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FORBES, John 6th Lord Forbes
(About 1471-1547)
LUNDIN, Christian
(About 1482-Before 1515)
KEITH, William younger, of Inverugie, Sir
(About 1479-Between 1518/1521)
GRAY, Janet
(About 1485-1539)
FORBES, William 7th Lord Forbes
(About 1513-1593)
KEITH, Elizabeth co-heiress of Inverugie
(About 1519-)
FORBES, Barbara
(About 1563-)


Family Links

1. ALLARDYCE, Robert younger, of Allardyce

2. HAY, Alexander 10th of Delgaty
3. DOUGLAS, Archibald of Kellour, Sir

FORBES, Barbara 1 2

  • Born: About 1563 2
  • Marriage (1): ALLARDYCE, Robert younger, of Allardyce 1
  • Marriage (2): HAY, Alexander 10th of Delgaty
  • Marriage (3): DOUGLAS, Archibald of Kellour, Sir 1

   User ID: W113.

Barbara married Robert ALLARDYCE younger, of Allardyce, son of Sir John ALLARDYCE of that Ilk and Beatrice KEITH.1 (Robert ALLARDYCE younger, of Allardyce was born about 1559.)

  Marriage Notes:

"He (Sir Archibald Douglas) married Barbara, daughter of William, seventh Lord
Forbes, relict of Robert Allardyce, younger of that Ilk, and of Alexander Hay of Delgatie."

from Scots Peerage 1

Barbara next married Alexander HAY 10th of Delgaty, son of William HAY 9th of Delgaty, Sheriff-Depute of Aberdeen and Beatrice HAY. (Alexander HAY 10th of Delgaty was born about 1554 and died on 5 January 1601 in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland 2.)

  Marriage Notes:

""He (Sir Archibald Douglas) married Barbara, daughter of William, seventh Lord
Forbes, relict of Robert Allardyce, younger of that Ilk, and of Alexander Hay of Delgatie."

from Scots Peerage

"During Elizabeth's lifetime Alexander committed bigamy with Barbara Forbes presumably after Robert Allardice's death, since no mention of Robert was made in the adultery suit. Alexander died circa 1638."

from Venitap

The relationship between the various parties in these relationships was very tricky:

"Alexander Hay of Delgaty had five children by Barbara Forbes, daughter of William 7th Lord Forbes, who was born 31 Jan. 1560/61 (Scots Peerage, IV. 57)."

"On 19 March 1596/97 Alexander Hay of Delgaty granted a Charter of Delgaty in favour of Barbara Forbes, sister of Lord Forbes, and relict of Robert Allardyce, fiar of Allardyce, in liferent, and Alexander Hay, eldest son procreated between them, and the lawful heirs male of his body, whom failing, to William brother-german of the said Alexander (Great Seal, No. 704). The charter does not refer to Barbara Forbes as Alexander's wife, and it describes William as brother-german of Alexander, which would not be legally possible unless a marriage had taken place.

As a matter of fact, during this year 1597, Alexander Hay and Barbara Forbes erected the painted ceiling which shows (1) the arms of Alexander Hay of Delgaty; (2) the arms of Alexander Hay of Delgaty impaling those of Barbara Forbes, thus indicating a marriage. It would appear, however, that at this period Barbara Forbes was the spouse of Archibald Douglas of Balneathill, afterwards of Keillor (Scots Peerage IV., 57; and Forfar Inhibitions, 1598/9). As a matter of fact, the pretended marriage was treated as a piece of adulterous presumption. In 1599, action was raised against the Laird of Delgaty by the Lord Advocate and Elizabeth Keith his spouse (against whom he had Taised a 'fictitious' action for divorce before the Commissaries Acts, and Decs. Vol. 185, p. 35), on this and other grounds, he being indicted as a 'notorious adulterer.'

