, 134, 279, 1239, 1298, &c.
Rymer's Federa, x. 308
Wyntoun's Fordun ą Goodall, ii. 460
Sir William Fraser's Douglas Book, ii. 23.
Contributor: H. P. [Henry Paton]