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THE SINCLAIRS OF SCOTSCALDER

The estate of Scotscalder is in the parish of Thurso.
It has a railway station.
The grazings are now owned by a large number of small holders.

I. WILLIAM SINCLAIR, third son of James Sinclair of Lybster, had the lands of Hoy and Geise, and in 1729, he exchanged them with James Murray, son of Patrick Murray of Pennyland, for the estate of Scotscalder, which formed part of the Bishopric of Caithness, and was acquired in feu by the Caithness family, and by them wadsetted to the Murrays of Pennyland, who afterwards acquired the right of reversion. In 1713 William Sinclair adjudged Ulgrimbeg and Ulgrimore from the Sinclairs of Assery, and these lands were also originally church lands. He had three sons and two daughters: -

  1. Alexander, of whom there is little further notice, unless he is the same person as Alexander Sinclair of Sixpenny
  2. John, afterwards of Scotscalder
  3. Robert. In 1734 John Sinclair mentions his "brother Robert" in a letter in which he orders him to receive clothing such as would be required by a person in the seafaring line, such as canvas jackets, etc.
  1. Janet, eldest daughter, who married John McKay, third of Strathy, and received a tocher of 6000 merks. The contract of marriage is dated 29th April 1731, and is witnessed by Francis Sinclair of Milton, William Sinclair, younger of Dun, Benjamin Williamson of Banniskirk, and others. She had two daughters, of whom Margaret married Patrick Honyman of Graemsay; and Barbara married Major John Scobie of Melness
  2. Barbara
II. JOHN SINCLAIR, THE SECOND OF SCOTSCALDER, married Isabella, only daughter of John Sinclair, fourth of Assery, by his second wife, Barbara Murray, daughter of of Patrick Murray of Pennyland. On his marriage in 1731 his father conveyed to him, with consent of his eldest son, Alexander, the lands of Scotscalder, Ulgrimbeg, and Ulgrimore. He had two sons and four daughters: -
  1. William
  2. Robert
  1. Isabella, eldest daughter, was second wife of Captain Thomas Dunbar of Westfield. She died in 1829, and was interred in the chapel at Pennyland. Captain Dunbar was the second son of Alexander Dunbar of Grangehill, and he was the male representative of that family, which is descended from Sir Alexander Dunbar of Westfield, son of James, Earl of Moray. Captain Dunbar took the designation "of Westfield". He purchased Milton - now called Westfield - and Sibster (for Captain Dunbar's first marriage, vide Dunbar of Hempriggs); and by his second wife, Isabella Sinclair, he had two sons and three daughters: - James, who married a daughter of the Rev. Mr. Cameron, Halkirk, and died without issue; and Alexander, who was tenant of Scrabster and other Crown lands, and died unmarried on 10th March 1859; the daughters were Isabella, Mrs. Robinson, who left a daughter; Barbara, Mrs. Guthrie, who had two sons, namely, the late Colonel Charles Seton Guthrie of Scotscalder, and James Baillie Guthrie; and Catharine, Mrs. McGregor, who had issue.
  2. Barbara, the second daughter of John Sinclair, married William Sinclair of Rattar, tenth Earl of Caithness
  3. Margaret
  4. Catharine
One of these two ladies was second wife of James Sinclair of Holbornhead.

III. ROBERT SINCLAIR, THIRD AND LAST OF SCOTSCALDER, had an only son, Lieutenant-Colonel James Sinclair of the Royal.Artillery, and two daughters, one of whom married Mr. Aitken, and had a son, who died young; while the other married Mr. Steel, an excise officer, and had issue. About 1812 he sold the estate.

The original estate of Scotscalder appears to have been at one time church lands, and to have been feued out by the Bishop of Caithness to the Caithness family. By them it was first wadsetted to the Murrays of Pennyland, who subsequently acquired the reversion, and from them it came, as stated, into the family of Sinclair of Hoy.

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