(1821–75), patristic scholar. Brother of Alexander Forbes, he was hampered throughout his life by severe paralysis of the legs. At an early age he developed keen liturgical interests, while his High Church beliefs brought him into relation with the Tractarians. In 1848, despite his infirmity, he was ordained deacon by Patrick Torry, Bp. of St Andrews (1844–52), and in the same year started an Episcopal mission at Burntisland. Ordained priest by his brother in 1849, he worked as a model pastor, building a church at Burntisland and setting up his own printing press. The liturgical texts which he edited, mostly from his own press, included The Ancient Liturgies of the Gallican Church (with J. M. Neale, 3 parts, 1855–67) and the Arbuthnott Missal (with A. P. Forbes, 1864). The edition of the Sarum Missal, by F. H. Dickinson, published at Burntisland in 1861–83, also embodied much of his work. All his publications reflected his meticulous accuracy, and he was described by E. Bishop as ‘facile princeps among those who have dealt with Western Liturgy in the last century’.
From The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church in Oxford Reference.