Ancestors of John Sinclair of Exeter

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  • ID: I0047
  • Name: HENRY Sinclair
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: ABT. 1270 1
  • Death: BEF. 28 JAN 1335/36 2
  • Event: See Notes Additional Information
  • Note:
    Timeline for Henry Sinclair:

    1291 13 June Possibly the Henry who swore fealty to King Edward of England. ("Robert Bruce & The Community of the realm of Scotland" Geoffrey Barrow p.37-8) See his father's notes for more on Dominus Henricus de Sancto Claro, (miles).
    1296 27 April Battle at Dunbar Castle. Mistaking an English deployment for retreat, attacking Scots are overwhelmed and many, including Henry, are captured. ("Robert Bruce & The Community of the realm of Scotland" Geoffrey Barrow p.72) ("Saint-Clairs of the Isles" Roland Saint-Clair p.282)
    1296 16 May A prisoner in England, Sir Henry St. Clair is sent to St. Briavel's Castle. (quoting "Cal. Documents Relating to Scotland" 1272-1307 #177) ("The Dictionary of National Biography " p.309)
    1297 Sept. Stirling Bridge Scots under Wallace and Murray defeat poorly led English ("Robert Bruce & The Community of the realm of Scotland" Geoffrey Barrow p.87-8)
    1299 7 April Ordered exchanged for William Fitz Warren. (quoting "Cal. Documents Relating to Scotland" 1272-1307 #177) ("The Dictionary of National Biography " p.309)
    1299 16 July Taken from Gloucester to York ("Saint-Clairs of the Isles" Roland Saint-Clair p.283)
    1303 24 Feb. Battle of Roslin. John Comyn and Simon Fraser defeat the leading brigade of English, capturing many knights. A second English brigade manages to rescue some. ("Robert Bruce & The Community of the Realm of Scotland" Geoffrey Barrow p.126)
    1305 Sept. Edward appoints Henry sheriff of Lanark. (quoting "Cal. Documents Relating to Scotland" 1299-1307 #169) ("The Dictionary of National Biography " p.309)
    1306 25 March Robert Bruce crowned king at Scone.
    1307 Sept. Ordered to aid against Bruce. (quoting "Cal. Documents Relating to Scotland" 1307-1357 #15) ("The Dictionary of National Biography " p.309)
    1307 13 Oct. (Friday, and why it is considered unlucky) The Knights Templar are arrested enmasse in France. Two authors of two recent Templar studies, John Robinson and Piers Read, dismiss most of the Templar tales of post-arrest greatness.
    1309 Autumn "discharged of mainprise for Malise, Earl of Strathearn." Saint-Clair says "Bain's Documents" has him "indexed thus" and relates some confusing (to me) activities 1303-09. These appear to show that Henry was serving Edward. ("Saint-Clairs of the Isles" Roland Saint-Clair p.283) The Lothian area was strongly held by the English; there were castles at Stirling, Edinburgh, Roxburgh, and Berwick. Henry may have been hemmed in. ("Robert Bruce & The Community of the realm of Scotland" Geoffrey Barrow p.152)
    1309 15 Dec. Trial of Templars in Scotland at Holyrood, as Bishop William Lamberton presides over the trial of 3 knights. This area was under English control at the time. Among some 50 who testified against the Templars were Henry and William Sinclair. Lord Henry of St. Clair was witness #26. Just as Chico Escuela said "Bad Things About the Mets," so the 41 witnesses summoned all said bad things about the Templars. The most serious charges were that "inferior brothers both ordained and lay could give absolution to the brothers who were subject to them from all sins except murder and laying violent hands on a priest." Most of it appears to be heresay, such as Lord Robert, chaplain of Lyston, who "had never heard for certain or seen where any brother of the Temple was buried, or that any died a natural death." Most, like Henry, agreed with what was said by those testifying before them. Two Templars testified. ("Rosslyn and the Grail" Mark Oxbrow and Ian Robertson p.245-56)(See also William, Henry's sons' notes)
    The original source of this seems to be "Processus jactus contra Templarios in Scotia" from David Wilkins' "Concilla Magnae Britanniae et Hiberniae." ( While legend has the Sinclairs involved with the Templars, facts don't support this. Fr. Hay, who also wrote a "very brief, but sympathetic" Templar history, makes no connection between the Templars and Sinclairs in his works. ("Genealogie of the SainteClaires of Rosslyn" Fr. Richard Hay p.xxiv)
