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The Scottish Nation

FORFAR, earl of, a title in the Scottish peerage, bestowed on Archibald Douglas, second earl of Ormond, son of Archibald earl of Angus, eldest son and heir apparent of William first marquis of Douglas, and by patent dated 3d April 1651, earl of Ormond, Lord Bothwell and Hartside. The first earl of Forfar, his son, born in 1653, obtained a new patent, dated 20th October 1661, creating him earl of Forfar, Lord Wandale, and Hartside, with remainder to his heirs male. He early supported the Revolution, and besides being sworn a privy councillor to King William, was appointed one of the commissioners for executing the office of keeper of the privy seal for Scotland. He was also a member of the privy council to Queen Anne, who appointed him one of the commissioners of the treasury, an office abolished by the Union, to the treaty of which he gave his constant support in the last Scots parliament. He died 12th December 1712, in his 60th year.

      His only son, Archibald, second earl of Forfar, was appointed colonel of the 3d regiment of foot or Buffs, 14th April 1713, and in the following year was nominated by King George the First envoy extraordinary to Prussia. He acted as a brigadier-general in the army of the duke of Argyle, at the battle of Sheriffmuir, 13th November, 1715, when he received a shot in the knee, and sixteen other wounds, of which he died at Stirling, 8th December following, unmarried, when his titles merged in the dukedom of Douglas, and became extinct in 1761.


FORFAR, a surname, derived from the town of that name. The name has been conjectured to be formed of the Gaelic fuar, cold, and bhar, or var, a point, signifying the cold point, a derivation not unsuitable. Possibly its last syllable may have been taken from the Welsh fair, an eminence. Locally it is pronounced Farfar.

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