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Sinclair, Lord (S, c.1449 - forfeited 1723)

 

Creation: let. pat. c.1449

 

Forfeited: Mar 1722/3

 

Family name: Sinclair later St Clair

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Arms:

Quarterly, 1st and 4th, Azure a Lymphad sails furled and oars in saltire within Double Tressure flory counterflory Or (Orkney); 2nd and 3rd, Azure a full-rigged three-masted Ship under sail Or Sails proper (Caithness); on an Escutcheon en surtout Argent a Cross engrailed Sable (Sinclair)

Crest:

A Demi-Eagle wings expanded proper

Supporters:

On either side a Griffin Sable armed beaked winged and membered Or

Motto:

Feight

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William [Sinclair], 3rd Earl of Orkney later 1st Earl of Caithness and 1st Lord Sinclair

only son and heir of Henry [Sinclair], 2nd Earl of Orkney, by his wife Egidia Douglas, dau. and hrss. of Sir William Douglas of Nithsdale (by his wife Lady Egidia Stewart, 1st dau. by his second wife of Robert II, King of Scotland), illegit. son of Archibald [Douglas], 3rd Earl of Douglas

born

mar. (1)

his cousin Lady Elizabeth Stewart (widow of (1) her first cousin once removed John [Stewart], 3rd Earl of Buchan, and (2) Sir Thomas Stewart, styled Master of Mar, illegit. son of Sir Alexander Stewart, jure uxoris Earl of Mar;  d. c.1453), only dau. of Archibald [Douglas], 4th Earl of Douglas, by his wife Lady Margaret Stewart, 1st dau. of Robert III, King of Scotland

children by first wife

1. William Sinclair, later 2nd Lord Sinclair

1. Lady Katherine Sinclair, mar. 1469 (div. 1478) as his first wife her second cousin Alexander [Stewart], 1st Duke of Albany, 2nd son of James II, King of Scotland, by his wife Mary of Guelders, dau. of Arnold, Duke of Guelders, and had issue

2. Lady Elizabeth Sinclair (d. 1508), mar. Sir Andrew Leslie, Master of Rothes (dvp. bef. 3 Aug 1473), 1st son and heir ap. of George [Leslie], 1st Earl of Rothes, by his first wife Christian Halyburton, only dau. by his second wife of Sir Walter Halyburton of Dirletoun, and had issue

mar. (2)

bef. 15 Nov 1456 Marjory Sutherland, dau. of Alexander Sutherland, of Dunbeath

children by second wife

2. Sir Oliver Sinclair, mar., and was ancestor of the Sinclairs of Rosslyn

3. William Sinclair, later 2nd Earl of Caithness

4. Rev Alexander Sinclair, Vicar of Legane and a notary (d. after 4 Feb 1508/9)

5. George Sinclair

6. Robert Sinclair, of Edinburgh (d. after 27 Feb 1506/7)

7. Arthur Sinclair

3. Lady Eleanor Sinclair (d. 21 Mar 1518), mar. bef. 19 Apr 1475 as his second wife John [Stewart], 1st Earl of Atholl, and had issue

4. Lady Elizabeth Sinclair, mar. to the Laird of Houston

5. Lady Margaret Sinclair, mar. David Boswell of Balmuto

6. Lady Katherine Sinclair

7. Lady Susan Sinclair

8. Lady Marjory Sinclair

9. Lady Mariot Sinclair

mar. (3)

Janet Yeman

died

betw. 1479 and 1480

created

c.1449 Lord Sinclair

28 Aug 1455 Earl of Caithness, with remainder to his heirs. This grant was in settlement of a claim to his mother's Lordship of Nithsdale.

suc. by

son by first wife

note

suc. his father c.1418/20 as 3rd Earl of Orkney;  one of the hostages for King James I of Scotland when he was allowed to return to Scotland in 1421; Admiral of Scotland; High Chancellor of Scotland 1454-58; as Orkney and Shetland had been ceded by the King of Norway to the King of Scotland in 1469, under duress he formally resigned the Earldom of Orkney to King James III 16 Sep 1470, receiving in its place the castle and lands of Ravenscraig in Fife;  Ambassador to England 1471-73; he effected a resettlement of the Earldom of Caithness 7 Dec 1476 in favour of his second son by his second wife, William Sinclair, but reserving his life rent

 

William [Sinclair], 2nd Lord Sinclair

born

mar.

