(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Children's Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Caithness family history"

PROVO. UTAH 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2010 with funding from 
Brigham Young University 



http://www.archive.org/details/caithnessfamilyhOObyuhend 



NOTES ON 
CAITHNESS FAMILY HISTORY 



'13^4:^ 



CAITHNESS 

FAMILY HISTORY 



By JOHN HENDERSON, W.S. 




EDINBURGH: DAVID DOUGLAS 

MDCCCLXXXIV 



THE LIBRARY 

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY 
PROVO, UTAH 



CONTENTS. 



Editor's Note, 
Biographical Sketch, 
Author's PRErACE, . 
Introddction, 

Brodies, 

Bruce of Ham, 

Bruce of Hastiorow and Seater, 

Bruce of Ltth, 

Bruce of Stanstill, 

Budge of Toftingall, 

Caithness, Earls of, 

Caldbr of Achingale and Newton, 

Calder of Ltnegar, 

Calder of Strath, . 

Campbells of Quotcrook, Lochend, Castlehill, 

COGHILL OP THAT IlK, 

Cunningham of Brownhill, etc., 
Davidson of Achingills and Buckies, etc., 
Doull of Thuster, .... 
Dunbar" of Hempriggs, 
Dunbar of Northfield and Bowermadden, 



XIX 

xxi 

308 
267 
273 
270 
262 
181 
1 
215 
209 
217 
275 
253 
201 
301 
324 
219 



VI 



CONTENTS. 



Gibsons, 

Gordon of Swiney, . 

GUNNS, 

Henderson of Achalibster and Westerdale, 

Henderson of Nottingham and Gersat, 

Henderson of Stemster, 

Innes of Sandside, . 

Innes op Thursater, etc., 

Kennedy of Stroma, 

Mansons, 

Manson-Sinclair of Bridgend, 

Mowat of Brabstermyre and Swinzie, 

Mowat of Buchollie, 

Murray of Clairden and Castlehill, 

Murray of Pennyland, 

NiCOLSON OF Shebster, 

Oswalds, .... 

Sinclair of Achinoale and Newton, 

Sinclair op Assery, 

Sinclair of Barrock, 

Sinclair of Borlum and Thura, . 

Sinclair of Brabsterdorran, 

Sinclair of Dun, 

Sinclair of Dunbeath and Latheron, 

Sinclair op Ddrran, 

Sinclair of Forss, . 

Sinclair of Freswick, 

Sinclair op Geise, . 

Sinclair of Greenland and Rattar, 



PAGE 

304 
326 
319 

288 



245 

238 

328 

312 

148 

178 

173 

196 

189 

317 

232 

142 

31 

97 

255 

125 

107 

83 

75 

128 

51 

43 

44 



CONTENTS 

Sinclair of Hot and Oldfield, . 

Sinclair of Kirk and Mtrelandhorn 

Sinclair op Ltbster, 

Sinclair of Ltbster, Reay, 

Sinclair of Met, 

Sinclair of Murkle, 

Sinclair of Olrio, . 

Sinclair of Scotscalder, 

Sinclair of Southdun, 

Sinclair of Stemstbr and Donbeath, 

Sinclair of Stirkoke, 

Sinclair of Ulbster, 

Sinclair Sutherland op Brabster, 

Sinclair Sutherland of Swinzie, . 

St. Clair, Major-General Arthur, 

Sutherland of Forsb, 

Sutherland of Langwell, . 

Sutherland of Wester, 

Tatlor op Thura, . 

Traill of Castlehill and Rattar, 

Williamson of Achorlie and Banniskiek, 

List of Heritors and Wadsetters, 



PAGE 

146 

330 

36 

144 

60 

24 

80 

39 

120 

14 

103 

67 

93 

171 

334 

151 

163 

332 



295 
339 



EDITOR'S NOTE. 

These notes on Caithness Family History are given 
to the public as left by the author, and the Editor 
desires to thank those friends who, by their advice, have 
aided in the preparation of the book for the press. 

The Editor also wishes gratefully to acknowledge the 
courtesy of the Earl of Caithness in permitting the use 
of the arms of his ancestor, George, fourth Earl of Caith- 
ness, and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Graham, daughter of 
the Earl of Montrose, copied from an old carving in 
Barrogill Castle, which form the vignette on the title- 
page ; and the valuable assistance most kindly rendered 
by Mr. Burnett, Lyon King of Arms, in revising the work, 
and enricliing it with notes {printed within brackets), 
which elucidate or confirm the text. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 

It may not be considered inappropriate to preface the 
" Notes of Caithness Family History " now pubhshed by 
a brief sketch of their author. 

John Henderson was descended from the Brabster- 
dorran branch of the Caithness Hendersons. Of his 
grandfather's three sons, two were, Kke himself, long and 
intimately associated with the public business of their 
native county. 

Captam John Henderson, the eldest of the brothers, 
after serving in the Caithness Fencibles during the Irish 
Rebellion, spent his later years at Castlegreen, Thurso, 
which he built. He died there in 1828, aged sixty-nine. 
He was for many years factor on the Ulbster estates, and 
was the first agent in Thurso for the Commercial Bank of 
Scotland. In 1812 he published a " General View of the 
Agriculture of Caithness," the first family contribution 
to the annals of the county, and a work of considerable 
interest. He married Jane, daughter of Captain WiUiam 
Maclean of the 40th Regiment, and his wdfe, Mary, 
daughter of John Sutherland of Forse. The only sur- 



Xll BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 

vivor of their family is Major-General William Hender- 
son, E..A. 

William, the second brother, and father of the subject 
of this notice, after an extended legal practice in Thurso, 
and also acting as factor on many estates in the county, 
was appointed Sheriff-Substitute of Caithness, an office 
which he held vmtil his death in 1826, aged fifty- eight. 
He was proprietor of the estate of Scotscalder, which 
he bought from Captain Balfour. He married Anne, 
daughter of Patrick Brodie, Esq. Of four deceased sons 
of their large family, the eldest, Dr. Patrick, was the 
author of an unpublished " History of Caithness," and 
several other works. Jphn was the second son. Alex- 
ander, the third, succeeded his uncle. Captain John, as 
agent for the Commercial Bank in Thurso. The fourth, 
Dr. William, was a distinguished physician and Professor 
of General Pathology in the University of Edinburgh. 

James, the third of the brothers, was Captain in the 
Ross-shire Militia. He married Eliza, daughter of Sir 
Edmund Lacon, Bart., who, with their only child, pre- 
deceased him. He died in 1825, aged fifty-five. 

John Henderson was born in the old house of Ormlie, 
near Thurso, on the 21st December 1800. He received 
his early education in his native town, and subsequently 
attended Tain Academy, concluding his academical career 
at the University of Aberdeen. On leaving Aberdeen he 
served his apprenticeship in the office of Mr. Inghs, W.S., 
and after completing his legal studies, was admitted Writer 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. Xlll 

to the Signet in 1824. Circumstances led him to decide 
upon commencing business in Wick, where he settled in 
1828. He there received the appointment of Procurator- 
Fiscal, which he retained until his removal to Thurso in 
1852. He afterwards held all the important county 
appointments, and in addition to these a large number of 
factorships. His resignation of the Freswick factorship 
in 1879 terminated a business connection between the 
proprietors of these estates and his famUy of more than 
sixty years. And at different periods Mr. Henderson 
was also factor on the Hempriggs, Thrumster, Forse, 
Brabster, Lochend, Forss, and Rattar estates. 

In 1852 he removed to Thurso to take up, on his 
brother Alexander's retirement, the agency of the Com- 
mercial Bank, which he held until his death. He was 
for many years an elder in the parish church of Thurso, 
and was an attached but not sectarian member of the 
Church of Scotland. 

In 1829 he married his cousin, Barbara, daughter of 
WUHam Henderson, Esq., Edinburgh, and sister of John 
Henderson, the first Queen's Remembrancer. She was 
in all respects worthy of her husband, and her death, in 
1859, threw an abiding shadow over his remaining years. 

During his long life Mr. Henderson had seen many 
and great changes pass over the community to which he 
belonged. The world into which he was born was, he 
used to say, a different one from that of his later years. 

As a boy he had worshipped in the ancient and now 



XIV BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 

ruined parish church of St. Peter, and remembered its 
curiously painted wood-work and quaint galleries and 
pews; and he had heard the "dead-bells" tolled before 
the coffin, as funerals passed down to the old churchyard. 
Little of the New Town of Thurso was then built, and 
thatch prevailed more than slates on the roofs of the 
houses which did exist. In these days the citizens' cows 
grazed on the " common " pasture-ground ; were gathered 
in the evening on the " Clingrag " (or Lingering) Hill, and 
conducted collectively to the entrance of the main street, 
whence each animal sedately took her way to her own 
place of abode. He remembei'ed the annual game of 
"knotty," which took place on New- Year's day on the 
sands of Thurso, below the long "links," which have now 
disappeared ; the regularly I'ecurring faction fights on the 
market-days at wliich he and his companions delightedly 
" assisted " ; and the cock-fights which the schoolboys 
were encouraged to promote, the winning bird being 
always considered a perquisite of the Master. He recol- 
lected the arrival of the news of the battle of Salamanca, 
and other victories of the Peninsular war. These were 
events of moment to Caithness wives and mothers, for 
above two thousand Caithness recruits were " attested " 
during that period, and the Williamsons, Inneses, and 
Davidsons lost more than one gallant soldier-son at 
Fuentes de Onoro, — the storming of Ciudad Rodrigo ; Sala- 
manca, and the siege of Burgos. He used to tell of the 
rejoicings for the battle of Waterloo, when a Thurso 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. XV 

bailie, who had vowed never to change his wig while 
Bonaparte retained power, came down from his house, 
and preceded by the town-piper, and followed by his 
maid-servant bearing a new wig under her apron, marched 
three times round the bon-fire in MacDonald Square, and 
at the end of the last circuit threw the time-honoured 
head-gear into the flames. 

His journey ings to and from his father's house and 
Edinburgh were chiefly performed on board the coasting 
vessels, which were then the most available means of 
communication between North and South. The fort- 
night's voyage between Thurso and Leith was sometimes 
exceeded by days, or even weeks ; and on one occasion, 
in consequence of an unusually prolonged detention, the 
passengers and crew of the " John o' Groat " were con- 
strained to consume the gifts of Caithness geese, and 
other Christmas fare, which were on their way from 
" country cousins " to expectant, but disappointed reci- 
pients in the Scottish capital. 

During his later years Mr. Henderson gradually re- 
signed the various appointments which he had retained 
during his residence in Thurso, except the bank agency ; 
and his well-earned time of comparative rest was spent 
in the retirement of his much-loved home at Ormhe. 
During those years the volume of " Notes," which had 
been gradually growing beneath his hand, received many 
additions. Its compilation had long afforded him an 
object of interest external to the engrossing cares of 



XVI BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. 

business, and the unwearied trouble he took in verifying 
every detail, and inserting only what he believed to be 
absolutely accurate, was characteristic. 

In the spring of 1883 his health began to fail, and 
gradiially increasing illness terminated in his death on 
the 25 th of August of the same year. 

To one who best knew him in the daily intercourse of 
a home-life full of sacred memories, it is not easy to 
estimate, as a whole, such a life as his. The worthy 
inheritor of a name associated with just, honourable, and 
upright lives, his public duties were discharged with 
unvarying faithfulness and pvmctuality. In his many 
factorships he always knew how to combine the interests 
of his clients with the well-being of the tenantry. A 
singular youthfulness, purity, and guUelessness of nature 
remained with him throughout his life, a clear and strong 
intellect enabled him to grasp and master every subject 
to which he applied himself, and an earnest love of truth 
and thirst after knowledge led to an unceasing pursuit 
of both. Like most men of well-balanced character, he 
had a strong sense of humour. His judgment of men and 
things was ever sound, calm, just, and charitable, and in 
his nature assumption and self-seeking found no place. 

The words of one who knew him well may most fitly 
close this brief record of his life : — " His sterling, reliable 
character, his manly straight-forward way of doing busi- 
ness, his quiet but firm manner, his kindly consideration 
for many a poor man struggling with difficulties, gained 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. xvil 

for him, as a business man, a place wliich business men 
rarely attain to in the hearts of the people. ... As one 
who felt it a privilege to know and love him, I would 
hke to pay a tribute to his memory by pointing out, what 
was indeed apparent to all, that the singular success of 
his career was due not merely to his natural disposition 
and manner, but to what the grace of God had made him 
as a Christian man. He had learned the secret of doing 
his work in all the variety of his offices ' as to the Lord, 
and not to man ; ' and on this, as the foundation prin- 
ciple of all his deahngs with men, was built a business 
Hfe rarely equalled in its usefulness. . . . His death was, 
like his life, a humble and unquestioning profession of his 
faith in his Redeemer. He had ' finished his com'se,' he 
had ' kept the faith ; ' and when death came, it came to 
one who, through the grace of God preparing him for it, 
had nothing to do but to die." 

Fear no more the heat o' the sun, 

Or the furious wiuter's rages, 
Thou thy worldly task hast done, 

Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages. 



A. B. H. 



Ormlib Lodge, Thurso, 
February 5th, 1884. 



AUTHOR'S PREFACE. 

It may be proper to state that the object I have 
had in view in the following Notes has not been to 
collect materials for a County Genealogy brought down 
to the present time, but to preserve notices, now 
generally forgotten, of the older families connected 
with the County, and now, in many instances, extinct. 
The Notes were commenced many years ago, and have 
been continued as opportunities of adding to them 
occurred, and every care has been taken to render them 
accurate, the sources of information having been County 
and other records, title-deeds of landed property, and, 
as far as possible, family documents. The materials 
here collected may be of use to future inquu-ers. 

JOHN HENDERSON. 

Ormlie Lodge, 
Thurso, -1882. 



INTRODUCTION. 

The Earldom of Caithness, although said to be 
traditionally of great antiquity, does not appear on 
record until 1129, in which year Mac William, desig- 
nated Earl of Caithness, occurs in a charter by King ' 
David I. to the Monastery of Dunfermline. From the 
period of this Earl's death in 1160, down to 1455, the 
dignity was held by seven different Earls, the last of 
whom, Sir George Crichton, Lord High Admiral, was 
created Earl of Caithness in 1450. Upon his death in 
1455, the earldom was granted to William St. Clair, 
Earl of Orkney, by whose hneal descendants it is stUl 
enjoyed. 

What territorial rights in the county were possessed 
by the Caithness Earls before the St. Clairs, it is difficidt 
to say, but it is improbable that the repeated grants of 
the earldom by the Crown carried nothing except the 
barren dignity, and it is certain that abovit 1373 David 
Stewart, Earl of Strathearne and Caithness, obtained 
from his father. King Robert ii., the castle of Braal and 
lands thereof; and that in 1452 Sir George Crichton, 



xxu INTRODUCTION. 

the eighth Earl, obtained from James ii. the lands of 
Braal, Dunbeath, Latheronwheel, and Watten. 

Wilham St. Clair's charter from James ii. in 1455 
conveyed to him generally " Commitatum nostrum de 
Caithness cum titulis de Carnoch et Eminavir cum perti- 
nentiis etaliis pertinentiis dicti commitatus," and the 
estate so granted was declared to be a free barony. 

In 1476 James lii. granted to Wilham St. Clair, 
second Earl of this family, a charter of the lands of the 
earldom, on the resignation of his father, with the 
patronage of the Hospital or Church of St. Magnus, 
at Spittal. A hospital, of what nature is unknown, was 
connected with this church, of which considerable rviins, 
together with its cemetery, still remain. The cemetery 
was the burial-place of the Clan Gimn. The patronage 
was retained by the Caithness family until at least as 
late as 1644, when George, Earl of Caithness, was served 
heir therein to his father, John, Master of Berriedale. The 
settlement of the earldom by the first Earl was no more 
than a common conveyance of the lands, and yet the 
dignity as well as the estate was enjoyed by his third 
son, although the title is not even mentioned, and no 
new creation by patent was issued, and both descended 
to his heirs. On the resignation of his grandson, George, 
a new Crown charter was granted to John, his eldest 
son, by which the dignity was limited to heirs-male, to 
the exclusion of heirs-general. 

In 1527 William, eldest son of John, third Earl, 



INTEODUCTION. xxni 

obtained a Crown charter of Mui'kle, Thurso, and 
adjacent lands. Murkle probably formed part of the 
earldom before the accession of the St. Claii's, as John, 
an Earl of Caithness in 1297, there swore fealty to King 
Edward I. 

The lands of the earldom were undoubtedly greatly 
extended by the family of St. Clair, and included, at one 
period, either in property or superiority, the larger por- 
tion of the county. The prosperity of the earldom reached 
its climax under George, the fourth Earl, and its decline 
commenced through the improvidence of his grandson 
and successor, George, fifth Earl. In the time of his great- 
grandson, George, sixth Earl, the estates had become so 
burdened with debt that he sold them in 1672 to his 
principal creditor, Lord Glenorchy, and by him and his 
successors all that remained of the family possessions was 
sold, — the then holders of many of the wadsets, with 
which the earldom was burdened, having become pur- 
chasers of the several lands possessed by them. In 1719 
the Earl of Breadalbane sold to John Sinclair of Ulbster 
his remaining claims on and rights in the estates of the 
Caithness family, and Ulbster thereafter sold one-half of 
his purchase to Sir James Sinclair of Dunbeath. 

George Sinclair of Keiss, the seventh Earl, had a 
very small estate, and none of the families of Murkle, 
Rattar, and Mey, to which the succession to the title 
opened successively after the death of the seventh Earl, 
had large patrimonial possessions. The barony of Mey 



Xxiv INTRODUCTION. 

was, in 1566, acquired from the Bishop of Caithness by 
the then Earl of Caithness. 

It has been considered unnecessary to trace the an- 
cestry of the family of St. Clair from the period of the 
Norman Baron, who obtained Boalyn from King David I., 
and these notes are confined to the descendants of WUliam 
of Roslyn, third Earl of Orkney and first of Caithness. 
William, only son of his first marriage, was the ancestor 
of the family of Lords Newburgh and Sinclair, and his 
son Henry was, in 1488-89, by a special and singular 
Act of Parliament, declared to be " chief of his blood." 
This family had the lands of Dysart and Ravensheugh in 
Fife, and is now represented, m the female line, by Mr. 
Anstruther Thomson of Charlton, and the Earl of E,oslyn, 
the male line having ended in the person of John, seventh 
Lord Sinclair, who died in 1676. The male line of Sir 
Oliver of Boslyn, eldest son of Earl William's second 
marriage, terminated in 1778, on the death of William 
Sinclair, then of Roslyn, and the representation of the 
family is claimed by the Chevalier Enrico Ciccopieri, a 
major in the Italian service. The chevaher has been 
served by the Sheriff of Chancery heir of hne of Colonel 
James St. Clair, who died in 1807, since which time the 
representation had been ur abeyance. Both the elder 
branches of St. Clair of Roslyn having thus failed, in the 
male line, the representation is undoubtedly vested in 
tlie present Earl of Caithness. 

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries land- 



INTRODUCTION. XXV 

holders of the name of Sinclair were numerous, both as 
proprietors and wadsetters. In Calder's History of 
Caithness it is said that the family of Sinclair of Dun 
came into Caithness in 1379 ; but no evidence has been 
discovered of any of the name of Sinclair having settled 
in the county until the accession to the earldom in 1456, 
of WiUiam, Earl of Orkney ; nor is there any trace of a 
Sinclair of Dun earlier than 1540. Between 1508 and 
1540 Dun was possessed by the family of Caldell or 
Calder. 

From an early period the Crown had been in use to 
grant lands, and casualties of superiority, such as non- 
entry and ward, to persons having neither residential nor 
family connection with the county ; but of these it is 
not proposed to take notice further than as they may 
throw light on its family history. 

From 1290 to 1350 the Federiths, a Morayshire 
family, held extensive possessions in Caithness. How 
these were acquired does not appear. Contemporary 
with them, and aUied by mai-riage, were the Chens or 
Cheynes, one of whom — styled in charters " Ranald 
Lord Chen " — obtained a grant from William Federith 
" of that Ilk," of a fourth part of Caithness, which was 
confirmed by David ii. The possessions of the Cheyne 
family were scattered over the various parishes in the 
county, and on the death of Eanald Cheyne, the one- 
half passed to the Sutherlands, afterwards of Duffus or 
" Dove-house," through the marriage of one of his two 
d 



XXVI INTRODUCTION. 

daughters and heiresses, to Nicolas, brother of the Earl 
of Sutherland ; and the remainder to the Keiths, after- 
wards Earls Marischall, by the marriage of the other 
daughter to John Keith of Inverruggie about 1380. In 
1538 William, Earl Marischal, got a Crown charter of 
Ackergill and the Tower thereof; while Berriedale and 
Old Wick fell to the Sutherlands. Ultunately the 
Caithness holdings of the DuflPus family with other 
lands were acquired by the Oliphants, by the marriage 
of William, then styled of Berriedale, second son of 
Laurence, first Lord Oliphant, to Christina, heiress of 
DufFus. 

The Inneses of Innes, another Morayshire family, claim 
to have had the " third rig in Caithness." Their his- 
torian, Forbes, supposes them to have acquired some part 
of their Caithness possessions as far back as 1260, in place 
of lands taken from them in Moray, and " given to the 
Kirk." Mr. Cosmo Innes, who edits Forbes's " Account 
of the Familie of Innes," says, however, that he had dis- 
covered no evidence of their possessions in Caithness 
previous to 1507. In that year a charter of Dunbeath, 
Reay, and Sandside was granted to Alexander Innes, son 
and heir of Alexander Innes of Innes, and these posses- 
sions were resigned in 1529 in favour of Alexander 
Sinclair of Stemster, grandson of the first Earl of Caith- 
ness. In 1541 and 1564 the family of Innes of Innes 
held heritable rights in Wick, Latheron, and Thurso, 
acquired from the Oliphants ; but they do not seem to 



INTEODUCTION. xxvn 

have been landholders in Caithness for any considerable 
period. Until comparatively recent dates there were 
several landholders of the name, aU believed to be of 
Morayshire extraction, such as the Inneses of Thursater 
and their collaterals ; the Inneses, wadsetters, of Oust, 
of SkaiU, and of Borrowstown ; and the late family of 
Innes of Sandside. 

The vei-y ancient family of the Muats, or Mowats, or 
de Monte alto, as they were named of old, occur as early 
as 1275, when William de Monte alto witnessed an 
agreement between Archibald, Bishof) of Caithness, and 
WiUiam, Earl of Sutherland, and they were connected 
with the county as landholders from at least the beginning 
of the fifteenth century. This appears from the fact that 
between 1406 and 1413 the Duke of Albany, as Regent 
of Scotland, confirmed to John Mowat a wadset of Fres- 
wick, granted to him by his father, William Mowat of 
Loscraggy. Down to 1661 the Mowats were proprietors 
of the estate of Freswick. 

The Earls of Ross appear to have had at a remote 
period land rights in Caithness, but the origin or extent 
of these has not been traced. There is an original Precept 
of Sasine, dated 24th October 1429, by Alexander, Earl 
of Ross, in favour of his sister, Mariota, and her husband, 
Alexander de Sutherland, granting to them, " omnes et 
singulas terras nostras Dominii de Dunbeth ; " and it is 
supposed to be the earliest writ extant concerning these 
lands. Alexander Sutherland of Dunbeath was long 



xxvm INTRODUCTION. 

believed by all Scottish genealogists to bave been tbe 
Master of Sutherland, the elder brother of John, third 
Earl, but in the Sutherland Peerage Case, m 1771, this 
was proved to be a mistake, his Will, made in 1456, hav- 
ing been discovered, and produced ; and it is probable 
that he was of the Thorboll branch ot the Sutherland 
family. Whatever may have been his descent, he was 
evidently a person of position and wealth ; and his 
daughter, Majory, having married William St. Clair, first 
Earl of Caithness, his connection with the county has 
been pei-petuated iu her descendants of that family. 

Nottingham, the residence of Sutherland of Forse, is 
the ancient Nothingham and Nodingham, and " Henry of 
Notliingham," a Canon of Caithness in 1272, was probably 
so styled from this place. In 1408 it came into the pos- 
session of the present family by grant from Mariot 
Cheyne, with consent of Andrew of Keith, her son, and 
Sutherland of Forse is thus the oldest of the existing 
county families. 

At one period the Earls of Sutherland held the follow- 
ing lands which belonged to the bishopric, namely, 
Stemster (Reay), half of Brims, Forss, and BaiUie, Lyth- 
more, two-thirds of Oust, Dorrary, Myremeikle, Scrab- 
ster, Wick, and Papego, South and North Kilimster, 
Windless, Myrelandhorn, Ulgrunbeg and Ulgrimore, 
Halkirk, Easterdale, Westerdale, Tormsdale, Submin- 
ster, Deren, Alterwall, Stanstill. 

Much property now in the hands of the landholders of 



INTRODUCTION. XXIX 

Caithness belonged at one period to the Bishopric, and 
was feued out in portions from time to time by various 
Bishops and other church functionaries to the Earls of 
Sutherland of Caithness and others. In 1550 Bishop 
Robert Stuart granted to John, Earl of Sutherland, the 
hereditary baihary of the possessions of the Bishopric ; 
and in 1557 and 1559 Bishop Robert gave him a grant of 
the lands of Forss, Bailie, and Stemster, Lythmore, Wick, 
South and North KUimster, and Winless ; Myrelandhorn, 
Scrabster, and fortalice thereof ; Skaill, Dorrary, Ulgrun- 
beg, and Ulgrimore ; Halkirk, Subminster, Tormsdale, 
Deren, Alterwall, Stanstill, Brims, and Oust, etc. The 
Earl and his heirs were also appointed Hereditary Con- 
stables of the Castle of Scrabster and the Palace of 
Dornoch, " situated among the wild and uncivilised Scots, 
and in a wintry region." In 1201 Bishop John occupied 
the Palace of Scrabster, and in 1560 John, Earl of Suther- 
land, there signed a charter to the first Sinclair of Forss 
of the lands of Forss and Bailie, formerly part of the 
bishopric. 

Budge of Toftingall dates from at least as far back as 
1503, and the Murray s of Pennyland from the same cen- 
tury. Both families are now united and were represented 
by the late Sh Patrick Murray Threipland Budge. The 
Sinclairs of Forss have possessed Forss and Baillie since 
the year 1560. 

Much of the information given in these Notes regard- 
the Earls of the Sinclair line is to be found in the works 



XXX INTRODUCTION. 

of Douglas and other genealogists, but, without repetition 
from these sources, the hnes of descent from the principal 
family of many of the county families would have been 
incomplete. 

It may not be out of place to note some particulars of 
the state of society in the county in last century, as given 
in 1786 by Captain John Sutherland of Wester, whose 
recollection extended beyond the middle of that century. 
He says the people in general took a great deal more 
trouble in other people's business than in their own, which 
is to be accounted for by the circumstances that the 
county lies in a remote corner of the island, and that the 
access to and from it is only by one difficult road (the Ord), 
so that the people of it have not that free and easy inter- 
course with other counties as the other and more southerly 
counties have ; and the county is so " interlarded " by 
marriages among themselves that a multiplicity of ques- 
tions arise, particularly in the way of succession, which often 
ci'eates bad blood among relations. The same cause pro- 
duces a great deal of jaunting and visitmg among relations. 
The Captain goes on to say that it was the general practice 
in the highland and inward part of the county, previous 
to and about the middle of the century, to go to markets 
with arms, such as broad-swords or side pistols ; but the 
" parish of Canisbay," even in those days, " did not seem 
to be inspired with that warlike genius so much as the 
other parishes." But he had seen from four to six men, 
dressed in a sort of uniform, issue from the house of Fres- 



INTKODUCTION. xxxi 

wick (then occupied by William Sinclair, who bailt it), 
to attend these markets, and with the result of the mal- 
treatment of persons with whom Freswick was at variance.* 
Many of the lairds of this period, besides indulging largely 
in the luxury of litigation, passed portions of the year in 
Edinburgh, accompanied by members of their families, and 
went into good society, although few of them had incomes 
exceeding £200 to £300 a year. 

^ About 1739 or 1740 a dispute arose of followers, armed with flails, scythes, 

between Freswick and George Murray and suchUke implements. Freswick, 

of Clairden in regard to the right of as tutor for his nephew, William of 

taking a description of sea-fowl, locally Rattar, the proprietor, proceeded to the 

called " Layers or Liarts," and supposed Craig with eight followers, armed with 

to be the Puffin, from the rocks at Craig broadswords and pistols. A scu£9e 

of Dunnet. Murray, as possessor of ensued, in which Clairden received 

Duunet, under a wadset, proceeded to some personal damage, and had the 

exercise the privilege, along with a band worst of the fight. 



THE ST. CLAIKS OE SINCLAIRS, 
EAELS OF CAITHNESS. 

. I. William St. Clair, Earl of Orkney, obtained The st. ciairs 

or Siuclairs, 

a grant of tlie Earldom of Caithness in 1455 from Earis of caith- 
James ll. He was the first of this family who enjoyed 
the dignity. He held many high public offices, possessed 
extensive landed property, and had in his time great 
influence ; and he appears to have lived in his castle at 
Roslyn in almost regal splendour. In personal appear- 
ance he is described as having been " a very fair man, of 
great stature, broad bodied, yellow haired, and weU pro- 
portioned," and to be "much given to policy, as building 
of castles, palaces, and churches," among which were 
Roslyn Castle and its celebrated Chapel. 

He was twice married — first, to Margaret, daughter 
of Archibald, fourth Earl of Douglas,^ by whom he had a 
son, Wilham, named " Williame the Waster," ancestor of 
the Lords Sinclair, and a daughter, Catharine, married 
to Alexander, Duke of Albany. He married, secondly, 
Marjorie, daughter of Alexander Sutherland of Dunbeath. 
In Gordon's " History of the Family of Sutherland," 

^ [She was widow [of John Stewart, Earl of Buchan, and of Sir Thomas 
Stewart, natural son of Alexander, Earl of Mar.] 



2 THE ST. CLAIKS OR SINCLAIES, 

The St. Glairs this Alexander Sutherland is stated to have been the 
Earls of Caith- eldest soR of John, Earl of Sutherland ; and down to 
ness. 1771 this was the general opinion of Scottish genea- 

logists. But it was then proved in the Sutherland 
peerage case, by the production of his original will, that 
he was aUve in 1456, and that he had several sons and 
daughters, whereas Alexander, Master of Sutherland, 
appears to have died about 1444, when the earldom 
went to his younger brother. It is uncertain of what 
family Alexander Sutherland of Dunbeath was, but it is 
probable that he was of the ThorboU or Duffus branch of 
the family of Sutherland. It is on the supposed descent 
of Sutherland of Dunbeath from the Eai4 of Sutherland, 
and on the belief that his daughter Marjorie was the 
Earl's granddaughter, that the close blood connection, 
assumed by Douglas and others to have existed between 
the Earls of Caithness and Sutherland, is founded. 
By his second marriage Earl William had issue — 

1 . Sir Ohver of Boslyn. 

2. WiUiam, his successor in the earldom. 

3. Sir David of Swinburgh. 

4. Robert, mentioned in a Crown charter in 1506. 

5. John, Bishop nominate of Caithness. 

William Sinclair of Warsetter in Orkney, who mar- 
ried a daughter of George, Earl of Huntly, was probably 
a son or grandson of Earl WilHam. 

His daughters, by the second marriage, were — 
1. Eleanor; 2. Marion; 3. Elizabeth; 4. Marjorie. 



\ 



EARLS OF CAITHNESS. 3 

The seniority of Sir OKver, and liis brother-german The st. ciaiis 
William, has been a matter of controversy. The unequal Earis of caith- 
distribution of their father's large succession has been "^^^^ 
considered to support the seniority of Sir Oliver, " for" — 
as observed in Father Hay's account of the family of 
Roslyn — " while the second Earl does not seem to have 
inherited anything beyond the barren domains belonging 
to the earldom. Sir Ohver received Roslyn and other 
extensive properties, any one of which was worth the 
fee-simple of the northern estates made over to his 
brother." 

Nisbet, whose work was written about the beginning 
of last century, says, " To clear the seniority of these 
sons, I have seen a contract of the date the 9th of 
February 1481, betwixt William Sinclair (WiUiam the 
Waster), son and heir of the deceased William, Earl of 
Orkney, Lord Sinclair and Zetland, and Henry Sinclair, 
son and apparent heir of the said William Sinclair, on 
the one part, and Sir Oliver Sinclair of RosHne, on the 
other part, whereby the said Sir Oliver freely resigns 
and gives over to the said William and his son and 
apparent heir, Henry, the lands of Causland, Dysart, and 
Kavensheugh, with the castles ; and, on the other part, 
WilHam and his son Henry renounce all right to the 
barony of Rosline, Pentland Mure, etc., in favour of 
Sir Oliver and his heirs ; and the said Oliver obhges 
himself that he shall in time coming do worship and 
honour to the said William as accords him to do to 



ness. 



i THE ST. CLAIRS OR SINCLAIRS, 

The St. ciaiis ail elder brother, and if it liappen any plea or debate 

or Sinclairs, , i i ■ ^ • i -itt-h- t 7 • 

Earls ot Caith- to 06 Dctwixt the Said William and ms younger 
brother " (William, afterwards second Earl of Caithness) 
" for the earldom of Caithness, the said Sir Oliver 
shall stand evenly and neuter betwixt them as he 
should do betwixt his brothers, and take no partial part 
with either of them." ^ 

II. William, second Earl, obtained a charter 
from King James ill., on his father's resignation in 
1476, of the earldom, including the patronage of the 
Hospital of St. Magnus, at Spittal. In 1505 he sat 
in Parhament as Earl of Caithness, and in 1513 he fell 
at Flodden. 

By his wife, Mary, daughter of Sir WilUam Keith of 
Inveruggie, he had — 

1. John, his successor. 

2. Alexander, ancestor of the first family of Sinclair 
of Stemster and Dunbeath. 

He had also a natural son, Wilham, who was legiti- 

^ Mr. Burnett, Lord Lyon, who had all the older mss., Sir David Lindsay's 

the perusal of these notes, writes on 4th included, which was close to that period, 

November 1873, to Principal Campbell, a riiulkt for di6ference, is to me very 

Aberdeen, " I observe he {Mr. Hender- convincing proof that Sir Oliver was 

son) takes Nisbet's view of the respec- the third son of his father. This mark 

tive seniority of Sir Oliver of Roslyn of cadency seems first to have been 

and his brother William, Earl of Caith- allowed to be dropped in 1672, probably 

ness. My own belief is quite the other in consequence of both Lord Sinclair 

way; the document quoted by Nisbetis and the Earl of Caithness having their 

equally capable of either interpretation, arms otherwise diflferenced. 
and the Sinclairs of Koslyu having in 



EARLS OF CAITHNESS. 5 

mised in 1543, but of whose descendants, if any, no The st. ciairs 

or Sinclairs, 
account has been discovered. Earls of Caith- 

ness. 

