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THE SINCLAIRS OF GREENWALL, FLOTTAY, AND GYRE, HOLM AND ORPHIR

The Rental of 1614 records Hangaback, Skobister, Gyre, Gossaquoy, and Crowill, "all set in nineteen years tacks to umquhile [deceased] Henry Sinclair of Culkquoy and his heirs". The Report on Sanday in 1627 notes lands pertaining to Saint Katharine's prebendary set in feu by Archibald Balfour, and by him to umquhill [deceased] Hendrie Sinclaire of Cowquoy, and left be him to his son William Sinclaire, by and as follows. In Our Lady parish two penny land, within the tonne of How five penny land, and in the parish of Saint Colme four penny land and a half; thir land pays no duty to his Majesty; but all duties to the feuars, Reserweand £10 paid to the prebendar in name of feu duty. Henry Sinclair of Cowquoy may have been father of

I. WILLIAM SINCLAIR OF GREENWALL;, whose descendants appear in occupation of Cowquoy's lands of Gyre, etc. He figures in a case of Lawborrows. 3rd October 1612; is Chancellor of the Assize of Fifteen 15th Jauuary 1613; and is again on the assize of the 21st January.

He held the tack [lease] of Holme and Paplay, the account of which he rendered to Bishop Law the 11th July 1614. On 7th January 1617, he and other Sinclairs make suit against James Stewart of Gramsay, etc., while on the 24th February next thereafter Donald Stewart of Brough makes cause against Greenwall, etc. The Bishopric Report of 1627 has this: "ITEM William Sinclair holds his lands of Greenwall in the parish of Ham for payment of £12", and again, "Greenwall nine penny land feud by William Sinclair for a silver duty, conform to the rental".

(Signed) W. Sinclaire of Gremshall, His Majestie's Comn. ansd, by the parish of Holme.

On the 15th November 1629, Greenwall compeared and became lawborrowis for Thomas Sinclair, eldest lawful son to Campston - That William Sinclair of Saba, his wife, bairns, etc., shall harmless and skaithless be; on the 26th May 1637, he costs to Jon Cromartie, younger, son to Skae 4ff meles beir [barley] in the bark called the "Gift of God". On 30th June 1640, he and other Sinclairs, etc., including Edmond, his eldest son, are sued by David Heart of Rusland; and in the November following he is bailie for Holm. In 1641 he is a suitor of the Earldom Court. Greenwall entered into an agreement with Patrick Smyth of Brace, 8th April 1629, for value received to pay Brace nine meills Malt, but since 1638 had made default. Braco sued him on the 26th March 1639, and obtained a decree on 1st November 1642. He had issue -

  1. EDMOND, eldest son
  2. ANDREW, married 1643 Margaret, daughter of Robert Sinclair of Campston
II EDMOND SINCLAIR identical (it seems) with Edmond Sinclair of FLOTTAY. The Bishopric Rental of 1595 has a marginal note against Greenwall recording it as "all set again to Edmund Sinclair for £8 money yearly" and in the rental of 1614, "Greenwall nine penny land, for the King, set to Edmond Sinclair of Flottay, for the yearly payment of £8". Flottay died before 9th October 1639, when Edward and Annas Sinclair, lawful bairns to umquhile [deceased] Edward (sic) Sinclair of Flottay and Magnus Cromartie of Skae, spouse to said Annas, claim birthright property. In the rental of 1642, Flottay is referred to as umquhile [deceased], and as having held in feu Larquoy, Ingamyre, Aikers, Garay, Midhous, Sowlie, Skettedbuster, Brek, Swambuster, Hangabak. Skobuster, Gyre, Gossaquoy, Crowall, Windbrek, Inksetter, Quoyclarkis, Nathermyre, Crega, etc., all in Ophir. Ingamyre and Swanbuster (in part) had previously been escheated from certain Sinclairs, and it will be observed that many of these lands had been in Cowquoy's tack [lease].

III EDWARD SINCLAIR OF GYRE was son of Flottay. In the report of bishopric feus in Orphir for 1642 it is noted, "There is feued thereof by the said Bishop Law to umquhile [deceased] Edmond Sinclare of Flottay, the lands of Gyre, Swainbuster, and several other lands, pay and conform to the rental, which are now in the possession of Edward Sinclare of Gyre his son". Again, "Item - Edward Sinclair of Gyre holds his lands within the parish of Orphir for payment, four merkes per meil, conforme to the Rental"; and "Edward Synclair of Gyre, whose teinds are contained in my Lord Carrick's tack, has procured a general commission". Early in 1641 he is a suitor of Court, and described as of Gyre and Swainbuster. Gyre is mentioned in an instrument 30th December 1650; sues various Orcadians 7th September 1651; is als of Rev. James Douglas 8th August 1654, whom he in turn sues on the 23rd December following. He is in the 1653 valuation for his Orphir lands as enumerated in 1642. He is again sued by the Rev. James Douglas, 23rd April 1657, for 300 merks Scots. He would seem to have died before 25th February 1662, when Robert Jack, merchant, burgess of Edinburgh, sues inter alia Margaret Sinclair relict of umquhile [deceased] Edward Sinclair of Gyre, now spouse of Mr. James Mowatt of Oliberrie in Shetland, for 200 merks Scots. She was a daughter of George Sinclair of Rapness and Trenabie. He was succeeded in Gyre by his son

IV GEORGE SINCLAIR OF GYRE, whose first figure in Orcadian history is in a conflict [1664] between himself, William Mudy, younger of Melsetter, and Alexander Douglas, younger of Spynie. Gyre and Spynie were both bound over to keep the peace. On the 13th May 1665, David McClellan of Wodwik proceeds against George Sinclair of Gyre, with consent of Edward Sinclair his father. (The consent here referred to doubtless relates back to the cause of action, perhaps some few years previous, as Edward of Gyre was evidently dead ante 1662). George Rich of Winksetter and William Douglas of Egilshay are before him 15th January 1669; and on 16th December 1672, in connection with lands in Rusland in Harray, Gyre is noted as Baillie in that part.

In the Cropt Account for Orphir in 1739 William Halcro of Coubister compears for his lands in Orphir, which formerly pertained to umquhile [deceased] George Sinclair of Gyer.

ADAM SINCLAIR OF GYRE is one amongst others at suit of Patrik Craigie, late Provost of Kirkwall, 19th May 1667.

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