[Clan Sinclair]
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Are we a Highland Clan?

From: "Privateers" <>
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 10:10:14 +0100

The single royal rival of medieval English kings in the Britain lay in the Lion of the North. The kings of the Scots were the heirs to a line of more than 100 royal forebears, rulers of a society unconquered by invaders. Rival insistences for land and power dictated about 1300 onward relations between the two kingdoms in Britain in the north of Britain. These claims energized sporadic war for almost 400 years.

After the rough definitions of both kingdoms in the 9th century, Anglo-Scottish relations rested on an equalization between an English wish to bring Scotland into its national trajectory, and Scottish territorial initiatives in northen England. These aspirations had by the 11th century encouraged Scots expansion from its heartland. north of the Forth. The annexation of Strathclyde and of the English settlements Lothian identified Scotland as an aggressor scheming for Cumbria and Northumberland. After 1058, Scotland, unlike the other Celtic kingdoms, was ruled by a single royal dynasty; the Canmores cast aside other claimants and moved from being kings of a boisterous federation to be dominators. Kings of the Scots territory.

The Normans recognized this situation and there was no Norman conquest of Scotland. Instead the Norman kings sought to increase their influence with the Canmores. David I (1124 1153), as brother-in-law and vassal of Henry I of England, was part of the Anglo-Norman world. The politics and culture of twelfth century Scotland were transformed by the arrival of the personnel and practices of Norman nobility, church, government, and trade, If change was not entirely peaceful, in Scotland it did not sweep away native power.

The Canmores used the new techniques of war and administration to increase central authority. King David I, although influenced heavily by their powerful neighbour did not became vassal rulers nor did his successors; from 1124 to 1 286, designs on northern England were still pursued and English claims to be lords of Scotland still resisted.

In the last decades of the 13th century, at the end of the Canmore dynasty and Edward I of England's search for real influence in Scotland combined to sweep away the balance between English claims and Scottish independence. From 1296 until 1560 war was the normal state of relations between the two kingdoms.

English aims varied between the destruction of the Scottish kingdom and its reduction to a vassal-state. The greatest efforts to achieve these goals came in the half-century up to 1346, but claims to overlordship were never abandoned. English kings continued to press these claims and from 1544 union based on war was revived in the 'Rough Wooing' of Scotland by Henry VIII.

The demands of a war for survival shaped late medieval Scotland. The language of resistance to Edward I and his heirs stressed the existence of Scotland as a community whose rights were under threat. The usurpation of Robert the Bruce 1306 harnessed effective royal leadership to this sense of grievance. Bruce's military success against English forces was exploited to create a bond between his kingship nd the aristocratic community. This was cemented by the rise of Anglo-Normand families. The Bruce family, now kings in Scotland, were Anglo-Norman. The local Celt nobles had been displaced one by one by Anglo-Normans. They replaced the local aristocrats at the edges of Royal authority. At the unruly areas became established the family St. Clair.

If we look at a Norman expansion map that earlier marges of the Norman Kingdom were occupied by fortified towns with the name of St. Clair. Sustained war in Scotland from 1329 on blunted the power of the king and increased the power of the local lords. I have become more and more to believe that Sinclair was the title used for the guardians for the edges of the Norman Empire. One of those Sinclairs who can trace their ancestry directly back to the Sinclairs of Caithness may be directly related. This theory could account for the unrelated Sinclairs of Argyle. The connection between Roslyn and the Jarldom of Orkney would show a man, Prince Henry, serving two masters: the King of Norway and the Anglo-Norman Scots. We find that on the southern end of modern day Germany strong Sinkler influence. In the middle ages, the original basket hilt sword was developed in this area— it is called a Sinclair.

Are we a Highland Clan? What is a Highland Clan?