III. John, third Earl, was slain in an expedi- 
tion to Orkney in 1529. He married Elizabeth, daugh- 
ter of Sir William Sutherland of Duffus, by whom he 
had — 

1. William, who died in 1527, without issue. 

2, George, his successor. 

He had also a natural son, David, who held the office 
of Bailie to the Bishop of Caithness. In 1556, David's 
brother, Eaid George, obtained a remission for imprisoning 
him in Girnigo Castle. , 

IV. George, fourth Earl, was Justiciar of Caithness 
by grant, in 1566, from Queen Mary ; and he was one of 
the peers who sat on the trial of Bothwell. 

He married Lady Elizabeth Graham, daughter of 
William, Earl of Montrose, and had — 

1. John, Master of Caithness. 

2. William, who was first Laird of Mey, and ancestor 

of Ulbster. 

3. George of Mey, Chancellor of Caithness. 

1. Barbara, who married Alexander, Earl of Suther- 

land, and was divorced by him in 1573. 

2. Elizabeth, married first to Alexander Sutherland 

of Duffus, and thereafter to Hutcheon M'Kay of 
Farr, ancestor of the Lords Reay. 



6 THE ST. CLAIRS OR SINCLAIRS, 

The St, ciairs 3. Another daughter, married to Alexander Innes, of 

or Sinclairs, j 

Earls of Caith- innCS. 

"'^'' Douglas mentions Janet St. Clair, a daughter of this 

Earl, as third wife of Robert Munro of Fouhs, said by 
him to have died without issue. In 1582 Janet Sinclair, 
Lady Foulis, had a Tack of the Parsonage of Spittal, 
which belonged to the Caithness family. 

John, Master of Caithness, died at Girnigo Castle in 
1576. In 1543 he had obtained a charter from Queen 
Mary, by which the earldom became a 7nale fee, to him 
and his heirs-male. He married Jean, daughter of 
Patrick, Earl of Bothwell ; and had three sons and a 
daughter : — 

1. George, afterwards Earl of Caithness. 

2. James, first of Murkle. 

3. John, first of Greenland and Rattar. 
1. Agnes. 

Douglas gives the Master a legitimate son David, but 
this is an error. In August 1587 David Sinclair obtained 
a charter of Alterwall from Henry Keir of Greenland ; 
and in a Crown charter which followed thereon he 
is designated "Jilio naturali quond. Joannis Magistri 
Cathanensis." In 1588 he obtained Letters of Legiti- 
mation. He had two sons, John, kUled at Thurso in 
1612, and Colonel George, who perished in the same year 
in the luckless expedition to Norway, of which full details 
are to be found in Calder's " History of Caithness," and 
elsewhere. In Chambers's "Domestic Annals" (vol. i. pp. 



EARLS OF CAITHNESS. 7 

445-6), it is stated that in the Pass Kringelen there is aThest. ciairs 
tablet with the following inscription: — " Here lies Colonel EarU of caith- 
Sinclair, who with nine hundred Scotsmen were dashed "'^^^' 
to pieces like clay-pots by three hundred Boors of Lessoe, 
Vaage, and Froen ; Berdon Segelstadt Ringeboe was the 
leader of the Boors." 

The Master had also a natural son, Henry, who got a 
conveyance from his brother, Earl George, of part of the 
lands of Borrowstown and Lybster, with ' ' the miln and 
fishings," and in a reversion by him in favour of the 
Earl dated 23d September 1606, he is designed as his 
" brother natui'all." By his wife, Janet Sutherland, he 
had a son John, and he is probably the ancestor of a. 
family of Sinclairs of Lybster, who occur as Wadsetters 
of these lands down to 1670. 

In 1614, Henry Sinclair accompanied Earl George in 
an expedition to Orkney, and it is related by Gordon 
that, while besieging the Castle of Ku-kwall, he "went 
to bed at night in health, but before the morning he was 
benummed in all his sences, and remained so untU his 
death," — an event evidently considered by the historian 
as a judgment on the Earl's proceedings. 

V. George, fifth Earl, succeeded bis grandfather in 
1583.^ He married Jean Gordon, daughter of George, 
fifth Earl of Huntly, and had two sons ; and a daughter 
Elizabeth, named in Douglas's Peerage Anne, who married 

' 15S3-1643. 



ness. 



8 THE ST. CLAIRS OR SINCLAIRS, 

The St. ciairs George, Lord Lindsay, afterwards Earl of Crawfurd, and 
Earls of Caith- died without issue. — Inventory of Caithness titles. 

1. William, Lord Berriedale, who married Mary, 
daughter of Henry Lord Sinclair. He died 
before his father, leaving a son, John, Master of 
Berriedale, who married Jean, daughter of the 
Earl of Seaforth, and died in 1639. John had 
three sons, — George, afterwards sixth Earl ; and 
John and William, who died before him. 

2. Francis of Northfield, who married Elizabeth, 
daughter of Lord Eraser, and had a son, George 
Sinclair of Keiss, afterwards seventh Earl, and 
a daughter " Jean, Lady Mey," who died in 
1716. 

Francis Sinclair had a natural daughter, Margaret, 
who in 1653 married John, son of Alexander Sutherland 
in Lybster, to whom her father promised a tocher of 700 
merks, which, howevei', the cautioners in the contract of 
marriage, Patrick Sinclair of Ulbster, and John Smart, 
Minister of Wick, were compelled to pay. 

Earl George had two natural sons, Francis, who, 
about 1621,^ fought a duel with his relative, Sir William 
Sinclair of Mey ; and John, who attained the rank of 
Lieutenant-Colonel in the German wars. From Francis 
Sinclair are descended the Sinclairs of Stirkoke. 

VI. George, sixth Earl, married Mary, daughter 

1 Gordon, p. 450. ^ 1643-1G76. 



EARLS OF CAITHNESS. 9 

of the Marquis of Aroyle, and died at Thurso Castle in The st. ciairs 

. orSinclairs, 

1676, without issue. Barls of Caith- 

The earldom being much involved in debt, Earl 
George disponed the estates and title to his principal 
creditor, John Campbell of Glenorchy, who, on the Earl's 
death, married the Countess, and was created Earl of 
Caithness by patent. Glenorchy 's right to the title was 
challenged by George Sinclair of Keiss, son of Francis 
Sinclair of Northfield, and after a proclamation in favour 
of the latter by the Privy Council in 1681, Glenorchy 
was created Earl of Breadalbane and Holland. 

VII. George Sinclair of Keiss, seventh Earl of 
Caithness,^ and grandson of the fifth Earl, died in 1698 
without issue. 

With George Sinclair the heirs-male of the body of 
the fifth Earl came to an end, and the succession to the 
dignity opened to the descendants of James Sinclair, 
first of Murkle, in the person of liis grandson, John 
Sinclair, then of Murkle. 

YIII. John, eighth Earl," was eldest son of Sir 
James Sinclair, second of Murkle, aad married Jean 
Carmichael of the Hyndford family.^ 

In March 1644 his father resigned the lands of 
Murkle in favoiu- of himself and of John, styled his 

' 1681-98. rary, calls her simply " Jean Carmi- 

2 1698-1705. chael." Mr. C. H. E. Carmichael's almost 

3 [So designed in Douglas's Peerage, exhaiistive researches in Carmichael 
1764. Crawfurd, nearly a contempo- genealogy have failed to affiliate her.] 



10 THE ST. CLAIRS OR SINCLAIRS, 

The St. ciairs eldest la'vvful son, and the lieirs of liis body, wliom failing, 
Earls of Caith- to the other heii's-male of his body. 

°"^^^" Earl John died in 1705, leaving four sons and a 

daughter : — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. John, Lord Murkle, one of the Senators of the 

College of Justice, who left no issue. 

3. Francis, of Milton of Lieurary, who left no issue. 

4. Archibald. 

1. Lady Janet, who married, in 1714, David Sinclair of 
Southdun, and had several cliildren. — {Vide Southdun.) 

IX. Alexander, ninth Earl,^ married Lady Mar- 
garet Primrose, daughter of the Earl of Rosebery, and 
died in 1765, leaving an only child. Lady Dorothea, who 
married James, Earl of Fife, and died in 1819, without 
issue. 

In 1761 the Earl executed an entail of his estates, in 
virtue of which, on failure of his heirs therein mentioned, 
they passed to the Sinclairs of Stevenson, — a family not 
related to that of Murkle. 

Earl Alexander resided at Haimer Castle,^ which after 

^ 1705-65. been ou a very moderate scale, the Earl 

2 Haimer seems to have been a square having a])parently possessed but a dozen 

building, like a tower or fortalice, and and a half of silver spoons of all kinds, 

to have contained some eight or nine an old tea-kettle and lamp, sugar-tongs 

rooms, including dining-room, drawing- and spoon, a couple of small salvers, a 

room, tea-room, two " pavilions," a few tankard, and some plated candlesticks, 

bedrooms, with sundry closets, cellars, and the like. Sumptuary laws were 

etc. From an inventory of the plate, less required in Earl Alexander's days 

the establishment would ap^jear to have than in our time. 



EARLS OF CAITHNESS. 11 

his death was allowed to fall into disrepair, and now no The st. ciairs 

■ „ . . or Sinclairs, 

vestige 01 it remains. Earis of caith- 

On the death of Earl Alexander the male issvie of "'""'■ 
John the eighth Earl, and of his father, Sir James 
Sinclair, and of his grandfather, James, first of Murkle, 
became extinct, and the succession of the title devolved 
on William Sinclair of Rattar, as the lineal descendant 
of Sir John Sinclair of Greenland and Rattar, third son 
of John, Master of Caithness, and younger brother of 
James, first of Murkle. 

Sir James of Murkle had a son, David of Broynach, 
whose male descendants would have succeeded to the 
dignity in preference to the Greenland and Rattar 
branch, but his grandson, James, who claimed the title, 
failed to estabhsh the legitimacy of his father, David, son 
of David Sinclair of Broynach, and William of Eattar 
was served heir-male ;^ and in May 1772 the Committee 
of Privileges adjudged the title to him. This was the 
second instance in which a remote heir-male had suc- 
ceeded to this peerage, to the exclusion of the heir of 
line, for Lady Fife did not claim the title. 

X. William, tenth Earl, married Barbara, daughter 
of John Sinclair of Scotscalder, and died in 1779. He 
had five sons and two daughters : — 

1. John, his successor; 2. WiUiam, an ofiicer, who 
died ui America, unmarried ; 3. James ; 4. Alex- 
ander; 5. David. 

' November 1708. 



12 THE ST. CLAIRS OR SINCLAIRS, 

The St. ciairs These three died young and unmarried. 

Earls of Caitii- 1- Lady Isabella, who died unmarried. 



ness. 



2. Lady Janet, who married James Traill of Eattar. 

XI. John, eleventh Earl, succeeded in 1779, and 
died unmarried in 1789, in his thirty-third year; and 
with him ended the direct male line of the family of 
Greenland and Rattar. 

The Sinclairs of Freswick, descended from that 
William Sinclair of Ratter, who died in 1663, were the 
only collaterals of the family of Greenland and Rattar ; 
and had John of Freswick survived John, the eleventh 
Earl, he would have succeeded to the earldom. He died, 
however, in 1784, without survivuig male issue, and the 
title devolved on Sir James Sinclair of Mey, the Imeal 
descendant of George, one of the younger sons of George, 
the fourth Earl. 

XII. Sir James Sinclair of Mey, twelfth Eakl, 
was served as nearest lawful heir-male of William, second 
Earl of Caithness, in May 1790, and his claim to the 
peerage was sustained by the House of Lords. He mar- 
ried Jane, daughter of Alexander Campbell of Barcaldine 
and his wife Helen, daughter of George Sinclair of 
TJlbster, and had issue. 

It is to be hoped that the dignity will long reinain in 
the present line ; but in the possibility of the failure of an 
heh-male, the next in succession would seem to be the 



EARLS OF CAITHNESS. 13 

heir-male of Robert Sinclair of Durran, whom failing, the The st. ciairs 
heir-male (if any) of George Sinclair, first of Ohig, and Earis of caith- 
whom failing, the heii'-male of George Sinclair, first of °^^ ' 
Barrock. These exhaust the elder branch of the Caith- 
ness family, and failing them the title would apparently 
become extinct, unless an heir is to be found in the 
descendants of Alexander Sinclair of Stemster and Dun- 
beath, second son of William, the second Earl. 



THE SINCLAIES OF STEMSTEE AND 
DUNBEATH. 

The siuciairs of GoRDON, in his "Genealogy of the Sutherland Family," 
Dimbeath. states that " Dunbeath was given to the Sinclairs" hj 
that William, Earl of Sutherland, who died in 1370, at 
the time when, by the distribution of lands to his friends, 
he was strengthening his interests in prospect of his 
son's succession to the Scottish Crown. But there is no 
evidence either that the Sinclau- family had a footing in 
Caithness at so early a date, or that Dunbeath did at 
any time belong to the Earl of Sutherland. It is true 
that the earliest writ concerning Dunbeath supposed to 
be now extant, is a precept of sasine, dated 24th October 
1429, granted by Alexander de Isle, Earl of Ross, for 
infefting his sister, Mariotta, and her husband, Alex- 
ander de Sutherland, in the lands of Dunbeath, and that 
this Alexander Sutherland was, down to 1771, considered 
to have been the Master of Sutherland, as the eldest son 
of John, tenth Earl of Sutherland, but it is now certain 
that Sutherland of Dunbeath was not a son of the 
Earl. 

In 1507 Dunbeath was in possession of the family of 



THE SINCLAIRS OF STEMSTER AND DUNBEATH. 15 

Innes of Innes. In 1529/ on the resignation of Alex- The smciaus of 
ander Innes, a Crown charter erecting Dunbeath, Reay, ounbeath. 
and Sandside into a barony was granted in favour of — 

I. Alexander Sinclair, son of William, second 
Earl of Caithness, and Elizabeth Innes, his wife. This 
lady was no doubt of the family of Innes of Innes, and it 
is probable that through her marriage to Alexander 
Sinclair these estates came for the first time into the 
Sinclair family. In 1507 Alexander Sinclair had obtained 
a Crown charter of Stemster, and thus he appears to 
have been the first Sinclair of Stemster and Dunbeath. 
The Crown charter in 1529 contains the following clause 
of some antiquarian interest — " cum mulierum merchetis 
cum furca, fossa, sok, sak, thole, thieme, infangtheif, 
outfangtheif, pit, et gallous." Various explanations of 
the " mercheta muherum " bave been given, some of 
them sufficiently barbarous, but according to Hailes it 
really seems to have been the right of levying a fine 
from a serf or villain, on the marriage of his daughter. 
About 1657 the lands of Inverse of Dunbeath were 
erected into a burgh of barony, to be called the burgh of 
Magnusburgh. 

Alexander Sinclair had two sons and a daughter : — 

1. William. 

2. Oliver, no doubt so named after his grand-uncle. 

Sir Oliver of Roslyn. He is frequently men- 

' llth January 1529. 



16 THE SINCLAIRS OF STEMSTER AND DUNBEATH. 

The sinciairs of tioiied as the " brother-german " of William ; and 

Stemster and . . , i • • 1 1 a 

Diinbeath. m & curious Qocument given in the "Account 

of the Family of Innes,"' entitled " The Maister 
of Elphinstoun's Letter," he occurs as " Oliephare 
Syncklare, brother to William Syncklare of Dun- 
heytht. In the "Topography of Scotland," by 
John Harding, between 1437 and 1460, there 
is reference to the " Castel of Dunheke " as north 
of the " Water of Suthyrland." 

I. Isabel, daughter of Alexander Sinclair, married 

Gilbert Gordon of Garty, uncle to John, fifth 
Earl of Sutherland. She has attained an un- 
enviable notoriety as a murderer, by poison, of 
the Earl and his lady in 1567, for the purpose 
of opening the way for her own son's succession 
to the earldom. 
Alexander Sinclair seems to have died before 1541. 
His widow, Elizabeth Innes, appears also to have been 
dead about 1557, seeing that her son, William, then got 
a grant of the n on- entry dues of Dunbeath and the barony, 
of which lands his father and mother had been joint fiars. 

II. William, second of Dunbeath, was apparently 
a minor, and unmarried, when his father died, for, in 1541, 
Oliver Sinclair of Pitcarnie, styled also of Solway Moss, 
obtained a grant of his casualty of marriage, and he was 
not infeft as heir to his father until 1557.^ 

1 Forbes, p. 138. - Precept, May 1557. 



THE SINCLAIRS OP STEMSTER AND DUNBEATH. 17 

In 1562 and 1564 William Sinclaii' obtained from The smoiairs of 
Adam, Bishop of Orkney, charters of Downreay, Brubster, uuXatu!" 
Thura, and others, and in 1557 he got a Crown charter 
of confirmation. The charters from the bishop are 
alleged by Gordon to have been obtained through the 
fraudulent use of the title-deeds, which are said to have 
been deposited in the hands of WiUiam Smclair, in 
confidence, by John, Earl of Sutherland, whose sister he 
had married. This story is repeated in the " Origines 
Parochiales," but both it and Sinclair's alleged complicity 
with his sister in the crime of poisoning the Earl, in order 
to escape the consequences of his fraud, must be ranked 
among the spiteful assertions so frequently made by 
Gordon when he has occasion to notice Caithness affairs. 
The Earl Hved several years after Wilham Sinclah had 
obtained the bishop's charters, and not only were they 
acquired on the Earl's own resignation of the lands, but 
there is nothing to show that William Sinclair's title was 
ever called m question by the Earl. 

In 1547 William Sinclaii- obtained from William 
Gordon, Treasurer of Caithness, and Rector and Parson 
of St. Magnus' Hospital at Spittal, a charter of Mybster 
and Spittal, which was confirmed by Queen Mary in 
1565. 

William Sinclair was twice married — first (according 

to Gordon, who is the more reliable authority in this 

instance), to Beati'ix, daughter of Alexander, Master of 

Sutherland, and sister of John, Earl of Sutherland ; or 

c 



18 THE STNCLAIRS OP STEMSTER AND DUNBBATH. 

The Sinciairs of (according to Douglas), to Beatrix, the Earl's daughter. 

Duubeath. His second wife was Margaret, only child of Alexander 
Innes of Innes, and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John, 
fifth Lord Forbes. After her father's death in 1553, 
Margaret Innes obtained a Crown charter of the lands 
of Ogston and others in Morayshire. 

Forbes and Douglas concur in saying that Margaret 
Innes married " a brother of the Earl of Caithness ;" and 
the former states that the Earl had sent over his brother, 
"William Sinclair, to Morayshire, " to woo the lady for 
hmi," but that she preferred himself to the Earl; and 
that he got with her, for tocher, the Dunbeath and 
Reay estates, and also the lands of Monbeens, Leuchars, 
Inche, and others, near Elgin. For this story there is 
no foundation, since Dunbeath, Reay, and Sandside had 
certainly been acquired by the Sinclau's in 1529. Besides, 
Wilham Sinclair was not the brother of an Earl of 
Caithness. 

Wilham Sinclair had five sons, and of these it has 
been supposed that by his first wife, Lady Beatrix 
Gordon, he had Wilham, Richard, and George, and by 
his second wife, Henry and David. It is certain, how- 
ever, that WiUiam was a son of the second marriage. In 
1540 Margaret Innes had got from her natural brother, 
James Innes of Ehick, the lands of Over and Nether 
Monbeens; and in 1575 a precept was granted by her 
and her husband for infefting therein " WUHam Sinclair 
of Stemster ;" and Forbes, in noticing the infeftment on 



THE SINCLAIRS OF STEMSTER AND DUNBEATH. 10 

this precept, mentions him as the eldest son and heir The sinciairs of 
of William Sinclair of Dunbeath and Margaret Innes. ounbeath. 
Whether any of the other sons were certainly of the first 
marriage, it is difficult to say. The sons were — 

1. William, designed "of Stemster" — which, being the 

original family estate, was most likely to have 
devolved on his father's actual eldest son and 
heir, -without reference to a first or second mar- 
riage — is supposed to have married Janet, eldest 
daughter of George, fourth Earl of Caithness. 
He died before his father, leaving a son George. 

2. Richard, who got from his father in 1589 a charter 

of Mybster, Achalipster, and a two penny land 
of Spittal. In 1620 he was served heir to his 
brothers, Henry and David, and was styled of 
Brims. He seems not to have died before 1625. 
He had two sons, Alexander and OHver, and a 
daughter. Alexander, styled also of Brims, died 
before his father. In 1619 Alexander married 
Anna, daughter of Hugh M'Kay of Scourie and 
Farr, and his wife Lady Jane, eldest daughter of 
Alexander, Earl of Sutherland, and he had two 
sons, John and Wilham. John was served heir in 
Brims to his father Alexander and his grandfather 
Richard. He married Anna M'Kay, by whom 
he had a daughter, Elizabeth, who married her 
cousin, John M'Kay, second of Strathy, and was 
afterwards styled " Mistress of Strathy." There 



20 THE SINCLAIRS OF STEMSTER AND DUNBEATH. 

The sinciairs of is some Uncertainty as to her mother, Anna 

Dunbeath. M'Kaj, but she is believed to have been daughter 

of Colonel Hugh M'Kay of Scourie. In 1647 
John Sinclair and Hugh M'Kay of DMot and 
Strathy, who were cousins-gei-man, executed a 
mutual entaU. To this deed one of the witnesses 
was "James Sinclair of Gallowhill, brother-in- 
law to Brims ' and Keeper of a Copy.'" About 
1660 John Smclair sold Brims to John Sinclair 
of Tannach. Of William, second son of Alexander 
of Brims, no particulars have been learned. 
Ohver, second son of Richard Sinclair, got, in 
1630, a liferent tack of Spittal from his nephew, 
John of Brims. The daughter of Richard Sin- 
clau' married Alexander Bajme of Clyth, a man 
of some mark in his time, son of Henry Bayne 
in Mybster. In 1631 her brother Oliver granted 
a bond for 500 merks, as part of her tocher. 
3. George Sinclah in Downreay and in Durran, the 
third son of William of Dunbeath, is not much 
noticed. In 1643 he renounced a bond over 
Brims, in favour of liis grand-nephew, John of 
Brims. He had a son, John, and a daughter, 
Barbara, who, in 1640, married David Smclair 
of Lybster, in Beay, a descendant probably of 
Henry Sinclair of Lybster, natural son of John, 
Master of Caithness. It is conjectured that 
James Sinclair of Borlum, and latterly of Toft- 



THE SmCLAIKS OF STEMSTER AND DUNBEATH. 21 

kemp, who held Brubster and many of the The sinciairs ot 

,_^. 1P-1 Stemster and 

lands which belonged to the Dunbeath lanuly, may cmibeath. 
possibly have been a son of this George Sinclair. 

4. Henry Sinclair of Brubster and Brims, who died 

without issue, probably before 1610, for, in that 
year his brother Richard, who was served heir 
to him in 1620, is designed "of Brims." This 
appears in a renunciation signed at Brims by 
Margaret Innes, widow of their father. In 1586 
he got a Crown charter of Ormlie. 

5. David Sinclair of Thura, who died also without 

issue.^ 

William Sinclair of Dunbeath, who led a long and 

active life, was much harassed in his old age by his 

relation the Earl of Caithness. Among other acts of 

violence the Earl "wasted Dunbeath by fire and sword. 



1 In reference to the younger children 
of William Sinclair, Mr. Alexander Sin- 
clair writes as follows (March 1867) : — 

" 1. Henry, son of Margaret Innes, 
died s.}>., and his brother Richard, in 
1620, and Richard's grandson, John of 
Brims, in 1664, were both served heirs 
to him. 

"2. David, whom you call 'of Thura,' 
another son of Margaret Innes, also 
died s.p., as Richard was served heir 
to him in 1620 in Thura and Borlum. 

"3. Eiohard's history is difficult. He 
is son of William in 1569, in contra- 
distinction to the sons of Margaret 
Innes, who were minors in 1588. He 
is styled lawful son, and put after Henry 



and David in 1598, when he is designed 
of Mybaster (Mybster). Then he is of 
Browmes (Brims), in 1620. His oldest 
son, Alexander, is only married in 1619 
to the first Anna M'Kay, leaving John 
and William, 1617; and Richard had 
also a son, Olypher, of Spittal, 1647. 
Richard had also a brother, George of 
Downra, 1643. But in all this there i.s 
no opening for James of Thura or his 
sons. When Brims comes off Dunbeath 
in Henry and Richard, and when the 
mutual settlement of Brims and Strathy 
takes place in 1647, the only younger 
branches possible seem to be John's 
brother, William, and his uncle, Oly- 
pher." 



22 THE SINCLAIRS OF STEMSTEE, AND DUNBEATH. 

The sinciairs of and besleged him in his house at Downreay ; " until at 
Dimbeath!" length he retired to Morayshire, among his wife's friends, 
and there died in 1608. In the register of Confirmed 
Testaments, 1606-13, there is an entry of the "Testa- 
ment Testamentar, latter will and legacie and inventar of 
ye gudes and gear of umq^ an hon^® man William Sinclair 
of Dunbeath." He was succeeded by his grandson, 

III. George Sinclair of Dunbeath, who married 
Margaret, daughter of John, eighth Lord Forbes, and 
died in 1624, leaving an only child Margaret, of whom 
no further notice is found. 

George Sinclair's grandfather had resigned the estates 
in his favour in 1590, and, in May 1591, he obtained a 
Crown charter of confirmation. He was either facile, 
or a spendthrift, for, in 1602, he put himself imder 
"Interdiction." In 1610 he resigned the barony in 
favour of his brother-in-law Arthur, Lord Forbes ; and 
in 1624, Alexander, Master of Forbes, sold Dunbeath 
for 28,518 merks, or about £1550 sterling, to John 
Sinclair of Geanies, son of George Sinclair of Mey, who 
thus became the first of the second family of Sinciairs 
of Dunbeath; "and thus," writes Gordon in 1630, with 
apparent satisfaction, " God in His just judgment hath 
not left the authors of the Earl of Sutherland's death 
unpunished ; for Dunbeath, his house and familie, is 
now perished as we see, and his estate is come into a 
stranger's hand." 



THE SINCLAIRS OF STEMSTEE, AND DUNBEATH. 23 

The remainder of the barony, and the lands of Spittal The sinciairs of 
and Mybster, were acquired by Sir Donald M'Kay, first DunbeaUi. 
Lord Reay. In 1624 he was infeft, on a charter by the 
Bishop of Orkney, in Thura, Borlum, Downreay, and 
Brubster; and about the same time Sandside was pur- 
chased from Lord Forbes by William Innes, ancestor of 
the family of Innes of Sandside. 

The only known existing descendants of the family of 
Sinclair of Stemster and Dunbeath are the descendants 
of Hugh and WiUiam, the elder and younger sons of 
Elizabeth, only child of John Sinclair of Brims by her 
marriage to John M'Kay, second of Strathy. For these 
reference is made to M'Kay 's " History of the House and 
Clan of M'Kay." 



THE SINCLAIES OF MURKLE. 

The Sinclair^ of I. JaMES SINCLAIR, FIRST OP MURKLE, waS tlie SeCOnd 

son of John, Master of Caithness, and grandson of 
George, fourth Earl of Caithness. He is frequently, 
but erroneously styled Sir James ; the only knight 
of the family having been his son and successor. Sir 
James. 

The original estate of Murkle, as possessed by James 
Sinclair, and his wife, and their son Sir James, was 
acquired at various times between 1586 and 1637, 
chiefly from George, fifth Earl of Caithness, and his son 
William, Lord Berriedale ; the Bishops of Orkney and 
Caithness ; and the Earls of Sutherland. Without 
attempting to trace the various changes of possession 
which took place from time to time, it Is sufiicient to say 
that the family estate in which Sir James Sinclair was 
infeft consisted of Murkle, East and West, and Clairdon ; 
one-half of Ormlie, Thurdistoft, Acharascal, and Carna- 
biud, Lybster, and Borrowstone, all held of the Earl of 
Caithness ; one-half of Ormlie, held of the Bishop of 
Caithness ; Downreay, held of the Bishop of Orkney ; 
and Broynach, held of the Earl of Sutherland. Subse- 



THE SINCLAIRS OF MURKLE. 25 

quently the following lands were acquired by the family, The sinciairs of 
viz. — Isaiild, in 1723, by Alexander Sinclair of Mvu'kle, 
ninth Earl of Caithness ; and Brubster and Brims in 
1726-27, by his brother, Lord Murkle, to whom Alexander 
succeeded, as heir of conquest. 

James Sinclair, first of Murkle, married Ehzabeth 
Stewart, daughter of Kobert, Earl of Strathearn and 
Orkney, a natural son of King James v., and he had 
two sons and a daughter — 

1. James, his successor. 

2. Francis, who served in the German wars, and who 

is stated by Gordon to have held the rank of 
serjeant-major. In 1621^ he had retiu-ned to 
Scotland, and married Janet, daughter of Alex- 
ander Sutherland of Forse, by whom he had a 
son, James, who left no issue. In a procuratory 
of resignation of Murkle by Sir James Sinclair 
in 1644, James Sinclair is mentioned as "eldest 
lawful son" of Francis, his brother, and in the 
Peerage case it was held that there was no 
other son of Francis. 

I. Agnes, who married John M'Kay of Dirlot and 

Strathy. 
James Sinclair had also a natural son, John Sinclair, 
first of Assery. — Vide Asserj.^ 

II. Sir James Sinclair, Knight, appears to have 

1 Contract of Marriage, 19th July 1621. ^ Peerage case. 

D 



26 THE SINCLAIRS OF MURKLE. 

The sinciairs of been twicc maiTiecl. In January 1633 a disposition was 
granted by him, with consent of Dame Margaret Dundas, 
his spouse, of part of the lands of Ormlie ; and in October 
1634 there is a contract of marriage between him and 
Jean, eldest daughter of William Stewart of Burray, who 
is therein designed of " Manur." By Jean Stewart he 
had two sons and five daughters : — 

1. John, afterwards eighth Earl of Caithness. 

2 . David of Broynach, who died between 1713 and 1716. 
David Sinclau' of Broynach married a daughter of 

WiUiam Sinclair of Dun, by whom he had a son, James, 
and a daughter, Elizabeth.^ James died about 1754, 
without issue. Elizabeth married James Whyte, in 
Meikle Clyth, afterwards in Thurso, and had two 
daughters, Henrietta and Jean. Henrietta Whyte 
married WilHam Miller, and had a son, James, and a 
daughter, Isabella. Jean Whyte married Donald Oagg, 
weaver and merchant in Thurso, and had two sons, 
James and Donald, and two daughters, Janet and Anne. 
On the death of Lady Fife, only daughter of Alexander 
Sinclair of Murkle, ninth Earl of Caithness, James and 
Isabella Miller, and Donald and Anne Oagg, claimed and 
obtained a share of her executry,^ as the great grand- 
children of David of Broynach, Lady Fife's grand-uncle. 
David of Broynach had also, by one Janet Ewen,^ or 

1 See proof iu Peerage case. vant, David of Broynach had two sous, 

2 Receipt, 26th September 1789. David and Donald, and two daughters. 
5 By Janet Ewen, wlio was his ser- David, the eldest son, enlisted as a 



THE SINCLAIRS OF MURKLE. 27 

Ewing, a son, David, who was reputed to be illegitimate, The Sinciairs of 
and on his death the Earl refused to permit him to be 
buried in his burying-place. On the death of Earl 
Alexander, James Sinclair, in Reiss, son of the reputed 
illegitimate son, David, and grandson of David of Broy- 
nach, claimed the title, on the allegation of liis father's 
legitimacy, in opposition to William Sinclair of Rattar. 
In conjoined claims to be served heir before the Macers, 
after proof by both parties, the jury, on 28th November 
1768, pronounced a verdict by a majority in favour of 
Rattar, which, after various proceedings before the 
Court of Session, was confirmed. In 1786 James Sinclair 
threatened to renew his claim to the title ; but in 1788 he 
died, and the question of his father's legitimacy became 
unimportant, inasmuch as he had no issue, and no other 
heir-male of his grandfather then remained alive. 

1. Jean, the eldest daughter.^ 

2. Mary, who married, first, George Sinclair of Forss, 

and, on his death, William Sutherland of 
Geise. 

3. Anne, " Mistress of Stemster," who married Alex- 

ander Sinclair of Stemster, son of Alexander of 
Latheron. 

soldier, aud married one Margaret 1767 except one named Anne, who 

More or M'Kay, by whom he had a married Alexander Millis, merchant in 

son, Jamea, who resided in Reiss, and Banff. Janet Ewing was buried in the 

John, who was alive in 1767. Donald Old Kirk of Olrig, under Durrau's 

Sinclair, David's second son, went to seat. 

sea, and married, and had a sou and ^ Disposition by her mother, ISth 

five daughters, who were all dead in May 1692. 



28 THE SINCLAIES OF MURKLE. 

The sinciairs of 4. Barbara, who married James Cunningham of 

Murkle. t-, 

Keaster. 
5. Katharine, who married Walter Innes of Skaill. 

III. John Sinclair of Murkle succeeded to the 
earldom of Caithness in 1698 as the eighth Earl, and 
died in 1705. He married Jean Carmichael of the Hynd- 
ford family, by whom he had four softs and a daughter : — ■ 

1. Alexander. 

2. John, Lord Murkle, of the Court of Session, who 

married Jean, daughter of the first Earl of Cro- 
marty, and his wife, Anne, daughter of Sir James 
Siuclair of Mey. He died in 1755 without issue. 

3. Francis, who died without issue in 1762. In a 

disposition in 1760 by him of the lands of 
Milton of Lieurary and others, he settles the 
lands on the " heirs-male of the marriage then 
subsisting between him and Mrs. Janet Morrison." 

4. Archibald, who also died without issue.^ 

1. Lady Janet, who married David Sinclair of South 
Dun, by whom she had a daughter, Janet, who 
married Stewart Threipland of Fmgask, and 
other children. 

IV. Alexander Sinclair of Murkle, ninth Earl 
OF Caithness, married Margaret, daughter of the first 
Earl of Rosebery, by whom he had an only child — 

' Peeracre ease. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF MURKLE. 29 

Lady Dorothea, who married James, Earl of Fife, and The Siuciairs of 

-1. 1 •,•1 , . Murkle. 

died without issue. 

Earl Alexander had two natural sons, George Sinclair 
in Geise, who died without issue, and Peter, who had a 
son, James, who died without issue, and seven daughters, 
of whom six married and had issue. 

