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Early life

Born at 8 Grafton Street, Mayfair, Lady Angela was the youngest daughter of Robert St Clair-Erskine, 4th
Earl of Rosslyn, by his marriage to Blanche Adeliza FitzRoy, a great-granddaughter of Augustus FitzRoy,
3rd Duke of Grafton, and the widow of Charles Maynard, the son and heir of Viscount Maynard. She had
two older sisters, who became Millicent Leveson-Gower, Duchess of Sutherland, and Sybil Fane,
Countess of Westmorland, and two brothers, the future 5th Earl of Rosslyn and Alexander FitzRoy St
Clair-Erskine. She was also a half-sister of the heiress Frances Maynard, who became Daisy Greville,
Countess of Warwick,[1] and of Blanche Maynard, who married Lord Algernon Charles Gordon-Lennox
and was the mother of Ivy Gordon-Lennox, later Duchess of Portland.[2] The 5th Duke of Sutherland, the
14th Earl of Westmorland, and the 6th Earl of Warwick were her nephews.[3]

The young Lady Angela grew up at Dysart, near Kirkcaldy, and at Lady Anne's House, near Stamford,
Lincolnshire, and was educated by German governesses, while her father passed on to her his love of
horses, hunting, and good food. She grew to a height of nearly six feet, and was considered vivacious
rather than pretty, unlike her sisters.[1] She resisted finishing her education in Germany, later explaining
that she had no wish to see Germany, having only just "escaped from German governesses". After
refusing to get into the cab to begin the long journey, she was sent back to the schoolroom in Scotland
for another six months instead.[4]

Vanity Fair illustration, November 1901

An enthusiast for country sports, Lady Angela spent much of her life fox-hunting and shooting.[1] In
November 1901, she was depicted in a Vanity Fair magazine chromolithograph by Cuthbert Bradley,
riding side-saddle at a meeting of the Quorn.[5] In her memoirs, she reveals that she was considered an
enfant terrible and that Elinor Glyn used her as the prototype of Elizabeth in her first book, Visits of
Elizabeth (1900).[6]

On 28 April 1896, Lady Angela married James Stewart Forbes (1872–1957), an officer of the Imperial
Yeomanry, with the use of Stafford House for the occasion,[7] and they went on to have two daughters,
born in 1897 and 1902.[3] In 1907 they were divorced.[1]

Between 1910 and 1912, Forbes published four novels, mainly because she was hard up and needed to
make some money.[1] The Publisher magazine said of her novel The Other Woman's Shadow (1912)

Lady Angela Forbes’s story presents us with a number of smart society people; they chatter and intrigue
in various country houses, and at other times we meet them in London. Most of them indulge in
epigrammatic talk, which, though not strictly true to life, is excusable in so far as it makes their
conversations light and amusing.[8]

About 1912, she became the mistress of Lord Elcho, due to a vacancy caused by the death of the
Duchess of Leinster, and thus joined the social circle known as the Souls.[9] Forbes was then living
between her own house at Le Touquet and Elcho's country house in East Lothian. She has been called "a
tough, vibrant personality whose language would make a trooper blush".[10] Poet Edith Sitwell later
described her as "an elderly gorilla affected with sex appeal".[11]

At the outbreak of the First World War, Lady Angela went as a volunteer to Dr Haden Guest's Hospital in
Paris, where she took notes for the surgeons. A few weeks later she was in Boulogne and saw trains of
wounded soldiers coming in, and was surprised that they were left on the quay for hours with no food
or drink. In November 1914 she started a canteen for the soldiers in the station waiting-room. This
turned into a string of canteens, formally known as the British Soldiers' Buffets, less formally as
"Angelinas". Every train of wounded men was met by Lady Angela and her volunteers, largely friends
and relations. At first, the supplies needed were funded by appeals in the newspapers, but in 1915, both
the Red Cross and the British Soldiers' Buffets began to charge for their food and drink. In 1916, Lady
Angela opened other canteens in Étaples, the main depôt and transit camp for the British Expeditionary
Force in France, to which wounded men returned. One canteen was for the workmen building the
British army camp there, another for the British soldiers who were drilled there, and a third in the
railway station, feeding men on their way to the front. These canteens were often open all night as well
as all day.[1][12][13] From the profits of her canteens, Forbes built fourteen recreational huts for the
soldiers. However, senior officers found her abrasive, and Sir Douglas Haig, Commander of the British
Expeditionary Force, was hostile to her. A few days after the Étaples mutiny of September 1917, she was
ordered to leave the base, without any explanation, at which she protested, to no avail. On 5 February
1918 the case was raised in the House of Lords by her former lover Lord Ribblesdale, and Lord Wemyss
(previously Lord Elcho) spoke at length in her defence. Lord Derby, the War Secretary, replied on behalf
of the government, recognizing Lady Angela’s valuable work and her "zeal and ability".[14] It later
transpired that the main accusations against her were that she had used the word "damn!" and had
washed her hair in a canteen.[1]

