Lodge Canongate Kilwinning No 2

Sir William Forbes of Pitsligo, Bart 1739-1806

Past Master of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning

Banker and Author

Initiated in Canongate Kilwinning on the 16th November 1759 and at subsequent periods served as Master and other offices as well as in Grand Lodge. He subscribed to 40 copies of Burns 'Second Edition.'

He entered the bank of Coutts & Co. in Edinburgh as an apprentice in 1754, rising to become a partner. When one of the Coutts died, another retired and the remaining two settled in London, the bank changed its name to Forbes, Hunter & Co. (1763), reflecting a new partnership which included Sir James Hunter Blair. It became the Union Bank in 1830.

Forbes supported many charitable works in Edinburgh, including an orphan's hospital, blind asylum and a work-house. He was also central to the building of a new High School in 1777. He acquired the lands of the Barony of Pitsligo in 1781 and greatly improved the area, laying out the village of New Pitsligo in 1783 and giving generously to the local people.