William Sinclair of Rattar was the lawful heir of 
Earl Alexander on failure of his own family, they being 
descended from two brothers, James Sinclair, first of 
Murkle, and Sir John Sinclair, first of Greenland and 
Rattar. But they do not seem to have been on friendly 
terms, for in his correspondence with George Sinclair of 
WoodhaU, Lord of Session, in reference to a settlement 
of his estates. Earl Alexander says : " Rattar is next 
tho' very remote. Though he lives within four miles of 
me he never comes to see me, from which it seerns he is 
disobliged because I did not give him all I had, and 
depend for subsistence on his generosity. He cannot be 
very wise, for he could not have taken a more effectual 
way to disappoint his expectations." 

Earl Alexander died in 1765. In 1761 he executed 
an entail of the estate of Murkle and his other lands, by 
which, on failure of his own heirs therein mentioned, the 
property was disponed to Lord WoodhaU and the heirs- 
male of his body, and failing them to his. Lord Wood- 
hall's, nearest lawfid heirs-male of hue ; and under this 
destination the succession was taken up on the Earl's 
death by Sir John Sinclair of Stevenson, Lord Woodhall's 



30 THE SINCLAIRS OF MURKLE. 

The sinciairs of nepliew. The Sinclairs of Stevenson are descended from 
the Sinclairs of Longformacus, a branch of the family of 
Roslyn. Sir Gregory Sinclair, third son of Sir William 
of Roslyn, flourished in the reign of Robert the Bruce, 
and the first Sinclair of Stevenson was George, second 
son of Matthew, ninth Laii'd of Longformacus, who died 
aboiit 1620. His son, John, was a merchant in Edinburgh, 
and was created a baronet, and purchased Stevenson and 
other lands. He is now represented by Sir Robert 
Charles Sinclah' of Stevenson and Murkle, his lineal 
descendant, and ninth baronet of Stevenson. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF ASSERY. 

I. James Sinclaib, first of Murklb, had a son The sinciairs of 
named John, who, in a chartei' granted by his father in 
1615, to which he was an instrumentary witness, is 
designed "fUio naturali dicti Jacobi Sinclair de Murkel ;" 
and who, in a bond dated 28th January 1619, also by 
his father, and in which he was cautioner, is mentioned 
as " John Sinclair, son natural" of the granter. In 1628 
John Sinclair obtained from William, Lord BeiTiedale, a 
charter of the lands of Assery, to himself in hferent, and 
to his eldest son, James, in fee. In 1631 he got a charter 
of Brawlbin; and in 1633 a wadset of Forsie ; and from 
him are descended the Sinciairs of Assery, of Lybster, of 
Geise, and of Scotscalder. 

John Sinclair was twice married, and had by his fii'st 
wife — 

1. James, his successor, 

2. Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Sinclair, who, in 1659, 

married Anna, daughter of Francis Sinclair of 
Stirkoke. In 1680, their daughter, Margaret, 
married David Henderson of Gersay, son of 
William Henderson of Nottingham and his wife. 



32 THE SINCLAIRS OF ASSERY. 

The sinciairs of Janet Goi'don, widow of James Sutherland of 

Assery. ^^ 

r orse. 
John Sinclair's second wife was Margaret Davidson, 
who is traditionally supposed to have been of the David- 
sons in Achingills or Buckles, and by her he had — 

1. John Sinclair, first of Lybster. 

2. WiUiam, who, in 1670, held the wadset of Forsle, 

and who was afterwards in Ulgrimbeg and Ulgri- 
more. He married Jean, daughter of Wilham 
Sinclah of Dun, and had two daughters, Mary 
and Elizabeth. The former married, in 1705, 
Donald Gunn in Achalibster. 

3. George, mentioned in 1652 and 1660. 

1. Grizzel, who married John DouU, wadsetter of 

Thuster, near Wick. — Vide Doulls. 

2. Isabell, who married, first, Arthur Forbes, mer- 

chant in Edinburgh, and, second, WUliam Sinclair 
of Dun. 

3. Janet, who married, in 1616, George Munro, 

Sheriff-Clerk of Caithness. 
In a deed executed in 1665 by James, the eldest son 
of John Sinclair, in which he reserves Margaret David- 
son's liferent of Assery, she is designed " my mother," 
but she appears to have been only his stepmother, seeing 
that John Sinclair of Lybster is mentioned as the eldest 
son of the second marriage. 

II. James Sinclair, second of Assery, married 



THE SINCLAIRS OF ASSERY. 33 

first, Elizabeth Balfour ; and, second, Margaret, daughter Tiie sineiairs of 
of David Munro, commissary of Caithness. He had '''^^' 
several sons and daughters : — 

1 . Georsje, eldest son of his first marriage. 

2. John, in Ulgrimbeg, married Bess Craigie. George 

and John are named as brothers-german. 

3. James, a merchant in Thurso, who died in 1713, 

and jiad several sons, of whom Daniel was 
mmister of Longformacus. William was a mer- 
chant in Thurso, and Alexander was a notary- 
public in Thurso, and married Jean, daughter of 
James Sinclaii- of Wester-Brims. 
1. Katharine, eldest daughter, married Alexander 
Gibson, Dean of Bower from 1668 to 1682. 

III. George Sinclair, third of Assery, was twice 
married. His second wife was Isabel, daughter of 
Patrick Sinclair of Ulbster. He had five sons and a 
daughter : — 

1. James, apparent in 1700. 

2. John, called eldest lawful son in 1691. 

3. Patrick. 

4. George, eldest son of Isabel Sinclair. 

5. Francis, also of the second marriage. 

1. Elizabeth, the only daughter, married Richard 

Sinclair of Thura. 
The creditors of James, second of Assery, had led 
apprisings against the estates, which were acquired by 
E 



34 THE SINCLAIRS OF ASSERY. 

The sinciaiis of Ulbster and Sir William Dunbar of Hempriggs. In 1675 

ssery. Ulbster assigned his rights to John Sinclair (2) ; while, 

in 1682, Sir William Dunbar conveyed his rights to 

George Sinclair (4), then of Asseiy, and his sons, John 

and Patrick. 



IV. John Sinclair, fourth of Assery, succeeded 
his father, George, and in 1698 married Elizabeth Innes, 
widow of Laurence Calder of Lynegar, by whom he had 
an only son, John, his successor. He afterwards mariied 
Barbara, daughter of Patrick Murray of Pennyland, by 
whom he had an only child, Isabella, who married John 
Sinclair of Scotscalder. 

V. John Sinclair, fifth of Assery, was served heir 
in general to his father, John, in 1728, and in 1765 he was 
infeft as eldest lawful son. He married Katharine, eldest 
daughter of Robei-t Sinclair of Geise, and had — 

1. Robert. 

2. John. 

3. Charles. 

4. James. 

1. Isabella, eldest daughter, who married Robert 

Manson Slnclau- of Bridgend. 

2. Katharine. 

3. Jean, who married Sir Benjamin Sinclair of Stem- 

ster. 



THE SINCLAIRS OP ASSEKY. 35 

VI. Captain Egbert Sinclair, sixth of Assery, ^i^e sinckirs of 

Assery. 

was served heir to his father cum heneficio inventani, in 
1772. He married Katharine Sinclair, and had no issue. 
The estate was brought to judicial sale by the 
creditors, and Captain Sinclair having died during the 
proceedings, they were continued against his brother, 
John ; and in 1784 Assery and Brawlbin were purchased 
by Ulbster. The trustees of Sir John Sinclair sold the 
lands to Mr. Campbell, merchant in London, and from 
him they were purchased by the late James Sinclair of 
Forss, for about £9000. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF LYBSTER 

The Sinclairs of I. JoHN SINCLAIR, FIRST OF LyBSTER, WaS eldest SOn 

of John Sinclair, first of Assery, and his second wife, 
Margaret Davidson. In 1647 he was appointed "Bailie 
of Latheron" by the Earl of Caithness; in 1655 he ob- 
tained a wadset of Lybster from the Earl of Caithness ; 
and in 1692 the property was acquired by his son and 
successor, who obtained the right of reversion of the 
wadset. He married Beatrix Sinclair, supposed to have 
been of the Thura family, and had — 

1. James, his successor. 

2. George, whose only daughter, Beatrix, married 

Alexander Sinclair of Sixpennyland. 

I. Elizabeth, who married Alexander Boynd in 

Thurso. 

II. James Sinclair, second of Lybster, married 
Katharine, daughter of Patrick Sinclair of Ulbster, and 
had five sons and two daughters : — 

1. John, his successor. 

2. Patrick, in Noi'thfield in 1702, and who had a son, 

Alexander, afterwards of Lybster. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF LYBSTER. 37 

3. William of Hoy and Scotscalder. The sinciairs of 

4. Robert of Geise, Advocate. 

5. George (1731). 

1. Beatrix, eldest daughter, wlio married, in 1707, 

James Sutherland in Ausdale. 

2. Elizabeth, who married John M'Kay in Kirtomy, 

third son of John M'Kay of Strathy and Dii'lot. 

III. John Sinclair, third of Lybster, styled " Fiar " 
in 1694, and "of Lybster" in 1709, succeeded his father, 
James, and died without issue. 

IV. Alexander Sinclair, fourth of Lybster, was 
the nephew of John, last of Lybster, and son of Patrick 
Sinclair in Northfield. In 1710 he was served heir to 
his uncle, and to his grandfather, James. He married 
^Emilia, daughter of Alexander Sinclair of Sixpenny, and 
had a son and three daughters : — 

1. Patrick, his successor. 

1. Katharine, eldest daughter, who married James 

Sinclair of Harpsdale, and was his tloii'd wife. 

2. Margaret, who died unmarried. 

3. ^Emilia, who died unmarried. 

V. Lieutenant-General Patrick Sinclair, fifth 
OF Lybster, married Catharine Stewart, and had four 
sons and a daughter : — 

1. Temple Frederick, his successor. 



38 THE SINCLAIRS OF LYBSTEE. 

The sinciairs of 2. Jeffrey, Siirgeon-General in the Bombay Army, 
^ ^*^'^' who left two daughters. 

3. Thomas Aubrey, Stipendiary Magistrate at Granada, 

where he died unmarried. 

4. Patrick, who died unmarried. 

1. Susan, only daughter, who married David Laing, 
Surgeon in Thurso, and died in 1865, leaving 
issue. 

VI. Temple Frederick Sinclair, the sixth and 
LAST OF Lybster, was a Captain in the Army, and died 
unmarried. In 1868 the estate was sold by his trustees 
to the Duke of Portland for £24,000. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF SCOTSCALDER 

I. William Sinclair, third son of James Sinclair ofTheSinciairsof 
Lybster, had the lands of Hoy and Geise, and in 1729, 
he exchanged them with James Murray, son of Patrick 
Murray of Pennyland, for the estate of Scotscalder, 
which formed part of the Bishopric of Caithness, and 
was acquired in feu by the Caithness family, and by 
them wadsetted to the Murrays of Pennyland, who 
afterwards acquired the right of reversion. In 1713 
William Sinclair adjudged Ulgrimbeg and Ulgrimore 
from the Sinclairs of Assery, and these lands were also 
originally church lands. He had three sons and two 
daughters : — 

1. Alexander, of whom there is little further notice, 

unless he is the same person as Alexander Sinclair 
of Sixpenny. 

2. John, afterwards of Scotscalder. 

3. Robert. In 1734 John Sinclair mentions his 

" brother Robert " in a letter in which he orders 
him to receive clothing such as would be required 
by a person in the seafaring line, such as canvas 
jackets, etc. 



40 . THE SINCLAIRS OF SCOTSCALDER. 

The sinciairs of 1. Janet, eldest daughter, who married John M'Kay, 
third of Strathy, and received a tocher of 6000 
merks. The contract of marriage is dated 29th 
April 1731, and is witnessed by Francis Sinclair 
of Milton, William Sinclair, younger of Dun, 
Benjamin Williamson of Banniskirk, and others. 
She had two daughters, of whom Margaret married 
Patiick Honyman of Graemsay ; and Barbara 
married Major John Scobie of Melness. 
2. Barbara. 



II. John Sinclair, the second of Scotscalder, 
married Isabella, only daughter of John Sinclair, fourth of 
Assery, by his second wife, Barbara Murray, daughter of 
Patrick Murray of Pennyland. On his marriage in 1731 
his father conveyed to him, with consent of his eldest 
son, Alexander, the lands of Scotscalder, Ulgrlmbeg, and 
Ulgrimore. He had two sons and four daughters : — 

1. WiUiara. 

2. Eobert. 

1. Isabella, eldest daughter, was second wife of Captain 
Thomas Dunbar of Westfield. She died in 1829, 
and was interred in the chapel at Pennyland. 
Captain Dunbar was the second son of Alexander 
Dunbar of Grangehill, and he was the male 
representative of that family, which is descended 
from Sir Alexander Dunbar of Westfield, son of 
James, Earl of Moray. Captain Dunbar took 



THE SINCLAIRS OF SCOTSCALDER. 41 

the designation " of Westfield." He purchased The sinciairs of 

Scotscalder, 

Milton — now called Westfield — and Sibster (for 
Captain Dunbar's first marriage, vide Dunbar of 
Hempriggs) ; and by his second wife, Isabella 
Sinclair, he had two sons and three daughters : — • 
James, who married a daughter of the Rev. Mr. 
Cameron, Halkirk, and died without issue ; and 
Alexander, who was tenant of Scrabster and other 
Crown lands, and died unmarried in 1859 ;^ the 
daughters were Isabella, Mrs. Robinson, who 
^ left a daughter; Barbara, Mrs. Guthrie, who 

had two sons, namely, the late Colonel Charles 
Seton Guthrie of Scotscalder, and James Baillie 
Guthrie ; and Catharine, Mrs. M'Gregor, who 
had issue. 

2. Barbara, the second daughter of John Sinclair, 

married William Sinclair of Rattar, tenth Earl 
of Caithness. 

3. Margaret. 

4. Catharine. 

One of these two ladies was second wife of James 
Sinclair of Holbornhead. 

III. Robert Sinclair, third and last of Scots- 
calder, had an only son. Lieutenant- Colonel James 
Sinclair of the Royal Artillery, and two daughters, 
one of whom married Mr. Aitken, and had a son, 

1 lOth March 1S59. 
F 



42 THE SINCLAIRS OF SCOTSCALDER. 

The sinciairs of who died joung ; while the other married Mr. Steel, 
an excise officer, and had issue. About 1812 he sold the 
estate.^ 

1 The original estate of Scotsealder to the Murrays of Pennylaml, who sub- 
appears to have been at one time church sequently acquired the reversion, and 
lands, and to have been feued out by from them it came, as stated, into the 
the Bishop of Caithness to the Caithness family of Sinclair of Hoy. 
family. By them it was first wadsetted 



KOBEET SINCLAIE OF GEISE. 

Robert Sinclair of Geise, Advocate, was fourth son Robert sinokir 
of James Sinclair of Lybster, and brother of William 
Sinclair of Hoy and Scotscalder. He married Catharine 
Ross, daughter of William Ross of Kindeace, and widow 
of George M'Kay of Bighouse, and had a son and four 
daughters : — 

1. Katharine, who man'ied John Smclair of Assery. 

2. Jean, who married James Sinclair of Holbornhead 

and Forss. Vide Forss. 

3. Barbara, who married Dr. WiUiam Sinclair, Physi- 

cian in Thurso. Vide Freswick. 

4. Mary, who married Patrick DouU of Oldfield, 

merchant in Thurso. Their only child, who was 

alive in 1780, was Alexander, then in the East 

Indies, who died unmarried. He was an officer 

in the navy or marines, and his ship and crew 

were blown up. 

Robert Sinclair died in 1742, and his wife about 1757. 

She retained the name of " Lady Bighouse," and resided 

latterly in Trantlemore, in Sutherlandshire, where she 

died. 



THE SINCLAIES OF GEEENLAND 
AND EATTAE. 

The Sinclairs of J_ gjj. J^jjj^ SINCLAIR, KnIGHT, the first of tHs 

Greenland autl 

Rattar. family, was third son of John, Master of Caithness, and 

was styled of Greenland, but his descendants have been 
designed of Eattar. He married Janet Sutherland, who 
was probably of the Sutherlands of Forse, since his 
nephew, Francis, son of his brother, James of Murkle, 
married also a lady of that family. From his brother 
George, the fifth Earl, he obtained, in 1609,^ the feu 
farms of the lands of Eattar and others, by charter to 
himself m liferent and to his son, Wilham, in fee ; and in 
1613 he got a disposition from the Earl of the lands 
of Eattar, Corsbach, Lieurary, Eeaster, Murrsay, and 
Hailand, which are described to be pertinents of the 
Barony of Achergill, sometime pertaining to George, 
Earl Marischal, and William, Lord Keith, his son, and 
acquired by the Earl from them. In 1612 he occupied 
the Castle of Ormhe, near Thurso. He died in 1622, 
and had five sons and a daughter.'' 

1. "William, who died before his father. Of him Sir 

1 26th January and 16th May 1609. ^ Peerage case. 



THE SINCLAIES OF GREENLAND AND R ATTAR. 45 

Robert Gordon writes : " This year of God, 1620, The smciairs of 
the eldest son of Sir John Sinclair of Greenland Rattar! 
perished in the water of RisgUl, as he was riding 
that river in a great speat and storm of weather. 
He was a young gentleman of good expectation." 
This event must have occurred earlier than 1620, 
for in 1618 his immediate younger brother, Alex- 
ander, obtained a precept as liis heir. 

2. Alexander, who in 1618 obtained from his uncle, 

Earl George, a precept of dare as heir to 
WiUiam. He died without issue. 

3. John, who obtained in 1623 a precept of dare as 

heu- to Alexander. He also died without issue, 
and was succeeded by — 

4. James of Eeaster, who obtained a precept on 16th 

December 1634, and was afterwards of Rattar. 

5. Francis, who died without issue. 

There is mention .of a son, Thomas, as alive about 
1630, but there is no trace of any of his descendants. 

1. Elizabeth, Sir John's only daughter, married John 
Cunningham of Geise and BrownhUl. In Novem- 
ber 1630, her brother, James, borrowed fi-om Sir 
John Sinclair of Geanies and Dunbeath £3000 "for 
payment of his sister Elizabeth's tocher to John 
Cuimingham of Geise, her spouse." In Douglas's 
accounts of the Cunninghams there is much con- 
fusion and error as to this lady and her marriage. 

Sir John had a natural son, George, mentioned in a 



46 THE SINCLAIRS OF GREENLAND AND RATTAE. 

The sinciairs of sasine ill favour of his brother, Alexander, in 1619, but 

Greenland and r. i • i p ±1 ±_ 

Eattar. 01 liim we navB no lurtlier account. 

II. James Sinclair of Reaster and of Rattar," 
married Janet, daughter of WilHam Bruce of Stanstill, 
and had two sons, and, so far as has been ascertained, three 
daughters — 

1. William, liis successor. 

2. John, who died without issue. 

In an assignation dated 14th December 1636, by 
James Sinclair, to his eldest son, Wilham, whom fliiling, 
to his second son, John, he assigns a reversion of Eattar, 
in consideration of certain payments by " Janet Murray, 
Ladie of StanstUl, my mother-in-law." 

1. Janet, eldest daughter, who married Walter Bruce 

of Hain." 

2. Margaret, who married m 1655 John Smith, son 

of WiUiam Smith, Minister of Dunnet from 
1614 to 1652. 

3. Elizabeth or Elspeth, who married about 1652, 

William Bruce of StanstUl.^ 

1 1634. marriage. William Smith of Dunnet 

- Contract of Marriage, 20th Decern- and William Smyth of Watten were 

her 1642. different persons ; and the writer in 

^ In June 1S64, it was stated in a "Notes and Queries" has probably 

notice in "Notes and Queries" that mistaken the connection of the Smiths 

William Smyth, minister of Dunottar, with the family of Rattar. William 

afterwards of Bower and Watten, mar- Smyth was a rather remarkable man in 

ried a daughter of James Sinclair of his time, and notices of him will be 

Rattar, and had a son, George ; but no found in M'Kay's " History " and in 

evidence has been found of any such " Fasti Eccles. Scot." 



THE SINCLAIRS OF GREENLAND AND RATTAR. 47 

III. William Sinclair, third of Rattar, acquired The sinciairs of 

. „ „_-^ iiT Greenland and 

the lands of Freswick m 1661, from Mowat ot IJuquhollie Rattar. 
and his son, Magnus.^ He married, first, in 1642, when 
in apparency only, Elizabeth, daughter of John Sinclair, 
first of Ulbster; and, second, in 1647," Jean, daughter of 
John Cunningham of Geise and Brownhill, and relict of 
Alexander Sinclair of Latheron. John Cunningham, it 
has been seen, had for his second wife Ehzabeth, aunt 
of William Sinclair of Eattar ; but it is thought that his 
daughter, Jean, was not Rattar's cousin-german, but was 
the daughter of John Cunningham by his first marriage. 
Jean Cunningham was long famous in the locality under 
the name of " Jeanag of Rattar." 

By his first marriage William Sinclair had John, his 
successor in Rattar.^ 

By his second wife he had three sons and two 
daughters.* 

1. James of Freswick, said to have died in France, 
having been taken prisoner when on his way 
to Edinburgh to be married. In Chambers's 
"Domestic Annals" (vol. iii. p. 25, anno 1690) it 
is stated that having made his case known to 
the Scottish Privy Council, he was released in 
exchange for Mr. David Fairfoul, a priest detained 
in prison at Inverness. 

1 Contract of Marriage, 24th March. * Diapoaition by their father, 30th 

, ,, . „ , . ^ March 1650. Crown Charter, 30th 

2 Contract of Marriage, 12th Auguat. . .,,„.,„ . , ct n ■ 

° ° April 1672, in favour of Jean Cuumng- 

3 Last Will, 1663. ham and her three aons. 



48 THE SINCLAIES OF GREENLAND AND R ATTAR. 

The Sinclairs of 2. Robert. 

Greenland and ^ j^^^.^^ ^^^ Succeeded to Freswick on the death of 
Robert.^ 

1. Janet, eldest daughter, who married John Sinclair 

of Ulbster, son of Patrick Sinclair.^ 

2. Anne, who married, first, Robert Sinclair of Durran, 

and, second, John Campbell of Castlehill, Com- 
missary and Sheriff-clerk of Caithness.^ 

IV. John Sinclair, fourth of Rattae, married 
Elizabeth, daughter of Sir WUliam Sinclair of Mey, and 
had two sons and four daughters : — 

1. John, his successor. 

2. William, who, on the death in 1712 of his vmcle, 

David of Freswick, succeeded to that estate. 

1. Barbara, eldest daughter, who married John 

Sinclair of Forss. By their descendant, WiUiam 
Sinclair Thomson Sinclair, Esq., the estates of 
Freswick are now possessed under an entail 
executed in 1775 by John Sinclair, then of 
Freswick. 

2. Frances, who married James Sinclair of Latheron. 

3. Margaret, who married, first, Alexander Sinclau' of 

Brabster, and, second, Alexander Gibson, Minister 
of Canisbay. Vide Brabster and Gibson. 

4. Katharine, who married George Manson of Bridgend. 

1 Eetour, 1696, of David to James ^ Retour, June 1712. 
and Robert. ^ Retour, 20th January 1713. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF GREENLAND AND R ATTAR. 49 

V. John Sinclair, fifth of Eattar, married Janet, The siuciairs of 
daughter of Patrick Sinclair of Southdun, and died in Kattar. 
1733.^ He had two sons : — 

1. John, who died unmarried in minority. 

2. William, who succeeded his father. 

William was a minor at his father's death, and the 
estate was taken charge of by his uncle, William of Fres- 
wick. His mother also claimed the management, and, 
pending the dispute, "lodged in the garret while Fres- 
wick occupied the other parts of the house of Rattar." 
The widow afterwards married one Dun, a stay-maker 
in Edinburgh. 

VI. William Sinclair, sixth of Rattar, married 
Barbara, daughter of John Sinclau- of Scotscalder, and 
died in 1779.^ In 1772 his claim to the dignity of Earl 
of Caithness was sustained by the Committee of Privi- 
leges. He had five sons and two daughters : — 

1. John, his successor. 

2. William, an officer in the army, who died in 

America unmarried. 

3. James. 4. Alexander. 5. David. 
These died young and unmarried. 

1. The eldest daughter. Lady Isabella, died un- 

married. 

2, Lady Janet, married to James Traill of Rattar, and 

had issue. — VideTrsalh. 

' Retour, 1719. 2 Retour, March 1773. 

G 



50 THE SINCLAIRS OF GREENLAND AND R ATTAR. 

The Sinclairs of VII. JOHN SINCLAIR, SEVENTH AND LAST OP R ATTAR, 

Kattar. Succeeded, his father in 1779, and was the eleventh Earl 

of Caithness. 

In 1772 he entered the army as an Ensign in the 17th 
Foot, and became Major in the 76th Foot in 1777.^ He 
served for some years in America, and was wounded at 
the siege of Charlestown. In 1783 he attained the rank 
of Lieutenant-Colonel. He died unmarried in 1789, and 
was at the time of his death the last inale representative 
of the family of Greenland and Rattar. 

' Scottish Nation. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF FRESWICK. 

I. William Sinclair of Rattar, grandson of TheSiaciahsof 
Sir John Sinclaii- of Greenland and Rattar, was the ^'''^'*™'*- 
first " Sinclair of Freswick," that estate having been 
acquired by him, in 1661, from Mowat of Buquhollie, 
and his son, Magnus of Freswick. By his second 
marriage {vide Rattar) he had three sons and two 
daughters : — 

1. James, eldest son. 

2. Robert. 

3. David. 

1. Janet, the eldest daughter, who married John 

Sinclair of Ulbster.^ 

2. Anne, who married in 1678 Robert Sinclair of 

DvuTan. 
The sons were all named in the disposition to their 
father to the lands of Freswick dated 10th and 
20th Jidy 1661. 

II. James Sinclair of Freswick obtained a Crown 
charter, on 30th April 1672, in favour of his mother in 

1 Retours 1712-1713. 



52 THE SINCLAIRS OF FBESWICK. 

The sinciairs of liferent, and liimself and his brothers in succession in fee. 
He died before 1696 withoiit issue. 

The arms of the family/ as recorded by James Sinclair 
in the Lyon Register, are : — Quarterly first azure, a ship 
at anchor, with Oars in Saltier, within a double tressure 
counter-flowered or; second or, a Hon rampant gules; 
third as the second ; and the fourth azure, a ship under 
sail or, and, over all, dividing the quarters, a cross en- 
grailed sahJe, all within a bordure cheque or and gules ; 
Crest, a cross pattee, within a circle of stars argent. 
Motto, Via ci'ucis via lucis. 

III. Robert Sinclair of Freswick succeeded his 
brother James, and, dying unmanned, was succeeded by 
his brother David. 

IV. David Sinclair of Freswick was twice married, 
first, to Barbara, daughter of Sir William Sinclair of Mey,^ 
and secondly to Sophia, daughter of Sir William Stewart 
of Biuray.* He had no issue by either marriage. In 
April 1712 he executed an entail or destination of the 
estate in favour of his nephew, William, second son of liis 
half-brother, John Sinclair of Rattar, the destination 
being, failing his own heirs male or female, "in favour 
of WiUiam Sinclair, second son of John Sinclair of Rattar, 
and the heirs-male of his body, whom failing, to John 

' Nisbet. 2 Contract of Marriage, 9th April 1695. 

^ Contract of Marriage, 25th June 1702. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF FRESWICK. 53 

Sinclair of Durran, my sister's son, and tlie heirs-male of The sinciairs of 

his body ; whom failing, to return to the heirs-male of the 

family of Rattar, my father's family. " In 1 7 1 2 and 1 7 1 3 , 

his sisters, Janet and Anne, were served heirs to him, and 

some legal proceedings touching the succession took place, 

but were ultimately abandoned. Mrs. Janet Smclair, 

then relict of John Sinclair of Ulbster, executed in 1712 

a deed from which the following is an extract : — " Out 

of the respect I have to the family of Ratter, being my 

father's family, and for supporting not only thereof, but 

also of my brother's family of Freswick, and his memory, 

condescended and agreed with the said William Sinclair 

that I shorJd ratify the foresaid disposition and right, 

and denude myself of all title and right I have to the 

said estate." 

V. William Sinclair of Freswick, second son of 
John Sinclair of Rattar, and grandson of William Sinclair 
of Rattar by his first marriage, added to the family estates 
by the purchase of the wadsets of Dunnet and Greenland, 
held by Murray of Clairden, and of the reversion of these 
estates held by Sir James Sinclair of Dunbeath, and in 
1751 he purchased Dunbeath from Sir William Sinclair 
of Keiss and James Sinclair of Latheron for £3000 ster- 
ling, and the lands of Warse and others in Canisbay from 
the Groat family. The House of Freswick was built by 
him about middle of last century. In 1778 James 
Sinclair, son of James Sinclair of Latheron, who sold 



54 THE SINCLAIRS OF FRESWICK. 

The sinciairs of Dunbeath, attempted to set aside the sale, but after 
i'«''Wic-. many years' litigation the action of reduction raised 
against Freswick's son and successor failed. 

William Sinclair of Freswick was a gentleman of 
ability and of considerable local note, while his personal 
appearance is stated to have been dignified and imposing. 
As leader of one of the two political parties into which 
the county was in his time divided (Sir William Dunbar 
of Hempriggs leading the other), he was an influential 
county gentleman. If vindictive and somewhat unscrupu- 
lous towards his enemies and opponents, as they alleged, 
he was a warm, and, on many occasions, a generous and 
considerate friend. He was eager in the promotion of 
his own mterests, and his acqviisition of a considerable 
estate from moderate beginnings, and the political and 
family animosities prevalent in the times in which he 
lived, account, to some extent, for the rather unfavour- 
able traditionary character he bears. 

He married Katharine, daughter of George Sutherland 
of Forse, and he died in 1769.^ He had a son and two 
daughters : — 

1. John, his successor. 

1. Elizabeth, eldest daughter, married, when some- 

what advanced in life, George Bean, a Writer 
in Inverness. 

2 . Jean, married Alexander Sinclair of Barrock, and was 

grandmother of Sir John Sinclair, late of Barrock. 

1 Peerage case, 4th July 1769. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF FRESWICK. 55 

VI. John Sinclair of Freswick, Advocate, was The sinciairs of 
Sheriff of the county, and was twice married. His first ""'^™"''- 
wife was Margaret, daughter of Sir John Dalrymple of 
Consland, and a lady to whom he appears to have been 
much attached, although for some reason, now unknown, 
his father was much opposed to the marriage. By 
her he had a son and a daughter : — 

1. William, who was a Lieutenant in the 78th 
Kegiment, in 1778. He predeceased his father 
without issue, and appears to have given him 
much trouble and distress from his extravagant 
habits. 

1. Kitty, who also died before her father, in her 
fifteenth year. 

By his second wife, Margaret, daughter of James 
Moray of Abercairney, who survived him, he had no issue. 

In the contested county election, in 1754, John 
Sinclair was invited by the Brodie party to stand as a 
candidate, but he declined, and supported General Scott, 
who was returned. 

He died and was buried at Bath, in 1784, and was 
the last surviving collateral heir-male of the Rattar 
branch of the Caithness family, so that on the death 
of John, Earl of Caithness, in 1789, the succession to 
the earldom devolved on Sir James Sinclair of Mey, 
in default of heirs-male of the Greenland and Battar 
family. 

In reference to the settlement of the Freswick estates, 



56 THE SINCLAIRS OF FRESWICK. 

The sinciairs of he "WTote, in 1782, to his second cousin, Dr. William 
Freswick. gijidair of Lochend, afterwards of Freswick : " I look on 
my grandfather (John Sinclair of Eattar) as the head of 
my family ; from his descendants I never will give away 
what my father left me, but of these I will choose hun I 
think the most worthy. A cousin or a nephew are equal 
with me in the scale. Whoever merits most will be pre- 
ferable." Accordingly, on 30th May 1775, he executed a 
strict entail of the estates, in the destination of which he 
preferred the descendants of his paternal aunt, Barbara, 
daughter of John Sinclair of Rattar, and two of the 
younger sons of WilHam, tenth Earl of Caithness, great- 
grandsons of John of Rattar, to the children of his sister, 
Mrs. Sinclair of Barrock, his nephew, William, the 
second son of Barrock, being the last named substitute of 
entaU. The estates were settled (1st), on the heirs-male 
and female of his own body ;^ (2d), on Robert Sinclair, 
eldest grandson of his aunt, Barbara, and her husband, 
John Sinclair of Forss ; (3d), on Dr. William Sinclair, 
another grandson of Barbara Sinclair and John Sinclair of 
Forss ; (4th and 5th), on his cousins, William and James, 
younger sons of William Sinclair of Rattar, tenth Earl of 
Caithness ; and (lastly), on his nephew, William Sinclair, 
Writer to the Signet, the second son of Alexander Sin- 
clair of Barrock, by his sister, Jean. This settlement of 
the estates was the cause of great dissatisfaction to his 
sisters, who, in a process of reduction in 1789 for setting 
it aside, complained of the entail as " disinheriting them 



THE SINCLAIRS OF FBESWICK. 57 

and preferring a person who, althougli a relation of the The sinciairs of 
family, was not even the nearest heir-male." 

John Sinclair is described as a man of quick parts, 
but proud and extravagant, and inattentive to his affairs. 

VII. Robert Sinclair of Freswick, eldest son of 
James Sinclair of Holburnhead, and afterwards of Forss, 
succeeded in 1784, and died at Dunbeath Castle, without 
issue, in November 1794.^ He married Esther Bland, said 
to have been an actress, and to have been the sister, or 
near relative, of the celebrated Mrs. Jordan. 

VIII. William Sinclair of Lochend, which estate 
he acquired by purchase, in 1778, for £2015, was grand- 
son of John Sinclair of Forss, and Barbara Sinclah-, and 
succeeded his cousin-german, Robert Sinclair of Freswick, 
in 1794. He was a Doctor of Medicine, and practised 
for many years in Thurso, and the county generally, before 
succeeding to the estates. He acquired Thura by pur- 
chase in 1801. He was twice married ; and died on 15th 
March 1838, aged 90. 

By his first wife, Isabella, daughter of Alexander 
Calder, last laird of Lynegar, who died in 1812, he had — 

1. John, who died unmarried in 1832 in the twenty- 
second year of his age. 

1. Barbara Madelina Gordon, the late Mrs. Thomson 
Sinclair of Freswick, twin sister of John. 

^ Retour 6th October. 
H 



58 THE SINCLAIRS OF FRESWICK. 

The sinciairs of 2. Isabella, who married Mr. Thomas Cochrane Hume 

of Halifax, North America,^ and had a son, 

WilHam Sinclair Hume, who died 9 th October 

1859, in early life, and two daughters; of whom 

one died young, and the other, Isabella Barbara, 

married Captain John Hobhouse IngHs Alexander 

of Southbar, R.N., and has issue. 