A Travellers History of Scotland - Andrew Fisher (The Windrush Press 2nd Edition 1997)

Home Under the Clans - George Way of Plean (Harper Collins, Glasgow 1998)

Europe, A History - Norman Davis (BCA, Oxford 1996)

Violence, Custom and Law: The Anglo-Scottish borderlands in the later middle ages - Cynthia Jane Nevell (Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 1998)

Micropedia British History - Professor Eric Evans (Paragon, Bath 1999)

Micropedia Scottish History - Dr James Mackey (Paragon, Bath 1999)

Hutchison Illustrated British History - Various (Helicon, Oxford 1995)

The Lion in the North - John Prebble (Penguin, London 1973)

The Middle Ages - H.R. Hoyn (Thames and Hudson, London 1989)

State Paper Office - State Papers, Scotland Inc. Bords, Transcripts

Anglo-Scottish Relations 1174-1328 - E.L.F.G Stones (Oxford University Press, Oxford 1965)

The Asloan Manuscript Ed. -W. A. Craigie, 2 Volumes (Scottish Text Society, New Series, 1923-24)

Normandy [historical Normandy]

[Rouen Cathedral]
[The Nave]
The name Sinclair derives from the hermit Saint Clair, who lived on the edge of what is now Normandy. We are not descended from him.

[Rollo the Viking] We are descended from Rollo the Viking, who first formally obtained the territory now known as Normandy from the King of France.

Chronology of Vikings in France

From: "Privateers" <>
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 1999 17:27:26 +0100

The following are the major dates in their plaguing of the Frankish Kingdom:
800Channel coast invaded by Vikings.
820Seine valley laid waste by Vikings.
836Christians persecuted in the Contentin region.
858Bayeux devastated by the Vikings.
875Further persecution in the West.
885Paris beseiged by Vikings
911Treaty of St-Clair-sur-Epte: Rollo became the first Duke of Normandy.
912Rollo baptised in Rouen.
[Rollo] Rollo is always depicted being a large man of red hair and beard. Normandy was in fact an independant dukedom. William Longsword] Under William Longsword the dukedom took on its final form with the unification of the Avranchin and the Contentin.
10-11CConsolidation of ducal powers. Restoration of the abbeys. Creation of new monasteries.
1027Birth of William, the future conqueror of England, at Falaise.
1066Invasion of England by William, King of France threatened by his vassal, the Duke of Normandy, now also King of England.
1087Death of William the Conqueror in Rouen.
Normandy was not fully recovered by the French Crown until 1469, when the Ducal Seal, when Charles of France, the last Duke of Normandy, recognised by the French Crown, was dispossessed by the Dukedom.
Our Queen today still remains the Duke of Normandy in many British eyes.


Les Andelys and towns named St. Clair

From: "Privateers" <>
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 1999 07:55:15 +0100

>Isn't les Andelys on the Seine, not the Epte?

From the ruin the Seine is on one hand, 2/3 m away, Epte on the other. The ruin stands about 1000 meters from the Seine; it is clearly visible from the Epte.

From: "Privateers" <>
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 1999 12:24:14 +0100

[Chateau Gaillaird] As you cross the Epte river, there are magnificent ruins of the fortress of Andelys. This is the gateway to Normandy. It was in this fortress that Richard Coeur de Lion was held captive [actually, Richard built it]. A fortified castle, which apparently predates the arrival of Saint Clair at Cherbourg in Normandie. Coutintin he arrived in approximately 867.

There are six towns with the name simply "St. Clair" in France. There is a "Mount St. Clair" in the south of France near Montpelier. There is "St. Clair-d'Arcey" in the Eure. There is a "St. Clair d'Halouze" in Calvados (Fine apple brandy is produced in this region of Normandy...). There is a "St. Clair de la Toure" in the mountains near Chanbery. There is a "Saint Clair de Marque" in Savoi. There is a "St. Clair de Rome". There is a "Sinclair-sur-Jalaure". There is a "St. Clair sur L'Elle". There is a "St. Clair sous Monts".


