Professor Angelo Forte


This Blog is saddened to have to report the death of Angelo Forte. Though ill recently, Angelo had always shown enthusiasm for having fun in life and strong commitment to legal history. His photo on the Aberdeen web page shows the man in typical pose and expression.

Angelo graduated in history and law from the University of Edinburgh. Private practice was followed by teaching posts in Glasgow, Dundee and Edinburgh, before his move to the Chair of Commercial law in Aberdeen in 1993. He was a noted scholar of commercial law, producing what became the standard textbook for Scots students. His legal history research often reflected his commercial law interests, particularly in insurance.

Angelo was very proud of his descent from Italian immigrants who had married into Fife fisherfolk.  He had a strong interest in boats and the sea – interests that often cropped up in his scholarly work. Of  course, for one interested in the history of commercial law, shipping was inevitably important. But few legal historians publish on fifteenth-century ship types in the Mariner's Mirror, as Angelo did.

As well as his own work, Angelo was instrumental in founding the Scottish Legal History Group in 1981, holding meetings in his office in the Glasgow Law School, which then was in a number of converted houses in the area near the Main Library. Hector MacQueen recalls the meeting vividly – Angelo was a comfy figure, with a chuckle in his voice, smoking a pipe, sitting in a large chair. Though like all lives, Angelo's was not without its sadnesses and disappointments, his air of genial comfort is well remembered. Indeed, this blogger crossed the Karoo Desert in a 4 by 4 with Angelo and three others, the journey, from Pretoria to Cape Town, took two days, a test of good humour which Angelo passed with flying colours. Indeed we all had fun.

Our thoughts go to his wife and daughter.

He will be missed.