Prince Henry
In Memorium
Pete Cummings
To promote recognition of Henry Sinclair, 14th Century explorer of North America, and to celebrate the 600th anniversary in 1998

November 15, 1996 Issue

Published by Prince Henry Project Committee
65 Hartwell Street, West Boylston, MA, 01583, USA
Phone: 508-835-2900 Fax: 508-835-2944 E-Mail:
HTML by John S. Quarterman

Monument being Made

Thanks to the tireless efforts of D'Elayne and Richard Coleman, a monument has been designed and a land site obtained in Nova Scotia. It will be placed in a park on the shores of Chadebucto Bay. The location was chosen to be close to the area where Prince Henry Sinclair landed 600 years ago.

An important component of this display is the welcoming role expressed by the Native Americans. Chief Kerry Prosper of the Micmacs has been consulted. Approval was granted by him through the Executive Director of the Confederacy of the Mainland Micmacs.

Dedication of the monument and the park is expected in the Spring of 1997.

Grass-roots Committees

The celebration of Prince Henry's 600th anniversary in only a year from this Spring means many things to many people. Persons in Westford and Guysborough look at it as a tourist attraction, focusing upon their local history. Others in more distant locations think of it as a time to gather friends and relatives together and plan a gala vacation trip to the North East for a celebration of some very important "first steps" on America. Still others are concentrating upon genealogy or history. Local tourism councils are offering their services.

The 600th Celebration Committee has prepared a guideline for helping people form "grass-root" committees. If you are interested, or if you know of someone who might want to consider forming a 600th Anniversary Committee, contact the adress on this masthead. We will send information to you. Volunteers and leaders are needed!

Henry "the Holy" St. Clair

by Niven Sinclair

The Sinclairs/St. Clairs remained loyal to the Roman Catholic faith until the late 17th century. Their commitment to defend the faith was expressed in their motto, "Commit thy work to God." So strong was their belief that they resisted the Reformation in 1517, long after most fellow Scots and many Europeans became Protestant. It was their strict loyalty to the Catholic Church and to the ruling Stuarts in Scotland which caused the Sinclairs/St. Clairs to lose favor with the succeeding Scottish Monarchs. Many branches of the Sinclair/St. Clair family still remain of the Catholic persuasion to this day.

Was Prince Henry a Catholic? There was no such religion as Protestantism at that time. Certainly Henry was not Hindu, Muslim, or a pagan. We know Henry was a Templar. Let us briefly review history during the earlier centuries. In 1118 AD the Templars were established to protect the Christian Pilgrims as they traveled to the Holy Land in Jerusalem. They served under the sole direction of the Pope! They remained in this capacity for two centuries, until Pope Clement V moved his seat from the Vatican to Avignon in France. Some say he was an impostor. There, he came under the strong influence of his nephew, King Philip "le Bel" of France. This was also the time when France had borrowed vast sums of money from the wealthy Templars. So huge was this indebtedness that King Philip chose to exterminate the Templars, rather than to pay back his obligations. This triggered the fateful Suppression Order, supported by the Pope. All nations were asked to capture the Templars. Scotland refused to obey the Suppression Order; because its King Robert the Bruce had been excommunicated from the Church for murdering John "the Red" Comyn in a church. Consequently, many Templars fled to safety with their treasures to Scotland. They went to Balantrodoch, their ancient outpost, located on the Sinclair estates near Edinburgh. The Sinclairs had been members of the Knights Templar ever since its founding in 1118. Were these Templars following the Catholic faith? They were! Ritual used by the Templars today attests to their firm religious beliefs. Of course the division of the Papacy between Rome and Avignon, underscored by the Suppression Order, disrupted their lines of affiliation with the Avignonese Pope. Bear in mind, Protestantism had not yet been born. The Templars maintained their Catholic faith.

During the 14th century, England under King Edward I (known as "the hammer of the Scots") was constantly attacking Scotland. It began with the Battle of Rosslyn in 1303 when the Scots beat the English decisively in three separate engagements. The English army had advanced in three columns, with 10,000 men in each. They were engaged and decisively defeated by the 6,000 stong Scottish army. This infuriated Edward I. In 1314 he marched North with a highly trained army, intent upon getting revenge in a battle at Bannockburn. The Scots won the battle, largely due to the intervention of the Knights Templar on the side of King Robert the Bruce, assisted by Sir William Sinclair and his two sons, William and Henry.

In appreciation of the role played by the Templars at the Battle of Bannockburn, and in an effort to disguise the presence of the Templars within his kingdom, he created the Royal Sovereign Order of Scotland. Robert the Bruce also appointed William Sinclair as the Grand Master of the Crafts and Guilds of Scotland. This became a hereditary position with the Sinclairs until another William Sinclair resigned the hereditary post of Grand Master for himself and his heirs. He was then immediately elected as the first Grand Master in the Scottish Grand Lodge of Speculative Masons in 1736.

In this hereditary chain, Prince Henry Sinclair became the Grand Master of the Crafts and Guilds of Scotland, as well as being a Knight Templar, pledged to protect the Christian ideals. He was known as Henry "the Holy" St. Clair. He was a true leader and was chosen as the Commander of a Templar inspired expedition to the New World in 1398. The Templars had found a temporary refuge in Scotland, but Scotland had neither the space nor the scope to accommodate them. They wanted a new land where their ideals could take root and flourish. They knew about the New World. Trade was already taking place. The New World beckoned.

His Venetian admiral, Antonio Zeno, said Prince Henry was a man "worthy of immortal memory because of his great bravery and goodness." He reached America 94 years before Columbus. He treated the indigenous people with respect, understanding, and consideration. He called them his "beloved sons", as he recognized they had the same underlying beliefs he had himself, namely that God and Nature was One. There is no doubt, Henry St. Clair practiced his faith in everything he did. Before he ended his stay in the New World, it is thought that he applied his experience and religious beliefs in building the Newport Tower, following the design lines of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

Critical Timing in Scotland

According to a recent report from Chris Minty, chairman of the St. Clair Voyage 1398 team, the keel of the Replica "The Henry St. Clair", must, and will, be laid before the end of December. That is only a month away! Lack of funding has delayed this important step. Derek Moss, a retiree from IBM with financial management expertese, has joined the Scottish team. He is spear-heading the fund raising efforts at this moment. Meanwhile, Captain Neil Stewart, another member of the team, has completed the necessary changes in the ship's design, as required to meet the insurance requirements of Lloyd's of London. A set of the current plans has been delivered to our 600th Celebration Committee in the USA, as a symbol of their serious intent to succeed in their mission of building a ship and sailing it to America in 1998.

Model of Ship is Available for Display

Having made its rounds from New England to Nova Scotia, the 45" long Model of "The Henry St. Clair" is now available for loan until it is recalled to Scotland. Application forms have been distributed by the 600th Celebration Committee. Others may request the forms from Pete Cummings at any time.

Publications available

Send for information!

Have you contributed?

The expenses for publishing and mailing the "600th Celebration Newsletter" are raised from voluntary donations. Your contribution to "The St. Clair Fund" can be sent to P.O. Box 158, Worcester, MA, 01613. Bronze Membership is $40 for one year, which brings you a Membership Certificate, a 19-page booklet about Prince Henry, and a subscription to this Newsletter. Please join today. Thanks.
Clan Sinclair .
Last update: 99/06/20 11:36:52