The earlier papers, to about 1660, treat of the affairs of Inverness (of which Duncan and John Forbes, 1st and 2nd of Culloden, were Provosts, and which both represented in Parliament) and Inverness-shire, especially complaints against the Earl of Moray's manner of executing his commission against Clan Chattan, 1626-1629, the losses entailed by the wars, and such burdens as garrisoning. They also deal with the private affairs of the family, chiefly trade (in wine, salmon, etc.) with France, Caithness, and elsewhere. The rest of the seventeenth century is largely taken up with the purchase of Ferintosh, in 1669, and of Bunchrew, in 1673, from Fraser of Inverallochie, and with Inverallochie's debts and other affairs - see James Fraser, ‘Chronicles of the Frasers’, ‘Scottish History Society’, volume xlvii (1905), pages 512-513. There is also material relating to disputes with the magistrates of Inverness over the multures of Kingsmill and the stent, 1671-1674, to the patronage of the kirk of Urquhart and Logie, to the Revolution, with the damage ensuing therefrom and the settlement of the Highlands, 1688-1700, and to the affairs of the Inneses of that Ilk, 1694-1697, the Earl of Seaforth, 1695-1698, and Lord Lovat, 1697-1701.
With the eighteenth century, the papers come to deal with wider interests - the Jacobite danger, with the attempts of 1715, 1719, and 1745, and the fear of a Swedish invasion in 1717; the Porteous Riot, 1736; the war in Flanders, 1742-1744; and British and Scottish politics in general. Of the many anonymous letters, several appear to have been written or dictated, 1716-1727, by George Drummond, Lord Provost of Edinburgh. The activities of Lord President Duncan Forbes are further represented by material regarding the Malt Riots in Glasgow and other towns, 1725, linen and other manufactures, 1726, 1739, 1743-1744, 1754, and the revenue, 1743.
In the same period the papers continue to deal with the affairs of Ferintosh and other Forbes estates, including the exemption of Ferintosh liquor from excise-duty and the damage done in 1715 and 1745. One portion relates to the Duke of Argyll's estate in Mull and other affairs, 1736-1741.