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THE SINCLAIRS OF CAMPSTON

I ROBERT SINCLAIR, FIRST OF CAMPSTON, is mentioned as dead 15th April 1614, when a marriage contract is entered into by Hew Sinclair of Damsay, "son of the late Robert Sinclair of Campston". [Craven]. He is probably the Robert Sinclair mentioned by Bishop Bothwell in a letter dated 5th February 1560, as with his brother Henry and their father opposing any change from the old form of worship, being instigated thereto by Bellenden, the Justice Clerk. [Craven]. Bishop Bothwell was stepson and Sir John Bellenden nephew to Oliver Sinclair of Solway Moss celebrity, who held the Isles in Tack [lease] 1540-48, and to whom the Sinclairs above mentioned are doubtless in near relation. He is noted in the Rental of 1595, "Sanday (St.Andrew's Parish for the King) Adhuc ane Quoy, payis 2 meils cost. Intrometed with by Robert Sinclair". He had issue:
  1. ROBERT, next of Campston
  2. HEW of Damsay
  3. EDWARD of Ness

In the attestation to the signature of Magnus Louttit, tacksman of Sandwick, 20th November 1613, Edward of Ness, third son of Robert Sinclair, is referred to as brother of Campston, also a witness on that occasion. In the Rental of 1614 he is rated for Ness, Stromness; and in 1627 reports to His Majesty's Commission as to the state of that parish. On 17th June 1618, he is als of Malislane Sinclair, spouse of James Stewart, first of Gramsay. 21st November 1619, Compeared for Edward Sinclair of Ness and Adame Smyth of Stoiff, as procurator for Jonet Redland, relict of umquhile [deceased] Robert Sinclair of Larquoy, and Magnus Sinclair son to said Jonet, and James Brown son to Alexander Brown in Brekness, as procurator for Edward Sinclair, brother to said Magnus - lands in Utterton of Stromness in liferent, and to Magnus and Edward in fee, etc. On 2nd November idem - Edward Sinclair of Ness, James Sinclair of Grott, Nicoll Sinclair, merchant in Kirkwall, Marjorie Sinclair in Larquoy, and Alexander Sinclair in Fealquoy - Skelberries, lands in Outerton of Stromness, etc. On 28th February 1622, he is a witness to money paid by Alexander Broun of Brekness, etc. In 1640 he is ordained a bailie; in 1641 is in the enumeration of Earldom suitors, and is rated in the 1653 valuation. He was apparently succeeded in Ness by his nephew, David of Ryssay.

II ROBERT SINCLAIR, SECOND OF CAMPSTON, occupies an important position in Orcadian records. In 1611 he is als of Patrick, Earl of Orkney; in 1613 he attests the signature of Magnus Louttit, Tacksman of Sandvik; in 1615 is als of Sir James Stewart; and in 1616 sues Francis Mudie of Breckness. In 1617 he is an absent suitor of the Earldom Court, of which when present he is invariably first of his name to be enumerated; and he and his son Thomas make suit against James Stewart of Gramsay. In 1618 he is als of Harie Stewart, Fear of Gramsay; in 1618 mentioned with John Sinclair, merchant in Kirkwall, and William Sinclair of Tohop; on 9th November 1618 is mentioned with Hew Sinclair, brother-german [full brother], and William Sinclair of Greenwall; on 4th December Robert Sinclair of Campston and Helen Acheson his spouse. On 1st July 1623, he was Sheriff Depute, acting in conjunction with Edward Sinclair of Aestenquoy. In 1627 his brother-german [full brother], Hugh Sinclair of Damsay, became security for him for offence against Bishop Graham. In 1627 Campston and Essenquoy have the haill prebendarie in tack [lease], and the same year they were sworn to report upon the parish of Rousay and Egilsay; and they are again associated to report on St.Andrew's. In 1633 Campston entered protest against the service of Jonet Sinclair as nearest and lawful heir of umquhile [deceased] William Sinclair of Holland, his son Edward compearing for him on that occasion. In 1635 he subscribed the Relation of Famine. In 1640 David Heart of Rusland sues Robert Sinclair of Campston. Issue:

  1. THOMAS SINCLAIR, feuar of Campston, his eldest son
  2. EDWARD SINCLAIR, his second son
There were also daughters

  1. ELIZABETH, who in 1649 sued her brother Thomas for her rights.
  2. MARGARET, married 1643 Andrew, son of William Sinclair of Greenwall.

Robert Sinclair of Campston is present amongst the gentlemen suitors of the Earldom Court, 26th October 1641; and dying about 1645-9, was succeeded by his eldest son

III THOMAS SINCLAIR, THIRD OF CAMPSTON, for whom when fiar [heir apparent] in 1629 William Sinclair of Greenwall became lawborrowis in security for William Sinclair of Saba and his family. In 1638 he is als of John Craigie of Sandis. In 1645, as fear, he alienates various lands in Rousa and Firth to James Traill in Westness (Rousa). His sister Elizabeth sues him for her rights in 1649, which implies the death of his father. In 1651 he is als of Edward Sinclair of Gyre, and is down in the valuation of 1653 for various lands in St. Andrew's and Firth. On the 30th September, 1662, he and his spouse Marie Stewart are mentioned. He had issue:

  1. EDWARD, next of Campston.
  2. JOHN, second son (sasine 1643).

IV EDWARD SINCLAIR, FOURTH OF CAMPSTON, was proceeded against 10th October 1676, by Thomas Stewart, Procurator Fiscal for Orkney and Shetland, for intromitting with the gear of umquhile [deceased] Thomas Sinclair his father. Edward Sinclair was succeeded by his only son

V EDWARD SINCLAIR, FIFTH AND LAST OF CAMPSTON. On the 21st September, 1708, David Traill assigns lands in Saba to his son Patrick under reversion by the heirs of umquhile [deceased] Edward Sinclair of Campston; and on 18th December 1725, compeared David Traill of Saba holding disposition by Edward Sinclair only son to deceased Edward Sinclair of Campston and Elizabeth Wilson his spouse - and heir to the also deceased Thomas Sinclair of Campston his grandfather - lands in St.Andrew's and lands of Campston. Witnesses Jerome Sinclair in Stromness and James Allan his servitor. This notice is followed by another on 19th June 1729, when Patrick Traill of Saba sues Edward Sinclair "only lawful living son to the deceased Edward Sinclair sometime resident in Campston in Parish of St.Andrew's in the County of Orkney and Elizabeth Wilson his spouse, daughter to deceased Thomas Wilson of Hunclet sometime merchant in Kirkwall," for 10,000 merks scots, etc. This Edward Sinclair of Campston is stated to have been father of

VI EDWARD SINCLAIR, who by Kirstane or Christane Sinclair was father of a daughter

ISOBEL, married to Peter Sinclair, and had issue

    JOHN SINCLAIR, married in 1789. Issue
    1. JAMES SINCLAIR, father of
      1. JAMES SINCLAIR, resident at Upper Breckquoy, Holm, Orkney, who writes that he was told by his father that Number VI was a son of [Robert] Sinclair, Laird of Campston, that his name was over the old hall door, and a coat of arms over the gateway.

Hay, in his "Genealogie" has: "I think that the other charters relating to Pentland, and the Chapell of Roslin, may be found in Campston's hands, or in Sir Alexander Gibson of Pentland's charter-chest, or else amongst my Lord Sinclair's papers.

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