The first charge was, that he had misconducted himself with three ladies, Elizabeth Clark, Catherine Anderson and Elizabeth Pirie, and that he had bribed his Steward to acknowledge paternity of Clark's child. The Laird's first defence was a novel one. He had, along with his Chief, the Earl of Errol, and Lord Huntly, fought against Argyll, the King's Lieutenant, at the Battle of Glenlivet when the 'Popish Earls' received the benison of James VI. for sending back the crest-fallen Argyll with a mien 'sae like a subject.' For his share in the Glenlivet campaign Delgaty received a remission and general whitewashing, including 'all other crimes except Treason and Witchcraft,' and therefore he claimed exoneration from a charge of adultery. This, however, was disallowed, but on the merits of the case, he was on all three charges assoilzied by the jury.

A fresh charge was then raised concerning the matter of Barbara Forbes, his 'pretended spouse,' but on his journey south, Delgaty was proved on medical evidence to be 'long bedfast and heavily diseasit, in My Lord Sinclair's castle of Ravensheugh upon the Forth.' There, in the sea-girt home of the romantic, albeit, rather mythical 'Rosabelle,' the Baron of Delgaty lay suffering from indigestion, 'a crudity of his stomach with schotts of pain throw his body' (Pitcairn, Criminal Trials, II., pp. 64, 104, 112, 130). What the doctors may have done for this, I cannot say, but before long the issue was fatal, for the Laird of Delgaty died on 5 January 1601, at Edinburgh, where his testament was given up by his 'Right Honll. Ladye, Barbara Forbes Lady Delgatie, his spouse,' 1 Sept. 1601, the list of his possessions including '80 bolls of aittes in the barnyairds of Delgatie'-so the scene of the famous bothy ballad was well-known even in those days. His will constitutes 'Barbara Forbes my weil belovit spous, sister german to ane nobell and potent Lord, John Lord Forbes, tutrix testamentar to Alexander, William, George, Gilbert and John, Hays, my five sons gotten betwixt me and the said Barbara,' and in the event of her remarriage, George Sinclair of Moy (son of the Earl of Caithness) was appointed Tutor (Edinburgh Tests. XXXV.).

Whether Dame Barbara, or Sir William's lady, Dorothy Hay, was 'the mad lady' who in her anxiety burnt the early charters of Delgaty, whereof the charred remains were discovered in the secret turret not many years ago, we shall probably never know, but the romantic laird and lady of Delgaty to whom we owe the gorgeous painted ceiling in the tower, at least secured their sons succession safely under the Crown charter of 1597."

from Transactions 1 2 3

Barbara next married Sir Archibald DOUGLAS of Kellour, son of Sir William DOUGLAS of Lochleven, then 6th Earl of Morton and Agnes LESLIE.1 (Sir Archibald DOUGLAS of Kellour was born about 1571 and died in 1649 in Orkney 1.)

  Marriage Notes:

"He (Sir Archibald Douglas) married Barbara, daughter of William, seventh Lord
Forbes, relict of Robert Allardyce, younger of that Ilk, and of Alexander Hay of Delgatie."

from Scots Peerage

"The unfortunate lady (Barbara Forbes, after the death in 1601 of Alexander Hay) was, however, not finished with her matrimonial troubles, for the laird of Delgaty being dead, the rejected Sir Archibald Douglas of Balneathill, reappeared, on the scene, and reclaimed his spouse, and in a contract regarding the Delgaty children 24 and 25 March 1608, the parties were Francis Earl of Errol and Sir Alexander Hay of Delgaty with his curators on the one part, and Dame Barbara Forbes, with consent of Sir Archibald Douglas, her spouse, on the other part (Aberdeen Sas. II. 89). Poor Dame Barbara was dead by 1619, as appears from her
childrens settlements regarding the foregoing contract."

from Transactions 1 2


1 e-books, The Scots Peerage ed. Sir James Balfour Paul vol. 6 (1909).

2 e-books, Transactions of the Banffshire Field Club 1936 - 'The Hays of Delgaty' a paper by Mr Innes of Learney.

3 Internet Site,

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