Gordon Forbes (British Army officer)

General Gordon Forbes (1738 – 17 January 1828) was a senior officer in the British Army.[1]

Gordon Forbes
Died17 January 1828
Ham, Surrey
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Battles/warsAmerican Revolutionary War

He was born the son of Laird Nathaniel Forbes, 1st of Auchernach into the Forbes family of Skellator, Aberdeenshire, Scotland and joined the British Army in 1756 as an ensign in the 33rd Regiment of Foot. The following year he was made a lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion, promoted Captain in 1762 and served in Havannah. In 1764 he exchanged to the 34th Regiment of Foot based in Louisiana. He was raised to Major of the 9th Regiment of Foot in 1776 and took part in the disastrous 1777 Burgoyne Expedition into New York colony, where he was twice wounded.

In 1781, promoted to Lieut.-Colonel of the newly formed and short-lived 102nd Regiment of Foot, he sailed to the East Indies, where he was given the local rank of Colonel. After a brief spell in the 74th Regiment of Foot he became Colonel in 1794 of the 105th Regiment of Foot, which however soon disbanded. Promoted to Major General in the 81st Regiment of Foot he was in 1795 appointed Governor of Saint Nicolas Mole, a French settlement in St Domingo (now Haiti) which had surrendered to the British forces.

He was appointed Colonel of the 81st Foot in 1797, but transferred to the Colonelcy of the 29th Regiment of Foot later that year. He was made Lieut.-General in 1801 and full General on 1 January 1812.

Gordon Forbes tomb, Petersham

He died on 17 January 1828 in a house later known as Gordon House on Ham Common, and was buried nearby at St Peter's Church, Petersham.[2] He had married Margaret Sullivan of Cork, with whom he had 5 sons and 5 daughters.[3] His eldest daughter Isabella married the writer Granville Penn in 1791 at All Saints Church, Kingston upon Thames.


  1. ^ "General Gordon Forbes". Worcestershire Regiment. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  2. ^ "General Gordon Forbes". Worcestershire Regiment. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  3. ^ "General Gordon FORBES Of Ham Common". www.venitap.com.
Military offices
Preceded by
William Cathcart, 1st Earl Cathcart
Colonel of the 29th (Worcestershire) Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Sir John Byng, 1st Earl of Strafford
Preceded by
Chapple Norton
Colonel of the 81st Regiment of Foot
Jan-Aug 1797
Succeeded by
Sir Hew Whitefoord Dalrymple