Kenneth Sutherland, of Forse

Kenneth Sutherland of Forse (son of William, 5th Earl of Sutherland)

The descent of this family from that of William, Earl of Sutherland, who died in 1370, is unquestioned, althogh there are conflicting statements among genealogists as to the immediate descendants of that Earl. On 10th November 1345 he obtained a charter from King David II., "Willelmo comiti de Sutherland et Margaretæ sponæ suæ sorori nostræ carissimæ." According to Douglas, who follows Sir Robert Gordon, he was the great-grandfather of Robert, Earl of Sutherland, and of his brother, Kenneth, ancestor of the Sutherlands of Forse. In the Sutherland Peerage case, 1771, Captain George Sutherland of Forse, a claimant to the dignity, averred his ancestor, Kenneth, to have been the son of this Earl William, founding on a charter, in 1408, of the three davoch lands of Nottingham, granted by Mariot, daughter and co-heiress of Ranald, Lord Cheyne, with consent of Andrew of Keith, her son, "Kenatho de Sutherlandia filio quondam Willelmi comitis Sutherlandiæ." It is certain that Kenneth Sutherland was brother of Earl Robert, and that he received from him, in 1400, Drummuy, Backies, and Torish, in Sutherland.

Nottinghame, Nothingham, or Noddingham, as it is variously written, is mentioned as early as 1272, when there was a Canon of Caithness styled "Henry of Nothingham."

Kenneth Sutherland married the daughter and heiress of Keith of Forse, and the family style then became "Sutherland of Forse." He was succeeded by his son, John Sutherland of Forse of whom nothing further is known. He had a son Richard, 3rd of Forse.

Sources: Henderson, J. (1884) Caithness Family History. Edinburgh: David Douglas.

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