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FOUD OF Shetland - JOHN ST.CLAIR (flourished 1411-18)

This personage was the son of Earl Henry the Holy. His first appearance is in 1411, when Earl Henry II appoints him procurator to redeem lands in the Mearns. It is also recited that he got from his brother, lands in Lothian, namely, Kirkton, Loganhouse, Earncraig, East and West Summerhopes. There are many references of passports into England, 1392-1421, in favour of a Sir John St.Clair, but these may relate to a contemporary namesake. In 1418 he became client for Shetland, swearing fealty to Eric, King of Denmark. It is stated that he married Ingeborg, a natural daughter of Waldemar, King of Denmark, by Tova Little (daughter of the Commissioner of Rugen), whom legends still invest with a romantic interest. Gurre, which Waldernar imparadised, was the scene of the lovers' wooing. William St.Clair, his son, served, it is said, under the German Emperor in the Holy Wars, and from him derive (semolable) the Sinclairs, barons of Brugh in Shetland.

NOTE - Examination of the succession to the Summerhopes should result in affiliating subsequent Sinclairs to Sir John St.Clair, Foud of Shetland; and a like perusal of the Complaint of 1576 should disclose descendants of Sir David Sinclair of Swinburgh.

CHAMBERLAIN OF ROSS - SIR DAVID SYNCLAR OF SWINBURGH, KNIGHT (l498 - 1507)

Sir David Sinclair was a son of William, Earl of Orkney, by Marjory Sutherland. He acquired the lands of Swinburgh in 1498, and in 1502 there occurs in the Orkney accounts a payment to him of 200 merks at the time of his passage to Denmark, and in the Register of the Great Seal, 3rd September 1502, is a memo of a grant to him of 50 merks yearly from the king's coffers "pro servicio impendendo". The Norwegians at that time had risen against the rule of Denmark, and Sir David evidently accompanied the fleet of vessels equipped with soldiers, sent by the King of Scots to co-operate with the Danish king to reduce the insurgent Norse. He was Governor of the Palace Guard at Bergen, and Foud of Shetland. He renders accounts, 1505-7, as Chamberlain of the Earldom of Ross, and he is noted as keeper of Dingwall Castle and the Red Castle, to which offices emoluments were attached. He executed his Last Will and Testament in 1506, 2nd and 14th July 1507, then at Stirling, grants receipt for all goods contained in an indenture between James, Archbishop of St.Andrew's, and his chamberlain. He died in July or August 1507, leaving issue sons and daughters. Many lands of his are referred to in the Complaint of 1576 by Arthur Sinclair of Aith, and others. His will affords a most complete glimpse in to those remote times. Honoured in the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Scotland, his possessions were large, his bequests geographically wide, and his benefactions great.

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