In 1816 William Sinclair married, secondly, his cousin, 

Jane, daughter of John Sinclair of Barrock, by whom he 

had a son and three daughters : — 

1. William James John Alexander, his successor. 

1. Williamina, who died young. 

2. Janet Sinclair Traill, who died in June 1870, at 

Torquay, unmarried. 

3. Jane, who married Major-General Augustus Halifax 

Ferryman, and died in 1851, leaving one child, 
Augustus Hamilton Ferryman, now of Lochend 
and Thura. 

IX. William James John Alexander Sinclair 
OF Freswick succeeded his father in 1838, while yet in 
minority. He served for a short time in the Army, and 
died iinmarried at Nottingham House, on 20th February 
1855, in the thirty-second year of his age, and was sxic- 
ceeded by his half-sister, Bai'bara. He possessed good 
natural abilities, and but for his delicate health would, 
had his life been prolonged, have taken a lead in the 

1 Ou 28th January 1840. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF FRESWICK. 59 

county. In 1847 he issued an address to the Electors The smciairs of 
of Caithness, offering to represent the county in Parha- 
ment on Conservative principles, but he did not go 
to the poll. 

X. Mrs. Barbara Madelina Gordon Thomson 
Sinclair of Freswick married William Thomson, Esq., 
Deputy Commissary-General of the Forces, and had an 
only child, WilHam Sinclah Thomson Sinclair. 

XL William Sinclair Thomson Sinclair, now of 
Freswick, was born 8th April 1844, married on 18th June 
1872 Isabella, eldest daughter of James Henderson, Esq. 
of Bilbster, and in 1876 succeeded to the family estates 
on the death of his mother. 



THE SINCLAIES OF MEY. 

The sinciairs of I. WiLLiAM SINCLAIR, second SOU of George, foiirth 
Earl of Caitliness, obtained a charter in March 1572 from 
his father, of the lands of Mey, and was thus the first 
laird of Mey. He died unmarried. 

II. George Sinclair, second op Mey, succeeded his 
brother, William, and in 1573 got a precept of dare 
constat from Robert, Bishop of Caithness. In 1585 and 
1592 he obtained Crown charters. In 1572 the Bishop 
appointed him Chancellor of the diocese of Caithness. 
He was a man of ability, who lost no opportunity of pro- 
moting his family interests, and considerable additions to 
the family estates were made by him. 

Before 1583 he married Margaret, daughter of 
William, seventh Lord Forbes, and he died in 1G16. 
He had four sons and five daughters : — 

1. William, his heir. 

2. Sir John, of Geanies and Dunbeath. 

3. James, who died young. 

4. Alexander of Latheron, ancestor of the Sinclaii's of 

Barrock and Brabster. 
1. Janet, eldest daughter, who married Walter Innes 
of Inverbrakie, 



THE SINCLAIES OF MEY. 61 

2. Margaret, who married, in 1608, Alexander Sinclair The sinciairs of 

of Forss. 

3. Barbara, who married Alexander Keith of Pitten- 

drum, in 1610. 

4. Elizabeth, who married William Dunbar, first of 

Hempriggs in Morayshire, and grandfather of Sir 
Wilham Dunbar of Hempriggs, etc., in Caithness. 

5. Anne. 

III. Sir William Sinclair of Mey was created a 
knight,^ and was styled Sir WilHam of Cadboll. In 1600 
he married Katharine, second daughter of George Eoss of 
Balnagown, and was succeeded by his son, Sh James. 
It has been supposed that Sir WiUiam was created a 
baronet, but this is doubtful ; and in the Great Seal 
charters of 1623 and 1636 he is mentioned as " Miles" 
only. 

In 1595 a mutiny broke out among the scholars and 
gentlemen's sons attending the High School of Edin- 
burgh, arising from a dispute with the magistrates as to 
their vacation. They laid in provisions in the school- 
room, manned the same, and took in arms with powder 
and bullets ; and refused all entrance to masters or 
magistrates until their claims were conceded. After a 
day passed in this manner, the Council resolved on 
strong measures, and a posse of ofiicers, headed by Bailie 
John Macmoran, proceeded to the school, and faihng to 

' Charters 1623, 1G3G. 



62 THE SINCLAIRS OF MEY. 

The sinciairs of persuade the scholars to suiTender, attempted to prize 
open the doors. The scholars, finding no attention paid 
to their threats, to " put a pair of bullets through the 
best of their cheeks," unless they desisted, " one Sinclair, 
the Chancellor of Caithness' son, presented a gun from a 
window, direct opposite to the bailies' faces, boasting them 
and calling them buttery carles. Off goeth the charged 
gun, pierced John Macmoran through his head, and pre- 
sently killed him, so that he fell backward straight to 
the ground without speech at all." The culprit was Wil- 
liam, afterwards Sir Wilham Sinclair of Mey ; but in the 
end he and seven other youths implicated got clear off.'- 

The following description of Barrogill Castle, at this 
period, is taken from a poem dedicated to the Earl of 
Caithness and Sir William St. Clair of CadboU : — 

" Sir, sighting now thyself and palace faire, 
I find a novelty, and that most rare ; 
The time though cold and stormie, sharper sun, 
And far to summer, scarce the spring begun. 
Yet with good luck in Februar, Saturn's prey 
Have I not sought and found out fruitful May 
Flank'd with the marine coast prospective stands 
Eight opposit to the Orcade Isles and lands, 
Where I, for flowers, engorged strong grapes of Spain, 
And liquor'd French, both red and white amaine. 
Which palace doth contain, two four-squared courts 
Graft with brave works, where th' art drawn pensile spourts 
On halls, high chambers, galleries, office bowers, 
Cells, rooms, and turrets, platforms, stately towers." 

' Chambers's " Domestic Annals," vol. i. pp. '2C], 2C2. 



THE SINCLAIKS OF MEY. 63 

IV. Sir James Sinclair was styled, in his father's The sinciairs of 
hfetime, of Canisbay, as appears from a tack of teiuds, 
dated 14th June 1635, by Sir William and Sir James, 
and from a Crown charter in favour of both, dated 17th 
February 1636. As before stated, it is doubtful whether 
his father was more than a mere knight, and if Sir James 
was so called in his father's lifetime there must have been 
a separate creation. His uncle. Sir John of Geanies and 
Dunbeath, to whose baronetcy he is supposed to have 
succeeded, was alive long after 1636, but if Su' James 
was so styled in the lifetime of his father and uncle, 
he may have been merely knighted, and may still have 
afterwards taken up his uncle's baronetcy.^ Sir James 
married Elizabeth, daughter of Patrick, Lord Lindores, 
and died in 1662. He had five sons and two daughters : — 

1. John,^ who died young. 

2. William, his successor. 

3. Robert of Durran. — ( Vide Durran.) 

4. James ^ of Stangergill, who died without issue. 

5. George of Olrig. — {Vide Olvig.) 

1. Anne, eldest daughter, who married George, first 
Earl of Cromarty. 

' [Sir James Sinclair of Canisbay was liam and Robert : his property, on his 

created a Baronet June 2, 1631, with death s.p., was inherited by Robert, 

remainder "h^redibus auis masculis et In 1645 Sir James granted a bond over 

assignatis quibuscunque." The precept Stangergill to John, his "second son." 

for the patent is on record.] In a discharge, dated 1667, Sir William 

^ [This John and James seem to have enumerates his younger brothers as 

been really one person, namely, John, of John, Robert, and George.] 
Stangergill, intermediate between Wil- 



64 THE SINCLAIRS OF MEY. 

The sinciairs of 2. Elizabeth, who married her cousin, William Sin- 
^^' clair of Dunbeath. 

V. Sir William Sinclair of Canisbay and Mey 
was infeft in Mey in 1662 as heir to his father, on a precept 
of dare constat by the Bishop of Caithness. He married 
Margaret, second daughter of George, second Earl of 
Seaforth, and had two sons and three daughters :— 

1. Sir James, his heir. 

2. George. 

1. Elizabeth, eldest daughter, who married John 

Sinclair of Rattar. 

2. Barbara, who married David Sinclair of Freswick. 

3. Mary. 

The estate was so involved in debt by Sir William 
that it was, after his death, judicially sold by his creditors 
in 1694. 

VI. Sir James Sinclair of Mey married — first, 
Frances, daughter of Sir John Towers of that Ilk and 
of Inverleith ; ^ and, secondly, Jean, daughter of Francis 
Sinclau' of Northfield, second son of George, fifth Earl 
of Caithness. 

The estates having been judicially sold for the debts 
of Sir James's father, they were purchased by his cousin, 
Viscount Tarbet, afterwards Earl of Cromarty, who had 

' [This first marriage is given on formacus, who married the daughter 
Douglas's authority. It was Sir James's and heir of Sir John Towers of Inver- 
contemporary, Sir John Sinclair of Long- leith.] 



THE STNCLAIRS OF MEY. 65 

married his aunt, and in 1698 Lord Tarbet reconveyed The sinciairs of 
them to the family by a disposition and deed of entail, 
" animo doriandi," in favour of James, eldest son of Sir 
James Sinclair, and other heirs. 

By his first marriage Sir James Sinclair had a son and 
a daughter : — 

Sn- James, his heir. 

Barbara, who married Francis Sinclair of Stirkoke. 

Sir James had also a natural son, John, who held a 
wadset of Hollandmake, conveyed to him by his father. 

VII. Sir James Sinclair of Mey, third of the name, 
married Mary, daughter of James, Lord Duftus, and had 
three sons and a daughter : — 

1. Sir James. 2. Wilham. S.Kenneth. I.Margaret. 

VIII. Sir James Sinclair, fourth of the name, 
obtained a Crown charter in 1740,^ and married Margaret, 
daughter of John Sinclau- of Barrock, by whom he had 
two sons : — 

1. Su- John. 

2. Wilham, who married Elizabeth, daughter of 

Richard Smclah, merchant in Thurso, second 
son of Alexander Sinclair, last laird of Dun. He 
had a son, John, captain in the 79th Foot, who 
was killed at Waterloo, and a daughter, Wil- 
Uamina, who died unmarried. It is thought he 
had a second daughter, who was married. 

1 Retour, lOth February IT-IO. 
I 



66 THE SINCLAIRS OF MEY. 

The siuciairs of IX. SiR JoHN SINCLAIR OF Mey was Served lieir of 
taillie and provision in 1763, and married Charlotte, 
second daughter of Eric, Lord Duffus, by vs^hom he had a 
son and a daughter : — 
Sir James. 

Margaret, who married the Reverend Wilham Leshe, 
of Darkland, by vt^hom she had a son and seven 
daughters, viz., Archibald, who mariied, and left 
issue ; Charlotte, who married Arthur Geddes, 
and had issue ; Anne, who married Charles 
Black, and had issue ; Elizabeth, who married 
Captain Van Barly, and had issue ; Isabella, who 
married James Imlach, and had issue ; Jessie or 
Janet, who married Colonel Peter Dunbar, and 
had issue ; Mary, who married Patrick Cameron, 
and had issue ; and Helen, who married Peter 
Brown of Linkwood, and had issue. 

X. Sir James Sinclair of Mey, eighth baronet, and 
ninth in descent from George of Mey, Chancellor of 
Caithness, was served heir to his father in 1785 ; and on 
the death of John, eleventh Earl of Caithness, he was 
served in May 1790, as nearest and lawful heir-male of 
Wilham St. Clair, second Earl of Caithness of the hne 
of St. Clair,' and thereafter took the dignity of Earl of 
Caithness. Vide Earls of Caithness. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF ULBSTER. 

The ancestor of tliis family was William Sinclair, first The sinciairs of 
laird of Mey, the second son of George, fourth Earl of 
Caithness, who granted him the lands of Mey in 1572, 
His elder brother, John, Master of Caithness, having, with 
his connivance, been imprisoned by his father in Girnigo 
Castle, he was, on the occasion of a visit to the dungeon 
of the Master, laid hold of and strangled by him. This 
event took place in 1572 or 1573, for in the latter year 
his brother, George, got a precept of dare constat as his 
heir. By Margaret, daughter of James Mowat of Buchollie 
and Lucy Gordon, daughter of Gordon of Gight, he left 
two sons, Patrick and John. In the Great Seal Record, 
Edinburgh, Lib. 45, No. 18, there occurs a legitimation, 
dated 20th June 1607, "Patricio et Magistro Joanni 
Smclair filiis naturahbus quondam Willelmi Sinclair de 
Mey." Further notices of the family are to be found in 
" Stewartiana," 1843, by Mr. John Riddell, Advocate ; in 
"The Gentleman's Magazine," vol. xx. p., 260; and in 
Father Hay's accomit of the St. Clairs of Roslyn, printed 
in 1845. 



68 THE SINCLAIRS OF ULBSTER. 

The Sinclairs of I. PATRICK SINCLAIR, FIRST OF UlBSTER, gOt a dis- 

Ulbster, . . 

position of these lands in 1596 from his cousin, George, 
fifth Earl of Caithness, and, dying without issue, he was 
succeeded by his brother, John. 

II. John Sinclair of Ulbster was a man of education 
and ability, and as his name is seldom mentioned without 
the prefix of Mr. or " Maister," there is ground for think- 
ing that he was brought up as a pedagogue or teacher, 
although it was not unusual to designate as " Maister " 
gentlemen of landed property, as well as pedagogues, 
preachers, notaries, and the like. In 1601 the General 
Assembly arranged that certain ministers should plant 
themselves in the families of the Catholic nobles ; and 
Lord Gordon, eldest son of the Marquis of Huntly, and 
the Master of Caithness, eldest son of the Eai4, " were 
brought up together under the care of two pedagogues, 
Thomas Gordon and John Sinclair, who were compelled 
to declare themselves adherents of the reformed faith." 
That John Sinclair, the pedagogue, was John Sinclair, 
afterwards Mr. John Sinclaii- of Ulbster, seems to admit 
of no doubt, for we find by a letter from him to his uncle, 
George of Mey, that, in 1604, he and the Master lived 
in the family of the Marquis of Huntly at Bogg Gight ; 
and in regard to the Master he writes : " always the 
Mr. is verie weill, God be praysit, and commends him 
heartily to you."^ 

' "Domestic Annals of Scotland." 



THE SINCLAIRS OF ULBSTER. 69 

John Sinclair was twice married — first, to Jean The sinciairs of 
Chisholm, who is no doubt the " Kesohne, daughter to 
the laird of Straglass," who is said by Hay to have 
married the first laird of Ulbster ; and, secondly, to 
Katharine Stewart. By his first wife he had two sons 
and a daughter : — 

1. Patrick, his successor. 

2. George, a merchant in Leith. 

1. Henrietta, who married William Abernethy (son of 
John, Bishop of Caithness), who was minister of 
Halkirk in 1627, and of Thurso in 163G. 

By his second wife John Sinclau' had a son and two 
daughters : — ' 

1. John of Tannach and Brims, who served in the 
German wars, and in 1660 j)urchased Brims from 
the heirs of the first Sinciairs of Dunbeath. He 
married Ann Goldman, and had three sons and 
two daughters : — John, afterwai'ds of Ulbster ; 
William of Thrumster^ (who married Margaret, 
daughter of James Innes of Thursater) ; and 
Charles ; Jean, who married Francis Sinclair of 
Dun, and afterwards David Sinclair of South- 
dun ; and Elizabeth, who max-ried William 
Sinclair of Rattar. 

John Sinclair of Tannach had two natural 



1 William Sinclair of Thrumster their son, William, had Oust, which 
seems also to have had Oust, for his he disponed in 1719 to John Sinclair 
wife had it in liferent, but at all events of Brims. 



70 THE SINCLAIRS OP ULBSTER. 

The sinciairs of sons, ODG of wliom was James, probably James 

Sinclair "in Lythmore," and the same James 
Sinclair wlio, in 1702, obtained from his brother, 
John of Ulbster and Brims, a wadset of Holboi-n- 
head, Uttersquoy, and Sandiquoy. 

III. Patrick Sinclair of Ulbster was served heir 
to his father, John, in 1640, and in 1647 he married Eliza- 
beth, daughter of John M'Kay of Strathy and Dirlot. 
He had two sons and seven daughters : — 

1. John, his successor. 

2. Sir George of Bilbster and Clyth, who married 

Jean, daughter of William Sinclair of Dunbeath, 
and had no issue. He had, however, three 
natural daughters : — Jean, who married William 
Sinclair, younger of Thrumster, Mary, and 
Anne. 
Patrick Sinclair's daughters were : — 

1. Anne, who married Francis Sinclair of Stirkoke. 

2. Elizabeth, who married, in 1660, John Sinclair of 

Brabster. 

3. Mary, who married, in 1675, Su- Ptobert Dunbar 

of Northfield. 

4. Isabel, who married, in 1673, George, eldest son 

of James Sinclair of Assery. 

5. Margaret, who married, in 1679, her cousin-german, 

Hugh M'Kay of Cairnloch, son of John M'Kay 
of Skerray. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF ULBSTEE.. 71 

6. Jean, who married Ano-us M'Kay, apparent of The sincidrs of 

Ulbster. 

Bighouse. 

7. Katharine, who married James Sinclair- of Lyb- 

ster. 
In 16G0 Patrick Sinclair and his son, John, purchased 
from the Earl of Caithness, for 22,485 merks, or little 
more than £1200 sterling. East and Mid Clyth, Koster, 
and Tannach. In 1676 Lord Glenorchy granted a wadset 
of West Clyth, and the rest of that estate, redeemable 
for 15,465 merks, and in 1706 he disponed these lands 
so wadsetted, and Swordale, Aimster, Carsgo, Gerston, 
Achscoraclate, Stainland or Staneland, and fishings of 
Thurso. 

IV. John Sinclair of Ulbster, married Janet, 
daughter of William Sinclair of Rattar and his second 
wife Jean Cunningham. 

Having no family, John Sinclau- settled the estates, 
in 1709, by an entail, the first substitute called being his 
cousin, John Sinclair of Brims, the eldest son of John of 
Tannach and Brims, and the subsequent heirs being 
Charles Sinclau- of Bilbster, George M'Kay of Bighouse, 
George Sinclair of Brabster, Patrick, his brother, John 
Sinclair of Lybster, William, Robert, and George, his 
brothers, John Sinclair of Assery, Patrick Dunbar of 
Bowermadden, and his brothers, William, James, and 
David, the whole substitutes, except John Sinclair of 
Brims, being the descendants of his sisters. 



72 THE SINCLAIRS OF ULBSTER. 

The Siiiclairs of V. JoHN SINCLAIR OF BrIMS AND UlBSTER WaS twice 

married, first to Jean, daughter of Munro of Ciilrain, and, 
secondly, to Jean Cores. By his first marriage he had 
four sons and three daughters : — 

1. John, his successor. 

2. Patrick of Brims. There is a tradition that he had 

an intrigue with a daughter of James Sinclair 
of Uttersquoy, who was probably the natural 
brother of John Sinclair of Brims and Ulbster, 
and that she having mysteriously disappeared, 
was supposed to have been made away with by 
Sinclah, and her body concealed in the castle, 
which consequently had the reputation of being 
haunted. Patrick left the county, and is said to 
have enhsted in the Guards. 

3. James of Holbornhead. This property was dis- 

poned to him by his father, and by him sold to 
Robert Sinclair of Geise. 

4. Gustavus, a merchant in Leith. 

1. Sidney, eldest daughter. 

2. Jean or Janet, who married, first, Benjamin Dunbar, 

younger of Hempriggs ; and, secondly, George, 
thii-d Lord Reay. 

3. Elizabeth, who married John M'Kay, second of 

Strathy. 

VI. John Sinclair op Ulbster, sometime younger 
of Brims, married Henrietta, daughter of George Brodie 



THE SINCLAIRS OF ULBSTER. 73 

of Brodie, and died in 1736. He had three sons and a The smoiairs of 
daughter :— ^"^='^^- 

1. George, his successor. 

2. James of Harpsdale, who married, first, Marjory, 

daughter of David Sinclair of Southdun, by whom 
he had two daughters, Henrietta of Southdun, 
and Janet, who mari-ied Colonel Williamson of 
Banniskirk. His second wife was Mally Suther- 
land, Spinningdale, by whom he had a son, 
Alexander, who died young. His third wife 
was Katharine, daughter of Alexander Sinclair 
of Lybster, by whom he had two daughters, 
Katharine, who married Major George William- 
son, and Helen, who married Captain David 
Brodie of Hopeville (Sibster). 

3. Captain John Sinclair, in " Burke," called Majoi- 

John, who married Elizabeth, widow of John 
WUmer, Esquire. 
1. Amelia, only daughter, married John Sutherland 
of Forse. 

VII. George Sinclair of Ulbster married Janet, 
daughter of Lord Strathnaver. He died in 1776, and 
left a son and three daughters : — 
1. John, his successor. 

1. Helen, eldest daughter, who married Alexander 
Campbell of Barcaldine, whose daughter, Jane, 
married James, Earl of Caithness, in 1784. 



74 THE SINCLAIRS OF ULBSTER. 

The Siiiciairs of 2. Marj, wlio married James Homerigg of Gamalshiels. 
uibster. ^ Janet, who married William BaiUie of Polkemmet, 

Lord Polkemmet of the Court of Session. 

VIII. Sir John Sinclair or Ulbster was born in 
1754, and was created baronet in 1788, with remainda:, 
in default of male issue, to the male issue of his daughters. 
He married, first, in 1776, Sarah, daughter of Alexander 
Maitland of Stoke Newington ; and, secondly, in 1788, 
Diana, daughter of Alexander, first Lord Macdonald, and 
had issue by both marriages. He was succeeded by his 
son, of his second marriage. Sir George Sinclair. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF DURBAN. 

Calder mentions a " Sinclaii' of Durran" in 1621, TheSinciairsof 
who, having been ejected by the Bishop's Chamberlain 
from lands which he occupied as tenant under the Earl 
of Caithness, killed one Lindsay, to whom the lands had 
been given. The Earl held church lands in feu, but had 
been deprived of them, and as the lands of Durran seem, 
in 1657 and 1659, to have belonged to the bishopric, it 
is probable that ihej were the lands from which Sinclair 
had been ejected ; and that he was styled of Durran as 
the occupier only, or perhaps the wadsetter under the 
Earl. Of what family this Sinclair of Durran was we 
cannot say ; but he seems to have been " kinsman " to 
Sir Andrew Sinclair, envoy for the King of Denmark, for 
whose intervention he appHed to obtain his pardon for 
the murder of Lindsay. Of Su: Andrew's connection 
with the county we have no account. 

I. Egbert Sinclair, third son of Sir James Sinclau- 
of Canisbay, and the great-grandson of George, fourth 
Earl of Caithness, was styled of Diu-ran ; but until 1717, 
when Lord Glenorchy granted a disposition to John 



76 THE SINCLAIRS OF DURRAN. 

The siuciairs of Sinclair of DuiTan, of the lands of Durran, and of Stan- 
gergill, Thurdistoft, and others, which now form part 
of the CastlehUl estate, the Durran estate was held in 
wadset from the Earl of Caithness, by Sir William 
Sinclau- of Cadboll and Sir James of Caiaisbay. 

Robert Sinclair married,^ in 1678, Anne, youngest 
daughter of William Sinclair of Rattar, afterwards 
styled "Lady Harland," and had a son and two 
daughters : — 

1. John, his successor. 

1. Anne, who was third wife of James Sutherland of 

Langwell, and on his death married John Sinclair 
of Barrock. 

2. Janet. 



II. John Sinclair of Durran married Elizabeth, 
eldest daughter of George Sinclair of Barrock/ by his 
second wife, EHzabeth Murray. He died in 1728, and 
had four sons and a daughter : — 

1. Robert, who died in 1725. 

2. John, who died in 1727. 

3. James, afterwards of Durran. 

4. George, Major in the 65th R,egiment, who died 

without issue. 
1. Jean, who married her cousin-german, James 
Sutherland of Swinzie. Vide Swinzie. 

1 Contract of Marriage, March 1. ^ Douglas. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF DURRAN. 77 

III. James Sinclair of Durran married, first, Eliza- The smciairs of 
beth, daughter of Sir Patrick Dunbar of Northfield, by 
his second wife, Katharine, daughter of Joseph Brodie of 
Milntown. By this marriage Tister came into the family,^ 
Sir Robert Dunbar having, in 1758, given a disposition 
in favour of his daughter and husband in Hferent, and to 
the heirs of the marriage in fee. James Sinclair died in 
1793, and had three sons and four daughters : — 

1. Patrick, his successor. 

2. George, Writer to the Signet, who married in 

1775 Elizabeth, daughter of John Sutherland of 
Forse. He died in 1779, leaving a son, John 
Sutherland, Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal 
Artillery, who was three times married, and died 
in 1841. By his first marriage, to Miss Gamble, 
Colonel Sinclair had two sons, George, W.S., who 
died in 1834, and John, Lieutenant in the Royal 
Artilleiy, who died in 1828, and a daughter; 
all of whom died unmarried. By his second 
marriage, to Miss Ramsay, he had two daughters, 
and by his thu'd marriage, to Euphemia, daughter 
of Thomas Buchan of Auchmacoy,^ he had several 
children, of whom there are surviving James 
Augustus and Charles Home. 

3. Major Robert,' who died at Bombay, in 1793, 

unmarried. 

' "Gentleman's Magazine." ^ Died December 1S72. 

3 " Gentleman's Magazine." 



78 THE SINCLAIRS OF DURBAN. 

The Sinciairs of 1. Margaret, wlio married Patrick Honyman of 

Diirran. j~, 

(j-raemsay. 

2. Katharine, who married Alexander, son of James 

Robertson of Bishopmiln. 

3. Ehzabeth, who married WiUiam Robertson of 

Auchinroath. 
James Sinclair married, secondly, Dorothea Bruce, by 
whom he had an only child — 

John, who seems to have died young before 1789. 

IV. Patrick Sinclair of Durran, Captain in Royal 
Navy, died at St. Domingo in 1794, in command of the 
Frigate " Iphigenia." He married Anne, daughter of 
James Sinclair Sutherland of Swinzie, and had two sons 
and a daughter : — 

1. Patrick, who died young and unmarried. 

2. James. 

1. Katharine. 

V. James Sinclair of Durran was a Lieutenant of 
Marines. He was killed in action in 1801, at cutting 
out the French Corvette "La Cheverite," and was 
succeeded by his sister, Katharine. 

VI. Katharine Sinclair op Durran married Cap- 
tain John Worth of Oakley, R.N., and died in 1849, 
leaving a daughter — 



THE SINCLAIRS OF DURRAN. 79 

Mary Katharine, who married, in 1834, Admiral Sir The Sinciaivs of 

Baldwin Walker, Bart., K.C.B., etc., etc., who 

died in 1876, and was succeeded by his eldest 

son, Baldwin Walker, a Lieutenant in the Navy. 

The estate of Durran was sold in 1827 by Mrs. Worth 

to the late Alexander, thirteenth Earl of Caithness, for 

£15,000. The nearest existing respresentatives of the 

family in the male line are the two sons of Colonel John 

Sutherland Sinclair, namely, James Augustus and Charles 

Home Sinclair, both of whom are married. The family 

of Sinclair of Durran is next in succession to the earldom 

of Caithness, on failure of heirs-male of the present Earl. 



THE SINCLAIES OF OLEIG. 

Tiie sinciairs of J. The first of the family of Smclau's of Oh'ig was 
George, fifth son of Sir James Sinclair of Canisbay. He 
married Elizabeth, daughter of Iris relative, Alexander 
Sinclair of Latheron, and widow of Walter Bruce of 
Ham. He had a son, Alexander. 

John, Master of Berriedale, granted a wadset of OLrig 
to Sir WiUiam Sinclair of Mey, and his son. Sir James, 
for 8000 merks, which the latter assigned as a provision 
to his son, George ; and in 1708 Lord Glenorchy sold the 
property to Alexander Sinclair, then of Olrig, for 12,900 
merks, or about £650 sterHng, "reserving the swans and 
swans' nests on the Loch of Durran." 

II. Alexander Sinclair of Olrig married Katha- 
rine, da,ughter of Donald Budge of Toftingall, and was 
killed in a duel, in 1710, by William Innes of Sandside. 
He had four sons and three daughters : — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

2. James, who was in Duncansbay and Warse in 

1739-1747, and who was also a merchant in 
Freswick. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF OLRIG. 81 

3. Alexander. * The Sinclairs of 
■^,r-iT Olrig. 

4. WiJliam. 

1. Elizabeth, who niamed Charles Smclair of Bilbster. 

2. Esther, who married John Sinclak of Forss. 

3. Katharine, who married William Budge of Toffcin- 

gall, W.S. William Budge married a Katharine 
Sinclair, and in 1741 James Sinclair, Tacksman 
of Warse, and son of Alexander Sinclair of Olrig, 
is mentioned as " brother-in-law " of Wilham 
Budge. 
Esther and Katharine Sinclair were both alive and 
widows in 1767. — (Proof in Rattar's Peerage case.) 

III. Donald Sinclair of Olrig and Bilbster mar- 
ried Fenella, only daughter and heiress of Charles Sinclair 
of Bilbster, and had a son and a daughter : — - 

1. Charles, his successor. 

1. Henrietta, who is mentioned in 1786 as relict of 
Captain Benjamin Moodie. 

IV. Charles Sinclair op Olrig married Elizabeth, 
daughter of Eric, Lord DufFus, and Elizabeth Dunbar, 
daughter of Sir James and Dame Elizabeth Dunbar of 
Hempriggs. He had a son and three daughters : — 

1. Donald, his successor. 
. 1. Fenella. 

2. Elizabeth. 

3. Janet. 

L 



82 THE SINCLAIRS OF OLRIG. 

The Sinclairs of V. DONALD SINCLAIR OF OlRIG died witllOUt isSUe, 

and was succeeded by his sister, Fenella. 

VI. Mrs. Fenella Sinclair of Olrig married 
Archibald CuUen, Barrister-at-Law, and had two sons 
and four daughters : — 

1. William, Major- General in the Madras army. 

2. David, who died young. 

1. Elizabeth. 

2. Anna. 

3. Sinclair. 

These three daughters died young. 

4. Marion Robina, who married Edward Marjoribanks, 

Esquire. 
The lands of Olrig and Bilbster were sold by Mrs. 
CuUen. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF DUNBEATH 
AND LATHERON. 

I. About 1624 Dunbeath was purchased by Sir John The Smciairs of 
Sinclair of Geanies, second son of George Sinclair of Mey, Latuerou. 
from Lord Forbes, to whom it had been disponed by 
George Sinclair, the last of i\\e first family of the Sinclairs 
of Dunbeath. Sir John Sinclair had made a fortune as a 
merchant, and he had acquired possessions in Ross-shire, 
as well as Dunbeath, Stemster, and Brabster-myre in 
Caithness. 

In 1631 he was created a knight baronet^ by patent 
to him and the " heirs-male of his body," according to 
Douglas, but by Wood's Peerage the title was to his 
"heirs-male whatsoever." It has been supposed that 
this is the original baronetcy still in the Mey family, 
and which was taken up by his nephew, Sir James Sin- 
clair of Mey, the son of his immediate elder brother, 
William. If this has not been the case, and that the 
baronetcy was limited to heks-male of his body, it is 
extinct. 

' [This Sir John was only a knight. As to the Mey baronetcy, see \i. 63, 
note.] 



84 THE SINCLAIRS OF DUNBEATH AND LATHERON. 



The SinclairK of 
Dunbeath and 
Latheron. 



Sir John was twice married. His second wife, as 
appears from an inscription ^ in the family burying-place 
at Latheron, was Christian, daughter of Magnus Mowat 
of Buchollie. He had no sons, and of his three daughters, 
the second and third were of his second marriage, but 
of which marriage the other was is uncertain.^ The 
daughters were — 

1. Margaret, who married Hugh Rose of Kih'a- 

vock. 

2. Gemma, who died young. 

3. Christian, who died unmarried. 

On his daughter, Margaret, Sii" John settled 50,000 
merks and lands in Hoss-shire ; the remainder of his 
property he distributed among the sons of his brother, 
Alexander Sinclair of Latheron. 

Alexander Sinclair was wadsetter of Latheron, of 
which he got a charter in 1635, but his descendants 
acquired the reversion, and held the lands in fee, and he 



^ The inscription referred to is much 
obliterated, but the following seems to 
be a probable rendering of the original 
Latin: — "John Sinclair of Dunbeath, 
crowned knight, erected this monument 
to his dearly beloved ones — namely, to 
his wife, Christian Muat, daughter of 
Magnus, Lord of BoUquholly, who died 
prematurely, in the bloom of life, and 
to his daughters, etc. 

Their Epitaph. 
This monument covers ladies turned 
into ashes, whose names were Gemma 
and Christian ; the one was cut off in 



early life, the other in old age. Their 
mother was the second wife of the 
Knight of Dunbeath. There might 
have been a more abundant list of the 
innumerable praises of both had this 
small monument admitted. Learn 
hence, Mortal, that the divinities 
who spin the fatal threads of life, spare 
neither young nor old." 

2 [He afterwards married Catherine, 
daughter of Hugh, seventh Lord Lovat. 
Christian Mowaf! was mother of Mar- 
garet. — Family of Kilravock (Spalding 
Club), p. 339.] 



THE SIlSrCLAIRS OF DUNBEATH AND LATHERON. 85 

seems also to have had some rights over Stemster. He The sinciairs of 
married, ill 1632, Jean, daughter of John Cunningham L™jg^o^_ "" 
of Brownhill. In 1647 he was dead. He left four sons 
and three daughters : — 

1. Wilham of Dunbeath and Geanies. 

2. John of Brabster-myre, ancestor of the family of 

Sinclair-Sutherland of Brabster. 

3. Alexander of Stemster, who married Anna, daugh- 

ter of Sir James Sinclair of Murkle, and died 
without issue. 

4. George of Barrock, ancestor of the Sinciairs of 

Barrock. 

1. Elizabeth, who married, in 1657, Walter Bruce of 

Ham, and was afterwards "Lady Olrig," as wife 
of George Sinclair of Olrig. 

2. Jean, who married, in 1651, Magnus Mowat of ' 

Buchollie.^ 

3. Margaret, who married Sir William Dunbar of 

Hempriggs. 

II. William Sinclaib of Dunbeath, Latheron, and 
Geanies, sometimes erroneously styled " Sir William," 
was a gentleman of considerable estate and position, and, 
in addition to his landed property, held large apprisings 
affecting the earldom, although before his death he 
appears to have had considerable debts. In 1661 he was 
one of the County Commissioners in the Scottish 

^ Contract of Marriage. 