after 29 Apr 1458 Lady Christian Leslie (d. before 16 Mar 1500/1), dau. of George [Leslie], 1st Earl of Rothes, by his second wife Christian Halyburton, only dau. by his second wife of Sir Walter Halyburton of Dirletoun

children

1. Henry Sinclair, later 3rd Lord Sinclair

2. Sir William Sinclair of Warsetter (d. bef. 13 May 1527), mar. Helen Gordon, and had issue

3. Magnus Sinclair (d. after 29 Sep 1487)

1. Elizabeth Sinclair, mar. as his second wife John Glendonwyn

died

shortly after 14 Jul 1487 (bur. at Dunfermline)

suc. by

son

note

had a charter with his wife of the lands of Newburgh 1459; virtually disinherited by his father 1476 when the Earldom of Caithness was settled on his younger half-brother, also called William; ceded the barony of Rosslyn to his half-brother Sir Oliver Sinclair in exchange for the castle of Ravenscraig, the lands of Dysart, etc., 1481; a jury found him to be non compos mentis et fatuus and a waster of his lands and goods 1482

 

Henry [Sinclair], 3rd Lord Sinclair

born

mar.

bef. 4 Dec 1488 Margaret Hepburn, had a regrant of Orkney and Shetland for seven years 1536 (d. betw. 11 Jun and 14 Dec 1542), sister of Patrick [Hepburn], 1st Earl of Bothwell, and only dau. of Adam Hepburn, Master of Hailes (by his wife Ellen Home, sister of Alexander [Home], 1st Lord Home, and dau. of Sir Alexander Home of Home), 1st son and heir by his second wife of Patrick [Hepburn], 1st Lord Hailes

children

1. Hon William Sinclair, later 4th Lord Sinclair

1. Hon Katherine Sinclair (d. bef. 1526), mar. after 27 Jan 1511/2 as his first wife David Wemyss of Wemyss (d. c. 27 May 1544), 1st son and heir of Sir David Wemyss of Wemyss by his first wife Euphemia Lundy, dau. of John Lundy of that Ilk, and had issue

2. Hon Helen Sinclair (d. bef. 2 Jan 1562), mar. James [Ogilvy], 4th Lord Ogilvy of Airlie, and had issue

3. Hon Jean Sinclair (d. bef. 1562), mar. Hon Alexander Lindsay, Master of Crawford (dvp. 5 Jul 1542), 1st son and heir ap. of David [Lindsay], 8th Earl of Crawford, by his first wife Lady Elizabeth Hay, only child by his second wife of William [Hay], 3rd Earl of Erroll, and had issue

4. Hon Agnes Sinclair (d. after 21 Mar 1572 and bef. 22 Feb 1574/5), mar. 1533 or 1534 (div. 1543) as his first wife her cousin Patrick [Hepburn], 3rd Earl of Bothwell, and had issue

5. Hon Elizabeth Sinclair

died

9 Sep 1513 at the Battle of Flodden

suc. by

son

note

recognised after his father's death as Chief of the Name of Sinclair and his right to the peerage was confirmed by an Act of Parliament 1488/9; granted a lease for thirteen years of Orkney and Shetland, the custody of Kirkwall Castle, and the office of Justiciar of the islands 1489, which was renewed in 1501 for a further 19 years; Master of the Artillery for life 1510/1; captain of the ship Great Michael 1512

 

William [Sinclair], 4th Lord Sinclair

born

mar. (1)

shortly after 17 Apr 1524 Lady Elizabeth Oliphant (widow of Hon Colin Oliphant, Master of Oliphant (killed 9 Sep 1513 at the Battle of Flodden), 2nd son and heir ap. of John [Oliphant], 2nd Lord Oliphant;  d. aft. 17 Apr 1524), 2nd dau. of William [Keith], 2nd Earl Marischal, by his wife Lady Elizabeth Gordon, 3rd dau. by his third wife of George [Gordon], 2nd Earl of Huntly

children by first wife

1. Hon Henry Sinclair, later 5th Lord Sinclair

1. Hon Margaret Sinclair

mar. (2)

Agnes/Mariota Bruce (d. bef. 28 Jun 1577)

children by second wife

2. Hon Magnus Sinclair of Kininmonth (d. 16 Jul 1586), mar. Marion Bruce (widow of Robert Bruce of Airth; d. Jul 1575), dau. of Sir David Bruce of Clackmannan

died

aft. 17 Jul 1570

suc. by

son by first wife

note

made Justice-Depute of Orkney by his mother 1525/6; ward of George [Leslie], 4th Earl of Rothes 1529; entered into an agreement 1528/9 with his kinsman John [Sinclair], 3rd Earl of Caithness, that with the King's authority they should put down on insurrection by the men of Orkney, who had forced him to surrender his castle of Kirkwall and flee into Caithness; the expedition against the Orcadians was not successful, the Battle of Somersdale 1529 resulting in Lord Sinclair being taken prisoner and the Earl of Caithness being killed along with 500 of his men; pardoned for treasonably assisting George, Lord Home, and other rebels 1542; signed the bond to support the Queen Mother, Mary of Lorraine, against the Governor of Scotland. the Earl of Arran, 1544; also signed the bond in favour of the Earl of Bothwell 1567 and the bond of 1568 taken at Hamilton by supporters of Mary, Queen of Scots