After the war, Forbes started a short-lived training scheme for disabled soldiers, then a dress shop, and
also tried to run Lord Wemyss’s Gosford House as a hotel. In 1921 she published her first book of
memoirs, Memories and Base Details.[12] She reverted to her maiden name by deed poll in 1929. After
travelling widely, she wrote about her travels in Fore and Aft (1932).[1]

Lady Angela Forbes died on the island of Jersey and was buried at Rosslyn Chapel, Midlothian, on 2
November 1950.[4]


With her husband, who was a grandson of Sir Charles Forbes, 3rd baronet,[15] Forbes had two

Marigold Forbes (26 August 1897 — 11 February 1975), who in 1918 married Sir Archibald Sinclair, of
Thurso Castle, later leader of the Liberal Party. In 1952 he was created Viscount Thurso. They had four
children, including Robin Sinclair, 2nd Viscount Thurso. Her grandson John Thurso remains a member of
the House of Lords.[3]

Flavia Forbes (18 December 1902 — 13 October 1959), who in 1923 married firstly Lionel Heald; he
divorced her in June 1928. She married secondly in 1933 Colonel Lionel Herbert de Pinto (divorced
1938). In 1939 she married thirdly Sir Alexander Hay Seton, 10th Baronet (divorced 1958); with Sir Lionel
Heald she had a daughter, Susan Heald.[3]


Main article: History of Jersey

See also: Archaeology of the Channel Islands, Maritime history of the Channel Islands, and German
occupation of the Channel Islands

An 1893 painting of the Assize d'Heritage by John St Helier Lander.

Jersey history is influenced by its strategic location between the northern coast of France and the
southern coast of England; the island's recorded history extends over a thousand years.

La Cotte de St Brelade is a Palaeolithic site inhabited before rising sea levels transformed Jersey into an
island. Jersey was a centre of Neolithic activity, as demonstrated by the concentration of dolmens.
Evidence of Bronze Age and early Iron Age settlements can be found in many locations around the
island. In June 2012 it was announced what could be Europe's largest hoard of Iron Age coins had been
found in Grouville by two persons using metal detectors. The hoard may be worth up to £10 M. People
had been searching for this treasure for 30 years. It was reported that the hoard weighed about three
quarters of a tonne and could contain up to 50,000 Roman and Celtic coins.[29] In 2012 the same two
men had found 60 Iron Age coins in the same area.[30]

Additional archaeological evidence of Roman influence has been found, in particular at Les Landes, the
coastal headland site at Le Pinacle, where remains of a primitive structure are attributed to Gallo-Roman
temple worship (fanum).[31]

Jersey was part of Neustria with the same Gallo-Frankish population as the continental mainland. Jersey,
the whole Channel Islands and the Cotentin peninsula (probably with the Avranchin) came formerly
under the control of the duke of Brittany during the Viking invasions, because the king of the Franks was
unable to defend them, however they remained in the archbishopric of Rouen. Jersey was invaded by
Vikings in the 9th century. In 933 it was annexed to the future Duchy of Normandy, together with the
other Channel Islands, Cotentin and Avranchin, by William Longsword, count of Rouen and it became
one of the Norman Islands. When William's descendant, William the Conqueror, conquered England in
1066, the Duchy of Normandy and the kingdom of England were governed under one monarch.[32] The
Dukes of Normandy owned considerable estates in the island, and Norman families living on their
estates established many of the historical Norman-French Jersey family names. King John lost all his
territories in mainland Normandy in 1204 to King Philip II Augustus, but retained possession of Jersey
and the other Channel Islands.[33]

In the Treaty of Paris (1259), the English king formally surrendered his claim to the duchy of Normandy
and ducal title, and since then the islands have been internally self-governing territories of the English
crown and latterly the British crown.[34]

