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THE SINCLAIRS OF TOHOP AND SABA, ST.ANDREW'S

I. SIR WILLIAM SINCLAIR OF WARSETTER, Knight, "a noble and potent man", acquired the lands of Tolhope or Toob, in the parish of St.Andrew's, from Nicoll Fraser. This transfer to Sir William and his heirs was affirmed on appeal by the Orcadian Lawting in 1514.

II JOHN SINCLAIR OF TOLLAP fought at the battle of Summerdale in 1529, for which in 1539 a 19 years' amnesty was proclaimed to him and others. The leader of the victorious Islesmen was Sir James Sinclair, natural son of Sir William of Warsetter, and in the enumeration of those respited the order reads thus: - Edward Sinclair of Stroholm in Shetland, Magnus Sinclair of Warsetter, John Sinclair of Tollap, and then several of the Shetland Sinclairs.

III MANSIE SINCLAIR OF TOLLOP is mentioned 10th May 1619, in the suit of Edward Sinclair of Essenquoy against William Sinclair oy [grandson] and air [heir] of umquhile [deceased] Mansie Sinclair of Tohop, and John Sinclair, merchant in Kirkwall.

IV JOHN SINCLAIR OF TOBE petitioned Parliament in 1592 against Earl Robert Stewart, and is mentioned on 28th May 1600, as an indweller of Edinburgh.

V JAMES SINCLAIR OF TOHOP beneath the yardis is noted in the Bishopric rental of 1595, and is no doubt the link intermediate between umquhile [deceased] Mansie and his oy and air [grandson and heir]

VI WILLIAM SINCLAIR, NEXT OF TOHOP, whose appearances are frequent in Earldom records of every description.
He is on an assise 15th January 1615; on 1st November 1616, sues William Irving of Sabay; on 4th November 1617, yielding the pas to
Edward Sinclair of Essenquoy, he is ranked second out of the 30 suitors present at the Orcadian Court.
In 1618 he and Jean Gordon, his spouse, are noticed, and on 14th December of the same he has a transfer from John Beatton of Cluik Quoy called Busquoy in Utter Stromness.
9th November 1619, finds "Dittays Sinclairis Kirknes et Isbisteris" - at the instance of Robert Coltart procurator fiscal against William Sinclair of Tolhop, etc., for pursuing with swords, dirks and whingers of intention to have bereft of Life, etc.
He, in turn, obtained from Henry Smythe, 16th October 1620, caution and lawborrowis that he (Tolhoip), his wife and bairns, etc., etc., shall harmless be.
On 16th Match 1621, he produced charter to him made by William Irving of Sava or Saba of the lands of Over and Nether Messagris and the lands of Sava or Saba, with all the houses, buildings, etc. The conveyance of Saba was reproduced 23rd April 1622.
On the 21st January 1623, he is one of the inquisition for jury service of Jonet Sinclair of Warsetter, and on the 5th August 1623 appears at suit of Magnus Sinclair in Gorne. From henceforward he is more usually designed of Sabay.
On 9th November 1627, William Sinclair of Saba finds caution for William Craigie of Papdaill.
On 16th February 1635, he is one of the gentlemen of Orkney subscribing to the Relation of Famine.
On 19th November 1636, William Sinclair of Tohop institutes process against James Colville of Huip, William Henrysone, fiar [heir apparent] of Holland, etc.
On 26th May 1637, he compearit [appeared with] and became caution for John Cromartie, younger son to Skae, for the corns embarked by him in the bark called the "Gift of God", whereoff Magnus Flett is skipper, etc.
On 6th August 1639, Saba appears at suit of James Bakie of Tankerness, his (Tulhope's) sons Robert and Edward being also made parties to the action, while William Sinclair of Tulhope sues Finlayson and Bakie 14th July 1640.
From 1616 to 1643 he is enumerated as a suitor of Court.
Saba is last noticed on 7th September 1651, at suit of Edward Sinclair of Gyre.
In the time of Bishop Law he held the lands of Sinewgro, Cowbister and Orokirk in Holme for payments conforme to the rental.

He married Jean Gordon, and had issue -

  1. ROBERT, his successor;
  2. EDWARD;
  3. JAMES of Grottsetter, brother-german [full brother] to Robert
VII ROBERT SINCLAIR OF SABA appears on the valuation of 1653.