The Borders of Normandy

From: "Privateers" <>
Date: Sun, 6 Jun 1999 22:40:03 +0100

Normandy is a not a prefecture, The Normand prefecture adjacent to the Epte is L'Eure; across the river it is Val-D'Oise, it is a region. Peculiarly the people of Normandie prefer to call them selves Normands; they do not consider themselves as French. In St Clair-sur-Epte the people call themselves French, not Normand. When Rollo placed his hands in the hands of the French King to ratify the boundary the Epte formed the boundary North of the Seine and the Avre south. Just before the Epte there is a town, Bordeaux St Clair-sur-Epte just on the Normand side. Immediately after the river there is an imposing fortress and church that defended France from Normandie.
From: "Privateers" <>
Date: Sun, 6 Jun 1999 23:29:55 +0100

Today is a fete in France. D-Day.

For my Canadian cousins I came back to London via Dieppe the monument to the Hamilton Light Infantry stand proudly on the Beach and states if you will excuse my translation
"To the two hundred and seventy eight officers and men of the Hamilton Light Infantry who died crossing the beach and esplanade so that we may live free"
The matches for fire lighting now in Normandie have the statement on them my translation
"With eternal thanks for the unique military genius of the Allied forces who landed on our beaches and gave us what France treasures most our Freedom"
The boxes bear British, American and Canadian flags.

St Clair sur Epte is not in Normandy it is in the Isle de France.

The Norman Epic

From: "Privateers" <>
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 10:14:14 +0100

Several different kinds of expeditions emphasise the "Norman epic": the first of these were warlike reconnaissances led by the Vikings along all the sea routes of the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Whenever these Northmen settled down, they created new states such as Normandy. The achievements of Normans of Normandy: the founding of kingdoms in the 11C and 12C then, after the Hundred Years War, discoveries (or rediscoveries) of lands accompanied by attempts at colonisation which were more or less successful.
  1. 1066 Conquest of England by William of Normandy
  2. 1042-1194 Norman kingdom of Sicily founded by the descendants of Tancrede de Hauteville.
  3. 1099 Principality established near Antioch during the First Crusade by Bohemond. son of Robert Guiscard. whose descendants remained until 1287.
  4. 1364 Little Dieppe (Petit Dieppe) on the coast of Guinea (now Sierra Leone) founded by men from Dieppe

    Norman Discoveries

  5. 1402 Jean de Bethencourt, of the Caux Region goes in search of adventure and becomes King of the Canary Islands but soon codes the islands to the King of Castile.
  6. 1503 Paulmier do Gonneville, gentleman of Honfleur. reaches Brazil in the Espoir.
  7. 1506 Jean Denis, sailor from Hornfleur, explores the mouth of the St Lawrence preparing the way for Jacques Cartier.
  8. 1524 Leaving Dieppe. in the caravel La Dauphine. the French Florentine Verrazano, Navigator to Francois I. reconnoitres New France and discovers the site of New York, which he names Land of Angouleme.
  9. 1555 Admiral de Villegaignos sets up a colony of Huguenots from Le Havre on an island in the bay of Rio do Janeiro but they are drives away by the Portuguese.
  10. 1563 Led by Rene do Ia Laudonniere, colonies of Protestants from Le Havre and Dieppe settle in Florida and found Fort Caroline but are massacred by the Spaniards.
  11. 1608 Samuel Champlain, Dieppe shipbuilder, leaves Honfleur to found Quebec.
  12. 1635 Pierre Belain of Esnambuc takes possession of Martinique in the name of the King of Prance; the colonisation of Guadeloupe follows soon after.
  13. 1682 Cavelier de La Salle, of Rouen after reconnoitring the site of Chicago, sails down the Mississippi river and takes possession of Louisiana.
Best Regards to the Quarterman's ( spelt it correctly once)


Les Andelys

[les Andelys] From: "Spirit One Email" <>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 19:40:17 -0700

I have been reading the description of Richard the Lionhearted's imprisonment in the book Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Four Kings by Amy Kelly. This gives almost a day by day discription of the events and at no time was Richard in French territory. Richard was moved from Trifels to Hagenau. Then Emperor Henry Hohenstaufen sent for him to be brought to Worms. There followed a long negotiations that involved many countries, the Pope and even Eleanor, Richard's mother came.