86 THE SINCLAIRS OF DUNBEATH AND LATIIERON. 

The sinciairs of Parliament. He married, in 1656, his cousin, Elizabeth, 
Latheron. daughter of Sir James Sinclair of Mey, who survived 

him, and died in 1722. He died in 1690, and had five 

sons and sis daughters : — 

1. Alexander, younger of Dunbeath, a Commissioner 

of Supply in 1685. He died without issue. 

2. John, heir to his father. 

3. William of Stemster, to which he succeeded on 

the death of his uncle, Alexander. He married 
Helen Munro, and died without issue in 1699. 

4. James, afterwards Sir James. 

5. David, who died without issue. 

1. Anne, eldest daughter. 

2. Elizabeth, who married, in 1698, James Sutherland 

of Langwell, and died without issue. 

3. Janet, who married Andrew Bruce of Muness, 

Shetland, and died without issue. 

4. Jean, who married, in 1682, Sir George Sinclair of 

Clyth. 

5. Margaret. 

6. Katharine, "Lady Bowermadden," who married 

Sir Patrick Dunbar. 
The daughters are mentioned in the above order of 
seniority in a "Memorial" in 1754 regarding their 
provisions. 

III. John Sinclair, as the eldest surviving son, 
took up, on the death of his brother, Alexander, the 



THE SINCLAIRS OF DUNBEATH AND LATHERON. 87 

succession to the estates of Dunbeath, Lathe ron, and The sinciairs of 
Geanies, the last named of which he sold, in 1703, to Latheron "" 
^neas Macleod of CadboU. 

He is said to have been a weak man, and to have 
made a marriage so displeasing to his father that ' ' he 
conceived a mortal hatred to him." Certain it is that 
in addition to his wife's liferent of Dunbeath, and his 
own debts, his father burdened him with large provi- 
sions to his other children, besides reserving the appris- 
ings against the earldom, amounting to 14,000 mei'ks. 

John Sinclair married Isabella, daughter of M'Kenzie 
of Ardloch, and had two sons and a daughter : — 

1. James, his successor in Latheron. 

2. William, Colonel in the Bavarian service, who left 

no issue. He is named in a disposition and 
settlement by his brother in 1746. 
1. Barbara, who died unmarried.' 

IV. James Sinclair op Latheron, and heir-apparent 
of Dunbeath, never got possession of the latter estate, 
through the machinations of his uncle, James. In 1728 
he married Frances, daughter of John Sinclair of Rattar, 
by whom he had an only child, James. - 

' [There must have been a married in the Kirktown of Latheron ; on Sept. 

daughter, Mrs. Tyrie: for David Tyrie, 27, 1790, heir-general of his uncle, 

cabinetmaker, Edinburgh, was, on Nov. James Sinclair of Latheron, and on 

22, 1790, served heir of line and pro- Dee. 6, 1792, heir-general of his cousin, 

vision special of his great-great-grand- James Siuchiir of Latheron. ] 
father, Alexander Sinclair of Latheron, 



88 THE SINCLAIRS OF DUNBEATH AND LATHERON. 

The sinciairs of In 1751 and 1753, with consent of bis son, he sold 
La'theron. his claim to Dunbcath to his brother-in-law, William 
Sinclair of Freswick. He supported the Kebellion in 
1745, and although considered "a weak and tunid man," 
he collected one hundred men, and attended a muster at 
Spittal Hill. He also fought a duel with William Sinclair 
of Bridgend, son of George Sinclair of Barrock. He 
died in 1775. 

V. James Sinclair, the last of Latheron, died 
unmarried in 1788. 

Robert Manson Sinclair of Bridgend, as trustee for 
James Sinclair of Latheron, raised a reduction of the sale 
of Dunbeath to William of Freswick against his son, John, 
on various grounds, but after considerable litigation the 
process ended unsuccessfully. 

VI. Reverting to the succession to the estate of 
Dunbeath, it appears that on the death of William 
Sinclau-, his fourth son, James, got from his mother a 
renunciation of her liferent of Dunbeath, at that time 
worth £200 per annum, and then he ejected her from 
possession, a step which led to a complaint at her 
instance to the Privy Council. Next he bought up the 
family provisions and the debts due by his brother ; and 
finally, in 1720, he adjudged Dunbeath for £48,000 Scots, 
and was infeft m 1722. In the same year his mother's 
liferent ceased by her death, and he entered on possession 



THE SINCLAIRS OF DUNBEATH AND LATHERON. 89 

of Dunbeath. In 1704 lie was created a baronet/ and lie The smciairs of 
died in the Abbey in 1742. Lrt"^" 

Sir James Sinclair appears to have been a man of a 
violent and somewhat unscrupulous character. In 1734, 
as Baron of Dunbeath, he held a Criminal Court and 
adjudged one William Sinclair to death for the crime of 
theft. But the proceedings were quashed, and Sinclair 
having raised an action against Sir James, obtained large 
damages. In 1739 one George Sutherland raised an 
action for wrongous imprisonment against Sir James, 
in which the latter was subjected to a fine and 
damages, and declared incapable of public trust in time 
coming. 

Sir James was twice married — first, to Isabel, 
daughter of Sir Archibald Muir of Thornton, Provost of 
Edinburgh, by whom he had four sons and a daughter: — 

1. William, afterwards Sir WUliam. 

2. Alexander, to whom his brother, Benjamin, was 

served heir. 

3. Benjamin, afterwards Sir Benjamin. 

4. Archibald, who died in Jamaica, uimiarried. 

1. Margaret, who married William Sinclair of Achin- 
gale and Newton. 

Sir James married, secondly, and shortly before his 
death, Isabel, daughter of John Lumsden, shipmaster in 
Aberdeen, by whom he had a daughter — 

' [By patent, dated Oct. 12, 1704, to him " ejusque haeredes masculos in 
perpetuum." — Register of the Great Seal.] 

M 



90 THE SINCLAIRS OF DUNBEATH AND LATHERON. 

The sinciairs of Jean, who married Robert Campbell, linen draper, 

Lattieron. Abbey hill, Edinburgh/ 

In 1721 Murdoch Campbell in Brubster married 
Janet, a daughter of Sir James, and probably a natural 
child, as no mention of her is found m the famUy 
pedigree. 

VII. Sir William Sinclair of Dunbeath and 
Keiss succeeded his father. Sir James. Keiss was 
acquired by the family thi'ough a transaction with Lord 
Breadalbane, embracing the discharge of the apprisings 
against the earldom. As heir-apparent to Dunbeath, 
Sir WiUiam sold his interest therein, in 1752, to WUliam 
Sinclair of Freswick, and, in 1753-54, he made up a title. 
Having fallen into pecuniary difficulties, he sold Keiss to 
" Ulbster " for £7000 sterling. 

He married Charlotte, second daughter of Dame 
Elizabeth and Sir James Dunbar of Hempriggs, and had 
two sons and a daughter : — 

1. Captain Alexander Sinclair. 

2. Kennedy Muir Sinclair, of whom there are no 

particulars, but it is presumed he died without 



VIII. Captain Alexander Sinclair married Eliza- 

1 [As '• wife of Lieutenant Robert wife of Sir James Sinclair, in Keiss and 
Campbell, — Regt.," she was served heir other lands, on Dec. 19, 1777. See 
to her mother, Dame Isabel Lumsden, p. 91. J 



THE SINCLAIRS OF DUNBEATH AND LATHERON. 91 



beth, daughter of Eric Sutherland, eldest son of Kenneth, The sinciairs of 
third Lord Duffus, ai 
only son, Alexander. 



third Lord Duffus, and died before his father, leaving an Latheron. ^" 



IX. Sir Alexander Sinclair went to the West 
Indies, and perished at sea on his passage from Jamaica 
to Halifax in 1786. He is not known to have left any 
issue. 

X. Sir Benjamin Sinclair of Stemster, third son 
of Sir James, took up the title on the death of his grand- 
nephew. Sir Alexander. He was served heir to his 
brother, Alexander, and in 1740 he had received a dispo- 
sition to Stemster from his father, but he was all his life 
in straitened circumstances. He married Jean, youngest 
daughter of John Sinclair of Assery, and had a son and 
two daughters : — 

1. John. 

1. Isabella, eldest daughter, who died unmarried. 

From the reduced circumstances of her father 
she was quite unprovided for, and was dependent 
on her aunts, " Mrs. Ay ton of Kippo and Mrs. 
Captain Campbell of St. James' Square." Who 
Mrs. Ayton was does not appear, but her aunt, 
Jean, having married a Mr. Campbell, she is 
probably the Mrs. Captain Campbell mentioned. 

2. Helen, who married Dr. Watson, head of the 

Medical Board at Madras, and had a son. 



92 THE SINCLAIRS OF DUNBEATH AND LATHERON. 

The sinoiairs of XL SiR JoHN SINCLAIR, Only son of Sir Benjamin, 
Latheron. took up the stjlc of " Sinclair of Dunbeath," as heir 
to the baronetcy created in 1704 in the person of his 
grandfather, Sir James, then in possession of that estate. 
After serving as lieutenant in the Sutherland Fencibles, 
he went to India, where he attained the rank of Major- 
General, and returning to England he died there in 1842. 
He married Miss Notley at Madras in 1803. She died 
in 1806. By her he had a son and a daughter : — 
John Notley, who died young. 

Jane, who married, in 1822, Patrick Wallace, of the 
Honourable East India Company's Naval Service, 
and has issue. 
Sir John married, secondly, Sarah Charlotte Carter, 
who died, in 1867, without issue, at the age of 85. 

Sir John was the last heir-male of Sir James Sinclair 
in the direct line, and by the death of James Sinclair of 
Latheron in 1788, the baronetcy opened up to the 
descendants of George Sinclair, first of Barrock (Sir 
James Sinclair's uncle), in the person of John Sinclair, 
fifth of Barrock, who was accordingly served heir in 1842, 
The heir-male of John Sinclair, first of Brabster, an elder 
brother of George Sinclair of Barrock, would have been 
prior in succession, but the Brabster male line had failed 
on the death of the two sons of George, third of Brabster. 
In the event of the failure of heirs-male of Sinclair of 
Durran, the family of Barrock appears to be next in 
succession to the earldom of Caithness. 



THE SINCLAIR SUTHERLANDS OF BRABSTER 
OR BRABSTER-MYRE. 

I. John Sinclair, first of this family, was second son The Sinclair 
of Alexander Sinclair of Latheron, and his wife, Jean Brabster or 
Cunningham, daughter of John Cunningham of Brown- B'abster-myre. 
hill. On 2d December 1650 his uncle. Sir John Sinclair 
of Geanies and Dunbeath, disponed to him the lands of 
Brabster-myre, which he had acquired from the Mowat 
family. He had probably been involved in the political 
troubles of the time, for in 1658 John Murray, vsrriter in 
Edinburgh (son of Murray of Pennyland), writing to 
Walter Bruce of Ham, who had married Brabster's sister, 
says — " If your brother-in-law, John Sinclair, be come 
home, he would doe weill to keep himself quiet, for this 
day Ortoun shews me who has been in Dalkeith, yet the 
General has sent ane ordere to Capt. Pantimane to 
apprehend him when he comes into the country." John 
Sinclair married Elizabeth, daughter of Patrick Sinclair 
of Ulbster, and had a son and a daughter : — 

Alexander, his successor. 

Jean, who married Harry Innes of Borlum, ancestor 
of the late family of Innes of Sandside. 



94 THE SINCLAIR SUTHERLANDS 

The Sinclair From a bond of annuity dated 6th December 1683, 

Sutherlands of-rir^'i' ii ii i*pj?' 

Brabster or J ohn Sinclair appears to have had a second wile, tor m 

Brabster-myre. ^j^^g ^^^^ ^le provides an annuity of 500 merks to his 

" beloved bedfellow and spouse," Sibella Halcrow. This 

lady may have been of the Orkney family of Halcro of 

that ilk. 



II. Alexander Sinclair of Brabster married 
Margaret, daughter of John Sinclair of Rattar, and had 
two sons : — - 

1. George, his successor. 

2. Patrick. 

After the death of Alexander Sinclair, his widow 
married Alexander Gibson, minister of Canisbay. 

III. George Sinclair of Brabster married Janet, 
second daughter of James Sutherland of Langwell, and 
his wife, Ann, daughter of Patrick Sinclair of Ulbster. 
" Lady Brabster " lived to a great age, and was a shrewd 
active woman when in her eighty-first year. In 1787 
she purchased West Canisbay. George Sinclair had two 
sons and a daughter : — 

1. Captain Alexander, who died in 1756. 

2. James, who was drowned at Elgin. 
1. Anne, his successor. 

IV. Mrs. Anne Sinclair of Brabster married, in 
1762, her cousin, Robert Sutherland of Langwell, son of 



OF BRABSTER OR BRABSTER-MYRE. 95 

James of Langwell, and his wife, Rachel Dunbar, daughter The Sinclair 

f.TT • Sutlierlands of 

of Dame Enzabeth and Sir James Dunbar oi Hempriggs, Brabster or 

111, IT T , Brabster-myre. 

and had two sons and a daughter : — 

1. James, who died in his nineteenth year. 

2. George, her successor. 

1. Alexandrina, who married James Macbeath, and 
had issue. 

V. George Sinclair Sutherland oe Brabster 
married his cousin, Margaret, daughter of George 
Gibson, and grand-daughter of Alexander Gibson, 
minister of Canisbay, and his wife, Margaret, daughter 
of John Sinclair of Rattar. He died in 1840, and had 
seven sons and five daughters : — 

1. Robert, Lieutenant-Colonel in the East India 

Company's Service, who died in 1863, without 
surviving issue. He married his cousin, Mar- 
garet, daughter of Donald Robeson, Writer in 
Thurso, who survived him, and died in 1869. 

2. James. 

3. George, who died without issue in 1869. 

4. Alexander, who died without issue in 1862. 

5. John, Captain in the East India Company's Ser- 

vice, who died without issue in 1844. 

6. David, a merchant in America, who has issue. 

7. William, M.D. in Austraha, who has issue. 

1. Janet, who died unmarried in 1865. 

2. Anne, who died unmarried in 1824. 



96 THE SINCLAIR SUTHERLANDS. 

The Sinclair 3. Margaret, who died unmarried in 1868. 

Brabsteror 4. Camilla, who died unmarried in 1849. 

Brabster-myre. ^ Elizabeth, who married the Rev. Mr. M'Gregor, 
and has issue, three sons. 

VI. James Sinclair Sutherland of Brabstbr suc- 
ceeded in 1863, when the estate was conveyed to him by 
his father's trustees ; and in 1865 he sold it to the Earl 
of Caithness for £16,500. He left two sons. 

Had George Sinclair Sutherland, fifth of Brabster, 
been an heir-male of this family, he, as the descendant 
of an elder son of Alexander Smclair of Latheron, would 
have succeeded in 1842, in preference to John Sinclair of 
Barrock, to the' baronetcy of Dunbeath. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF BARROCK. 

I. George Sinclair, first of Barrock:, was the The sinciairs of 
fourth son of Alexander Smclair of Latheron, and was *"°'' ' 
grandson of George Sinclair of Mey. From a provision 
of 6000 merks received from his uncle, Sir John Sinclair 
of Geanies and Dunbeath, he acquired the lands of Bar- 
rock, which he held in wadset from the family of Rattar, 
and although the wadset was redeemed in 1673 by John 
Sinclair, then of Rattar, and though the lands now 
belong to Mr. Traill, the family designation continues to 
be "Sinclair of Barrock." Between 1681 and 1697 he 
purchased one-third of Lyth, part of Hastigrow, Fitches, 
and Sortopt (all of which, except Hastigrow, still form 
part of the family estate) ; and in 1698 he acquired from 
the Mowats the estate of Swinzie, now called Lochend. 

George Sinclair was three times married, and died in 
1724, aged 90 years. 

By his first wife, Anne Dunbar, daughter of John 
Dunbar of Hempriggs, he had a son and three daugh- 
ters : — 

1. John, his successor. 

1 . Jean, who married John Sinclair of Stii'koke. 
N 



98 THE SINCLAIKS OF BARKOCK. 

The sinciairs of 2. Katharine, who married Charles Sinclair of Bilb- 

Barrock. , 

ster. 

3. Margaret, who married James Murray of Clairden. 

By his second wife, Elizabeth Murray, daughter of 
David Murray of Clairden, and widow of William Innes 
of Isauld and Sandside, he had three sons and two 
daughtei's : — 

1. Alexander Sinclair' of Swinzie, which he got from 

his father. — Vide Sinclair Sutherland of Swinzie. 

2. William, who married Sidney, daughter and co- 

heiress of George Manson of Bridge-end. — Vide 
Manson Sinclair. 

3. David. 

1. Elizabeth, who married John Sinclair' of Durran. 

2. Anne, who died unmarried. 

His third wife was Elizabeth Cumming, daughter of 
William Cumming, the last Episcopal minister of Halkirk, 
and his wife Katharine, daughter of John Murray of 
Pennyland. By this marriage he had four sons and a 
daughter : — 

1. James, who died abroad. 

2. George. 

3. Robert. 

4. Benjamin, who was sometime in Duncansbay. 

I. Janet, who died unmarried in 1772. 
None of the sons left issue. 

II. John Sinclair, eldest son of George, was the 



THE SINCLAIRS OF BAEROCK. 99 

second Sinclair of Barrock. Between 1696 and 1737 heTheSinciairsof 
purchased the following lands, viz., from the Mansons 
part of Kirk ; also the remainder of Kirk and part of 
Myrelandhorn and Bowertower ; from James Calder the 
lands of Sibster or Sibsterwick, Thurster, Heshwell, and 
Quoylee, parts of the Stirkoke estate; and from Sir James 
Sinclair of Dunbeath, Howe, Myreland, and Quintfal. In 
1726 he excambed his part of Ku'k, Hastigrow, and 
Myrelandhorn, with David Sinclair of Dun, for the other 
two-thirds of Lyth, Blister, Alterwall, and Crooks of 
Howe. He died in 1743. 

He was twice married,' first to Anne, daughter of 
Robert Sinclair of Durran, and widow of James Suther- 
land of LangweU. By her he had a son and three 
daughters : — 

1. Alexander, his successor, who was born in 1706. 

1. Jean, who married George Murray of Clau-den. 

2. Margaret, who married Sh James Sinclair of Mey.^ 

3. EUzabeth. 

His second wife was his cousin, Janet, daughter of 
Dame Elizabeth and Sir James Dimbar of Hempriggs.^ 
She afterwards married Harry Innes of Borlum and 
Sandside. By her John Sinclair had three sons and a 
daughter : — 

1. George, who was an officer in the army, and who 

1 Contract of Marriage, 25th July 1709. 

2 Contract of Marriage, 27th November 1735. 

3 Contract of Marriage, 31st December 1737. 



100 THE SINCLAIRS OF BARROCK. 

The sinciairs of died of a wouiid ill Antigua in 1759, while he 

Barrock. 

was still a minor. 

2. James, who died young. 

3. John, who succeeded to Sibster, and who married 

Helen, daughter of George Sinclair of Stirkoke, 
by whom he had a son, Benjamin. The estate 
was judicially sold, and John Sinclair and his son 
left the county. 



III. Alexander Sinclair of Barrock married 
Jean, second daughter of William Sinclair of Freswick,' 
and had three sons and four daughters :— 

1. John, his successor. 

2. William, W.S., who died unmarried. He was last 

substitute in the entail executed by his imcle, 
John of Freswick. 

3. George, bond of provision dated in 1764. 

1. Katherine, who died unmarried. 

2. Anine, who died unmarried. 

3. Margaret, who married Colonel Borthwick, and 

had no issue. 

4. Jean, who married William Charles Reocli," and 

had no issue. 

IV. John Sinclair of Barrock married, first, Miss 

1 Contract of Marriage, 29tli October 1753. 
^ Contract of Marriage, 6th August 1795. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF BARROCK. 101 

Ann Lona^mire of Penrith,^ and had two sons and five The sincUirs of 

° BaiTook. 

daughters : — ^ 

1. Alexander, who died young. 

2. John, his successor. 

1. Maria, who died unmarried, 9th March 1876, aged 

87. 

2. Jane, who married WilUam Sinclair of Freswick. 

3. Anne, who married William Smith, minister of 

Bower, and had issue. 

4. Margaret, who married Mr. Paton, and had issue. 

5. EHzabeth, who married Allan Robertson, a Lieu- 

tenant in the army, afterwards Sheriff-clerk of 
Caithness, and had issue, a son and several 
daughters. 
John Sinclair's second wife was Janet Miller, by 
whom he had two sons and three daughters : — 

1. William, who died young. 

2. Donald, M.D., who died in 1873, and left issue. 

1. Isabella, who married the Rev. Peter Jolly, Dun- 

net, and had two daughters. 

2. Jessie, who married Mr. Scarth of Binscarth. 

3. Catherine, who married Mr. Sime. 

V. John Sinclair of Barrock succeeded his father, 
and in 1842, on the death of General Sir John Sinclair, 
he took up the baronetcy of Dunbeath, granted in 1704 
to James Sinclair of Dunbeath, nephew of George Sin- 

1 Postnuptial Contract of Marriage, 6th and 10th February 1796. 



102 THE SINCLAIRS OF BARROCK. 

The sindahs of claii-, fii'st of Barrock. In 1821 he married Maro^aret, 

Barroek. 

daughter of John Learmonth, Esq., Edinburgh. Sir John 
died 21st April 1873, and was buried at Holyrood. He 
had three sons and a daughter : — 

1. John, his eldest son, Captain in the 39th Madras 

Native Infantry, was killed in action, at Jhansi, 
in the Indian Mutiny, 5th April 1858. He was 
unmarried. 

2. Alexander Young, Lieutenant-Colonel in the Bom- 

bay Army, died at Jeypore, Bombay, 3d February 
1871. In 1861 he married Margaret Crichton, 
daughter of James Alston, Esq. He left two 
sons and a daughter : — 

1. John Rose George, who is a minor, and who 

has succeeded to the estate and baronetcy. 

2. Norman Alexander. 
1. Margaret. 

3. George, retired Captain in the Bengal Army, 

married in 1859 Agnes, only daughter of John 
Learmonth of the Dean, and died 23d March 
1871, leaving three sons. 
1. Grace Elizabeth, Sir John's only daughter, died 

young. 
His three sons were gentlemen of high character and 
promise, and their death in the prime of life occasioned 
much general regret. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF STIRKOKE. 

I. In 1507 David Sinclair obtained a Crown charter The sinciairs of 
of Stlrkoke and Alterwall, in which he is designed " filio 
naturali quond. Joannis Magistri Cathanensis," and in 

1588 he obtained letters of legitimation. He died before 
1595, and left a son, John, as also a natiu'al son, Colonel 
George Sinclair, who was slain in an expedition to Nor- 
way in 1612. 

II. John Sinclair of Stirkoke was slain in a fight 
at Thurso in 1612. It is uncertain whether he had any 
issue. 

III. Francis Sinclair, Laird of Stirkoke, in 1624, 
was a natural son of George, fifth Earl of Caithness. 

In Captain Kennedy's MS. relative to Caithness 
matters, he states that Francis Sinclair's mother was one 
Barbara Mearns. In February 1670 Christian Mearns, 
daughter of William Mearns in Wick, as nearest heir of 
her grandfather, George Mearns of Occumster, Achavar, 
and Smerary,^ and of her grand-uncle, WilUam Mearns of 

' Inveutory of Caithness titles. 



104 THE SINCLAIUS OF STIRKOKE. 

The sinciairs of Occumster, granted a disj^osition to Francis Sinclair, 
whose mother, if Captain Kennedy's account is correct, 
was perhaps of this family. 

Francis Sinclair married Margaret Williamson, and 
had three sons and two daughters : — 

1. Francis, his successor. 

2. John. 

3. GustavTis. 

1. Marjory, who was the fifth wife of Donald, first 

Lord Reay, by whom he had three sons, William 
of Kinloch, Charles of Sandwood, and Rupert ; 
and two daughters, Margaret, who died in Thurso 
in 1720, and Christian, who married, in 1650, 
Alexander Gunn of Killernan (Clan Gunn), and 
was in 1668 infeft in liferent in lands of Navi- 
dale, etc., on disposition by her husband. 

2. Anne, who married Colonel Francis Sinclair in 

Scrabster, a son of John Smclair, first of Assery. 

IV. Francis Sinclair of Stirkoke married, in 1658, 
Anne, eldest daughter of Patrick Sinclair of Ulbster. 
His mother, Margaret WilUamson, and his " uncle," 
Francis of Northfield, second son of George, fifth Earl, 
were parties to the contract of marriage, thus showing 
that his father, Francis, must have been one of the two 
natural sons of Earl George. Francis Sinclaii- had four 
sons and a daughter : — 

1. Patrick, eldest son in 1676. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF STIRKOKE. 105 

2. John, his successor. The Smclaus of 

3. George, called the second son, who had a charter 

to Sibster-Wick in 1673-75. 

4. Charles of Bilbster, who married, first, Katharine, 

daughter of George Sinclair of Barrock, and, 
secondly, Mary Dunbar. His only child, Fenella, 
married Donald Sinclair of Olrig. Charles 
Sinclair had the unenviable sobriquet of " Earl 
of HeU." 
1. Jean, who married John Gibson, minister of Evie, 
Orkney, brother of Alexander Gibson, minister 
of Canisbay. 

V. John Sinclair of Stirkoke was sei-ved heir to 
his father in 1681, and died about 1706. He married 
Margaret, daughter of Sir James Sinclau' of Mey, and 
had two sons : — 

1. Francis. 

2. George. 

VI. Francis Sinclair of Stirkoke had several 
daughters, but no male issue ;^ and in 1710 he disponed 
the estate to his brother, George. His daughter, Frances, 
was married to Bernard Clunes, merchant in Cromarty, 
by whom she had a family. Some litigation took place 
between her and her uncle in regard to the succession to 

1 1706. 

o 



106 THE SINCLAIRS OP STIKKOKE. 

The sinciairs of the laiids, wliich, under a submission, were awarded to 

Stirkoke. i . i • i 

liim as neir-male. 

VII. George Sinclair of Stirkoke married Isabella 
Strahan, He died in 1744, and had three sons and two 
daughters : — 

1. Charles, apparent in 1768. 

2. Fi'ancis, who was a shipmaster in Wick. 

1. Elizabeth, who married George Smith in Dunnet. 

2. Helen, who married John Sinclair of Sibster. 

VIII. Charles Sinclair of Stirkoke married Eliza- 
beth, daughter of Alexander Sinclair of Olrig, and had 
an only daughter, Katharine Sinclair of Stirkoke, who 
resided and died at Scorraclett unmarried. 

The arms of Francis Sinclair of Stirkoke, as recorded 
in the Lyon Office, were : — " The quartered coat of 
Caithness, with the cross ingrailed, dividing the quarters, 
all within a hordure gobonated gules and or ; Crest, a 
naked arm issuing out of a cloud, grasping a small sword, 
with another lying by, all proper ; Motto, lUe vincit, 
ego mereo." The " bordure gobonated" is a distinctive 
mark of illegitimacy. 



THE SINCLAIES OF DUN. 

There is difficulty in determining with certainty the The sinciairs of 
origin of the Sinclau-s of Dun, but they are beheved to 
be cadets of the Caithness family. 

In a notice in Calder's " History of Caithness " they 
are said to have settled in Caithness in 1379, and to have 
possessed the lands of Dun nearly a century before any 
others of the name appear to have acquired a, footing in 
the county. But no evidence has been found to support 
this view ; and there is no reason given for fixing on so 
early a date as the period of the settlement of tliis branch 
of the Sinciairs in Caithness ; nor indeed does it appear 
" that the name had any connection with the county till 
after the grant of the earldom in 1456," as stated by Mr. 
Alexander Sinclair.^ On the other hand, it is certain 
that in 1508, and even at a much later period, the lands 
of Dun were possessed by the Caldells or Calders, and 
there is no trace of a " Sinclau- of Dun " sooner than 1540. 
In that year, as appears from an old inventory of title- 
deeds of the Groats, which is given by Calder, one " John 
Sinclair of Dun " was, along with other " honest men," a 
witness to a deed granted by the Earl of Caithness. In 

1 Letter, March 1S67. 



108 THE SINCLAIRS OF DUN. 

TheSinciausof 1541 " David Sinclair of Dunn" was cautioner in a 
tack of teinds to the Earl of Caithness, and in 1544 
" William Caldall of Dunn " Ls witness to an instru- 
ment of sasine in favour of Margaret and Helen 
Brisbane. 

In a MS. written about 1770, by the late Wilham 
Sinclair of Freswick, who was himself a descendant of the 
family of Dun, their progenitor is said to have been David, 
second son of WiUia,m, second Earl of Caithness. In 
a charter granted in January 1560, to David Sinclair, 
then of Dun, by John, fifth Earl of Sutherland, and his 
wife Eleanor, they style him, "noster consanguineus- 
germanvis ; " but even on the supposition at one time 
generally entertained by genealogists, though now dis- 
carded, that Lady Marjorie, the mother of WiUiani, 
second Earl of Caithness, was cousin-german, or, as she 
is called by Gordon, " near cousin," to Elizabeth, Countess 
of Sutherland (the grandmother of Earl John), David, 
the supposed son of the Earl of Caithness, would only, 
after all, stand to Earl John in the degree of third cousin. 
If, however, as stated in the notice in Calder's " History," 
the relationship between David Sinclair of Dun and Earl 
John was merely that of " cousins hy consanguinity," that 
requirement is no doubt met if David Sinclair really was 
the son of Earl William. But Earl William's only sons 
of whom we have certain mention are John, his successor, 
Alexander of Stemster, and William, a natural son, who 
was legitimized in 1542. How then David of Dun and 



THE SINCLAIES OF DUN. 109 

Earl John coiild have been cousins-german, remains to be The sinciairs of 
explained. 

In a MS. on Caithness affairs by the late Captain 
Kennedy of Wick, It Is said that " George, fourth Earl 
of Caithness, had a son called David, who begat John 
Sinclair of Dun and William Slnclau- of Forss-Mllns." 
This, If true, might account for the John Sinclair of 1540, 
mentioned In Groat's Inventory ; but then there is no 
evidence that the fourth Earl had a son named David, 
although he had a natural brother, David Smclalr, who 
was Bailie to the Bishop of Caithness, and who appears 
in 1541 as cautioner for the Earl in a tack of the teiad 
sheaves of Canlsbay, and who is likewise mentioned as 
having been Imprisoned by his brother in Girnlgo Castle. 
About the middle of the sixteenth century, and pro- 
bably not later than 1557 or 1558, George, the fourth 
Earl, arranged a marriage between Y M'Kay of Farr, 
and Christian Sinclair, who Is designed by Gordon as 
"daughter to the laird of Dun, and cousin to the Earl." 
It is evident that, if this lady was the Earl's cousin only, 
the Earl could not have been the father of this laird of 
Dun. M'Kay, referring to this marriage, says (p. 152), 
that Christian Sinclair was the daughter of " William 
Sinclair, laird of Dun," and that she was the Eaii's cousin. 
If Earl George's illegitimate uncle, William, the son of 
Wniiam, the second Earl, was laird of Dun, then Chris- 
tian Sinclair and Earl George were certainly cousins- 
german ; but there appears to be no evidence that 



110 THE SINCLAIES OF DUN. 

The siuciaiis of Chi'istiaii Sinclair's father was named William, although 
so stated by M'Kay. 

In the above-mentioned charter granted to David 
Sinclah- of Dmi, in 1560, the Earl of Sutherland gives to 
him in liferent, and to " his sons," William, Alexander, and 
Henry, in succession, and to the " heirs-male of their bodies 
lawfully begotten" in fee, the lands of Forss and Baillie. 
It appears that in 1586 a Henry Sinclair, who unques- 
tionably was the brother of Christian, the laird of Dun's 
daughter, was lulled m a fight with the Clan Gunn, then 
under command of Hutcheon M'Kay, who was a son of 
Christian Sinclair, and therefore Henry's own nephew. 
As no other Heniy Sinclair is mentioned about the same 
period, except Hemy, the son of David of Dun, it may 
be that Christian Sinclair's brother was the same Henry 
Sinclan who is named in the charter, and thus that she 
was a daughter of David Sinclair of Dun. If so, as she 
was " cousin to the Earl of Caithness," so must her father 
also have been connected with that family. 

There is extant a summons dated 12th March, in the 
20th year of Queen Mary — that is the year 1562 — at the 
instance of John Smclair, " eldest son and heir of the 
deceased David Sinclair of Dun," with consent of his 
curators, the Earl of Caithness and John Grote, against 
William Sinclair of Forss, as an intr emitter with the 
writs and evidents of David Sinclair, immediately after 
his decease in March 1560. In this action WiUiam 
Sinclah is called upon to produce acquittances given to 



THE SINCLAIRS OF DUN. Ill 

David Sinclair of Dun by the Executoi's of James Brodie, The sinciaiis of 

Archdeacon of Caithness, for rents due by the tenants 

in the temporal lands of the Arch-deanery, from 1547 to 

1558'; acquittances from 1528 to 1560, by the Bishop, 

for the teind sheaves of Staneland, Forss, and Baillie, 

and for the maills and duties of the temporal lands of 

the bishopric, and fitted accounts between the Bishop 

and David Sinclair of Dun, of his intromissions with the 

farms and duties of the earldom of Caithness. If David 

Sinclair had been the Chamberlain or Baihe of the 

Bishopric, the writs which William Sinclair is called upon 

to produce, as taken by him from the repositories of the 

deceased, are just such documents as David would properly 

have had in his possession ; and it has been shown that 

David, a son of John, Earl of Caithness, actually held the 

ofiice of Bailie to the Bishop. As this Earl lived till 1 529, 

there is no difficulty in supposing his son to have lived till 

1560; and thus, the father of John Sin clair of Dun of 1 5 6 2 , 

may have been David, the natural son of Earl John. 

The summons makes no reference to any relationship 
between David Sinclair of Dun and William Sinclair of 
Forss ; and thus, while it is certain that the latter was a 
son of the David Sinclair of Dun who got the charter in 
January 1560, and that John Sinclair was the son of a 
David Sinclair of Dun who died in March 1560, still it is 
not known that the two Davids were identical, and that 
William Sinclair of Forss and John Sinclair of Dun were 
brothers. 



