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Sir William Forbes of Craigievar’s Troop of Horse

1649 to 1651
ConflictsFirst Civil War
Third Civil War
CaptainSir William Forbes
William Forbes
William Forbes?
Sir Alexander Forbes
Area RaisedAberdeenshire
Flag ColourWhite or Blue
Flag Design2 known (1650)
Field ArmiesBalfour 1644
Baillie 1645
Leslie 1650
Charles 1651

Later, the Master of Forbes’ troop, then Lord Forbes’ regiment of horse

Covenanter troop of horse opposing the Royalists in Scotland in the First Civil War, raised again for the Third Civil War

Service History


  • April: Forbes leads men to join Argyll at Dunottar Castle
  • May: Taking of Aberdeen
  • July: Forbes raises his troop of horse
  • August: Take Harthill House
  • 13th September: Battle of Aberdeen, Forbes captured


  • February: Skirmish at Inverurie (10 of the troop captured in bed)
  • March to April: Plunder Lethenty House and Kemnay House, the Laird of Kincraigie, Newton and Harth House
  • Garrison Kemnay House and Pitcaple House
  • 2nd July: Battle of Alford


  • Re-raised in Aberdeenshire
  • May: Loss of Aberdeen


  • February: Master of Forbed commissioned to raise a regiment of horse in Aberdeenshire and Banffshire
  • July: ordered to Perth
  • November: Trooper Cullen prosecuted for fornication and trooper Prerie prosecuted for upbraiding Rev Gordon


  • June: Master's troop ordered to Perthshire, Lt Col to Angus
  • July: Another 130 horse levied
  • September: Battle of Dunbar


  • Sir Alexander, now Lord Forbes, becomes Colonel
  • April: Ordered to Angus
  • May: Assigned to Van Druske's 6th Cavalry Brigade
  • July: A woman of Cruden charged with scandalous conversation with Forbes' troopers
  • September: Battle of Worcester Forbes captured


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

Interestingly Craigievar's troop directly charged the Irish foot at Aberdeen instead of using pistols, however they were unsupported and were soon overwhelmed. Probably Craigievar’s continued as the Master of Forbes’ troop in 1645 but this is not certain.

Flags and Equipment

Captured at Dunbar were: The Colonel's white cornet with white fringe and arm holding sword issuing from a cloud with motto NEC Timide nec Timere and inscription Couenant for Religion King and Kingdom. A blue cornet with red & blue fringe, smaller arm, sword, cloud design, large motto PVGNA PRO PATRIA and smaller motto NEC TIMERE NEC TIMIDE.1)

Notable Officers

A list of officers is shown in Stuart Reid's Scots Armies of the 17th Century 2: Scots Colours Partizan Press 1988 ISBN 094652550 1

Sir William Forbes of Craigievar

Captured at Justice Mills, Aberdeen in 1644

William, Master of Forbes

Slain by Lord Lewis Gordon in single combat at Aberdeen in May 1646

William, Master of Forbes

Successor to the above??

Arthur Forbes of Echt

Lt Col in 1650

Sir Alexander, Lord Forbes

10th Lord Forbes, colonel in 1651


  • 1644: A single troop
  • September 1644: 100 troopers
  • February 1649: 480 planned to be raised
  • July 1649: 2 troops, Master's of 59 and 51 under Forbes of Echt
  • August 1649: Permitted to raise 56 troopers from Banffshire
  • July 1650: 130 more recruits permitted
  • 1650: 3 troops?

See Also

1) Stuart Reid's Scots Armies of the 17th Century 2: Scots Colours Partizan Press 1988