On 20th September 1664, he sued James Bakie of Tankerness, and on 16th March 1665, James King of Warbuster.
On 30th September 1661, Saba and Beatrix King, his spouse, granted Grottsetter with houses to his brother-german [full brother] James Sinclair now in Grottstetter.
On the 20th September 1661, he gave a Charter of Alienation of his udal land in town of Tronston to Andrew Moir there, Sandwick parish, and on 13th October 1661, he obtained lands in Foubister from Malcolm Foubister of that Ilk [of Foubister].
Saba protested against "covenanting", March 1666.
On 10th October 1676, the Procurator Fiscal proceeded against him for intromitting with the gear of deceased Beatrice King, his spouse. She was probably a daughter of David King of Warbuster, Hoy, by his spouse Mary, daughter of Adam Stewart, brother of Earl Robert. David King was father of James, Lord Eythin, who commanded the Royalist centre at Marston Moor.
Queen Christina created him a peer of Sweden, as Baron Sanshult.
A letter addressed to James Sinclair, younger of Saba, by James King, dated at Melgund 6th May 1668, refers to the "10,000 merks they (of Saba) borrowed of my uncle", and the fact that they had also taken possession of the Hoy property. [
Craven]

On the 6th December 1676, William Davidson, Writer [lawyer] in Kirkwall, and Walter Fairnie, litstar (dyer), there, lay information against Robert Sinclair of Sabay; James, Edward, and Charles, his sons; and Andrew Sinclair, his natural son - all of whom having conceived a great and deadly hatred, rancour, and malice against the complainants, are bound over under Lawborrowis.
David Craigie of Oversanday took action 13th April 1676, against Saba and his eldest son James.
On 9th April 1677, Robert Sinclair of Tulhope, elder son to deceased William Sinclair of Tulhope, Isobell Sinclair, spouse to Gilbert Irving, etc., are noticed, and on the 4th July 1678, Robert Sinclair of Saba appears as a witness.

By Beatrix King he left issue:

  1. JAMES; fiar [heir apparent] of Saba;
  2. EDWARD;
  3. CHARLES
  4. He had also a natural son ANDREW
VIII JAMES SINCLAIR, FIAR and LAST of SABA, succeeded his father.

On 17th April 1669, compeared William Sinclair, procurator for James Sinclair of Saba, halding a Charter of Alienation, etc., made by David Sinclair, only son and heir to deceased John Sinclair of Hammar, in Griennie to the said James of Saba of the said house of Hammar. On the 29th November 1673, he granted a Charter of Alienation of heritable lands in Birsay to George Liddell of Hammar, brother-uterine of the aforesaid David; and on the 14th July 1674, James of Saba is a witness to the instrument of induction in favour of the Rev. John Heggen.

John Gaudie, Archdeacon of Tingwall, Shetland, was on very friendly terms with Saba. Addressing his "very much respected friend, James Sinclair of Saba", he subscribes "To your assured friend and brother". Saba had desired the present of a Shetland pony, which the Archdeacon sent him in September 1678. "You'll find it both good and sharp, and in any other thing wherein I can serve you, you may assure yourself of my inclination. Your (i.e., my) old Mrs. presents her respects to you and your kind bedfellow, to Mr. John Gibson (parson of Holm) and his discreet consort, and to all at Campstone". [Craven]. [Gaudie had married Margaret, daughter of John Sinclair of Quendale, in Shetland] Gaudie's mother was a Mary Stewart of Campstone, which accounts for his interest in that part of Orkney. [From Shetland County Families]

In 1708 the lands of Saba passed to David Traill under reversion be the heirs of the umquhile [deceased] Edward Sinclair of Campston.

The family of Sinclair of Saba was one of the most ancient in Orkney, having descent through the Knight of Warsetter from the first of the Sinclair Earls and Sir William Sinclair, founder of the Roslins. The heirs of this family (if any) are senior representatives of the House of Sinclair.

It may be that the noble Swedish Sinclairs are scions of the Saba stock, as in their "Genealogical Descendance" they cite as an ancestor a William Sinclair, Master [heir apparent] of Seba and Brobster, who married Barbe, daughter of Sir Hugh Halcro; and the connection of the Saba family with that of King would suggest that the noble Swedes were cadets of Saba who passed to Sweden as proteges of their kinsman John King, Baron Sanshult.

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