112 THE SINCLAIES OP DUN. 

The sinciairs of If the circiimstance that John Smclair sues, in 1562, 
idth consent of curators, is to be taken as proof that he 
was then a minor, it is difficult to reconcile the fact of 
his having been the eldest son and heir of his father, with 
his being brother to William Sinclair of Forss, for the 
latter in 1561 had been admitted as vassal in Forss to 
the Earl of Sutherland ; had granted deeds as owner in 
possession of these lands ; had been witness to the execu- 
tion of important deeds, and had thus conducted himself 
as a man of full age. But if the David Sinclair who got 
the charter in January 1560, and the David Sinclair who 
died in March of the same year, were the same, then 
William of Forss and John of Dun must have been 
brothers, and William Sinclair and his brothers, Alex- 
ander and Henry, may have been sons by a previous 
marriage, and John may have been made the heir to the 
Dun estate under some family arrangement similar to 
that by which WUliam was provided with Forss and 
Baillie. Or, lastly, David Sinclair may have had an 
elder son, David, who, after succeeding to Dun, had died 
young and left his son and heir, John, a minor, who would 
thus be the nephew of William Sinclair, and not his 
brother. Among the writs taken possession of by 
William Sinclair, the summons of exhibition includes a 
contract between David Sinclair of Dun and the Master 
of Oliphant, in regard to these lands, by wliich the 
Master, who had in 1549 obtamed a grant of the non- 
entry dues of Dun, obliged himself to give a new infeft- 



THE SINCLAIRS OF DUN. 



1^3 



ment thereof. This deed, if it be still in existence, The sinciairs of 

would no doubt throw some light on the history of the 

family. 

Finally, there is an account of this family in Father 
Hay's " St. Clairs of Roslyn." It is there said : " St. Clair 
of Doun is a great-grand-child of John, Lord Beridall. 
The first of this surname who obtained these lands was 
one David, who married one Marie, heretrix of Doun, 
daughter to William Gaidar, and begot John, who 
espoused Agatha, daughter of Heugh Grant or Grott 
of Souldon, upon whom he begott William, who espoused 
Margaret, daughter of Sir William Keith of Loutquarne, 
by whom he had several childering : they all dieing, 
their uncle, William, second sone to the foresaid John 
and Agatha, succeeded, and married Marjorie, daughter 
to Saul Bruce, Laird of Leith (Lyth), who bore to him 
David, his successor, married upon Janet, daughter 
of John Saintclare of Olbstar. This David was laird 
of Doun." 

It is noticeable that these various accounts of the 
origin of the family, vsdth the exception of the incidental 
reference to John of 1540, all point to a David Sinclair 
as the first laird of Dun, although they difler as to his 
paternity. But if Hay's "David, laird of Dun," who 
married Ulbster's daughter, was the son, as he is 
supposed to have been, and not the grandson of John 
Sinclair, as his pedigree of the family makes him to be, 
then this David Sinclair might have been " the great- 
p 



114 THE SINCLAIRS OF DUN. 

The sinciaiis of grand-child of John, Lord Beridall" (afterwards third 
Earl of Caithness), and the grandson of the Earl's natural 
son, David, the Bishop's Bailie. Mr. Alexander Sinclair 
(Ulbster), who has given much attention to genealogical 
subjects, writes in March 1867, "I always thought that 
Dun came from David, son of John, third Earl of Caith- 



JoHN Sinclair, eldest son and heii- of David, suc- 
ceeded him in these lands. In 1591 he was infeft on a 
charter by the Earl of Caithness, and in 1592 he got a 
Crown charter of confirmation. He was twice married, 
and had by his first wife, whose name is unknown, three 
sons : — • 

1. David, his successor, who makes reference to his 
father's second wife as his "mother-in-law," or 
step-mother. 
2.* James, who is mentioned by Gordon as that 
" brother of the laii'd of Dun," who was wounded 
in a fight in Thurso, in 1612. 
3. George, designed, in 1616, as son of " Umquhile 

John Sinclair of Dun." 
John Sinclair's second wife was Agatha Grote, no 
doubt the lady who is mentioned by Hay as the 
daughter of Hugh Grote of "Souldon." She was life- 
rented in Dun, and her name occurs in connection with 
it from 1628 to 1642. By her John Sinclair had a 
son — 



THE SINCLAIKS OF DUN. 115 

William, ancestor of the Southdun branch of the The sinciairs of 
family. ^""' 

David Sinclair of Dun, son and heir of John,^ suc- 
ceeded his father, and was twice married. He is the 
same David Sinclair who, in Hay's account of the family, 
is said to have married " Janet" daughter of John Sinclair 
of Ulbster ; but it is certain, from a charter granted to 
him and his first wife in 1606, by the Earl of Caithness, 
of the tenpenny lands of Dun, that the lady's name was 
Elizabeth. 

His second wife was Margaret, daughter of Donald 
Sutherland of Forss, who was styled "Lady Dun." She 
survived her husband and afterwards married Charles 
Calder of Lynegar. 

By his first marriage David Siiiclau' had three sons ; 
and by his second marriage, a daughter : — 

1. Francis, his successor. 

2. WULiam, afterwards of Dun. 

3. James. 

1. Jean, who married George Sinclair of Forss, in 
1695. 

Francis Sinclair of Dun was served heir to his father, 
David, in 1650, and married Jean, daughter of John 
Sinclair of Ulbster, by whom he had a daughter — 

Katharine. 

William Sinclair of Dun was served heir of provision 
to his brother, Francis, and in 1663 he got a charter from 

1 Sasine, 1609. 



116 THE SINCLAIRS OF DUN. 

The sinciairs of the Afchdeaii of Caithness of Scarmclett, Larrel, Galsh- 
^"°' field, Clayock, and Campster. He was three times 

married, first in 1643, to Elizabeth, daughter of Alex- 
ander Sutherland of Forse ; secondly, to Isabel, daughter 
of John Sinclair of Assery ; and thirdly, to Katharine 
Sinclair, " Lady Dun," daughter of Alexander Sinclair of 
Telstane. He had two sons and two daughters : — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. David. 

1. Jean, who married, in 1670, William, son of John 

Sinclair of Assery. 

2. , who married David Sinclair of Broynach (see 

Murkle), and had a son and daughter. 

By which of his three wives William Smclair had 
these children does not appear, but his daughter, Jean, 
could not have been of the second marriage, as her own 
husband and her father's second wife were brother and 
sister. 

Alexander Sinclair of Dun received a disposition from 
his father in 1680. He was twice married. The name 
of his first wife has not been ascertained. His second 
wife was Barbara, youngest daughter of Alexander 
Henderson in Gerston, whom he married in 1751, but 
he had no issue by her. He died in 1754. He had four 
sons and two daughters : — 

1. William, mentioned in 1731, as younger of Dun. 

2. Henry, who resided in Achavrole in 1769, and who 

is mentioned as eldest son. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF DUN. 117 

3. Richard, a merchant in Thurso, who was drowned The sinciairs of 
in crossing the river at Thurso in 1755. He 
married EKzabeth, sister of John M'Kay of 
Strathy, and left two infant daughters, Elizabeth 
and Janet. The former married WUliam, second 
son of Sir James Sinclair of Mey, better remem- 
bered as " Willie of Mey." Janet mariied John 
Mathers, Surveyor of Customs in Thurso. Both 
daughters had issue, but their families are 
extinct. 
Richard Sinclair has not only given name to " Sin- 
clair's Pool " in Thurso river, but has also given occasion 
to a tale of "second sight," which, although it may have 
appeared in print, is here recorded. At the time of this 
accident there was no bridge across the river, and it was 
crossed at a ford, or by a ferry-boat lower down. Mr. 
Sinclair had crossed to the east side by the ford in the 
morning, and gone to the country on business. His wife 
had some female friends with her in the evening, which 
was dark and rainy ; and having occasion to leave the 
room where her guests were, she observed, as she believed, 
her husband pass up-stairs to his room, and she desired 
the servant to carry up some fire, as he appeared to be 
very wet. The servant not finding her master in the 
room, a search was made, with the result that he was not 
to be found within the house. The apjDearance seen by 
Mrs. Sinclair was held to portend coming evil, and 
accordingly her husband was found drowned in the pool 



118 THE SINCLAIRS OF DUN. 

The sinciairs of which still beavs his name, man and horse having been 
carried off from the ford by a sudden spate in the water. 
4. David, the youngest son, who had a provision of 
3500 merks. 

1. Elizabeth, designed in 1755 as widow of Patrick 

Forbes. In 1737 she had a bond of provision 
from her father. 

2. Katharine, who had a provision of 3000 merks. 
The family estate had become involved in debt, and 

what remained of it appears to have been sold in 1751 to 
David Sinclair of Southdun. 

The story in Calder's "History of Caithness" {p. 259) 
that the possessor of Dun in 1745 shot himself, because 
balked by his mother in keeping an engagement to join 
the Stewart party, is certainly without foundpotion, but 
whether William, the eldest son and apparent heir in 
1731, was alive in 1745 is uncertain. 

Nisbet, whose work on Heraldry was written early in 
last century, mentions from the Lyon Register the Arms 
of a " Thomas ' Sinclair, descended from the family of Dun 
in Caithness," but of him there is no trace. The crest was 
" a demi-man holding in one hand a sea-cat, and in the 
other a pair of pencils, all proper," and the Motto, " Sic 
rectius progredior." He also mentions the Arms of a 
" Thomas Sinclair, son of WiUiam Sinclair, merchant in 
Thurso, descended of the family of Caithness : " Motto, 

' lu the Eegister the name is Laurence, [and Nisbet's " sea-cat" is " a sea- 
oart," i.e. seachart]. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF DUN. 119 

" Fear God and Live ; " but whether this is the same or Tiie sinciairs of 
a different Thomas Sinclair, does not appear. 

The Arms of William Sinclair of Dun were argent, 
a cross ingrailed sahle within a bordure of the second, 
charged with eight plates argent : Crest, a man on horse- 
back proper. Motto, " Promptus ad certamen." 



THE SINCLAIRS OF SOUTHDUN. 

The sinciairs of The Siiiclairs of Southdun are cadets of the family of 
Dun, and are descended from John Sinclair of Dun, in 
1560, and his second wife, Agatha Grote, who, according 
to Father Hay's account of the family of Dun, was a 
daughter of Hugh Grote of " Souldon." There is no 
place in the county now known as Souldon, and it is 
probable that the word is a misnomer for Southdun, 
although no mention is found of that name until the time 
of John Sinclair's grandson, David, first styled of South- 
dun. From 1545 till about 1630 there was a family 
of Grote of Brabsterdorran, one of whom was named 
Hugh, the father, probably, of Agatha Grote ; and 
a connection between the Grotes and the Sinciairs 
is shown by the circumstance of a John Grote hav- 
ing been one of John Sinclair of Dun's curators in 
1562. John Sinclair and Agatha Grote had a son, 
WOliam. 

William Sinclair is occasionally styled of Dun, and 
also in Dun. He married Marjory, daughter of Saul 
Bruce of Lyth, and in this particular Hay's account of 
the family is confirmed, as will be seen by referring to 



THE SINCLAIRS OF SOUTHDUN. 121 

the " Notes " on Bruce of Lyth. He had two sons and a The sinciaus of 

, , Southdun. 

daughter : — 

1. David. 

2. Francis, portioner of Brabsterdorran, styled " law- 

ful brother of David Sinclair of Southdun," in 
1657. 
1. Isobel, who married in 1652 Thomas Grote, son of 
Malcolm Grote of Warse. Malcolm Grote mar- 
ried Margaret, daughter of George Sinclair of 
Forss, and his wife, Jean, only daughter of David 
Sinclair of Dun, thus showing the continued 
connection between the Grotes and the several 
branches of the Sinclairs of Dun. 

I. David Sinclair of Southdun is the first Sinclair 
who is so styled, and he is repeatedly mentioned in 
writings by Agatha Grote, the second wife of John 
Sinclair of Dun, as her " Oy," or grandcluld. He mar- 
ried Jean, widow of his cousin, Francis Sinclair of Dun, 
and daughter of John Sinclair of Ulbster. He had four 
sons and three daughters : — ■ 

1. Patrick, his successor. 

2. James of Lyth. In 1707 James Sinclair acquired 

from Lord Glenorchy Alterwall and part of 
Brabsterdorran. 

3. David, in Brabsterdorran, who had a son, David 

of Whitegar. He fought at Sheriffmuir in 1715 
on the Stewart side. 



122 THE SINCLAIRS OF SOUTHBUN. 

The sinciaiis of 4. Alexander. 

'™' 1. Margaret, who married William Bruce of Stanstill. 

2. Elizabeth, who married in 1672 Donald Budge of 

Toftingall. 

3. Isobell, who married, in 1653, Lawrence Calder of 

Lynegar. 

II. Patrick Sinclair of Southdun married Janet, 
daughter of James Murray of Pennyland, and had three 
sons and four daughters : — 

1. James. 

2. David. 

3. Patrick. 

1. Marjory, who married William Calder of Lynegar. 

2. Jean. 

3. Janet, who married John Sinclair of Rattar. 

4. Elizabeth married Henry Budge, probably her 

cousin, son of Alexander Budge in Harpsdale, and 
grandson of Donald Budge, sixth of Toftingall. 
Vide Budge. 

III. James Sinclair of Southdun died in minority, 
and was succeeded by his brother, David. 

IV. David Sinclair of Southdun executed an en- 
tail of the estate in 1747 ; and considerable exchanges of 
property took place between him and Smclair of Barrock. 
He was three times married, first in 1714 to Lady Janet, 



THE SINCLAIRS OF SOUTHDUN. 123 

daughter of John, eighth Earl of Caithness, who died in The sinciahs 
1720; secondly, to Marjory, daughter of Sir Robert 
Dmibar of Northfield, in 1748 ; and thirdly, to Margaret, 
daughter of James Murray of Clairden. By his first 
marriage he had a son and three daughters : — 
1. Patrick, who died about 1724. 

1. Jean, who died young. 

2. Jean, second of the name, who married Su- Wilham 

Dunbar of Hempriggs, and died without issue. 

3. Janet, who married Dr. Stuart Threipland of 

Fmgask, and had a son, David Sinclair, a young- 
gentlemen of much promise, who died in 1778, 
and a daughter, Janet. 
By his second marriage he had two daughters : — 

1. Marjory, who married John, son of Sir Patrick 

Dunbar of Northfield, her cousin-german, and 
had no issue. She married thereafter James 
Sinclair of Harpsdale, and had a son, George, 
who died young, and four daughters, Henrietta of 
Southdun, who was married to Colonel Wemyss, 
and Janet, who married Colonel Williamson of 
Banniskirk, and Emiha and Margaret, who died 
unmarried. 

2. Miss Katharine of Southdun, who died un- 

married. 
By his third marriage David Sinclair had a daugh- 
ter: — 

Margaret, who died at Lyons in 1774, unmarried. 



of 



124 THE SINCLAIRS OF SOUTHDUN. 

The Sinclairs of V. MrS. HENRIETTA SINCLAIR OF SoUTHDUN, married 

Colonel Wemyss, and had an only child, William. 

VI. William Sinclair Wemyss of Southdun mar- 
ried Henrietta, daughter of Sir Benjamin Dunbar of 
Hempriggs, Lord Duftus. He died in 1831, and left two 
sons and two daughters : — 

1. David Sinclair. 

2. Benjamin, who died in 1878, leaving an only child, 

a daughter. 

1. Janet or Jessie, who married James Sinclair of 

Forss, and has issue. 

2. Henrietta, who married Robert Innes of Thrumster, 

and left an only child, Henrietta, now Mrs. 
Bentley-lnnes of Thrumster. 

VII. David Sinclair Wemyss of Southdun mar- 
ried EUzabeth, daughter of George SackviUe Sutherland 
of Aberarder, Inverness-shire, and died 10th December 
1877, aged 64. He had four sons and three daughters : — 

1. William, R.N., who died young and unmarried. 

2. George SackviUe. 

3. Robert Dunbar Sinclair. 

4. Evan. 

1. Henrietta Ehzabeth, who married James Smith of 

Oh-ig. 

2. Mary. 

3. Janet. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF BRABSTERDORRAN. 

In the seventeenth century this property seems to The siuciaus of 

1 1 iii'p T(v I I* 1T1 Brabsterdorran. 

nave been held, in lour amerent portions ; one by J ohn 
Henderson, another by Henry Dundas, and two by 
famihes of Mansons. In 1798 the whole was united in 
the family of the Sinclau's of Southdun. 

Francis Sinclair, son of William in Dun, and 
grandson of John Sinclair of Dun and Agatha Grote, 
held a portion of Brabsterdorran in 1683. He married 
Elizabeth Sinclair (of what family she was is now 
unknown), and had two sons : — 

1. Patrick. 

2. George, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Alex- 

ander Gibson, Dean of Bower, and had an only 
child, Jean, who married her cousin, David 
Sinclair, in Whitegar, son of David Sinclair of 
Whitegar, the grandson of David Sinclau' of 
Southdun. They had a son, Alexander, who was 
portioner of Brabsterdorran, as in right of his 
mother. He sold his interest, in 1780, to Miss 
Katharine Sinclair of Southdun. Jean Sinclair's 



126 THE SINCLAIRS OF BRABSTERDOREAN. 

The sinciairs of grandfather, Francis, had a wadset for 2000 marks 

°"^'"'' on Brabsterdorran, to which she as his heir had 

right, and about 1738 and subsequent years 
there was litigation in regard to the claims of 
Francis Sinclair's heir to the lands, it being con- 
tended that James Sinclair of Lyth had purchased 
the reversion of the wadset for Francis, and that 
the latter having died in the interim, and his 
grandchild being young, James had kept the 
reversion to liimself, and had thus acquired the 
heritable right to Brabsterdorran. 

Patrick Sinclair, a portioner of Brabsterdorran, 
married, in 1703, Barbara, second daughter of William 
Cummmg, Minister of Halkirk, and his wife, Katharine, 
daughter of John Murray of Pennyland. Patrick is said 
to have had two sons : — 

1. William, nicknamed "La Mode." He had been a 

midshipman in the navy, and was thereafter in the 
Customs at Thurso. He married Rachel, daughter 
of Mr. Gumming of Craigmiln, in Morayshire, 
and among other children had Katharine, who 
married Alexander Gumming, tacksman of Battar. 

2. James, who was tide-waiter in the Customs at 

Thurso. 

In 1670 Henry Dundas, then one of the portioners 
of Brabsterdorran, granted a wadset to John Sinclair 



THE SINCLAIRS OF BRABSTERDORRAN. 127 

in Brabsterdorran and Margaret, his wife, and William, The smciairs of 
their eldest son. In 1693 Margaret Sinclair, then relict 
of John, assigned the wadset to her son, Alexander. 
Whether these Sinclairs were connected with the Brab- 
sterdorran, or Dun and Southdun famihes, has not been 
ascertained. 



THE SINCLAIES OF FORSS. 

The sinciairs of PREVIOUS to 1557 the lands of Forss and Baillie 
belonged to the Bishopric, but in that year they were 
feued out to John, Earl of Sutherland, and Eleanor, his 
wife ; and in January 1560 they were granted in feu by 
the Earl and his Lady to David Sinclair of Dun, in life- 
rent, and to his three sons, WUliam, Alexander, and 
Henry, and to the heirs-male of their bodies lawfully 
begotten, in succession, in fee. Who David Sinclair of 
Dun was is uncertain, further than that he was in all 
probability of the Caithness family. It is understood 
that in the charter of 1560 he is styled by the Earl and 
Countess "nostrum consanguineum germanum," but no 
such near connection as cousins-german can be traced ; 
and it is stated, on the authority of a gentleman who has 
given much attention to the subject, that only in modern 
times does such a phrase mean more than " of the same 
blood." For particulars regarding the origin of the 
family of Dun reference is made to the " Notes" on the 
Sinciairs of Dun and Southdun. 

The considerations in respect of which the above- 
mentioned charter was granted are set forth therein at 



THE SmcLAlES OP FORSS. 129 

some length, such as services rendered, improvements to The smciairs of 

be effected on the lands, etc. They are much the same 

as those contained in the charter granted in 1557 by the 

Bishop and Chapter to the Earl of Sutherland, and are 

generally in the style not unusual at the time. The 

services alluded to as having been rendered by Sinclair 

of Dun to the Earl cannot have reference, as supposed by 

the late Mr. Sinclair of Forss,^ to his having rescued the 

Earl, when a minor, from the Earl of Caithness ; for it 

was not Earl John, but his son. Earl Alexander, who, 

after his father's death, fell into the Earl of Caithness's 

hands. 

I. David Sinclair of Dun, and first Sinclair of 
FoRSS, seems to have died in March 1560. In May 1561 
his son, William, fiar of Forss, was admitted vassal in 
Forss by the Earl of Sutherland ; and at the same date 
he gave a liferent right in Forss to one Mary Stirling, 
transactions not likely to have taken place had his father, 
who had Forss in liferent, been then still alive. This 
David Sinclair had certainly four sons : — 

1. William, fiar of Forss. 

2. Alexander, of whom there is no mention, except 

in the charter of 1560. 

3. Henry, conceived to be the same Henry Sinclair 

who, as naiTated by Gordon, was slain in 1586 

1 See his letter, dated November 1860, regarding the family of Dun, inserted 
in Calder's " History." 



Forss. 



130 THE STNCLAIRS OF FORSS. 

Tiie sinciairs of by the Clan Gunn, under the command of his 

nephew, Hutcheon M'Kay of Farr. 
4. George, who is designed as "brother of WUliam 
Sinclair of Forss," and who was a witness along 
with him to the contract of marriage, signed at 
Girnigo Castle on 22d November 1563, between 
Mum-o of Fowlis and Katharine Eoss of Balna- 
gown, afterwards notorious for her trial for 
witchcraft and poisoning. 
If the supposition be correct that Henry Sinclair, 
who was killed in 1586, was the son of David Sinclair of 
Dun, then David Sinclair had also a daughter — 

Christian SinclaLr, who is described by Gordon as a 
cousin of the Earl of Caithness. She was mar- 
ried about 1557 or 1558 to Y M'Kay of Farr, 
by whom she had two sons, Hutcheon and Wil- 
liam. Hutcheon M'Kay married, first, Elizabeth, 
daughter of George, fourth Earl of Caithness, 
and, secondly. Lady Jane Gordon, daughter of 
Alexander, Earl of Sutherland. 

11. William Sinclair " of Forss" is so styled in 
1561-62-63 and subsequent years, and in 1567 he was a 
witness, along with John Sinclair of Dun, to a notarial 
instrument in favour of Alexander, Earl of Sutherland. 
He married Janet Urquhart, who may have been a 
daughter of the ancient family of Urquhart of Cromarty, 
knights, who held that estate until it was acquired by 
the Mackenzies. He had two sons : — 



THE SINCLAIRS OF FORSS. ?W 

1. David, who married Janet Murray, daughter of TheSmciairsof 

Murray of Pulrossie, or, as he is styled in a 
sasine in 1598, of Spanziedale, both in Suther- 
land. He died in apparency, and without issue. 

2. Alexander, successor to his father. 

III. Alexander Sinclair of Forss married, in 1608, 
Margaret, daughter of George Sinclah of Mey. She is 
mentioned as " Gude Wyif of Forss." They had two 
sons and a daughter : — • 

1. David. 

2. George. 

1. Katharine, who married Geoi'ge Innes of Oust. 

IV. David Sinclair of Forss died without issue, 
and was succeeded by his brother, George. 

V. George Sinclair op Forss married, first, Jean, 
daughter of David Sinclair of Dun, and, secondly, Mary, 
daughter of Sir James Sinclah of Murkle. By his first 
marriage he had a daughter — 

Margaret, who married Malcolm Grote of Warse. 

By his second marriage he had a son — 
John, his successor. 

VI. John Sinclair of Forss was three times mar- 
ried ; first, to Janet, daughter of Wdham Sutherland of 
Geise, of the family of Sutherland of Forse ; secondly, 



132 THE SINCLAIRS OF FORSS. 

The sinciairs of to Barbara, daughter of John Smclair of Rattar ; and, 
thirdly, to Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Murray of 
Pennyland. By his first marriage he had a son — 

George, his successor. 

By his second marriage he had three sons and a 
daughter : — 

1. John, afterwards of Forss. 

2. James, of Holbornhead and Forss. 

3. Wilham, physician in Thurso, who married, in 

1742, Barbara, daughter of Robert Sinclair of 
Geise, and died in 1707. He had four sons and 
four daughters, all of whom died young except, 
first, Dr. William, afterwards of Freswick ; 
second, Janet, who married James Mackie, an 
officer of Excise, and had two sons, William and 
George, and several daughters. George attained 
the rank of Major-General in the Army, and had 
a large family of sons and daughters, and in 
1826 resided in Caen, in Normandy. One of 
his sisters married John M'Kay, merchant in 
Thurso, and had issue. Third, Jane, the other 
surviving daughter of Dr. William Sinclair, 
married Allan Robertson of Tarrel, Captain 
in the 42d Regiment. He was afterwards in 
Wares, and had several sons and daughters. 

1. Elizabeth. 

By his third marriage John Sinclair had three 
daughters : — 



THE SINCLAIRS OF FORSS. 133 

1. Mary, who married James Campbell of Lochend, The Sinoiairs of 

Sheriff-clerk of Caithness. She died in 1771. 

2. Jean, who married Hugo Campbell, joint-Sheriff- 

clerk with his brother, John. 

3. Margaret, who died unmarried in 1771. 

VII. George Sinclair of Forss seems to have led 
a reckless life, and in 1728 he is strongly recommended 
by his brother and successor, John, to renew his addresses 
to a young lady with money, " and never to give over 
till you have obtamed your wishes," and thus to pay his 
debts, " which you'll never pay but by marrying a person 
with money." This advice the laird did not take, and he 
died unmarried. 



VIII. John Sinclair of Forss, half-brother of 
George, was minister of Watten in 1733, and died in 
1753. He married Esther, daughter of Alexander 
Sinclair of Olrig, and had a son, Alexander. 

IX. Alexander Sinclair of Forss died unmarried, 
and was succeeded by his uncle, James Sinclau- of Hol- 
bornhead. He seems to have been somewhat eccentric 
in liis habits. 

X. James Sinclair of Forss and Holbornhead 
married, in 1737, Jean, daughter of Robei-t Sinclair of 
Geise, Advocate, son of James Sinclair of Lybster, and 



134 THE SINCLAIRS OF FORSS. 

The sinciairs of great-grandson of John of Asseiy, natural son of James 
Sinclair of Murkle. James Sinclair of Holbornhead mar- 
ried, apparently after 1775, a daughter of John Sinclair 
of Scotscalder, but had no issue by this his second wife. 

The social habits of the county in the early part of 
last century (1737) are illustrated in an account of Hol- 
bornhead's marriage, given by a gentleman who was 
present: "We had a rantin bridal and a brave jolly 
company of ladies and gentlemen ; your sisters and the 
ladies of the familie; Freswick, Brabster, Scotscalder, 
Assery, Thura, Lybster, Mass John Sinclair [Rev. John 
Sinclair, minister of Watten], the Frenchman [it does 
not appear who he was], Mr. Harry Innes, John of 
Bower, Toftkemp, etc. We danced four days out, and 
drank heartily, and thereafter went home with the young 
wife, where we renewed our mirth to a height." 

James Sinclair had three sons and two daughters : — 

1. Robert, a Captain in the Army ; afterwai'ds of 

Freswick. 

2. William, an Army Surgeon, who died at St. Dom- 

ingo, in 1794, unmarried. 

3. James, afterwards of Forss. 

1. Catharine, Mrs. Campbell. 

2. Elizabeth, who married Mr. John Bain, who was 

Tacksman of Dale in 1782. 

XI. James Sinclair of Forss, third son of James 
Sinclair of Holbornhead, succeeded his father. He served 



THE SINCLAIRS OF FORSS. 135 

as Lieutenant in the Army ; married Johanna, daughter The sindairs of 
of George M'Kay of Bighouse, and had fom^ sons : — 

1. James. 

2. George Lewis, W.S., of Dalveoch, died 1878, with- 

out issue, aged 75. 

3. William, Captain in the Army, died unmarried. 

4. Hugh, died immarried in AustraUa. 
And five daughters : — 

1. Jean, died unmamed. 

2. ^neasina, married Mr. Stevenson, and had issue. 

3. Louisa, married Captam Hector Macneill, and has 

issue. 

4. Ehzabeth. 

5. Janet. 

He was succeeded by his eldest son, James. 

XII. James Sinclair of Forss, twelfth Laird, 
married his cousin, Jessie, daughter of WUliam Sinclair 
Wemyss of Southdun, and had issue, thirteen sons and four 
daughters, of whom eight sons and three daughters sur- 
vived him. He died at Forss, 1st March 1876, aged 73. 

His children were — 

1. James, Lieutenant-Colonel, R.A., died unmarried 

in 1873. 

2. Henry, died in India, unmarried. 

3. George William, died in Australia in 1876, and 

left two sons and several daughters. 

4. Robert. 



136 THE SINCLAIRS OF TORSS. 

The Sinclairs of 5. CharlcS. 

Forss. 

6. Ramsay, left no issue. 

1 . Edward. 

8. Garden Octavius, died 1883, and left a son. 

9. William, died 1878, left no issue. 

10. Albert, died young. 

11. John, died 1876, unmarried. 

12. Frederick, died 1879, unmarried. 

13. Wellesley, died young. 

1. Joanna. 

2. Janet, died young. 

3. Henrietta. 

4. Louisa, died 1883. 

The following account of the Sinclairs of Forss is 
taken from a MS. of the late William Sinclaii' of 
Freswick, written apparently about 1770. 

Many pretend just now to call the legitimacy of this 
family (of Forss) in question : Who do it now but such 
whose family's ly under an imputation of spuriousness 
not easily to be wipt out, with the most of which I 'd 
hold no argument, as being bastards of yesterday. Such 
circumstances as they think seem to favor their assertion 
are easily acounted, from the method of their first outset, 
a manner that they despise, but which in the opinion of 
those who will judge with candour and propriety, adds a 
lustre to them not here to be paraleled, as it is evident 
that even in that unpolished time, when nothing but the 



THE SINCLAIRS OF FORSS. 137 

tyes of blood were regarded by others, our progenitor The sinoiairs of 
bravely stood forth iii support of his friend's family, 
neither valuing the connexion he had with Lord C. 
(Caithness), or the effects of the fury of his followers. At 
a time when from Lord S.'s (Sutherland's) minority he 
had little hopes of assistance, and reward far distant, he 
could have no other motive than that of a generous 
friendship for Lord S. and an indignation at G. E. of C. 
(George, Earl of Caithness) devilish intentions against 
Lord S.'s family. But to proceed to our intended narra- 
tive, 'tis not to be wondered at if we consider family 
accidents, that they had no patrimony. WiUiam (the 
second Earl of Caithness) died fighting for his country ; 
his son John might have done something for David, but 
as they both fell together in Orkney, where his interest 
or love for his brother led him (we are not to enter on 
the merits of the expedition) ; the tye of cousin-german 
was not strong enough, thought young William and 
George; he accordingly offered his service to Lord S., who 
accepted of them. 

1. David Sinclair, second son of William, Earl of 
Caithness, married a daughter of Su' Urquhart of 
Cromarty. He fell with his brother, Earl John, in an 
insurrection in Orkney, and left a son — 

2, William, who inheriting the active spirit of his 
father, on Earl C. denying him his friendship, appealed 

S 



138 THE SINCLAIRS OF FORSS. 

The sinciairs of to Earl Sutherland, who gave him a tack on his estate in 
Forss. Caithness, and made him his overseer or chamberlain. 

After Lord S.'s death, Lord C. intended attacking his 
lady at Dunrobin. William got account of this, and 
posted thither with intelligence. The lady only asked him 
not to follow his chief; he promised he would not, and after- 
wards raised and headed the men on her estates in Caith- 
ness, gave battle to Lord C, and routed him. After the 
expiration of her son's minority, he had a charter, dated 
Scrabster Castle 1560, signed by Lord S., Countess of 
Errol, his lady, and Robert, Bishop of Caithness, for 
sundrie lands therein particularly mentioned ; and he is 
therein designed after the preamble of the charter, " viro 
honorabili Gulielmo St. Clair propter fidelitatem," etc. 
'Tis to be imagmed that such people as Lord S. and R. S. 
(Robert Stuart), the king's brother, would know what he 
had a right to. He married a daughter of Miuray of 
Pulrossie, a then flourishing family in Sutherlandshire, 
and by her left issue — 

3. David, who had lands in Thurso East, and died 
there without succession. Forss was possest after by his 
brother — 

4. Alexander, who married Margaret, daughter of 
Sir Sinclair of Mey. He was one of the lairds from 
Caithness brought up a surety for Lord Caithness after 
his burning Sandside's corn-yard ; he insisted for a back- 
bond from the Earl, which he would not give, and which 



THE SINCLAIRS OF FORSS. 139 

led the others into a belief of there beinj? no necessity for The sindairs of 

. f, Forss. 

it ; he told them when he was turned out as msane, " 1 m 
the fuil the day ; mony o' ye w'd wish y'ed been so or this 
day yomon ; " this happened literally, for the others paid 
the forfeiture of theii- obligations which Lord C. did not 
relieve them of. Among many who sirffered was Bruce of 
Stanstill. He, A. S., had two sons, David, who died in 
A.S.'s lifetime, and — 

5, George, who carried on the Hne of his family. 
He married a daughter of Sinclair of Dun, by whom he 
had a daughter, married to Grote of Warse, of whom 
Malcolm Grote, Esq., is descended. In his time the 
Mercat of Dun was transferred from Cross-Kirk to Dun ; 
he next married a daughter of James Sinclair of Miirkle, 
by whom he had issue, one son, John ; he was a very 
weak man, and she very vain and designing ; she gave off" 
all the thirlages, and 'tis said got a head-dress for allow- 
ance to build a miln at Brims : she married Sutherland of 
Giese, and did everything against her son ; and to hide 
her and her husband's iniquity forced the son to marry a 
daughter of Giese's, by whom he had a son, George, who 
succeeded; and George was succeeded by John, eldest son 
of John by a second marriage with Barbara, daughter of 
Sinclair of Battar. By John's thu'd marriage to Ehzabeth 
Murray, daughter of Pennyland, there remains no issue- 
male. This John married a daughter of Sinclair of Olrig, 
and left one son, Alexander, now of Forss. 



140 THE SINCLAIRS OF FOBSS. 

-ftie siiiciairs'tiJ' JoHN SINCLAIR OF FoRSS above mentioned as married 
to Barbara, daughter of Sinclair of Rattar, left two other 
sons, James and William. 

James of Holbornhead married Jean, second daughter 
of Robert Sinclair of Giese, Advocate, and has issue : — 
Lieutenant Robert Sinclair, 63d Regiment of Foot. 
William Sinclair, Surgeon 34th Regiment of Foot. 
James Sinclair. • 

William Sinclair, M.D., married Barbara, third 
daughter of the above Robert Sinclair of Giese, Advo- 
cate. He died 27th July 1767, leaving issue one son — 
William St. Clair, Senior of King's College, Edin- 
burgh, and late of King's and Marischal's College 
of Aberdeen. 

