Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Forbes, John Hay

FORBES, JOHN HAY, Lord Medwyn (1776–1854), Scotch judge, second son of Sir William Forbes, bart. [q. v.], was born at Edinburgh in 1776. He was admitted advocate in 1799, was for some time sheriff-depute of the county of Perth, and was made lord of session in January 1825, when he assumed the courtesy title of Lord Medwyn, from his estate in Perthshire. In December 1830 he was made a lord of justiciary. He resigned that appointment in May 1849, altogether retired from the bench in October 1852, and died at Edinburgh, 25 July 1854. He edited a new edition of ‘Thoughts concerning Man's Condition and Duties in this Life, and his Hopes in the World to come, by Alexander [Forbes (1678–1762) [q. v.], fourth], Lord [Forbes of] Pitsligo,’ with a life of the author, 1835, 4th ed. Edinburgh, 1854. He was an attached episcopalian, and did much to promote the interests of his church in the Scottish capital. Forbes married Louisa, daughter of Sir Alexander Cumming Gordon of Altyre, Elgin, and by her had, with other children, a son, Alexander Penrose, bishop of Brechin [q. v.]

[Gent. Mag. September 1854, p. 300; Anderson's Scottish Nation, ii. 232; Kay's Edinburgh Portraits, ii. 99.]

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