On 7 October 1406, 1,000 French men at arms led by Pero Niño invaded Jersey, landing at St Aubin's Bay
and defeated the 3,000 defenders but failed to capture the island.[35]:50–1
In the late 16th century, islanders travelled across the North Atlantic to participate in the Newfoundland
fisheries.[36] In recognition for help given to him during his exile in Jersey in the 1640s, King Charles II of
England gave Vice Admiral Sir George Carteret, bailiff and governor, a large grant of land in the
American colonies in between the Hudson and Delaware rivers, which he promptly named New Jersey.
It is now a state in the United States.[37][38]

Liberation Day celebrations in Jersey, 9 May 2012

Aware of the military importance of Jersey, the British government had ordered that the island be
heavily fortified. On 6 January 1781, a French invasion force of 2,000 men set out to take over the island,
but only half of the force arrived and landed. The Battle of Jersey lasted about half an hour, with English
successfully defending the island. There were about thirty casualties on each side, and the English took
600 French prisoners who were subsequently sent to England. The French commanders were slain.

Trade laid the foundations of prosperity, aided by neutrality between England and France.[39] The
Jersey way of life involved agriculture, milling, fishing, shipbuilding and production of woollen goods.
19th-century improvements in transport links brought tourism to the island.

During the Second World War, some citizens were evacuated to the UK but most remained. Jersey was
occupied by Germany from 1 July 1940 until 9 May 1945, when Germany surrendered.[40] During this
time the Germans constructed many fortifications using Soviet slave labour. After 1944, supplies from
mainland France were interrupted by the D-Day landings, and food on the island became scarce. The SS
Vega was sent to the island carrying Red Cross supplies and news of the success of the Allied advance in
Europe. The Channel Islands were one of the last places in Europe to be liberated. 9 May is celebrated as
the island's Liberation Day, where there are celebrations in Liberation Square.


Main article: Politics of Jersey

The States building in St. Helier

Jersey's unicameral legislature is the Assembly of the States of Jersey. It includes 49 elected members: 8
senators (elected on an island-wide basis), 12 Connétables (often called 'constables', heads of parishes)
and 29 deputies (representing constituencies), all elected for four-year terms as from the October 2011
elections.[41] There are also five non-voting members appointed by the Crown: the Bailiff, the
Lieutenant Governor of Jersey, the Dean of Jersey, the Attorney General and Solicitor General.[42]
Jersey has one of the lowest voter turnouts internationally, with just 33% of the electorate voting in
2005, putting it well below the 77% European average for that year.[43]

The government is a Council of Ministers, consisting of a Chief Minister and nine ministers.[44] Each
minister may appoint up to two assistant ministers.[45] A Chief Executive is head of the civil service.[46]
Some government functions are carried out in the island's 12 parishes.

The Bailiff is President (presiding officer) of the States Assembly,[47] head of the judiciary and as civic
head of the island carries out various ceremonial roles.

As one of the Crown dependencies, Jersey is autonomous and self-governing, with its own independent
legal, administrative and fiscal systems.[48] In 1973, the Royal Commission on the Constitution set out
the duties of the Crown as including: ultimate responsibility for the 'good government' of the Crown
dependencies; ratification of island legislation by Order in Council (Royal Assent); international
representation, subject to consultation with the island authorities before concluding any agreement
which would apply to them; ensuring the islands meet their international obligations; and defence.[49]

Queen Elizabeth II reigns in Jersey as Queen of the United Kingdom and her other Realms and

Sir John Chalmers McColl as Lieutenant Governor of Jersey

"The Crown" is defined by the Law Officers of the Crown as the "Crown in right of Jersey".[51] The
Queen's representative and adviser in the island is the Lieutenant Governor of Jersey. He is a point of
contact between Jersey ministers and the United Kingdom government and carries out executive
functions in relation to immigration control, deportation, naturalisation and the issue of passports.[52]
Since September 2011, the incumbent Lieutenant Governor has been General Sir John McColl.
Legal system

Main article: Law of Jersey

Jersey is a distinct jurisdiction for the purposes of conflict of laws, separate from the other Channel
Islands, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.[53]

Jersey law has been influenced by several different legal traditions, in particular Norman customary law,
English common law and modern French civil law.[54] Jersey's legal system is therefore described as
'mixed' or 'pluralistic', and sources of law are in French and English languages, although since the 1950s
the main working language of the legal system is English.

The principal court is the Royal Court, with appeals to the Jersey Court of Appeal and, ultimately, to the
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The Bailiff is head of the judiciary; the Bailiff and the Deputy
Bailiff are appointed by the Crown. Other members of the island's judiciary are appointed by the Bailiff.