Note. — On this Pedigree it is to be observed : — 
Firstly. That, while thei'e is a general concurrence in 
the fact that the ancestor of the family was a David 
Sinclair, there is no evidence that William, second Earl 
of Caithness, had a son of this name. 

Secondly. The charter of Forss in 1560 was granted 
by John, Earl of Sutherland, and his wife, Eleanor, to 
David Sinclair of Dun, his son, Wilham, and other sons 
in succession. This David Sinclair died in 1560, and 
Earl John lived till 1567, when he left his eldest son a 
minor, no doubt; but the charter of 1560 could not 
have been for services rendered to him. Earl John him- 
self was also a minor in 1529 when his father died, and 



THE SINCLAIRS OF FORSS. 141 

possibly the charter of 1560 might have been granted to The sinciairs of 
David Sinclair for services rendered to him. But, on the 
other hand, according to the pedigree, David Sinclair, the 
alleged son of Earl WiUiam, was killed in Orkney in 1529. 
In 1561 Earl John granted to William Sinclair a precept 
admitting him a vassal in Forss. 

Thirdly. William Sinclair's wife was certainly Janet 
Urquhart, and not Janet Murray, as appears from a 
sasine in their favour. David Sinclau', son of William, 
married Janet Miu-ray of Pulrossie. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF ACHINGALE 
AND NEWTON. 

The Sinclairs of I. WiLLIAM SINCLAIR, FIRST SINCLAIR OF AcHINGALE 

Achiugale and -»t ,1 /"ai ic-ci"i? 

Newton. -A-ND JNewton, was the son 01 Alexander Sinclair oi 

Sixpenny or Sixpennyland. Of what family Alexander 
Sinclair was is somewhat uncertain. He has been sup- 
posed to have been of the Sinclairs of Dun, but it is more 
probable that he was of the Sinclairs of Assery and 
Lybster, and that he was a son of William Sinclair of 
Hoy, whose eldest son was named Alexander, and of 
whom there is, otherwise, no particular account. Alex- 
ander Sinclair married, in 1697, Beatrice, only daughter 
of George Sinclair, second son of James Sinclair, first of 
Lybster, and she and her husband, on the supposition 
that the latter was the son of William of Hoy, stood in 
the relation of cousins. By this marriage Alexander Sin- 
clair had several sons and daughters, among whom were : — 

William, mentioned in 1733, as second son. 

Francis. 

Sidney. 

Margaret, eldest daughter, who married in 1722 
Alexander Calder of Achingale. 



THE SINCLAIBS OF ACHINGALE AND NEWTON. 143 

11. William Sinclair of Achingale, married in Tbe smciairs of 
1738 Elizabeth, daughter of Sir James Sinclair of Dun- Newton. 
beath. Sir James had acquired the right of reversion of the 
wadsets of Achingale, held by the Calders ; and about 1738 
or 1740, he had redeemed the lands, which he thereafter 
sold to William Sinclair, by whom a Crown charter was 
expede in 1752. William Sinclair had a son and two 
daughters : — 

1. Alexander. 

1. Janet. 

2. Margaret. 

III. Alexander. Sinclair of Achingale, who was 
a merchant in Jamaica, succeeded his father, and was 
infeft in 1768. He died without issue. 

IV. Janet Sinclair of Achingale succeeded her 
brother, and died unmarried in 1783, and was succeeded 
by her sister, Margaret. 

V. Margaret Sinclair of Achingale married, in 
1798, Alexander Sinclair, a son of Alexander Sinclair, 
tenant in Houstry, Halkirk, who had been for some time in 
Jamaica. In 1804 they sold the lands to William Sinclair 
of Freswick for £7000. There was no issue of the mar- 
riage, and, so far as known, the family of Sinclair of 
Achingale is extinct. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF LYBSTER, REAY. 

The siuciairs of Before the vlse of the Sinclah's of Lybster, in 
y s ei, eay. -|^g^|^|^g^,Qj^^ there Were Sinclairs of Lybstei', in Reay, 
dating from at least 1636. Their origin is uncertain, 
but it is conjectured that they may have been the 
descendants of Henry Sinclair, who died about 1614, a 
natural son of John, Master of Caithness, and who got 
from his brother, the Earl of Caithness, a wadset of 
Downreay and part of Lybster. Or possibly this family 
may have been of the Sinclairs of Dunbeath, who held 
Downreay and other lands in Reay. 

In 1636 there is mention of David Sinclair op Lyb- 
ster and, in 1638, of William Sinclair of Lybster, who 
then appears as witness to a deed by Oliver Sinclair of 
Spittal, son of Richard of Brims, and grandson of Wilham 
Sinclair of Dunbeath. David and William were probably 
brothers, each inheriting a portion of Lybster. William 
had a daughter, Margaret, who, as heir to her father, 
executed a renunciation, in 1648, in favour of her cousin, 
James Sinclair of Lybster. 

David Sinclair of Lybster had two lawful sons : — 

1. James, fiar of Lybster in 1637, who died between 



THB SINCLAIES OP LYBSTER, RE AY. 145 

1648 and 1661. He married Margaret Macleod, The smdairs of 
and had a son and a daughter : David, who is 
mentioned down to 1670; and Barbara, who 
married Donald Campbell, Elder in Thurso. 
2. Eobert, who with consent of his brother, James, 
married, in 1640, Barbara, daughter of George 
Sinclair in Downreay, the brother of Kichard 
Sinclair of Brims, and the son of William Sinclair 
of Dunbeath. 



THE SINCLAIKS OF HOY AND OLDFIELD. 

The sinciairs of Jqhn, Master of Bemedale, OTanted, in 1630, a wadset 

Hoy and Old- ° 

field. of Hoy to one William Sinclair, wno held also the 

lands of Cairdscroft, Oldfield, and Hallowtoft, near 
Thurso. This William Sinclair is a different person from 
William Sinclair of Hoy and Scotscalder, and is probably 
" William Sinclair in Thurso East," who is mentioned in 
the proceedings against the Earl of Caithness and others 
for the forcible abduction, in 1668, of WiUiam M'Kay 
of Scourie.^ By liis wife, Katharine Anguson, William 
Sinclair had two sons : — 

1. James, fiar of Hoy in 1676, and in Hoy in 1700. 

He married Elizabeth Sinclair, who, in 1730, is 
described as relict of James Sinclair of Oldfield. 

2. William, Commissary of Caithness, who married 

Elizabeth, eldest daughter of James lunes of 

Sandside. He had two sons : — 

1. William, who got from his grandfather, in 
1690, a disposition to Oldfield, Cairdscroft, 
and HaUowtoft, which he disponed to his 
brother in 1729. 

1 M'Kay, p. 366. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF HOY AND OLDFIELD. 147 

2. Robert, Hector of Bulfen, in Essex, who, in The sinciaUs of 
1731, disponed Oldfield, Cairdscroffc, and Held. 
Hallowtoft to William Innes of Sandside. 
James Sinclair of Hoy and his wife disponed the 
wadset of these lands to Su- George Sinclair of Clyth, 
through whom it came into the hands of his nephew, 
WUliam Sinclair of Hoy and Scotscalder. 



THE MANSON-SINCLAIES OF BKIDGEND. 

The Manson- I. The ancestor of the Mansons of Bridgend was 

Bridgead. Alexander Manson, merchant in Wick, who, in 1681 and 
1685, sat for that burgh in the Scottish Parliament ; and 
in 1693 was Commissioner for the county. In 1690 he 
purchased the estate of Watten from Lord Breadalbane 
for about £1952 sterling. He acquired Flex from the 
Baynes ; and in 1698 he purchased from Coghill of 
that Ilk the lands of Coghill, which he had previously 
held in wadset. He married Isabel Hay, and appears to 
have had several children. He was succeeded by his son, 
George. 

II. George Manson of Bridgend married, first, 
Katharine, daughter (it is supposed) of John Sinclair of 
Rattar, and, secondly, a daughter of Sir Robert Dunbar of 
Northfield. He died in 1749, and had three daughters: — 

1. Isabel, who died unmarried. 

2. Margaret, who was served heir to Isabel in 1742. 

3. Sidney. 

Reference is made to the " Notes " on the Dunbars of 
Northfield, as to George Manson's marriage to Miss 



THE MANSON-SINCLAIRS OF BRIDGEND. 149 

Dunbar. If any such marriage took place, George The Manson- 

■^ . . 11 Sinclairsof 

Manson was twice married, as there is no doubt that he Bridgend. 
married Katharine, fourth daughter of John Sinclair of 
Rattar, and "sister of Freswick," that is, of William 
Sinclair.^ 

In October 1702 George Manson settled his estate on 
his daughters, Isabel and Margaret, who seem to have 
been then his only children born, and it is thought that 
their mother was Katharine Sinclair, and theh father's 
first wife, as his marriage to Sir Robert Dunbar's daughter 
does not appear to have taken place earlier than 1728, 
and was probably considerably later. ^ 

III. Sidney Manson of Bridgend married WiUiam, 
son of George Sinclair of Barrock, and had a son and a 
daughter : — 

1. Robert Manson Sinclair. 

1. , who married Mr. Bogie, and whose only 

daughter, Catharine, married John Rose, Sheriif- 
Substitute of Caithness, on the death of her 
cousin-german, Elizabeth, Mr. Rose's first wife. 

ly. Robert Manson of Bridgend married Isabel, 
daughter of John Sinclair of Assery. She died in 1779, 
and he died about 1790. He was of very convivial 

1 Vide William Sutherland of Forse's ^ Vide Answers for Miss Sinclair of 

evidence in Dunbeath Reduction case, Southdun to Petition of EobertManson- 

and statement by Alexander Sinclair of Sinclair, 1781. 
Barrock. 



150 THE MANSON-SINCLAIRS OF BRIDGEND. 

The Manson- habits, and " Brigend's Bowl," famed in his own time as 
Bridgend. ©ver in need of sugar, whisky, or water, thereby calling 
for constant additions, is still locally " a Bowl of renown." 
In 1788 the estate was judicially sold, and was purchased 
by Sir Robert Anstruther for £12,450. Robert Manson 
Sinclair had three sons alive in 1772, and five daughters : — 

1. William. 

2. George, a Lieutenant in the army, who was served 

heir in 1782, cum heneficio. 

3. Robert, who was a writer in Edinburgh. 

Of the daughters there is no information except as 
regards two : — 

1. Catharine, who died unmarried. 

2. Elizabeth,^ the second daughter, who was the first 

wife of John Rose, Sheriff-Substitute of Caithness, 
and Collector of Customs at Thurso, and had 
issue. 

1 Contract of Marriage, October 1772. 



THE SUTHERLANDS OF FORSE. 

I. The descent of this family from that of William, The suther- 
Eabl of Sutherland, who died in 1370, is unquestioned, 
although there are conflicting statements among genealo- 
gists as to the immediate descendants of that Earl. On 
10th November 1345 he obtained a charter from King- 
David II., " Willelmo comiti de Sutherland et Margaretse 
sponsge su» sorori nostrse carissimse." According to 
Douglas, who follows Sir Robert Gordon, he was the 
great-grandfather of Robert, Earl of Sutherland, and of 
his brother, Kenneth, ancestor of the Sutherlands of Forse. 
In the Sutherland Peerage case, 1771, Captain George 
Sutherland of Forse, a claimant to the dignity, averred 
his ancestor, Kenneth, to have been the son of this Earl 
WiUiam, founding on a charter, in 1408, of the thi-ee 
davoch lands of Nottingham, granted by Mariot, daughter 
and co-heiress of Ranald, Lord Cheyne, with consent of 
Andrew of Keith, her son, " Kenatho de Sutherlandia 
alio quondam Willehni comitis Sutherlandiae." It is 
certain that Kenneth Sutherland was brother of Earl 
Robert, and that he received from him, in 1400, 
Drummuy, Backies, and Torish, in Sutherland. 



152 THE SUTHERLANDS OF FOESE. 

TheSuther- Nottitighame, Nothingliam, or Noddingliam, as it 

is variously written, is mentioned as early as 1272, 
when there was a Canon of Caithness styled " Henry of 
Nothingham." 

Kenneth Sutherland married the daughter and heiress 
of Keith of Forse, and the family style then became 
" Sutherland of Forse." He was succeeded by his son, 
John. 

II. John Sutherland of Forse. 

III. EiCHARD Sutherland of Forse was served heir 
to his father, John, in 1441, and was infeft in the lands 
in Sutherland, granted to his grandfather, as appears by 
an inquest held in 1471, at the Head Court of John, Earl 
of Sutherland. 

On 24th October 1451, Richard Sutherland granted 
a bond to the Chaplain of St. Andi-ew's Chapel in Golspie, 
in the following terms : — 

" Be it made kend to all men be yer present Letters Me 
J Eichard of Sutherland of Forse to haff giffen and grantyt and be 
yer present Letters giffis and grantis fourtie shilling of silver of 
usuall monie of Scotland zherly of annual rent of the mealis of the 
Toune of Drommy in Sutherland fra me and myn ayris for ever- 
more to ye perpetuall Chaplane of Saint Andrewis Chapell of 
Golspy als frely quietly peaceably and honorably as ony annual- 
rent is giffyn to ony Kirk or ChappeU within the Kynryk of 
Scotland for and to pray for me and the soulis of my forbearis 



THE SUTHERLANDS OF FORSE. 153 

and successouris forontyn ony agane callyng or revocatioune of The Suther- 
me or mja ayris and that attour giff it hapnys me or myn 
ayris to cum to the contrar of ye foresaid gyfft as God forbyde we 
do I charge ye bishop of Cathness as he wyl answer to Almighty 
God to curse and to enterdyt me and myn ayris till we cum to full 
satisfaction and amendyng to Saint Andrew and to the Ghaplane 
perpetuale of Golspy. In Wytness of ye quhilk thyngis becaus 
I had no Sele proper of myn awyn I haff procuryt with instaens 
the Sele of an honorable man Wyllam of Sutherland of Berry- 
dale sone and apparand ayr to Alexander of Sutherland of Duffhous 
to be set and appendyt to thir letters at Dunrobyn the twenty 
four day of October the zheir of our Lorde a thousande four 
hundreth fyfftie and one zheiris befor yir witness John Erll of 
Sutherland Marg* Baize his Spous Sir Donald Cormackson, Eobert 

Heuryson of Innerboll Thomas Eobertson of John Park 

Gillane, Henry of Hillam, John Androwson mare of fier of the 
Erll of Sutherland and dievress others." 

In the " Origines Parochiales " this bond is erroneously 
stated to have been granted by Robert Sutherland of 
Forse. 

IV. John Sutherland of Forse succeeded his father, 
Richard. In 1505 King James iv.^ granted him a 
charter of the farm and teinds of Backies. 

He had a son, Robert, who died before him, leaving 
three sons, Richard, Wilham, and Alexander. 

V. Richard Sutherland of Forse made up a title 

' 18th May 1471, InquisitioQ. 
U 



154 THE SUTHERLANDS OF FORSE. 

The Suther- to his grandfather, John/ and, dying without issue, was 
succeeded by his brother, WUham. 

YI. William Sutherland of Forse married, in 
1558, Janet, daughter of William Sinclair of Olrig, and 
died without issue in May 1564. In September 1563 
Queen Mary granted to him and his wife, Janet Sinclair, 
a charter of lands in the Glen of Dunrobin. 

Of William Sinclair of Olrig no other notice is found. 
The Sinclairs of Olrig, who flourished in the seventeenth 
century, were of the Mey family, the first of the name 
having been George, fifth son of Sir James of Canisbay. 
In 1540,^ and down to 1564, we find William Sinclair, 
Chaplain, Rector of Olrig, and latterly Vicar of Latheron, 
a son of Henry Lord Sinclare. There was also, in 1542,^ 
a William Sinclair, son of William, second Earl of Caith- 
ness, but concerning him there are no particulars. 

VII. Alexander Sutherland of Forse* made up 
a title to his brother, Wilham, and was succeeded by his 
son, Donald. 

VIII. Donald Sutherland of Forse had a son and 
a daughter : — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

1. Margaret, "Lady Dun," wife of David Sinclair of 

1 p. of C, lOth November 1546. ^ Legitimation, 1542. 

2 Legitimation, 1540. * P. of C, 24th January 1574. 



THE SUTHERLANDS OF FORSE. 155 

Dun. After his death she married Charles The Suther- 
CaldeU of Lynegar. By her first marriage she ''°'^' °^ ^°"'- 
had a davighter, Jean Sinclair, who married 
George Sinclair of Forss. 

IX. Alexander Sutherland of Forse was, in 
March 1602,^ served heir-male and of entail to his grand- 
uncle, William, in the lands of Drummuy, Backies, and 
Torish, and he seems to have died before 1645.^ He had — 

1 . James, fiar of Forse, his successor. 

2. John, in Rangag, ancestor of the Sutherlands of 

Langwell. 

3. Adam, who is mentioned in a charter to James by 

his father as " meo filio legitime." 

1. Janet, who married, in 1621, Francis, second son 

of James Sinclair, first of Murkle, by whom she 
had a son, James, who died without issue. 

2. Elizabeth, who married, in 1643, William Sinclair 

of Dun, and had no issue. 

X. James Sutherland of Forse got a charter from 
his father in 1633, and in the same year he married 
Janet,^ eldest daughter of Hugh Gordon of Ballone, in 
the parish of Dornoch. Janet Goi'don* was the great- 
grand-daughter of Adam Gordon, Dean of Caithness, son 

1 Retour, 1602. ' Contract of Marriage. Died 1612, 

2 P. of C, by Earl Marischal, of Forse, a;t. 82. 

8tli November 1594. < Died 1529. 



156 THE SUTHERLANDS OF FOBSE. 

TheSuther- of Alexander, first Earl of Huntly. Her grandfather 
was John Gordon of Drummuy/ which had formerly 
belonged to the Forse family. James Sutherland died 
before 1655, and in that year his widow, " Lady Notting- 
ham," married William Rorison or Henderson, wadsetter 
of Wester Nottingham, by whom she had issue. — Vide 
Henderson of Gersay. 

James Sutherland had several sons and five daughters— 

1. George, his successor. 

2. Adam, " brother-german of George." 

3. Robert. 

4. Hugh. 

In a sasine, dated 27th September 1661, mention is 
made of Hugh and Robert, as " brothers " of George of 
Forse. 

5. Major Alexander, who, according to a MS. pedigree 

in the possession of General Pope, is mentioned 
as of Earnside in 1641, as having sold it in 1643, 
and as having married Jean Campbell. In this 
pedigree Robert is stated as third son, and Hugh 
is not named. 

1. Jean.^ 

2. Margaret. 

3. Elspeth or Elizabeth, who married, in 1663, John 

Sutherland of Ausdale,^ with consent of her 

^ Gordon's History. 

2 Bond of Provision, 23d January 1652. 

^ Contract of Marriage, 28th Kovemluer 1663. 



THE SUTHERLANDS OF FORSE. 157 

brothers, George and Robert. In 1669 she The suther- 
married James Sutherland of Langwell. 

4. Katharine. 

5. Esther. 



XI. George Sutherland of Forse made up a title 
to his grandfather, Alexander, as his father had been 
infeft on a disposition in his favour, to be hold en of his 
father, Alexander Sutherland.' He married Jean, eldest 
daughter of Robert Gray of Sklbo, the cousin of his 
grandmother, Janet Gordon. The Grays of Skibo are 
said to be descended from Andrew, Lord Gray, who died 
in 1514, and whose great-grandson, George Gray of 
Skibo and Sordell (who died in 1629), married Janet, 
daughter of John More Gordon of Embo, and niece of 
Hugh Gordon of Ballone. Of this marriage there was a 
son, Robert Gray of Skibo, who was father of Jean Gray. 
Her provision, in security of which she was infeft in 
Forse, in 1660 and 1661, was 200 merks and 8 chalders 
of victual. 

George Sutherland of Forse had four sons : — 

1. George, his successor. 

2. Robert, his immediate younger brother, who is 

mentioned as in Wester Nottingham and 
Achastle. He is afterwards styled of Achin- 
arras, on his marriage, in 1696, to Esther 
Sutherland, daughter and co-heiress of Langwell, 

1 Pr. of Cl. by Earl of Caithness, 20th February 1660. 



158 THE SUTHERLANDS OF FORSE. 

The Suther- who, as widow of William Budge of Toftingall, 

lands of Forse. , . ^ j i j i i i 

liierented these lands. 

3. William, also styled of Wester Nottingham, and 

of Giese, which he purchased in 1691 from Lord 

Breadalbane. He appears to have been twice 

married — first, to Katharine Sinclair ; and, 

secondly, about 1684, to Mary, daughter of Sir 

James Sinclair of Murkle, and widow of George 

Sinclair of Forss. After his second marriage, 

his wife being liferented in Forss, he was styled 

" of Forss." 

By his first marriage he bad two sons and a daughter, 

viz. William, fiar of Giese, Adam, and Jane or Janet, 

who, in 1695, married John Sinclair of Forss. 

4. Captain Alexander Sutherland, who was styled of 

Burrigill, and who appears from 1687 to 1693. 
In 1728-30 there resided at Breckachy, on Dunbeath 
estate, a Hugh Sutherland, who appears to have been 
factor for Sinclair of Dunbeath, and who is mentioned in 
1721 as " brother-german to the laird of Forse." It is 
improbable that he can have been the same Hugh who 
is mentioned in 1661, as brother of George of Forse, and 
it is concluded that he was a son of this George Suther- 
land, eleventh of Forse, and the brother of the svicceeding 
George, the laird of Forse in 1721, who succeeded to the 
lands in 1706. Hugh Sutherland, m Breckachy, had a 
son, John. There is no further account of this branch of 
the family. 



THE SUTHERLANDS OF FORSE. 159 

XII. George Sutherland of Forse succeeded his The suther- 

„ - TIT I'^'i^l^ °f Forse. 

lather, and had — 

1. Francis, fiar of Forse, in 1720, who died without 

issue.^ 

2. John, afterwards of Forse. 

3. Katharine, who married William Sinclair of Fres- 

wick,^ with consent of her mother, Elizabeth 
Sinclair. In a pedigree of the family by Mr. 
Hughes, George Sutherland's wife is named 
Jean, of the family of Dun, but in the original 
contract of marriage of her daughter Katharine, 
it is certain that her name was Elizabeth.^ 

XIII. John Sutherland of Forse married ^Emilia, 
daughter of John Sinclair of Ulbster.* She siirvived 
him, and died in 1789. John Sutherland is described 
by a contemporary as having been a gentleman of very 
universal knowledge, who employed himself much in 
reading and epistolary correspondence, drank a moderate 
glass of wine with his friends, and seldom exceeded the 
bounds of discretion in drinking. He was of a sedate 
rather than a jocular turn of mind. He had two sons 
and four daughters : — 

1. George, his successor. 

2. John Campbell, afterwards of Forse. 

1. Harriet, who married Colonel Sutherland of the 

1 p. of C, 27th July 1706. ^ Barrock Charter-chest. 

2 Contract of Marriage, 26th October 1724. * Crown charter, 1740. 



160 THE SUTHERLANDS OF FORSE. 

The suther- Scotch Brigade, Dutch Service, and died without 

lands of Forse. ' 

issue. 

2. Elizabeth, who married George Sinclair, W.S., 

second son of James Sinclair of Durran, and had 
a son, Lieutenant-Colonel John Sutherland Sin- 
clair, Royal Artillery, who had issue. 

3. Mary, who married Captam William Maclean of 

the 40th Regiment, and had three sons and 
four daughters. One of the daughters, Jane, 
married Captain John Henderson of Aimster 
and Castlegreen, and had issue one son, Major- 
General William Henderson of the Royal 
Artillery, who is immarried, and four daughters, 
who all died unmarried. 

4. Katharine, who married Professor Williamson of 

Glasgow University, and had issue. 

XIV. Captain George Sutherland of Forse was 
served heir to his father in 1765, and died unmarried in 
1773.^ In 1760 he was Lieutenant in the 87th Regi- 
ment, and in the same year he was appointed Captain in 
the Earl of Sutherland's Highlanders, in which he served 
until 1763. 

Captain Sutherland was a claimant for the dignity of 
Earl of Sutherland, as the nearest collateral heir-male of 
the ancient Earls of Sutherland, preferably to Sir Robert 
Gordon, and to Elizabeth (afterwards Duchess Countess 

' Retour, 5th August. 



THE SUTHERLANDS OF FORSE. 161 

of Sutherland), all the collateral branches, who, in 1514, TheSuther- 

, ^, , 1 • 1 1 • i" -1 lands of Forse. 

or subsequently, were nearer to him and his lamily, 
being extinct. 

XV. John Campbell Sutherland of Forse was 
retoured heir to liis brother in 1776. He married Mar- 
garet Munro, and died in 1828, leaving three sons — 

1. John. 

2. George. 

3. Captain Francis, who is married, and has issue. 

XVI. John Sutherland of Forse died unmarried, 
on 28th February 1846, in the twenty-sixth year of his 
age.^ He served for some time as Cornet in the 9 th 
Lancers, and afterwards in the 56th Foot as Lieutenant. 

XVII. George Sutherland, now of Forse, mar- 
ried Miss Sheppard, and has issue.^ 

In the London Times, in 1871, there appeared a 
notice of the death, on 13th May, at Bernard Street, 
Russell Square, of Charlotte Mary, wife of James Robert 
Judge, daughter of the late Captain Norman Campbell 
of the 71st Regiment, and " great-grand-daughter of 
George Sutherland of Forse." On 17th June Mr. Judge, 
on being written to by General Henderson, replied, " My 
wife always told me that her father's mother was a 
daughter of the George Sutherland of Forse who con- 

1 Retour, ICtb May 1832. " Retour, 26th January 1848. 

X 



162 THE SUTHERLANDS OF FORSE. 

The suther- tested the Sutherland peerage, and who was declai-ed by 
Lord Mansfield, dehvering the judgment of the House 
of Lords, to have proved his pedigree as heir-male ; but 
the peerage being a female fief, went to his niece, the 
daughter of the then late Earl. Of the truth of this 
my wife had no doubt, or she would have said so. 
I received your note last Monday, and should have 
answered it at once had I not hoped, by waiting a few 
days, to be in possession of my wife's pedigree, for which 
I had written to Mrs. Sharpe, my wife's cousin, who is 
the daughter of Captain Donald Campbell, and of one of 
the Digby family. Upon receipt of the pedigree, should 
I obtain further information, I shall do myself the 
pleasure of communicating it to you." No further com- 
munication was received from Mr. Judge. Captain 
Sutherland had certainly no legitimate issue, nor, in so 
far as known, had he any family. 



THE SUTHERLANDS OF LANGWELL. 

The modern estate of Langfwell was formerly known The suther- 

° „ .,. lands of Lang 

as " Berriedale," and was possessed by two families otweii. 
Sutherlands. Those of the first family, descended from 
John Begg, son of Nicolas, Earl of Sutherland, were 
styled " Sutherlands of Berriedale," and the other family, 
whose immediate progenitors were the Sutherlands of 
Forse, descended from Kenneth, a younger brother of 
John Begg, were known as the " Sutherlands of Lang- 
well." Berriedale originally belonged to the Cheynes, 
and it, together with Duffus (Dove House), in Morayshire, 
was acquired by the Sutherlands through the marriage of 
one of the daughters and co-heiresses of Ranald, " Lord 
Cheyne," to Nicolas Sutherland, brother to William, Earl 
of Sutherland. From the Sutherlands the lands came, 
also by marriage, into the family of Oliphant ; and they 
were thereafter acquired by the Caithness family of 
Sutherlands. In the seventeenth century the estate then 
known as Langwell was acquired from Lord Breadalbane 
by William M'lan or Sutherland, grandson of Alexander 
Sutherland of Forse. 

Mr. Calder has a story of a " William Sutherland of 



164 THE SUTHERLANDS OF LANG WELL. 

The Slither- BerriedaJe, a young man of gigantic stature," who 
well " ang ^ggQ^^p^nied John, Earl of Caithness, in his disastrous 
expedition to Orkney, in 1529, and who, he says, was 
proprietor of Berriedale, and ancestor of the Brabster 
family. In 1451 there was a William Sutherland of 
Berriedale, the son and apparent heir of Alexander 
Suthei'land of Duftus, and whose second son, William, was 
laird of Quarrelwood. Quarrelwood had also a son, 
William, who was fifth Baron of Duffus, and his son and 
heii-, William, was killed at Thurso in 1529, that being 
the same year in which, according to Calder, WilHam 
Sutherland of Berriedale was slain in Orkney. But even 
if there really had been a William Sutherland of Berrie- 
dale in the Orkney expedition, he was not an ancestor of 
the Sinclair-Sutherlands of Brabster, for, beyond ques- 
tion, their Sutherland connection is derived from the 
Forse branch of the Sutherlands of LangweU. 

Alexander Sutherland, ninth laii-d of Forse, 
who succeeded his father in 1602, had a son, John, in 
Rangag, a township on the estate of Forse. John Suther- 
land had at least two sons, William and David, of whom 
the elder seems to have been William, commonly called 
"M'lan" (son of John), and in 1660 he and his father 
were joint tacksmen of Langwell. In 1664 William 
Sutherland obtained a wadset on Langwell from the Earl 
of Caithness; in 1691 he got further wadset rights, in- 
cluding therein the lands of Bisgill, in favour of himself 



THE SUTHERLANDS OF LANG WELL. 165 

and his son, James, from Lord Breadalbane ; and in the The suther- 
same year they acquired an absolute heritable right to weii. 
these lands. Thus WUliam M'lan or Sutherland was 
the first Sutherland of Langwell. 

David, the second son of John Sutherland in Rangag, 
Is designed " of Langwell," and he may have been a 
wadsetter of these lands. He seems to have had several 
children, but we find notice only of his " eldest son," John, 
who was his executor, and who in 1678 granted an as- 
signation in favour of James Sutherland of Ausdale, his 
cousin- german, of a bond for 600 merks which had been 
granted by his grand-uncle, James of Forse, to his " good 
sir," John in Rangag, and by him assigned to his son, 
David, the father of John Sutherland. 

I. William Sutherland or M'Ian had several 
children : — 

1. James, his eldest son and successor. 

2. Adam, in Langwell, who married Janet, daughter 

of Donald Henderson, sometime m Sibster, there- 
after in AchaHbster, and his wife, Elizabeth 
Sinclair, the grand-daughter of James Sinclair of 
Borlum and Thura. His eldest son, James, mar- 
ried, in 1703, Beatrice, daughter of James Sinclair 
of Lybster. His second son was John ; and he 
had a daughter, Esther, who married, in 1716, 
Benjamin Henderson in Achahbster. 

3. David, in Ausdale, the third son of William Suther- 



166 THE SUTHEKLANDS OF LANG WELL. 

TheSuther- land, married twice. By Catharine Poison, his 

lands of Lang- _ '' _ 

well- first wife, he had two sons, William, wadsetter of 

Westerloch, and first of that family, and Angus. 
These two sons are described as his eldest and 
second sons by Catharine Poison, in a bond of 
provision by their father, dated in 1697, by which 
he assigns to them 2000 merks, part of 4000 
merks due to him by his elder brother, James of 
Langwell. David Sutheiiand's second wife was 
Mary Sutherland, of a family of Svitherlands, 
tacksmen of Latheron. By her he had a daughter, 
Elizabeth, who married, in 1720, Donald Calder 
of Strath. One of the witnesses to her contract 
of marriage was her relative, " Francis Suther- 
land, fiar of Forse." 

4. George Sutherland, in Ausdale and in Braehig- 

lish, is mentioned as the brother of David in 
Ausdale. 

5. Anne, the only daughter of William Sutherland, 

in so far as is known, married, first, John Innes of 
Oust, and, secondly, Alexander Calder of Achin- 
gale. She had a son, John Innes, to whom his 
uncle, James Sutherland of Lang-Avell, was tutor- 
dative, and a daughter, Marion Innes, who was 
married in 1703, with consent of her mother and 
her mother's then second husband, to John Cal- 
der, son of Alexander Calder in Winlass. For her 
tocher she had 2800 merks liferented by her 



THE SUTHERLANDS OF LANGWELL. 167 

mother, and which was in the hands of James The suther- 
Sutherland of Langwell. „eii. 



II. James Sutherland of Langwells, alias " Meikle 
James," had no less than four wives. 

In 1669 he married his cousin, Elspeth, daughter of 
James Sutherland of Forse, and widow of John Suther- 
land of Ausdale, and she having had the liferent of this 
place, James Suthex'land was after his marriage designed 
" of Ausdale." By this marriage he does not seem to 
have had any issue. 

His second wife was Anne, daughter of Patrick 
Sinclair of Ulbster, and widow of Francis Sinclair of 
Stirkoke. By her he had a daughter : — 

Esther, afterwards of Langwell. 

His third wife was Elizabeth, daughter of William 
Sinclair of Dunbeath, by whom he had no family. 

He married, lastly, Anne, daughter of Robert Sinclair 
of Durran, and had by her two daughters : — 

1. Anne, afterwards of Risgill or Swiney. 

2. Janet, who married George Sinclah- of Brabster. 

This marriage was the first connection between 
the Sinclau's of Brabster and the Sutherlands. 
James Sutherland died in 1708, and was succeeded in 
Langwell by his daughter, Esther ; and in RisgUl by her 
sister Anne. 

III. Esther Sutherland of Langwell was twice 



168 THE SUTHERLANDS OF LANGWELL. 

The suther- married.^ Her first husband was William, son of Donald 
well. Budge of Toftingall, by whom she had a son, James. 

She married thereafter, in 1708, Robert Sutherland of 
Achastle, immediate younger brother of George, twelfth 
laird of Forse ; and he was after his marriage styled " of 
Achinarras," in which lands his wife was liferented as the 
widow of William Budge. She had two sons and two 
daughters : — 

1. James, her successor. 

2. Major George Sutherland, Midgarty, Sutherland- 

shire, who had two sons and eight daughters ; 
Lieutenant-Colonel George, 15th Regunent of 
Foot ; Robert ; Esther, who married Captain 
WilHam Sutherland, Shibbercross ; Janet, who 
married John Gray of Jamaica ; Jane, who mar- 
ried the Reverend Alexander Sage, KUdonan ; 
Elizabeth, who married Joseph Gordon, Navi- 
dale ; Chaiiotte, who married Mr. M'Farquhar 
of Jamaica ; Williamina, who married Robert 
Baigrie, Midgarty ; Roberta, who married Robert 
Pope, Navidale ; and by a second marriage, 
Janet, who married Kenneth M'Kay, Torball. 

1. Margaret, married in 1732 to Alexander M'Kenzie, 

younger of Ardloch, whose father, John, second 
of Ardloch, was cousin-german of John, second 
Earl of Cromarty. 

2. Elizabeth, who married Benjamin Williamson, 

second of Banniskirk. 

