Back to Fiona's Finding Service
Back to Index | Previous page | Next page
CHAPTER VIII

THE LONGFORMACUS LINE

LORDS OF LONGFORMACUS

[From Nisbet's Heraldry]

LONGFORMACUS is situate in Berwickshire, and the Longformacus Line of Sinclairs has been thought to begin with one GREGORY ST.CLAIR, who is enumerated amongst the gentry of the shire as swearing allegiance at Berwick to Edward I of England, 28th August 1296. He is thought to have been a son of the first Roslin on record, and upon account of his appearing with the gentry of Berwick, in which county the lands of Longformacus lie, he is taken to be brother to Henry St.Clair, second of Roslin, and the relationship of this line with the Roslins is presently acknowledged by Henry St.Clair, Lord of Roslin, Earl of Orkney. The seal of Gregory de St.Clair was appended to his declaration of homage.

There are further references to Berwickshire St.Clairs about the same period: John de St.Clair renders homage under seal in 1296; August 25-28, same finds him one of the jurors on an Inquisition at Berwick, and on the 3rd September, same, a writ issues to the Sheriff at Berwick to restore his lands to John de St.Clair.

On 22nd August 1301, John de St.Clair receives at Glasgow 100 shillings for the Earl of Dunbar; and William de St.Clair, Esq., of Berwick, renders homage in 1312. [Bain's Calendar of Documents]

I. JAMES ST.CLAIR is the first on record of Longformacus (charter 7th June 1384-93) [Douglas' Peerage] He is probably identical with the James de St.Clair, brother-uterine of Margaret, Countess of Mar and Angus, who witnesses a charter by that lady dated 12th August 1381.

Nisbet's Heraldry states: "When and how they had those lands I cannot be positive; but for certain they had them in the reign of Robert II from the Earl of March. I notice a charter from King Robert III in the fourth year of his reign confirming a charter of George Dunbar, Earl of March granted to James St.Clair of Longformacus of the same lands lying within the Earldom of March and Sheriffdom of Berwick. I have also seen a charter wherein Henry de Sancto Claro Earl of Orkney and lord of Roslyn, firmly and faithfully obliges himself to his well-beloved cousin, James of Sancto Claro, Lord of Longformacus - to infeft him in a twenty merk land". The obligation is dated at Roslin the 22nd June 1384.

He and his son John were made prisoners in 1402 at the Battle of Homildon Hill. [from Hay's Genealogie]

His son
II JAMES ST.CLAIR got from Henry II, Earl of Orkney, Dominus de Sancto Claro et de Vallis de Nyth, an annuity of twenty merks, to be uplifted out of the lands of Lenny, dated the 20th February 1418. Douglas cites a charter of January 1418, as also having reference to this Longformacus.

III DAVID SINCLAIR (charter 8th April 1448 [Douglas' Peerage]) is found thus referred to in the Exchequer Rolls, 1455: "Luchirmacus in ward by reason of the death of David Sinclair" and 1456 "And the £15 from the lands of Luchirmacus in ward as above". He was evidently succeeded by a son similarly named.

IV DAVID ST.CLAIR (charters 7th February 1463, and 6th February 1477 [Douglas' Peerage]). He married Elizabeth Murray. She is probably identical with Elizabeth Sinclare, spouse of the late Patrick Dunbar, who in 1459 receives £20. On 9th July 1460, King James gives "to our beloved cosingnace [female cousin] Elyzabet Syngclare" £20 life annuity from Haddington customs. In 1460-62 Elizabeth Sinclare is paid £40 for charge of the Princess Mary, and in 1480 the payment of her pension terminates. Upon his resignation his eldest son and apparent heir

V JAMES SINCLAIR obtained a new charter of the barony of Longformacus from Alexander Duke of Albany, Earl of March, Lord of Annandale and the Isle of Man, dated at the Castle of Dunbar 12th October 1472. He married (charter 21st May 1491 [Douglas' Peerage]) Isabel Howieson.

VI ALEXANDER SINCLAIR (charter 11th October 1502 [Douglas' Peerage]) is named in 1503 as son to Lochormacus. By Mariote Forman, his spouse, he had a son and heir

VII JAMES SINCLARE, who obtained a charter of confirmation 4th January 1505-6.

VIII JOHN SINCLAIR of Longformacus was cited on 23rd August 1567, to appear on the 31st August.

IX MATTHEW SINCLAIR (charters 2nd September 1558; 8th February 1574 [Douglas' Peerage]) of Longformacus is stated to have been served heir to his father JAMES in 1553. On 12th February 1571, at Jedburgh, he subscribed a band for pursuing Fairneyhirst.