 

Henry [Sinclair], 5th Lord Sinclair, PC

born

1527 or 1528

mar. (1)

c. Jun 1547 Hon Janet Lindsay (d. 8 Apr 1569), 2nd dau. of John [Lindsay], 5th Lord Lindsay of the Byres, by his wife Lady Helen Stewart, 2nd dau. of John [Stewart], 2nd Earl of Atholl

children by first wife

1. Hon James Sinclair, Master of Sinclair, Privy Councillor 1592/3 (dvp. 9 May 1593), mar. 1577 Lady Isabel Leslie (d. after 5 Mar 1613/4), 3rd dau. of Andrew [Leslie], 5th Earl of Rothes, by his first wife Grizel Hamilton, dau. of Sir James Hamilton of Finnart, and had issue:

1. Hon Henry Sinclair, later 6th Lord Sinclair

2. Hon James Sinclair, later 7th Lord Sinclair

3. Hon Patrick Sinclair, later 8th Lord Sinclair

1. Hon Catherine Sinclair

2. Hon Margaret Sinclair, mar. her cousin Hon William Sinclair, styled Lord Berriedale (dvp. after Sep 1623), 1st son and heir ap. of George [Sinclair], 5th Earl of Caithness, by his wife Lady Jean Gordon, only dau. of George [Gordon], 5th Earl of Huntly, and had issue

2. Hon Patrick Sinclair of Balgriggie (d. after 1 Feb 1580), mar. Catherine Boswell (mar. (2) before 25 Jun 1628 Patrick Murray of Williamston), dau. of James Boswell of Balmuto, and was ancestor of the Sinclairs of Balgriggie

3. Hon Sir Andrew Sinclair, a member of the Danish Rigsraad (d. 1625), mar. Kirstine Kaas, and had issue

4. Hon Magnus Sinclair

1. Hon Helen Sinclair (dsp. before 19 Mar 1580), mar. after 5 Nov 1570 Andrew Kinninmont of that Ilk

mar. (2)

bef. 26 Mar 1588 Hon Elizabeth Forbes (b. 10 Nov 1545; d. aft. Sep 1607), 2nd dau. of William [Forbes], 7th Lord Forbes, by his wife Elizabeth Keith, dau. and cohrss. of Sir William Keith of Inverugie

children by second wife

5. Hon Henry Sinclair (bur. vp. 17 May 1589)

6. Capt Hon Laurence Sinclair, served heir to his mother 1626 (dsp.)

7. Hon William Sinclair (k. at Ostend 1608)

2. Hon Elizabeth Sinclair (d. Oct 1654), mar. after 20 Oct 1597 as his second wife Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy, 1st Bt., and had issue

3. Hon Jane Sinclair (d. after 26 Mar 1588)

4. Hon Barbara Sinclair (d. after 26 Mar 1588)

died

21 Oct 1601

suc. by

grandson

note

had as heir apparent charters of the baronies of Dysart, Newburgh, Ravenscraig, etc. 1549; signed a bond promising obedience to the Queen and her husband, Lord Darnley 1565; attended the Convention of Estates 1569 where he voted against Queen Mary's divorce from Lord Bothwell; was present at the election of Lennox as Regent 1570; described as being a member of the King's party 1571; Privy Councillor c. 1573; signed a bond of allegiance to the King 1574; attended the Convention of Nobles at Stirling 1578, the Convention of Nobles and Prelates also at Stirling 1578/9, and the Convention of Estates at St Andrew's 1585; supported King James VI after the "Raid of Ruthven" 1582; in the rearguard of the King's army against the "malcontents" 1584; Joint Commissioner to meet the English Commissioners regarding a Protestant League 1585; a Lord of the Articles 1585; appointed one of the judges at the trials of the Earls of Bothwell, Angus, Huntly and Erroll 1593; present at the reception of the Dutch Ambassadors at Stirling 1594; attended the Conventions of Estates at Dunfermline 1596, Holyrood 1596/7 and Dundee 1597

 

Henry [Sinclair], 6th Lord Sinclair

born

Mar 1581

died

1602

suc. by

brother

 

James [Sinclair], 7th Lord Sinclair

born

died

1607

suc. by

brother

 

Patrick [Sinclair], 8th Lord Sinclair

born

mar.

