Colonel William, Master of Forbes’ Regiment of Foot

1640 to 1641
1644 to 1645
1649 to 1650
ConflictsFirst Bishops’ War
Second Bishops' War
First Civil War
Third Civil War
ColonelWilliam Forbes
Area RaisedAberdeenshire
Coat Colour
Flag Colour
Flag Design
Field ArmiesMontrose 1639
Munro 1640
Balfour 1644

Covenanters serving in the Aberdeen area during the Bishops’ Wars, eventually disbanded for misconduct, raised again to oppose Montrose in 1644 and again in 1649

Service History


  • Raised in Aberdeenshire
  • March: Occupy Aberdeen
  • May: Skirmish at the Trot o’ Turriff
  • May: Occupy Aberdeen
  • June: Skirmish at Brig o’ Dee
  • June: Occupy Aberdeen
  • June: Disbanded following the Treaty of Birks


  • Raised in Aberdeenshire
  • May: Occupy Aberdeen
  • July: Siege of Strathbogie Castle (det of 500)
  • July: Take Spynie Palace? (det of 500)
  • August: Destroy the Laird of Banff's house at Banff (det of 500)
  • August: Loot Inchdrewer House? (det of 500)
  • August to February 1641: Occupy Aberdeen, where their conduct was highly disorderly


  • February: Disbanded due to their behaviour at Aberdeen


  • April: Forbes musters his men and meets Argyll at Dunottar
  • May: Occupy Aberdeen
  • September: Battle of Aberdeen


  • March: Mustered anew
  • May: Skirmish at the head of Strathdon?


  • February: Commissioned to be raised in Aberdeenshire and Banffshire
  • June: Quartered in Aberdeenshire and Banffshire
  • July: Ordered to be disbanded as unnecessary


  • February: Still free-quartering in Aberdeen


A history of the unit is shown in Edward M. Furgol’s A Regimental History of the Covenanting Armies 1639-1651 Edinburgh, 1990. ISBN 0 85976 194 0

Perhaps not properly regimented in 1639, Furgol labels them a ‘retinue’. By 1640 they are referred to as foot. In 1644 they likely revert to a retinue.

The 1649 unit does not appear to have been completed before being ordered to disband, even so they were still claiming free quarter in Aberdeen in lieu of taxes and maintenance six months later.

Coats, Flags & Equipment

Notable Officers

William Forbes, Master of Forbes


  • June 1649: 200 men

See Also