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THE SINCLAIRS OF OLRIG

Olrig House and the estate of Olrig are in the parish of Olrig.
In 2002 it was owned by John and Mary Morris.
Some photos of Olrig House in Castleton can be seen on www.caithness.org/atoz/countryhouses/olrighouse

I. The first of the family of Sinclairs of Olrig was George, fifth son of Sir James Sinclair of Canisbay. He married Elizabeth, daughter of his relative, Alexander Sinclair of Latheron, and widow of Walter Bruce of Ham. He had a son, Alexander.

John, Master of Berriedale, granted a wadset of Olrig to Sir William Sinclair of Mey, and his son, Sir James, for 8000 merks, which the latter assigned as a provision to his son, George; and in 1708 Lord Glenorchy sold the property to Alexander Sinclair, then of Olrig, for 12,900 merks, or about 650 sterling, "reserving the swans and swans' nests on the Loch of Durran".

II. ALEXANDER SINCLAIR OF OLRIG married Katharine, daughter of Donald Budge of Toftingall, and was killed in a duel, in 1710, by William Innes of Sandside. He had four sons and three daughters: -

  1. Donald, his successor
  2. James, who was in Duncansbay and Warse in 1739-1747, and who was also a merchant in Freswick
  3. Alexander
  4. William
  1. Elizabeth, who married Charles Sinclair of Bilbster [parish of Watten]
  2. Esther, who married John Sinclair of Forss
  3. Katharine, who married William Budge of Toftingall, W. S. William Budge married a Katharine Sinclair, and in 1741 James Sinclair, Tacksman of Warse, and son of Alexander Sinclair of Ohig, is mentioned as "brother-in-law" of William Budge
Esther and Katharine Sinclair were both alive and widows in 1767 - (Proof in Rattar's Peerage case).

III. DONALD SINCLAIR OF OLRIG AND BILBSTER married Fenella, only daughter and heiress of Charles Sinclair of Bilbster, and had a son and a daughter: -

  1. Charles, his successor.

  1. Henrietta, who is mentioned in 1786 as relict of Captain Benjamin Moodie
IV. CHARLES SINCLAIR OF OLRIG married Elizabeth, daughter of Eric, Lord Duffus, and Elizabeth Dunbar, daughter of Sir James and Dame Elizabeth Dunbar of Hempriggs. He had a son and three daughters: -
  1. Donald, his successor
  1. Fenella
  2. Elizabeth
  3. Janet
V. DONALD SINCLAIR OF OLRIG died without issue, and was succeeded by his sister, Fenella.

VI. MRS. FENELLA SINCLAIR OF OLRIG married Archibald Cullen, Barrister-at-Law, and had two sons and four daughters: -

  1. William, Major-General in the Madras army
  2. David, who died young
  1. Elizabeth, who died young
  2. Anna, who died young
  3. Sinclair, who died young
  4. Marion Robina, who married Edward Marjoribanks, Esquire
The lands of Olrig and Bilbster were sold by Mrs. Cullen.

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