Margaret Cockburn (d. after 5 Sep 1642), 1st dau. of Sir John Cockburn of Ormistoun, Lord Justice Clerk

children

1. Hon John Sinclair, later 9th Lord Sinclair

2. Col Hon Henry Sinclair (d. 5 Sep 1670)

died

1615 or 1617

suc. by

son

note

put to the horn for debt 1609 and twice in 1612; ordered by the Privy Council to keep the peace 1612; alleged to have intended to kill his half-uncle, Laurence 1613; a warrant for his arrest for debt and other charges issued by the Privy Council 1613/4 and he was committed to Edinburgh Castle 1614 ; advised the Privy Council on coal exporting 1614

 

John [Sinclair], 9th Lord Sinclair, PC

bapt.

29 Oct 1610

mar.

after 15 Jul 1631 Lady Mary Wemyss (bur. 1 Jul 1657 in the High Kirk, Glasgow), 1st dau. of John [Wemyss], 1st Earl of Wemyss, by his wife Hon Jean Gray, 1st dau. by his second wife of Patrick [Gray], 6th Lord Gray

only child

1. Hon Catherine Sinclair, Mistress of Sinclair (dvp. 13 Jul 1666; bur. at Dysart), mar. 15 Apr 1659 her distant cousin John St Clair of Herdmanston (bapt. 14 Feb 1632; d. after 22 Aug 1672), and had issue:

1a. Henry St Clair, later 1st/10th Lord Sinclair

2a. John St Clair (b. 23 Jan 1663; dsp. after 1687)

1a. Mary St Clair (b. 11 Jul 1666; d. bef. 8 Nov 1721, mar. George Wilson, son of Thomas Wilson, of Edinburgh, merchant

died

s.p.m. 10 Nov 1674

suc. by

grandson

note

initially a zealous Covenanter and member of the General Assembly 1638; Privy Councillor 1641; a member of the Committee of Estates 1641, 1644 and 1645; Col, Fifeshire Regiment of Horse; part of the group that tried to rescue King Charles I 1646; went with King Charles II into England and fought at the Battle of Worcester 1651, where he was taken prisoner and kept at Windsor Castle until 1660; excepted from Cromwell's Act of Grace 1654; following the Restoration was again a Privy Councillor 1660/1 and 1674

 

Editor's Note:

It is not known with any certainty whether the Lordship of Sinclair was first created with remainder to heirs general or with remainder to heirs male. If to heirs general, then on the death of the 9th Lord Sinclair it would have passed to Henry St Clair as heir of line. If, on the other hand, the remainder was to heirs male then on the death of the 9th Lord Sinclair the Lordship would have become dormant until such time as an heir male came forward to claim the title. Along with The Complete Peerage and Burke's Peerage I have assumed that the remainder was to heirs general, that the title passed to Henry St Clair as heir of line, and that it was forfeited on his death in 1723 because of the attainder of his eldest son and heir.

 

Henry [St Clair], 1st/10th Lord Sinclair

bapt.

3 Jun 1660

mar.

30 Dec 1680 Grizel (or Barbara) Cockburn, 1st dau. of Sir James Cockburn of Cockburn, 1st Bt., by his wife Grizel Hay, dau. of ..... Hay of Barra

children

1. Hon John St Clair, Master of Sinclair, Member of Parliament (Tory) for Dysart Burghs 1708 but the election was declared void and himself ineligible to stand as the eldest son of a peer, entered the Army as Capt-Lieut in Preston's Regiment 1708 but had to resign the same year for killing two brothers and fellow officers in a duel, served in the army of the King of Prussia until pardoned by Queen Anne, took part in the Jacobite Rising of 1715, following his participation in the Battle of Sheriffmuir 1715 he was attainted and fled to the Orkneys and from there to the Continent, in 1736 he obtained and Act of Parliament which enabled him to inherit property but did not affect the forfeiture of the two peerages (bapt. 5 Dec 1683; dsp. 2 Nov 1750), mar. (1) after 16 Aug 1633 Lady Margaret Carnegie (widow of James [Carnegie], 5th Earl of Southesk; dsps. 22 Jul 1747; bur. at Dysart), 1st dau. of James [Stewart], 5th Earl of Galloway, by his wife Lady Catherine Montgomerie, 1st dau. by his first wife of Alexander [Montgomerie], 9th Earl of Eglinton, and (2) 24 Apr 1750 Amelia Murray (b. 17 May 1732; mar. (2) 18 Apr 1754 as his first wife James Farquharson of Invercauld; d. 24 Apr 1777), sister of John [Murray], 3rd Duke of Atholl, and 1st dau. of Lord George Murray (by his wife Amelia Murray, only surv. child and hrss. of Dr James Murray of Glencarse and Strowan), 6th son by his first wife of John [Murray], 1st Duke of Atholl

