Forbes, JOHN, Capuchin; b. 1570; d. 1606. His father, John, eighth Lord Forbes, being a Protestant, and his mother, Lady Margaret Gordon, daughter of the fourth Earl of Huntly, a Catholic, John followed the religion of his father, while his elder brother educated a Catholic. To preserve his Faith the latter went to Brussels and there entered the Capuchin order. His letters and the influence of a maternal uncle, James Gordon, S.J., led John into the Catholic Church, 1587. To recover his son to Protestantism Lord Forbes affianced him to a noble Protestant lady. On the eve of the marriage John, disguised as a shepherd, fled and, having eluded his father’s spies, landed in Lille. Pressed into the English army, he escaped, was arrested by Spanish militia, imprisoned at Antwerp, but finally released. After some delay he was admitted to the Capuchin Order, August, 1593, at Tournai, and took the name of his deceased brother, Archangel. Persevering in spite of persuasion, force, and the stratagems of friends to the contrary, he completed his studies, was ordained a priest, and after refusing an appointment as guardian, was sent as chaplain to the Spanish garrison at Dendermond. Mindful of his own countrymen he wrote to his kinsman and companion in youth, James VI of Scotland, setting forth the claims of the Catholic religion. Learning of his whereabouts, many countrymen visited him, eighteen of whom he converted to Catholicity, also three hundred soldiers. To his great delight he was appointed missionary Apostolic to Scotland, but succumbed to an epidemic at Dendermond. He is said to have written an account of his conversion, though it was never published. His mother spent her declining years near her son; his betrothed became a nun in Rome.
JOHN M. LENHART