Family Feud


It all started around 700 years ago in Scotland. It is reported that Sir Andrew Leslie, 3rd Baron of Balquhain, a man with limited sexual control, had over 70 illegitimate children who took his surname. One of these was Red Sir Andrew of Pitscurry. In 1400, he absconded with and took as wife the “Fair Maid of Kenmay,” the daughter of Thomas Bisset of Balhagarty. Unfortunately she was already betrothed to Sir John “of the Black Lip” Forbes of Druminnor.

This did not sit well with the Forbes, a highly influential Scottish clan. They, in retaliation, attacked the ancestral home of the Leslies, Balquhain Castle, which was burnt down in the skirmish (later to be rebuilt). The Leslies, in revenge, destroyed Castle Forbes (aka Druminnor Castle) and devastated much of their lands.

The feud continued on and off for over a century, resulting in deaths and injuries on both sides. It finally culminated in 1617 when John Forbes of Enzean bought the debts of the Leslies who later defaulted. Forbes was then granted the charter and the Barony of Leslie from King James VI. John Forbes of Enzean thus became Baron of Leslie, merging the family lines and putting an end to the feud once and for all.

Personally, I had no dog in the fight. Or more accurately put, I had both dogs. William Leslie of Balquhain was my 14th great-grandfather and Jean (Janet) Forbes was my 14th great-grandmother so I am connected to both families. All I know is that there are probably a couple of abandoned castle ruins out there in Scotland to which I should be able to claim some kind of birthright.

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2 thoughts on “Family Feud

  1. If you end up having a castle in Scotland, 1) you really are a Lord and 2) yes, I’ll refer to you as Lord Dad and 3) can we all live there??

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