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SWEDISH SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE

CHARLES GIDEON, BARON SINCLAIR, MILITARY TACTICIAN (1803)

Charles Gideon, Baron Sinclair of Finnekumla, born at Stralsund, 12th November 1730, was captain of the German Infantry Regiment, la Dauphine in France; Knight of the French order, "Pour la Merite Militaire"; Colonel of the said Regiment; Knight of the Saxon order, "The White Falcon"; Colonel and Second Chief of the French Regiment, Royal Suedois; Colonel in the Swedish service; First Aide-de-Camp with King Gustavus III; Colonel and Chief of the Swedish Artillery; General-Master of the Ordnance; Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Sword; General in 1799. In 1773 he married at Strasburg, Louise Henrietta Eikbrecht de Burkheim, Countess of the Holy Roman Empire, by whom he had no issue. He died in 1803.

With him expired the line of Sinclairs, Barons Finnekumla, although from the notice next hereafter it would appear that this Baron Sinclair was claimed as sire by Charles Ferdinand de St. Clair, a French soldier of distinction. The "Genealogical Descendance" attested by Sir John Sinclair, first of Ulbster, attributes to this line a direct descent from the Barons of Ravenscraig, but the earlier generations require examination.

A copy certified correct by the Royal Archivist of Sweden is in possession of the author of this work. The same document connects with the Barons Finnekumla in the earlier generations James Sinclair, Baron of Randel, from whom derives the present line of Sinclairs, Counts of Lambahof. They thus now represent the senior line of Finnekumla, and it may be also the Barons of Ravenscraig. They appear to be cadets of the Orcadian Sinclairs of Saba.

CHARLES FERDINAND, BARON DE ST.CLAIR, KNIGHT OF THE LEGION OF HONOUR

occupied a very foremost position in the Napoleonic Wars. In 1820, Charles Ferdinand, Baron de St.Clair, colonel de cavalerie, figured remarkably about the assassination of the Duc de Berry. "Je suis assassine". He protested to the chamber that he had warned the highest authorities, police and other, of the conspiracy, but that these, being themselves involved in it, had arrested and imprisoned him for his loyalty to the Bourbon prince. His papers are published in book form, and there are many references to his extraordinary military career, ane bords du Rhin, dans l'armee de Conde, en Angleterre, ane Antilles, en Hollande, en Egypte, en Italie, en Espagne, en Portuqal, en Russie, et en Allemagne. He had seen twenty-three years' service, got eighteen wounds, and gained innumerable decorations. His enemy, M. Decazes, Minister of Police, afterwards Count, put him into great difficulty, because he accepted the cross of the Legion of Honour which one of the Bourbons offered him, through the Prince of Conde, two years before the twenty-five years' of service formally needed were expired. The book is of historic interest as to a curiously unsafe time. The baron does not scruple to tell M. Decazes his mind, "N'etait point un parvenu comme lui, mais bien un descendant des ducs de Normandie (du cote maternal) et des comtes des Orcades et Oemodes; un descendant de Jean comte de Saint Clair qui en 1649 prefera etre depouille de l'existence la plus brillante que de reconnaitre Cromwell; un descendant de Henri comte de Saint Clair qui en 1689, fut le seul membre des parlement Britannique qui osait faire un protestation energique contre l'avenement de Guillaume Prince d'Orange an trone des Stuarts; le petit-fils de Jean, sire de Saint Clair qui en 1715 sacrifia des biens immenses, et fut oblige de s'expatrier par son energique devouement a la meme cause: le fils de Charles Gedeon, [This must be another than the Swedish tactician, as he died without issue ] baron de St.Clair, colonel commandant le regiment royal Suedois, qui apres avoir consacre sa vie au service des rois de France, fut sacrifie a Dijon le 29 Janvier 1793; victime de son devouement pour Louis XVI"

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