On the 17th May 1588, he became caution in 1000 merks for Katharine Lauder, Lady of Swinton. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Swinton of that Ilk [of Swinton], and had four sons - [History of Caithness; Notes by T. Sinclair]

  1. SIR ROBERT, next of Longformacus
  2. GEORGE (charter 1604 [Douglas' Peerage]), reputed progenitor of the Stevensons
  3. JAMES, mentioned 11th August 1603, as third brother of the Laird of Longformacus. He married Elizabeth Howe (charter 2nd January 1609 [Douglas' Peerage]), and was father of
    1. SIR JAMES SINCLAIR of Kinnaird, Fifeshire, who being cited (23-25th February 1680) for absence from King's host in June last, pled sickness, which defence was found relevant. He is probably identical with Sir John Sinclair, designated of Lochend, who, 14th July 1683, pursues Bailie Kelly in Dunbar for oppression of the lieges in not permitting their own men to ship corn. He heired his uncle Thomas, and was, 27th January 1686, at suit of Sir Robert St.Clair of Stevenson for payment of a jointure to Anna Foulis, Bilbster's widow.
  4. THOMAS SINCLAIR of Bilbster, Caithness, Master of the Horse to George, 43rd Earl of Caithness, Lord Sinclair of Berriedale. He is buried in the Sinclair Aisle, Wick Churchyard, where is an inscription recording parentalia, offices, arms, etc., and the phrases: "Remember death" and "Regard! Good service will get good reward! A.B.M.R.M." He married Anna Foulis, and died 26th October 1607, aged 42.
X SIR ROBERT SINCLAIR (charter 14th May 1609 [Douglas' Peerage]) of Longformacus prefers a complaint 23rd April 1607. He is probably the Robert Sinclair, Writer [lawyer], 18th August 1587, appearing as procurator for George Gordon of Candidyen. On 13th December 1589, caution is taken for Robert Sinclair, writer to the Privy Council, that he shall deliver the House of Blanse, and who on 28th January next there-after recites that he has liferent in gift from the King on 1st August preceding, of all lands belonging to David Sinclair of Blanse.

By Margaret, sister of Sir Archibald Douglas of Whittinghame, he had issue -

  1. JAMES, next of Longformacus
  2. REV JOHN, in Muirtown, minister of Spott (A.M. St.Andrew's, 27th July 1616), married Marion Stewart, and had a son JAMES
XI JAMES SINCLAIR of Longformacus granted a wadset of Muirtown to his brother the Rev. John Sinclair. Issue -

  1. ROBERT, next of Longformacus, created a baronet.

[from Burke's Peerage, Douglasís Peerage, etc.]

I. ROBERT SINCLAIR, advocate before the Court of Session, son of James Sinclair, eleventh of Longformacus, was created a baronet of Nova Scotia, 10th December 1664, with remainder to his heirs-male whatsoever. He married, first, Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Douglas of Blackerstone in the Merse, by whom he had -

  1. SIR JOHN, who succeeded.
  2. GEORGE, married Jean, daughter of George Purves of Ewford. Issue -.
    1. ROBERT, married Lilias Anderson. Issue -
      1. SIR JOHN, sixth Baronet
      2. GEORGE, died without issue
      3. EUPHEME, died without issue
  3. SIR ARCHIBALD, knight, died without issue. He was Member of Parliament for Kirkwall, Orkney, in the Scottish Parliament from 1690-1702, and was author of "Some Thoughts upon the Present Stale of Affairs", 1703, quarto. He was Procurator in defence for the Rev. James Lyon, of Kirkwall, 12th June 1710
  4. MARGARET, married William Home of Linthill
  5. A daughter, married Sir James Cockburn of Ryslor
  6. A daughter, married Captain Urquhart
  7. A daughter, married Francis Montgomery of Giffen
Sir Robert married, secondly, Margaret, daughter of William Alexander, Viscount Canada, eldest son to the Earl of Stirling, and had by her -
  1. JEAN, married John, Master [heir apparent] of Bargeny
  2. ANNE, married John Swinton of that Ilk [of Swinton]
Sir Robert died in 1678, and was succeeded by his eldest son

II SIR JOHN SINCLAIR, who married Jean, daughter and heiress of Sir John Towers of Innerleith, and dying about 1689, was succeeded by his only son

III SIR ROBERT SINCLAlR, who died in 1725 or 1726. This gentleman married Christian, daughter of the Right Hon. Adam Cockburn of Ormiston, Lord Justice-clerk, by whom he had -

  1. SIR JOHN, his successor
  2. SIR HARRY, fifth baronet
  3. SUSAN, died unmarried
  4. JEAN, married Charles Gilmour of Craigmillar
  5. ANNE, died unmarried
  6. CHRISTIAN, married John Inglis

IV SIR JOHN SINCLAIR, married Sidney, daughter of Robert Johnston of Hilton, but dying without issue in 1764, was succeeded by his brother

V SIR HARRY SINCLAIR, at whose decease without issue in 1768 the succession opened to his second cousin

VI SIR JOHN SINCLAIR, grandson of George Sinclair, second son of the first baronet. This gentleman married Elizabeth, daughter of Charles Allan. He was a Writer [lawyer] in reduced circumstances, resident in the Canongate, Edinburgh, where he died 7th January 1798, and is said to have been succeeded by

VII SIR JOHN SINCLAIR, of whom there is no further account.

Arms - See Armoury.

Back to Fiona's Finding Service
Back to Index | Previous page | Next page


e-mail to:fnsnclr@btinternet.com