First name
HANS, John Johan
Social status

Text source

John (Hans) Forrat was descended from an old Scottish noble family and was a burgess of Dundee. He moved to Sweden in 1604 where he served as captain in the navy, although one source notes that his service did not begin until 1610. He led an attack on the ship Mars in Riga waters and in the Kalmar sound in 1610 and in 1611 on the ship Draken in November when he was sent toward Danzig and chased Danish ships in the area. In 1614 his duties included carrying captured Russian pieces from Noteborg to the Finnish archipelago. Forratt led the attack on several ships with provisions from Vastervik and Kalmar to Narva in May 1615. The next year he transported King Gustav II Adolf on the ship Merkurius from Finland to Stockholm in May and in 1617 he collected prisoners of war in Denmark from the 1612-13 Kalmar war. He was in charge of Aland conscriptions in 1618. He was a captain on the viceadmiral's ship Svardet in 1620, where he would have been serving alongside Simon Stewart [SSNE 1644]. The next year and in 1623 and 1624 he was used in covert missions to Danzig. He was 'overkapten' in 1626 and pensioned in 1640 with 400 daler in annual pension on April 15th. He was also ennobled in Sweden in 1650. Forrat is sometimes listed as being dead before 1645 (although this is probably confusion with another Captain Forrat [SSNE 2272]) in the peerage list, however the naval records have him listed until 1660. He maintained a home in Alsike, Uppland around 13 March 1620 and also had two farms on Adelso during his and his wife's lifetime. His daughter was Margareta Forrat [SSNE 6267] who married Sir James Spens of Wormiston and Orreholm [SSNE 1642] and then Colonel Hugo Hamilton [SSNE 2582]. His son Alexander Foratt [SSNE 640] was in Swedish service. He was brother to Alexander and Anders Forrat who also served as a captain. He arrived in Sweden 1604, became a captain in 1608 and died in 1660 and, if the information on Anders Forrat is correct, was probably originally from St Andrews in Fife.


Sources: Swedish Riksarkiv, Register över Kungl. Brev avseende Gävle - Hans Forat, 27/06/1606 to Christoffer Pedersson, R.R. f.323 v; Swedish Krigsarkiv, Meritforteckningar (Flottan); G. Elgenstierna, Svenska Adelns Ättartavlor, vol. 2, p.787; Biografiska Anteckningar om Officerare vid Orlogsflottan 1600-1699, pp.154-6; A. Zettersten, Svenska Flottans Historia Aren 1522-1634 (Stockholm, 1890), pp.98-99, 604; H. Marryat, One Year in Sweden, including a visit to the isle of Gotland, (London, 1862) p.489.

Service record

Arrived 1604-06-27, as CAPTAIN
Departed 1660-12-31, as OVERKAPTEN
Capacity OFFICER, purpose NAVAL