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[From Nisbet's Heraldry, Hay's Genealogie, Exchequer Rolls, etc.]

VII SIR OLIVER ST.CLAIR, Knight, was 7th Lord of Rosslyn

It has been seen that Earl William of Orkney and Caithness had a son, William of Newburgh, by his first marriage. For reasons not to be discovered at this distance of time, he thought fit to pass by Sir William St.Clair, his eldest son, in the succession to the gross of the estate, and gave him only the barony of Newburgh, in Aberdeenshire, while betwixt two sons of his second wife, Marjory, daughter of Alexander Sutherland of Duffus, he divided his great estate.

To SIR OLIVER ST.CLAIR, his eldest son of that marriage, he disponed (9th September, 1476) the baronies of Roslin, Pentland, and Pentland Muir, the barony of Herbertshire, the lands of Cousland, the barony of Ravenscraig, Dubbo, Carberry, Dysart, etc., being the whole of the Earl's estate be-south Tay. This deed is confirmed by a charter under the Great Seal of King James III, the 10th September, in anno 1476, still extant in the rolls. Sir Oliver has two appearances on the 3rd July 1480. In one he is found instituting a suit - most probably a friendly one - as son to umquhile [deceased] William Earl of Caithness, against John Sinklar (his brother), Canon of Glasgow, for wrongly taking land and tenement in Blackfriar's Wynde. The decree which followed was adverse to the Canon until he should adduce evidence to substantiate his case. [Acta Domini Concilii]

The other instance was that of a bond of even date, received from George, Lord Seton, for the peacable "brookeing and joiseing" of his lands of Roslin, Pentland, Pentland More, Morton and Mortonhall, Herbertshire, Cosland, Dysart, and Ravenscraig, etc. Amongst the witnesses to this instrument are John St.Cler and Edward of St.Clair, probably of the Dryden family. He is noted as a Baron of Parliament 9th May 1485, 1st October 1487, the 11th January next thereafter, and lastly on the 3rd February 1505. In 1481, having it seems in his own conscience a thorough conviction of the injustice his father had done to the eldest brother, he freely (voluntarily) conveyed to his elder brother, William of Newburgh, the lands of Cousland, of Dysert, and Ravenscraig, with the Castellis, etc., in Fyffe, and in the same instrument William and his apparent heir Henry renounced all claim to Roslin, and later on - in 1493 - Henry, then Lord Sinclair, ratified the contract. His other appearances are in 1491, when he gives over to George Saintclair his son, Roslin and Herbertshire; in 1498, as a party to the Charter of Swinburgh, with his other brothers and sisters, to their brother Sir David Synclar, of Swinburgh: in 1504 he and his son George execute an agreement with William, Lord Borthwick, amongst the witnesses being [his brothers] Robert and Arthur Sinclair; in 1511 he grants Lord Fleming some lands in Herbertshire; and in 1512 grants (it is stated) his son, Henry Saintclair, the lands of Braidle. Sir Oliver began a quarrel with Lord Borthwick, which lasted several years betwixt the two families. Roslin, having his ward, caused throw one of them over the drawbridge of Roslin after dinner. This action was hotly pursued by Borthwick, as were the non-entries and wards by Roslin, which is evident by various charters.

Sir Oliver finished the Chapel of Roslin, as appears by his scutcheon in the vault, whereon there appears only a ragged cross, as also on the left hand of the window of the sacristy underground. He was thrice married: First, to Christian Haldane; [Stirling Protocol Book] secondly, to Elizabeth, daughter of William, third Lord Borthwick; and thirdly, to Isabella Livingstone. He had several children, of whom were -

  1. GEORGE, fiar [heir apparent] of Roslin, married Agnes, daughter of Robert Crichton, Lord Sanquhar. On the 5th January 1491-2, on his fathers resignation, a charter of confirmation passed the Great Seal to George Sinclare, son and apparent heir of our cousin Sir Oliver Sinclair of Roslin; and again on the 9th May 1506, he and Agnes Crichton, his spouse, are confirmed in the barony of Herbertshire; while on the 11th April 1510, he is cited as dead, his widow as married to Andrew Ker of Cessford, and William Sinclair, his brother, as his heir.
  2. SIR WILLIAM, next of Rosslyn
  3. HENRY, Bishop of Ross, etc.
  4. OLIVER of Pitcairn and Whitekirk
  5. JOHN, Bishop of Brechin, etc.
  6. ALEXANDER, who received from James V a charter of the lands, lordship, and barony of Cokbrandspeth, with tour, fortalice, etc., 5th April 1541; it issues to "his familiar" servant Alexander, brother-german [full brother] of Sir William Sinclair of Roslin. He was made captive at Solway in 1542, and is rated by the English in lands per annum £100 scots=£25 and goods the like. He did not long retain Colbrandspeth, for on 24th July 1547, Sir George Douglas of Pitendrecht, knight, produced from him a charter of alienation followed by infeftment. All Alexander Sinclair, notary public, is named 24th February 1538, and is noted as attesting a document 15th August 1546.
  7. ARTHUR, who obtains 8th March 1539, a charter of Lessuadin, etc., from Andrew, Abbot of Melrose; and on 30th August 1516, confirmation passes the Great Seal of a charter by "our familiar" M. John Sinclair to his brother-german [full brother] Arthur, of the lands of Kirkhill, Linlithgow, for his aid during the English siege of 1544.
  8. JAMES, who on 5th December 1537, obtains confirmation of a charter by Mr. Henry Sinclare, son of Sir Oliver Sinclare of Roslin to his brother-german [full brother] James Sinclare (the kings familiar), of the lands of Stevenson with tower, fortalice, etc. Witness: John Sinclair, prebendario de Corstorphine. There had previously been a charter to James Sinclair (de Stevenston) of Todrig in Berwick, 18th November 1516, and of Todriklaklis et Fulschotlaw on 6th May 1517, while on 28th August 1536, there is a confirmation of sale by M. Henrico Sinclair of lands of Stevenston in Berwick, to which John Sinclare de Gosfurde and James Sinclare make attestation. James Sinclair was made prisoner at Solway in 1542, and is rated by the English in lands per annum £100 scots=£25 and goods the like.
  9. MARGARET, married Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick of Closeburn, who fought at Solway in 1542. He was a hostage for her brother Oliver Sinclair of Pitcairn.

NOTE - The lands of Stevenson were subsequently acquired by cadets of the Longformacus line.

Sir Oliver St.Clair must have died before 1523, when his eldest living son William is found in possession.

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