If you are into your history and particularly your Scottish history you will find all the clan stories really interesting anyway, but if you are a little more reticent about delving into the past then I think the Clan Sinclair is going to change this forever. They are a very interesting bunch!
St Clair or St Clare is where it all began. Back in 912 a Norse raider called Hrolf the Granger became the first Duke of Normandy by the treaty of St Clare-sur-Epte. There follows a long and complicated history bringing the St Clair’s to British shores and William St Clair (there are a few so don’t get confused) fought at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. You might not agree with this French element of the Sinclair history as it is not 100% accepted but there is no doubt that the story of Viking raiders to Scottish lords has a certain romantic appeal. We have lots of lovely customers in France too so we love a Celtic link!
The St Clairs benefited well from Norman land grants in England and once David I was on the throne their allegiance to the Scottish King paid off and the St Clairs became landowners occupying the Barony of Roslin and Pentland. Yes yes the same Rosslyn Chapel of the Da Vinci Code but that’s another story for another day. But let’s not brush over this beautiful building as building it was probably one of William St Clair, the third Orkney Earl’s greatest achievements. Following his death the Earldoms of Caithness and Roslin were split and while the Roslin Earls continued to use the original spelling the Caithness Earls began to use the name Sinclair.
Castles and Fame
We skipped over a huge amount of history there getting distracted by Rosslyn Chapel and Tom Hanks. The St Clair’s were great landowners throughout Lothian and Caithness laying claim to the Castle of Mey, Ravenscraig and Keiss castles, not to mention Balmoral. William Drummond was married to a St Clair and in the 14th century he built the original castle which is at the core of today’s famous Balmoral Castle, home to the Royal family.
As we said we will delve into the Templar influences at a later date but let’s continue with a few more famous St Clair’s along the line. William de St Clair was famously killed alongside Sir James Douglas taking the heart of Robert the Bruce to the Holy Land. Not verified however it is said that Henry St Clair, Earl of Orkney, voyaged to America some 100 years before Columbus. The current Earl of Roslin is head of the Metropolitan Police royal protection squad. As I said…quite a bunch!
This summer the Clan Sinclair will march at the Edinburgh Tattoo on 16th August. Maybe you are going to be part of this epic event. Let us know if you are as we would love to hear your story.