2. Gen Hon James St Clair, Ensign 1st Battalion Royal Regiment 1694, Capt 1708, exchanged into the 3rd Foot Guards, Capt 1714, Maj 1722, Member of Parliament (Whig) for Dysart Burghs 1722-34 and 1747-54, for Sutherland 1736-47, and for Fifeshire 1754-62, 1st Maj and Brevet Col 1723, inherited his father's estates on his death in 1723 and made them over to his elder brother John when he was enabled to hold them in 1736, in command of the 22nd Foot 1734, bought the lands of Rosslyn Castle, Ravenscraig and Dysart 1735 which he entailed failing issue of his own body on the heirs male of his sisters, Col Royal Scots 1737-62, Brig-Gen 1739, Maj Gen 1741, Quartermaster-General of the British Forces in Flanders 1745, Lieut Gen 1745, Commander-in-Chief of an expedition which destroyed the forts at Quiberon 1746, sent on a mission to Vienna and Turin 1748, Gen 1761, Governor of co. Cork (dsp. 30 Nov 1762), mar. Janet Baird (b. 31 Mar 1698; widow of Sir John Baird of Newbyth, 2nd Bt.; d. 8 Jan 1766), 4th dau. of Hon Sir David Dalrymple of Hailes, 1st Bt., by his wife Janet Murray, widow of Alexander Murray of Melgund, and dau. of Sir James Rochead of Inverleith

3. Maj Hon William St Clair of Skedduay, Ensign First Royals 1708; Capt, Grenadier Company of the Cameronians 1711, Maj 1st Royal Scots 1737 (bur. in St Andrew's Church, Holborn 20 May 1762)

4. Hon David St Clair (dvp. at Aix-la-Chapelle 1712)

5. Hon Henry St Clair (bur. at Dysart 21 Jan 1756)

6. Hon Matthew St Clair (bur. at Dysart 3 Apr 1747)

1. Hon Grizel St Clair, heiress of line in her issue (bapt. 27 Dec 1681; d. 22 Aug 1737), mar. John Paterson of Prestonhall, son of Most Rev John Paterson, Archbishop of Glasgow, and had issue

2. Hon Catherine St Clair (bapt. 14 Jul 1685), mar. Sir John Erskine of Alva, 3rd Bt. MP, and had issue

3. Hon Margaret St Clair (b. 23 Jan 1688; dsp. 23 Oct 1756), mar. as his second wife Sir William Baird of Newbyth, 1st Bt.

4. Hon Elizabeth St Clair (d. 1721), mar. after 5 Jul 1716 as his third wife David [Wemyss], 4th Earl of Wemyss, and had issue

5. Hon Ann St Clair

bur.

14 Mar 1723 at Dysart

created

1 Jun 1677 Lord Sinclair, with the precedency (c. 1449) of the earlier Lordship of Sinclair and remainder to the heirs male of his body, whom failing to his brother John and his heirs male, whom failing to his paternal uncles Robert, George and Matthew successively, and the heirs male of their bodies, whom failing to the nearest heir male whatsoever of the said Henry

suc. by

cousin

note

Inherited the estates of his maternal grandfather 1676; signed the Test Act 1685; was the only Scottish Peer to protest against the Act of Convention that settled the Crown on King William and Queen Mary; suspected of complicity with the intended French invasion of Scotland and imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle 1707/8

 

On the death of Lord Sinclair the two Lordships of Sinclair devolved on his eldest son, Hon John St Clair, Master of Sinclair (dsp. 2 Nov 1750), who was under attainder following the Rebellion of 1715, and both became forfeited. On 25 Apr 1782 the House of Lords came to the decision that the new Lordship (the 1677 creation) rightly belonged to Charles St Clair, great-grandson of Matthew Sinclair, who duly succeeded as 4th Lord Sinclair. The old Lordship (the c. 1449 creation) remains under forfeiture - the representation and right to petition for the attainder to be reversed lies with the descendants of the heiress of line in her issue, Hon Grizel Paterson.

 

 Last updated 27 Mar 2010

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