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

1 May 1997 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

The ship bell rings!

Our Voyage Coordinator, Bob Green, has taken on his voluntary job with vigor and creativity. Since it appears that Chris Minty and his Scottish team are not able to construct the 60-foot version of the Replica, Bob has developed an alternate plan of action. He feels that a ship 36-38 feet long can be built in the USA or Nova Scotia for about half the estimate of a full-sized vessel. He is also considering a charter of an existing 14th century ship. In either case, approximately $100,000 will be needed for the ship.

Since the 600th Celebration will take place in only 12 months from now, our Timeline has become critical. We cannot delay another month. Sandra Macintyre, a fund raising consultant, has been advising our Prince Henry Project Committee. We believe we can raise the needed money in a short period of time.

In order to encourage the development of "seed money" for getting our campaign under way, we have established "the Founders Membership". Persons contributing $500 or more will be known as "Prince Henry Founders". Their names will be displayed with the Replica Ship at all events, as well as in descriptive handout literature. In addition, boarding passes will be issued in their name, and they will receive an attractive certificate.

For larger contributions, we offer the Silver Membership level at $1500 and Gold Membership at $15,000. In addition to the above benefits, persons in the Silver & Gold categories will have a pennant showing their logo or imprint in the rigging of the Replica Ship at events. Gold sponsors will be Honorees at selected events. (Benefits relating to the Ship are dependent upon the success of its building and sailing.)

Please help us ring the ship's bell! Send your check today to "The Sinclair Trust", a tax exempt organization, and mail to 65 Hartwell Street, West Boylston, MA, 01583.

More about Prince Henry .....

[In previous issues, we have told the story of the boyhood, the early manhood, Earldom of Orkney, and voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Here, we continue with a description of the explorers' visit to Nova Scotia.]

Prince Henry persuaded the Micmac Indians to act as guides in his exploration of Nova Scotia. He first thought it to be an island. The narrow isthmus at Bair Verte changed his mind. It was navigable by canoe to Cumberland Basin with a portage of only three miles. The trip along River Herbert toward Parrsboro included only one portage of just 400 yards in its 22-mile length. Sinclair may then have traveled on to Annapolis Basin and across the Micmac canoe route to Liverpool. By October, he was back on Green Hill, southwest of Pictou harbor, to attend a gathering of the Micmacs. "Twas the time for holding the great and yearly feast with dancing and merry games."

Next, he doubled back to Spencer Island, Minas Channel, and did some hunting. The meat of the animals was sliced and dried. The bones were chopped up and boiled in a big iron pot to extract the marrow.

Historians and investigators have discovered other sites in Nova Scotia, where Henry Sinclair probably visited. Evidence is not complete, but it is highly suggestive. A few locations include the Castle at the Cross, Oak Island and its Money Pit, and the Cannon of Louisburg Harbor.

Castle at the Cross

The Castle at the Cross is atop Cadbury Hill and Gastonbury Tor, 17 miles from Chester, Nova Scotia. Only a mound of earth and stone remains today of the suspected ancient structure. Researchers believe 14th Century Norsemen and Scots built it, based on designs in the rubblework masonry. Several items were found around these ruins, including a much corroded pin, portion of a sword blade, wooden cones, and pieces of iron tools. From the scanty ruins, it is thought that the Castle had guard towers, main gate with pillars, and a dome or cone. Some historians believe this was a settlement by Prince Henry Sinclair, as shown in the lower left of the famous "Zeno Map" of the North. The Micmac legends describes Prince Henry's winter quarters in the vicinity of Advocate Harbor and Parrsboro. It was there, near Cape D'Or, that the explorers are thought to have built a new ship for their return voyage. The exact location is uncertain, however, mounds of dirt and stone formations have given archaeologists some clues. Here the Christian explorers would have celebrated Christmas, perhaps the first Christmas ever on American soil!

Cannon of Louisburg Harbor

It is more than coincidence that a unique, primitive cannon was found about 1849 at Louisburg Harbor on Cape Breton Island. Presumably, this gun was from Prince Henry's fleet in 1398. It had eight rings around its barrel, and a detachable breech with a handle. Several very similar cannons are on display at the Naval Museum in Venice. These are the same type as those used by Carlo Zeno at the Battle of Chioggia. They became obsolete by the end of the 14th century. Later cannons were made in a single piece without that kind of barrel rings.