``All wept. Henry of Hohenstaufen condescended grandly; the captive's fetters were unloosed; the ransom was conveyed; the hostages were given over, among them the Archbishop of Rouen, who had been the queen's stay in so many crises, her protector on so many journeyings; and the queen herself, worn with labor and anguish, fell weeping into the arms of Coeur-de-Lion. She wa, as she had sritten to Pope Celestine, "worn to a skeleton, a mere thing of skin and bones, the sap consumed in her veins, tears all but dried in the fountains of her eyes.' All the bystanders let their tears flow at the spectacle of this aged woman, the most astute and venerable soverign in Europe, still at seventy-two a figure of significance in the counsels of men, raining her tears on the bosom of her glorious son. There may have been in that concourse some patriarcal bishops who remembered her as the young Queen of France getting herself and her baggage wains over the Rhine in this very city of Minz a half-century before on her way to the Holy Land, for she too had been signed with the cross; for the hyounger generation the mere sight of her would evoke the airs of troubgadours' and minnesingers' sons that had kept her name alive in all the intervening time with malice or with praise.''

``The queen and her son accepted the invitation of the Bishop of Cologne to spend the end of the week in the capital of his diocese on their way down the Rhine to the sea. In Cologne the prelate did hs best with suptuous banquets and valley wines.....From is related that after Richard had passed out of Swabia, Henry Hohenstaufen, stimulated anew by pressures from Philip of France, repented him of having so lightly delivered his captive and sent followers to pursue and overtake him; and that Philip cooperated in this plan by placing ships in the Channel to intercept the royal party. However this may have been, the king and queen avoided all these traps and came at last to Antwerp.....Richard's admiral, Stephen of Turnham, received the travelers on the famous ship Trenchemer.....they made their way among the islands by day.....and by night for greater comfort and security lay upon a great galley that came out from Rye. On March 12 ...the ships bore into the harbor of Sandwich.''

From: "Privateers" <>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 09:18:04 +0100


You are correct my hurried translation was in error. "Au somme d'une falaise abrupte se dressent les ruines de Chateau-Galliard, forteresse edifiee par Richard Coeur de Lion au retour de croisade (1196-1197)."
Guide de La Route Selection de Reader's Digest S.A Paris 1997

[At the summit of a sheer cliff rise the ruins of Castle Petulant, fortress built by Richard Lionheart on return from crusade (1196-1197).

See also -jsq]
So he was never in France at that time. But then in 1196 he returns to build a fortress upon a peerless height that should surpass anything yet seen in Europe. A very mountain of defiance to obstruct the valley of the Seine by river and by road. 2/3 of the distance, as the crow flies from Paris to the sea, the river described a deep loop, washing the chalky cliffs of an abrupt eminence that offered a panoramic survey of the whole region to its remote horizons. This height, the "Rock of Andelys," had not escaped the appraising eye of Philip, but it loomed a few leagues beyond his reach.

The Angevin genius for building stirred mightly in Coeur-de-Lion as he reconnoitered this matchless site. From the days of his earliest memory he had prowled about the massy ancient piles reared by Foulques the Black, William the Conqueror, Henry Beauclerc, Geoffrey the Fair and Henry Fitz-Empress (Richard's father) on the heights of Loches, Falaise, Chinon, and many another dominating lookout. In the Latin Kingdom he had explored with Amazement and delight the newest military construction of the TEMPLARS and hospitallers at least in Margab and Acre, Ramleh and Ascalon.

(info on the construction)
"Behold," exclaimed the architect king to his amazed liege men at the end of 1196. "how fair my daughter has grown in a single year." With raillery he named the pile "Chateau Gaillard. Saucy Castle, or Petulant Castle, it has been called, though the English hardly renders the mocking challenge of the French.
The town of Gisors is nearby and this is said about it. ``Gisors, where once the vast elm had marked the place of parley between Capetian kings and the Norman dukes.''

Last changed: 00/05/28 15:53:47 [Clan Sinclair]