    1314 23 & 24 June Bannockburn. It is generally agreed Henry fought for Bruce there. Edward Bruce, besieging Stirling Castle in 1313, granted the English commander's request for a year's truce from Midsummer (24 June). If no relief came within 3 miles of Stirling by Midsummer, 1314, the castle would surrender. Angry with his brother for committing to a set battle, Robert began to make the best of the situation. Having the gift of time, he trained and disciplined his forces and prepared the terrain. This time, the Scots would field an army. Estimated at some 500 knights and light cavalry and possibly 5-6,000 infantry, Bruce's captains were able and included the legendary James Douglas and Thomas Randolph. Although impressive, the English host was poorly led and Robert capitalized on their mistakes.
    The battle climaxed the second day when the Scots marched out to meet the English. Edward Bruce, Douglas, and Randolph and their schiltroms of spearmen repulsed the English horse, while Robert Keith and his cavalry scattered their archers, who reached the battlefield too late to be effective. When the weight of Robert's brigade, held in reserve, was added to the fray, the English broke as they were forced back onto a constricting field and the Bannock Burn gorge. Scots camp followers and late-comers* then charged onto the field. When the English saw Edward II leave (along with some 500 knights to guard the king), discipline dissolved and a rout ensued. ("Robert Bruce & The Community of the realm of Scotland" Geoffrey Barrow p.195,209,217,227-9) *Some will say this mob was actually Knights Templars. That the battle was fought on the feast of St. John the Baptist adds more fuel to the fire for Templar believers, but as the above shows, events were set in motion the previous year at Midsummer by Edward Bruce.
    The true significance of Midsummer is that it was a 'quarter day.' Midsummers Day was the beginning of the second quarter of the year
    (which started 25 March then). Quarter days would have been well known as rent and lease payments were due, and taxes were collected, among other activities. Other quarter days included Michaelmas (29 September), Christmas, and Lady Day (March 25). (See for more.)
    1314 21 Oct. Attests a charter by Robert Bruce at Dundee ("Saint-Clairs of the Isles" Roland Saint-Clair p.283) Saint-Clair writes that Alexander Nisbet, in his "Memorial of the Sinclairs of Roslin," says Henry was quite a patriot in the war, and that Bruce erected Pentland and other lands into a free hunting in 1317, for the payment of a tenth part of a soldier. (ibid p.283)
    1317 acquires Gouirton from Roger of Harewood ("Genealogie of the SainteClaires of Rosslyn" Fr. Richard Hay p.49-50)
    1320 6 April asserted independence of Scotland in letter to the Pope. "Ranked amongst the Barons of Scotland" and called "Panetarius Scotiae." ("Genealogie of the SainteClaires of Rosslyn" Fr. Richard Hay p.51) "It is in Truth, not in glory, nor riches, nor honours, that we are fighting, but for Freedom- for that alone, which no honest man gives up but for life itself."
    1321 Baillie in Caithness. Henry looks to be the first family member in northern Scotland. His grandson Thomas would be baillie in Orkney in 1364. ("New History of Orkney" William Thomson p.160)
    1323 1 June guarantor of truce with England ("History of the Sinclair Family" Leonard Morrison p.37)
    1328 acquires more of Gouirton ("Genealogie of the SainteClaires of Rosslyn" Fr. Richard Hay p.50-1)
    1328 27 Dec. Granted 40 marks annually until paid 400 by King Robert Bruce "in the twenty-third year of our reign." ("Genealogie of the SainteClaires of Rosslyn" Fr. Richard Hay p.52) Saint-Clair adds Henry was called "one of the heads of the national party" in the Exchequer Roll mentioning this.("Saint-Clairs of the Isles" Roland Saint-Clair p.284 qouting the Exch. Rolls. Vol.1 p.77 preface)
    1335/6 13 Oct. Henry and Alicia forfeit one third of the barony of Roslin. ("Saint-Clairs of the Isles" Roland Saint-Clair p.283 quoting "Bain's Documents," which adds Alicia forfeited her dower to Geoffrey Moubray 10 Sept. 1336 and that John Sinclair lost the baronies of Cousland, Rosselyn, and Pentland 28 Jan. 1335/6 to the same. ibid p.284) (I am a bit confused by this.)

    Father: WILLIAM de Sinclair b: ABT. 1240
    Mother: AMICIA (Sinclair)

    Marriage 1 ALICIA de Fenton
      1. Has Children WILLIAM Sinclair b: ABT. 1295 in Roslin , Midlothian , Scotland
      2. Has No Children John Sinclair

      1. Encyclopaedia Britannica - Sinclair
      2. Title: "The Saint-Clairs of the Isles" Roland Saint-Clair (1898)
        Page: 284
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