Oak Island

Oak Island in Mahone Bay of Golden River, Nova Scotia, is one of only two islands, in a group of 350, where oak trees can be found! These oaks are thought to have been planted by ancient mariners to serve as a navigational aid to find the Castle at the Cross. From Oak Island, looking toward the mainland of Nova Scotia, the river leading to the Castle is to the right. The Celtic word for "oak" also means both "right" and "door".

Money Pit

This island on the Atlantic side has captured much attention because of its Money Pit, which is shrouded by mystery. It is a deep hole at the center of Oak Island. An elaborate security system was devised, whereby anyone exploring its depths would trigger the flood tunnels. Is this the hiding place for gold panned from Golden River? Or did Prince Henry deposit some Templar treasures in this hiding place? Was the Holy Grail placed there for safekeeping?

The Pit was discovered by three boys in 1795. At a depth of two feet there was a layer of stones. At 10 feet lay the first of many oak log platforms, set at 10-foot intervals as the depth increased. In 1802, Onslow Company discovered more log platforms, going down 93 feet. In 1849, the Truro Company drilled augur holes near the existing cavity. At the 154-foot level the drill went through a 5-inch oak platform and dropped another 12 inches farther until it struck another oak platform. Then it went through 22 inches of metal scrap, including an ancient watch chain! Oak timbers reappeared at a deeper depth, followed by another 22-inch layer of metal fragments. After the next layer of oak, they found 6 inches of spruce wood. Still other digs produced some scraps of parchment, with letters that looked like "vi" in hand script. At the 171-foot level an iron plate appeared. Coconut fibre, not native, was dated to be of 14th century origin! Then in 1909, the famous treasure hunter, Franklin D. Roosevelt many shares in Old Gold Salvage & Wrecking Company, which did more exploring at the Money Pit, but to no avail. More than $2 million has been expended on this Money Pit!


The Micmac Indians have a custom of preserving their history, and passing it along to the next generations, by their legends. This tradition continues today. Historians have studied these Legends. There are seventeen striking similarities between Glooscap and Prince Henry. Even the name "Glooscap" in Indian tongue, sounds like the combination of "Jarl Sinclair"! References to his personal features and qualities are too coincidental to be by accident. Until then, the Indians did not know how to fish with nets. Europeans were introduced to corn at this time in history. The large sailboat of Prince Henry was called "floating island" by the Indians. A quotation from the Micmac legends follow:
"Kuloskap was the first,
First and greatest,
To come into our land -
Into Nova Scotia, Canada,
Into Maine, into Wabanaki,
The land of sunrise, or Light.
Thus it was Kuloskap the Great
Made man: He took his arrows
And shot a tree, the ash,
Known as the basket-tree.
From the hole made by the arrow
Came forth new forms, and these
Were the first of human kind.
And so the Lord gave them a name
Meaning "those born from trees".
Kuloskap the Lord of Light
Made all the animals.
First he created
All of giant size;
Such was the beginning."
(Page 50, "Kuloskap the Master")

New England

In the springtime, the European explorers loaded up in their ships and traveled southward, perhaps carried by a northeaster, to the New England Coast, just north of Boston. Perhaps their southward voyage was planned, seeking more evidence of the peacefulness of this "rich and populous land".

Evidence indicates they travelled up the Merrimack River to Stony Brook, which they followed as far as possible. The party landed and explored this new land, meeting peacefully with the Algonquin Indians. To the west they could see a hilltop, from which the Indians may have sent smoke signals.

[In the next issue of this Newsletter, we will describe an archaeological landmark left by Prince Henry.]

Be a "Prince Henry Founder"!

Your involvement can make a big difference. Help us celebrate the 600th anniversary in a significant manner. A replica ship is dependant upon financial help during the next several weeks. Time is critically short before 1998. Please send your check today for $500. Thanks.
Clan Sinclair .
Last update: 99/06/20 11:37:04