' Contract of Marriage, 1696. 



THE SUTHERLANDS OF LANGWELL. 169 

IV. James Sutherland of Langwell, "a jovial, The sutuer- 
liearty man, who liked a glass of good claret at home and weii. 
abroad, and was exceedmgiy merry over it," married, 

in 1738, Rachel, daughter of Sir James and Dame 
Elizabeth Dunbar of Hempriggs, and had a son and a 
daughter : — - 

1. Robert of Langwell. 

1. Elizabeth, who married, in 1761, Walter Gray, son 
of Patrick Gray of Easter Lairg. 

Wmiam Sinclair of Freswick, writing to Budge of 
Toftingall in 1741, mentions that Lord Duffus, Su- 
William Dunbar, Durran, and Scotscalder, had gone to 
Thurso East, and that Lady Janet, believing that they 
had done so, not so much out of kindness "as to get a 
sett of drink " and to see how political matters were going, 
made Langwell — who had also arrived at the castle — 
landlord at dinner (Ulbster being from home), "with 
orders to make an example of them." These he obeyed 
punctually, so that some of the party had to be " oxter- 
handed," or supported from the boat by which they 
crossed the Thurso river to Bowermadden's house in 
Thurso, where they lodged. 

V. Robert Sutherland, last of Langwell, mar- 
ried, in 1762, his cousin, Anne Sinclair, heiress of 
Brabster. For the issue of this marriage vide Brabster. 

In 1775 Langwell was sold to William Gray, Iter 
Boreale, Jamaica, Provost-Marshal of that Island. 



170 THE SUTHERLANDS OF LANGWELL. 

The sutiier- It is believed that Robert Sutherland had a brother 

wrii.^ ° '° who resided in Brechin, but his name and history are not 
known. 

In the following description of this last laird of Lang- 
well, written in 1769, will be recognised the hand of the 
late William Sinclair of Freswick :— 

"Langwell was in town at our market, or, as he 
designs himself. Captain Robert Sutherland of Langwell 
and Brabster, Esq. His inconsistencies you have heard 
on several occasions long ere now : I shall therefore give 
you an account of his procession at Freswick 's burial. 
First comes himsell, mounted on a gray nag so and so 
shaped, low-sized crape hat-band, and a streamer from 
each cock of the back part, red coat and vest, white 
breeches, mounted with black, lappels and cvifFs to the 
coat of that color ; on the right and left about a yard 
behind him, and as much to the right and left of the line 
in which he rode, two gilly-weet-feet, each with a leashed 
grayhound ; then followed three old-looking footmen in 
abrest of the line in which the first three stood. Captain 
John Sinclair told me that he saw him at Wick, his 
machine drawn by four horses of diiferent sizes and colors, 
each of his postillions in long black cloaks, hats with 
cockades to 'em, hunters' whips, a sword on one side and 
a pistol on the other ; furnish me with such an equipage 
galloping thro' a street. I had forgot to say, in his proces- 
sion at the burial, in a cold rainy day, he had his horse 
covered with a net made of white, red, and green silk." 



THE SINCLAIR SUTHERLANDS OF RISGILL 
OR SWINZIE. 

On the death of James Sutherland of LangweU, in The Sinclair 
1708, his second daughter, Anne, succeeded to the estate Ksguior "" 
of RisgiU. In 1717 she married Alexander Sinclair of^^'°'''- 
Swinzie, now called Lochend, a property which he got 
from his father, George Sinclair of Barrock, he being the 
eldest son of Barrock's second marriage to Elizabeth, 
daughter of David Murray of Clairden. After Anne 
Sutherland's marriage, the estate of Risgill was called 
Swinzie, and the family took the name of Sutherland, 
or Sinclair Sutherland. Alexander Sutherland died in 
1738, leaving a son, James. 

James Sutherland of Swinzie is mentioned as 
being a " very facetious, entertaining man, who loved to 
pass his jokes." In 1739 his mother disponed the estate 
to him, and in 1743 he married his cousm-german, Jean, 
daughter of Jolm Sinclau- of Dm-ran. She was known 
as " Lady Swinzie," and resided during the latter 
part of her life in Thurso, where she died, a very old 



172 THE SINCLAIR SUTHERLANDS OF RISGILL OR SWINZIE. 

The Sinclair woman, in 1819. James Sutherland had a son and 

Sutherlands of , , ^ ^ , , 

Risgiii or three daughters : — 

Swi'nzie. j_ j^^^ 

1. Aiuie, who married Captain Patrick Sinclair of 

Durran, RN. 

2. Janet. 

3. Ehzabeth, who married Benjamin Henderson, 

tacksman of Clyth. The late Dr. James Hender- 
son, Clyth, and several other sons and daughters, 
were the issue of this marriage. Mrs. Henderson 
and one of her sons perished by shipwreck in 
Wick Bay. 

John Sutherland of Swinzie was served heir to his 
father in 1777 ; he married Margaret, daughter of Donald 
Williamson of Banniskirk, and died without issue in 1789. 

Patrick Sinclair Sutherland of Swinzie was 
eldest son of Captain Patrick Sinclair of Durran, and 
was served heir to his imcle in 1789. In the same year 
Swinzie, Risgill, and Munsary were sold for £5500 to 
Lieutenant John Gordon, Sutherlandshire, who was the 
first of the Gordons of Swinzie. 

^ James Sutherland built the present house of Swiney about 1750. 



THE MOWATS OF BUCHOLLIE AND 
FEESWICK. 

The family of Muat or Mowat is said to have origin- The iiowats of 
ally borne the name of Montealt, from lands so designated praswick. ""' 
in Flint, North Wales ; and the name occurs in the Rag- 
man Roll and other documents as " de Monte alto." 
They are supposed to have settled in Scotland in the 
reign of David i., the principal family having been that 
of Buchollie, now called Hatton, near Turriff, in Aber- 
deenshire. 

/ The date of the Mowats' first connection with Caith- 
ness is uncertain. The earliest Avrit extant concerning 
the lands of Freswick is a charter gi-anted by King 
Robert Bruce to one of this family; and between 1406 
and 1413 the Duke of Albany, as Regent of Scotland, 
confirmed a wadset of Freswick and Aukingill, granted 
by WilUam Mowat of Loscraggy to his son John — the 
same person who, in 1419, was killed at the chapel of 
St. Duthus, at Tain, by Thomas M'Kay of Strathmore. 
Loscraggy was in the barony of Buchollie, in Aberdeen. 
There is an indenture, dated in 1495, between Alexander 
Mowat of Loscraggy, as nearest and lawful heir of 



174 THE MOWATS OF BUCHOLLIE AND FRESWICK. 

The Mowats of William of Cljne, his cousin, and William of Clyne, son 
Freswick." of the Said Wilham, whereby Alexander Mowat confirms 
to William, the son, a right granted to him by his father 
of Knock-clyne, Clyne-leish, etc., in Sutherland ; and 
William confirms to Alexander the lands of Cultalord, 
Drynie, and others in Ross, now the estate of CadboU. 

Buchollie Castle, a short distance from the house of 
Freswick, of which there still exist considerable and 
picturesque ruins, was the ancient residence of the 
Caithness Mowats, and it is supposed to occupy the 
same site as Lambaburgh, which was a fort and strong- 
hold in 1142. The name of the castle and the famUy 
title were, no doubt, derived from the Aberdeenshire 
property of the Mowats, but it does not appear that their 
lands in Caithness, which form the modern estate of 
Freswick, went by the name of BucholKe. 

From the time of William Mowat, in 1413 to 1522, 
there is an interval during which no mention is found of 
the Laird of Buchollie. In the latter year, however, 
Magnus Mowat of Loscraggy and Freswick was infeft in 
Harpsdale. 

In 1548 Patrick Mowat of Buchollie entered into a 
contract with Malcolm Halcro of that Ilk, in Orkney, for 
the marriage of their son and daughter. 

In 1549 Patrick Mowat sold, under reversion, the 
lands of Tofts, Overtyre, and Aukingill, in the barony 
of Freswick, to Alexander Mowat in Tofts ; and in 
1554 Patrick is mentioned as "Lord of Buchollie and 



THE MOW ATS OF BUCHOLLIE AND FRESWICK. 175 

Freswick." Wlietlier this Patrick was the son of TheMowatsof 
Magnus Mowat of 1522 does not appear. Patrick Freswick. 
Mowat had a son, Patrick, and probably a daughter. 

In Hay's " Sinclairs of Roslyn," John and Patrick 
Sinclair of Ulbster are said to have been sons of " Mar- 
garet Mowat, daughter of James Mowat of Buchollie and 
Lucy Gordon, daughter of the Laird of Gight." WiLliam 
Sinclair, then- father, died in 1573, and if Margaret 
Mowat's father was James, he may have been also the 
predecessor and father of Patrick Mowat of 1 549 and 1554. 

Patrick Mowat of Freswick and Harpsdale was 
served heir to his father in these lands in 1565, and 
appears on record until 1593. He is, no doubt, the 
Patrick Mowat of Buchollie who is mentioned in the 
Spalding Papers, referred to by Calder, as witness to a 
testamentary deed by Andrew, Earl of Errol, dated at 
Slains Castle, 3d October 1585. 

Patrick Mowat married Christian Ogilvie, and had 
two sons and a daughter : — 

1. Magnus. 

2. James. 

1. Isabella, who was the first wife of Wilham Bruce 
of StanstiU, and died in 1601, as appears from 
the inscription on a gravestone, originally placed 
inside the kirk of Canisbay, and now standing in 
the kirkyard, wherein she is named as "Lady 
StanstUl, daughter of the Laird of Buchollie." 



176 THE MOW ATS OF BUCHOLLIE AND FRESWICK. 

TheMowatsof Magnus Mowat OF Freswick obtained a charter 
Freswick. from his father in 1602. He married Isabella Cheyne, 
rehct of John Kennedy of Kermuick, Aberdeenshire, a 
family which held possessions for some time in the island 
of Stroma. In 1605 Magnus sold his lands of Hai'psdale 
to the Earl of Caithness. He died in 1634, and appointed 
his son-in-law, Su- John Sinclair of Dunbeath, to be his 
executor. He left 2000 merks to Thomas Mowat, son of 
James of Ardo ; and he directed Roger Mowat, advocate, 
to give titles to his brother and successor, James. He 
had two daughters : — 

1. Elizabeth. 

2. Christian, who was, in 1601, infeft in Loscraggy 

and other lands. She married Sii" John Sinclair 
of Geanies and Dmibeath. 

James Mowat of Freswick obtained a precept of 
clare-constat in 1634 as heir to his brother, Magnus. 

In 1634 there was an agreement between Patrick 
Mowat of Buchollie and James Mowat of Freswick, by 
which the latter became boiind to dispone Freswick to 
his grandson, Magnus. 

Roger Mowat of Buchollie, Advocate, obtained a 
Crown charter in 1635; and in 1644 a charter of novo- 
damus, on which he was infeft in 1645. Probably these 
charters relate only to the Aberdeenshu'e estate, and it 
is thought that this Roger Mowat of Buchollie was the 



THE MO WATS OF BUCHOLLIE AND FEES WICK. 177 

same who ioined Montrose as a Royalist, and who was The Mowats of 

•^ •' Buchollie and 

slain at the battle of Alford in 1645. In 1629 he had Freswick. 
apprized Swinzie and Brabstermyre from the Mowats, 
who were then the owners of these properties, and in 
1644 he is designed as heritable proprietor of these lands. 

Sir George Mowat of Buchollie was, in 1653, 
served heir-male to his father, Roger, in the lands of 
Freswick, Burnside, Harlie, Middletown, Oakengill, 
Strupster, and others, in the parish of Canisbay, with the 
patronage of the kirk of Canisbay, which belonged to the 
family in 1610, and which had all been united with the 
Aberdeenshire estate into the barony of BuchoUie. 

Although it is presumed that Roger Mowat and his 
son. Sir George, were descended from Patrick Mowat of 
Buchollie, it is not known that Patrick was the son of 
James Mowat of Freswick, and it is probable that the 
estate of Freswick had come to be possessed by a branch 
of the family separately from BuchoUie. It may thus 
have been only the superiority of the Freswick estate 
which was included in the titles made up by Roger 
Mowat and his son. Sir George. 

Magnus Mowat of Buchollie, the grandson of 
James Mowat, was the last Mowat of Freswick. In 
1651 he married Jean, daughter of Alexander Sinclair of 
Latheron. In 1661 Freswick was sold to William Sin- 
clair of Rattar, grandson of Sir John of Greenland, and 
it has ever since belonged to the Sinclair family. 
z 



THE MOWATS OF BRABSTERMYRE AND 
SWINZIE. 

The Mowats of BRANCHES of the family of Mowat possessed Brabster- 
and SwTuzir^ myre early in the sixteenth century ; and Swinzie in the 
seventeenth century. 

I. The first Mowat of Brabstermyre seems to have 
been Gilbert Mowat, who in 1517 obtamed a charter 
from Keith of Inveruggie. No doubt Brabstermyre had 
formed part of the estates of the Cheynes, which were 
acquired by the Keiths, through their alliance by mar- 
riage with the Cheynes. Gilbert Mowat was succeeded 
by lais son, Malcolm. 

II. Malcolm Mowat of Brabstermyre got a pre- 
cept m 1541-42 from WiUiam Keith, Earl Marischal, and 
his spouse. He had a son, John. 

III. John Mowat of Brabstermyre got a pre- 
cept in 1583 from George, Earl Marischal. He had a son, 
Andrew. 



THE MOWATS OF BBABSTEKMYEE AND SWINZIE. 179 

IV. Andrew Mow at of Brabstermyre got a pre- The Mowats of 
cept as heir to his father, in 1595, from George, Earl and Swiniie. 
Marischal. He was twice married ; first to Ehzabeth 
Sinclair ; and, secondly, to Elizabeth Knowles, who sur- 
vived him, and who, in 1637, is designed as his relict. He 
had three sons and two daughters : — 

1. George, who appears to have died before his father. 

2. Patrick, who was a Justice of the Peace in 1634. 

3. William. 

1. Elizabeth. 

2. Jean. 

In 1627 Andrew Mowat and his son, George, sold 
Brabstermyre and Slicklie to Sir John Sinclair of Geanies 
and Dunbeath. By Sir John the estates were settled on 
his nephew, John Sinclair, first of Brabstermyre. Andrew 
Mowat died, it is supposed, about 1634. 

I. The Mowats of Swinzie appear about 1638, when 
we find Patrick Mowat of Swinzie, who married 
Elizabeth Leask, and was succeeded by — 

II. Alexander Mowat of Swinzie, who married 
Jean, daughter of Hugh Halcro of that Ilk. 

In 1644 Roger Mowat, Advocate, appears as "heri- 
table proprietor" of S-winzie, but he was only an adjudg- 
ing creditor. Alexander Mowat had two sons : — 

1. Patrick. 

2. Hugh. 



180 THE MOW ATS OF BRABSTERMYEE AND SWINZIE. 

The Mowats of HI. PATRICK MowAT OF SwiNZiE was succeeded, in 

Brahstermyre „j_«i t • ^ iT tt i 

andSwinzie. 16/9, by Jus brotiier, Hugh, 

IV. Hugh Mow at of Swinzie is mentioned as late 
as 1687 and 1698. In the latter year he sold the lands 
to George Sinclair of Barrock, and they are now known as 
Lochend. 



THE BUDGES OF TOFTINGALL. 

In a manuscript "Genealogie of the Lairds of Tofting- The Budges of 
gall," in the possession of Sir Patrick Murray Threipland 
of Fingask, much information is contained respecting the 
earlier history of the family of Budge. In this manuscript 
it is stated, that, " Whence they came or took their name 
is unknown for the most part, but by common tradition 
it is aflSrmed, by all that know the family, that they are 
descended of the family of Macdonald, and that the first 
of this family that came to Caithness fled thither for 
slaughter, and changed his name from Macdonald to 
Budge. The late Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat, chief 
of that name, affirmed that Budge of Toffcingall are of his 
family, as he pleaded the same with Donald Budge, then 
of Toftingall, in the year 1685, at the general convention 
of gentlemen and others for apprehending the Earl of 
Argyle, and offered to prove the time of their cadency by 
authentick writs in his charter-chest." This Sir Donald 
Macdonald was the third baronet of the old Macdonalds 
of Sleat, now represented by Lord Macdonald. 

Hugh Macdonald of Sleat, who was thii-d son of 
Alexander, tenth " Lord of the Isles," is said to have had 



182 THE BUDGES OF TOFTINGALL. 

The Budges of a son, Donald, who was called " Gallach," from his having 
been fostered in Caithness, by his mother's relations of 
the Clan Gunn, to which she belonged. Donald Gallach's 
grandfather, Alexander, died in 1449, and as the Budges 
had certainly settled in Caithness towards the end of the 
fifteenth century, their descent from the Macdonalds, and 
their connection with the county, through Donald Gallach, 
are not improbable. 

The " Genealogie " appears to have been written about 
the end of the seventeenth or beginning of the eighteenth 
century, and consists principally of an inventory of the 
older family writs, several of which are stated to be 
" not legible by reason of the badness of the write, 
length of time, and ill-keeping." On the margin is 
written, in an old hand, date 8th February 1703, the 
following; list of lairds : — 



1. 


Nicholas, 


1400-4. 


8. 


James, 


1600. 


2. 


Nicholas, 


1400-15. 


9. 


William, 


1600. 


3. 


Magnus, 


1400-21. 


10. 


William, 


1600. 


4. 


Sir Henry, 


1400-37. 


11. 


Donald, 


1600. 


5. 


Nicholas, 


1500. 


12. 


William, 


1700. 


6. 


Magnus, 


1500. 


13. 


James. 




7. 


William, 


1500. 









The earliest writ noticed is the notarial double of a 
charter granted by " Henricus de Sancto Claro, Comes 

Orchadiae," to Budge, of tenements in Wick, 

but it bears no date. A charter granted by one or other 



THE BUDGES OF TOFTINGALL. 183 

of the two Henrys, Earls of Orkney, would carry the The Budges of 
Budges back to between 1379, the date of the creation of ° '"^ 
the first Henry St. Clair, as Earl of Orkney, and 1420, 
when the second Earl of the name died. In the " Origines 
Parochiales" {vide Olrick) there is mention of Magnus 
Buge, Rector of Olrick in 1455 ; and Magnus is a family 
name among the Budges. 

The first legible charter is one said to have been 
granted to Nicholas Budge of Toftingale, in July 1403, 
but as the granter was William St. Clair, Earl of Caith- 
ness, it is evident that the correct date is 1503, for since 
the first Earl of Caithness of that name did not acquire 
the earldom tiE 1455, and since the second Earl, WiUiam, 
succeeded in 1476 and died in 1513, the charter must 
have been granted by the latter. This charter would 
seem to have been granted to Nicholas No. 1 in the list, 
who appears to have really flourished till 1504. A like 
correction in the century falls to be made in the three 
subsequent names on the hst. Commencing, then, with 
the charter in 1503, we have — 

I. Nicholas Budge of Toftingall. — -The list gives 
two of this name, but as Magnus, the third on the list, 
appears to have got a precept from John, Earl of Caith- 
ness, dated 21st February 1515 (in MS. 1415), as heir 
to Nicholas, who flom'ished till 1515, we may assume 
that Nicholas No. 1 is the first laird in regard to whom 
we have written evidence, and that — 



184 THE BUDGES OF TOFTINGALL. 

The Budges of II. NICHOLAS BuDGE OF ToFTiNGALL may have been 

ToftiDgall. . . 

nis son. 

III. Magnus Budge got a precept as heir to, and 
most probably as the son of, Nicholas No. 2, of the three- 
penny land of Toftingall and tenements in Wick. There 
is also a charter by "Alexander," Bishop of Caithness, 
" Magno Budge de Wick," of a croft and tenements in 
Wick, dated at Wick, 10th January 1421, according to 
the MS., but there was no Bishop Alexander at this 
date, and supposing the correct date to be 1521, the then 
Bishop was Andrew, and not Alexander. Magnus was 
succeeded by his son, Su" Heniy. 

IV. Sir Henry Budge of Toftingall was served 
heir to his father, Magnus, on 19th November 1537 (in 
MS. 1437). He was treasurer of the Church revenues 
of Ross, and was dovibtless a priest, to the members of 
which order the title of "Sir" was frequently given. 
Various treasurers of Ross were so styled. 

On 29th April 1538 Sir Henry entered into an agree- 
ment with Anna Wemyss, his father's "relict," but 
apparently not his own mother, whereby she sold her 
right of terce in the lands of Toftingall for seven merks 
Scots yearly. He appears to have been succeeded by — 

V. Nicholas Budge of Toftingall, who held a 
wadset of Brabsterdorran in 1567, and who occurs in 



THE BUDGES OF TOFTINGALL. 185 

1573 as sitting on an inquest. In what degree of rela- The Budges of 
tionship he stood to Su- Henry is not known. 

In the list of lairds we have no fewer than five, viz. 
Magnus, Wilham, James, William, and William, between 
Nicholas (No. 5) and Donald (No. 11), who was in posses- 
sion in 1627. But of the existence of these five there is 
no written evidence, and it is not very probable that in 
the short space of fifty-four years there could have been 
so many proprietors in succession. 

VI. Donald Budge of Toftingall was laird in 
1627. He had a brother, William, who is the same 
William Budge who was in Bualglass, on the estate of 
Forse, in 1627, who was afterwards in Harpsdale. He 
had Mybster and Tormsdale in 1660, the two latter being 
acquired from the Earl of Caithness for 5180 merks. 

There is, or there was, about the beginning of this 
century, a local tradition that a house at Dale, called 
" the Tigh-na-tuir," or House of the Tower, was built by 
one of the Budge family whose father bore the name of 
" William Ballugais." The word BaUugais is not Gaelic, 
and in the absence of any other explanation of its import, 
it is thought that " William Ballugais " was " William 
Bualglass," or William Budge in Bualglass, who was 
afterwards of Mybster or Myribster and Easterdale. The 
builder of the House of the Tower woidd consequently 
be William's son, Donald. This house can scarcely have 
been the existing house of Dale. 
2 A 



186 THE BUDGES OF TOFTINGALL. 

The Budges of Donald Budge had three sons and a daughter : — 

"'^°' ' 1. William, his siiccessor. 

2. Alexander in Harpsdale, whose eldest son, Henry, 

it is supposed was the Henry Budge who married 
Elizabeth, daughter of Patrick Sinclair of South- 
dun, who was his cousin. 

3. Nicholas, who was in Toftingall from 1651 to 1682. 
1. Margaret, who married in 1651, Alexander Calder, 

in Strath of Bylbster, 

VII. William Budge of Toftingall died without 
issue, about 1675. 

William Budge of Easter dale and Mybster, the brother 
of Donald of Toftingall, married Katharine Murray, pro- 
bably of the Pennyland Murrays, and had a son, Donald 
Budge, styled of Easterdale. About 1683, after the 
death of his cousin-german, WilHam Budge of Toftingall, 
Donald Budge appears to have adjudged that estate ; 
and thereafter it and the tenements in Wick passed into 
the Easterdale and Mybster branch of the family, instead 
of descending to the younger brothers of WUliam Budge 
of Toftingall. 

VIII. Donald Budge, when fiar of Easterdale and 
Mybster, married, in May 1672,^ Elizabeth, second 
daughter of David Sinclair of Southdun and his wife, 
Jean, daughter of John Sinclair of Ulbster. 

' Contract ol Marriage. 



THE BUDGES OF TOFTINGALL. 187 

In the churchyard of Watten the following inscription The Budges of 



appears on the gravestone of this lady : — 

"Here lies the Dust of ane Honest Discreit and Ciuill Gentle 
Woman Elizabeth Sinclair Meistress of Toftingall who departed 
from Tyme to Eternitie on the day of August 1685." 

William Budge of Toftingall was a party to the con- 
tract of marriage. 

After the acquisition of Toftingall, by Donald Budge, 
about 1683, the family estate comprehended, as it still 
does, Toftingall, Easterdale, Mybster, and Spittal. 
Spittal was apprized by Donald Budge about 1672 from 
Murray of Pennyland, who held it under a contract of 
wadset in 1648, from John Sinclair of Brims. 

Donald Budge had three sons and two daughters : — 

1. "William, his successor. 

2. David, tutor of Toftingall, who married Janet, 

daughter of John Forbes, Commissary of Caith- 
ness. 

3. James, Writer to the Signet, 1738. 

1. Jean, eldest daughter, who married Hugh M'Kay 

of Strathy. 

2. Katharine, who married Alexander Sinclair of 

Olrig. 

IX. William Bddge of Toftingall married, in 
1696, Esther, daughter of James Sutherland of Langwell, 
and had a son, James. 



Toftingall. 



188 THE BUDGES OF TOFTINGALL. 

The Budges of X. James Budge OF ToFTiNGALL was in minority at 
Toftmgaii. ^Y^^ ^^^^ ^£ j^g father's death, and his uncle, Pavid, took 
the management of the estate as "Tutor of Toftingall." 
James Budge married Janet, daughter of John Campbell 
of Castlehill. In 1751 he executed an entaU of the 
estates. He died without issue, and was succeeded by 
his cousin, WUUam. 

XI. William Bodge of Toftingall, the son, it is 
thought, of David Budge, was a Writer to the Signet, 
and died 1766. He had two sisters, Jean, who married 
Richard Murray of Peunyland ; and Isabella, who married 
Patrick Calder of Lynegar. He married Katharine 
Sinclair, who survived him, and is supposed to have been 
his cousin, daughter of Alexander Sinclair of Olrig. ( Vide 
Sinclair of Olrig). He had two daughters : — 

1. Janet. 

2. Grizzel. 

XII. Janet Budge of Toftingall died unmarried, 
and was succeeded by her sister, Grizzel. 

XIII. Grizzel Budge of Toftingall also died un- 
married. 

In 1799 the succession devolved, under the entail, 
upon the descendants of Jean Budge and Richard Murray 
of Pennyland, in the person of their daughter, Janet 
Murray, heiress of Pennyland and Toftingall. — Vide 
Murray of Pennyland. 



THE MUERAYS OF PENNYLAND. 

It is probable that the Caithness branch of the The Murrays of 
Murrays came from the Morays or Murrays who settled ^""^ 
in Sutherlandshire at a remote period, and who figure 
largely in the feuds which form the history of that county 
in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The prin- 
cipal Caithness famUies of the name are those of Penny- 
land, Clairden, and CastlehUl, all of them nearly allied. 

I. The fii'st " Murray of Pennyland " was William 
EoNALDSON or MuRRAY, who, in 1549, got a charter from 
the Bishop of Caithness of tenements in Thurso, and who 
got in 1559 a charter of Pennyland to himself and his 
wife, Isobel Dundas. Pennyland had previously belonged 
to the Bishopric, and when, in 1557, Bishop Robert gave 
a grant of Bishop lands to John, Earl of Sutherland, 
there is mention of "the lands, not named, of John 
M'Ewen and WUliam Ranaldson, except the crofts of 
Scrabster." In 1560 Wilham Ranaldson of Pennyland 
was witness to a charter of the lands of Forss and BaUlie, 
granted by John, Earl of Sutherland, to David Sinclair of 
Dun, and in the same year he was witness to a charter. 



190 THE MURRAYS OF PENNYLAND. 

The Murrays of also bj the Earl, of the lands of Westerseat, near "Wick, 
enny an . ^^ Hutcheon Murray, alias Pyper, from whom came the 
name of " Pyper's croft," as the lands were afterwards 
and still are called. 

William Ranaldson or Murray had two sons : — 

1. Walter, his successor. 

2. John, in Clairden. In 1568 his father resigned in 

his favour tenements in Thurso, and mentions 
him as his second son. 

II. Walter or Walter William Murray of 
Pennyland had a son, John, who is named along with 
him in a charter in 1590. 

III. John Murray of Pennyland got a charter in 
1609 from Alexander, Bishop of Caithness, to himself in 
liferent and to his son, William, in fee. In this charter he 
is designed as son of Waiter Murray. He had two 
sons : — 

1. William, his successor. 

2. John. 

IV. William Murray of Pennyland was succeeded 
by his brother, John. 

V. John Murray of Pennyland obtained in 1630 
from John, Bishop of Caithness, a precept of clai-e constat 
as heir to his brother-german, William. In 1663 he had 



THE HURRAYS OF PENNYLAND. 191 

a wadset of Scotscalder. In 1674 there is a charter by The Mun-ays of 
him and his wife, Margaret Murchison, and his name is of 
frequent occurrence in the kirk-session records of Thurso 
as an elder. He had five sons and two daughters : — 

1. James, his successor. 

2. Richard, designed of Scotscalder, in virtue of the 

wadset right to his father of which he got an 
assignation. Richard also got a disposition from 
his father in 1663 to a wadset of Lieurary, and 
he was one of the Commissary deputes of 
Caithness, He appears to have been twice mar- 
ried, namely, to Jean Cunningham, and to Jean, 
daughter of Smith of Braco. The disposition in 
1663 to the wadset of Lieurary is in favour of 
himself and Jean Cunningham, his spouse, and 
John, their eldest son ; and in December of the 
same year there is a charter of confirmation by 
the Bishop to him and Jean Smith. His children 
were five sons and three daughters : John ; Pat- 
rick, afterwards of Pennyland ; James ; Richard, 
; a merchant in Leith (who had a son, James, and 

two daughters, Jean and Amae) ; David, in Clair- 
den ; Mary, who married the Rev. James Oswald ; 
Margaret, who married the Rev. George Oswald ; 
and Ehzabeth, who married John Sinclair of 
Forss. 

3. David, of Clairden. 

4. John, a Writer in Edinburgh in 1667. 



192 THE MURRAYS OF PENNYLAND. 



The Murrays of 5. Francis 

Pennyland. 



1. Katharine, who married, in 1670, George Gray, 

Minister of Loth; and', in 1674, William Gum- 
ming, Minister of Halku-k, by whom she had 
four daughters : Ehzabeth, who married George 
Sinclair of Barrook ; a daughter, who married 
a Mr. Bruce ; Barbai'a, who married, in April 
1703, Patrick Sinclair of Brabsterdorran ; and a 
daughter, who married Gumming of GraigmUn, 
Morayshire, whose daughter, Rachel, married 
WiUiam Sinclair, of the Gustoms, Thurso, of the 
Dun famdy. 

2. Barbara, who married, in 1656, James Innes of 

Thursater. 

VI. James Murray is designed of Pennyland in 

1670. He was twice married, first to Elizabeth, daugh- 

_ter of Gaptain John Wemyss of — — and Janet Murray ; ' 

and, secondly, to Elizabeth Willson, who was his relict in 

1697. 

By his first marriage he had a son and three daugh- 
ters : — 

1. James, designed as his eldest lawfid son, who 
seems to have died without issue. 

1. Elizabeth, who married William Gampbell, Sheriff- 
clerk of Gaithness.^ 

' Contract of Marriage and Disposition by John Murray of Port of Ormlie, 
X659. ^ Contract of Marriage, 1684. 



THE HURRAYS OF PENNYLAND. 193 

2. Janet, who married Patrick Sinclair of Southdun. The Murrays of 

Pennyland. 

3. Margaret, who married Evander M'lvor of Loch- 

miln. 

By his second marriage he' had an only daughter, 
Katharine, who married, in 1690, James Murray of Clair- 
den. 

James Murray of Pennyland was succeeded by Patrick, 
eldest son of Richard Murray of Scotscalder and his wife, 
Jean Smith. Scotscalder had a son, John, who is men- 
tioned as the " eldest son" of him and Jean Cunningham, 
but he may only have been eldest son of that marriage, 
and may have died before the succession to Pennyland 
had opened by the death of James Murray. 

VII. Patrick Murray of Pennyland married 

, daughter of James Cunningham of Geise. In 1700 

he acquired the right of reversion of the wadset of Scots- 
calder, held by his grandfather, John. From 1696 to 
1698 he was one of the commissioners for the county 
in the Scottish Parliament; and in 1701 he entered into 
a feu-contract with Ulbster in regard to Scotscalder. He 
had seven sons and two daughters : — 

1. James, his successor. 

Pennyland appears to have been adjudged by James 
Murray of Clairden and Alexander Sinclair of Barrock, 
and to have been sold to James Murray for £500, the 
rental being then £25. Mr. Sinclair states that abovit 
the middle of last century the usual selling price of land 
2 B 



194 THE MURRAYS OF PENNYLAND. 

The Muirays of in the couiity was twenty years' purchase of the free 

Peanyland. , i 

rental. 

2. Richard, who seems to have taken up the succes- 

sion on the death of his brother, James. 

3. David. 

4. Alexander. 

5. Peter. 

6. William. 

7. Adam. 

1. A daughter, who married James Fall,^ a merchant 

in Dunbar, and whose daughter, Janet, married 

Sir John Anstruther of Anstruther. 

It has been supposed that Patrick Murray had another 

daughter who married M'Kay of Strathy ; but the only 

marriage of the Pennyland Murrays with that family, so 

far as is known, was that of the daughter of Richard 

Murray, Patrick's son, to Hugh M'Kay, second of 

Strathy. 

VIIT. James Murray of Pennyland was served heir 
to his father in 1729. He married Helen, daughter of 
William Miller of Mugdrum, and appears to have had no 
issue. He was dead in 1731. 

IX. Richard Murray of Pennyland married Jean, 
sister of William Budge of Toftingall, W.S., and had a 
son and two daughters : — 

1 Douglas. 



THE MUERAYS OF PENNYLAND. 195 

1. Patrick, Ms successor.' The Mmrays of 

1. Janet. '"^°''^'^'^'- 

2. Barbara, first wife of Hugh M'Kay, second of 

Strathy. In 1721 there was a bond to her and 
her four sons. 

X. Patrick Murray of Pennyland died without 
issue, and was succeeded by his sister, Janet. 

XI. Janet Murray of Pennyland, and heiress of 
Toftingall under the entail of that estate by James 
Budge, married, in 1761, Dr. Stuart Threipland of 
Fingask, and these properties are now possessed by her 
grandson. Sir Patrick Murray Threipland Budge of 
Fingask and ToftingaU, Baronet. 

' In 1762 James Murray, described a second son of Richard Murray. No 

as Surveyor of the Customs, resided at mention is made of his having children. 

Pennyland with his wife, Barbara, Bishop Forbes, who does ample justice 

daughter of James Murray of Clairden, to his hosts, mentions that be passed 

and two sisters, and in January 1770 the 5th of August 1762 at Pennyland, 

he died, and was buried in Pennyland " and most elegantly was he entertained 

Chapel. Who he was is uncertain, and there." 
it is conjectured that he may have been 



THE MURRAYS OF CLAIRDEN 
AND CASTLEHILL. 

TheMurraysof JoHN MuRRAY, " IN ClAIRDEN," WaS the SeCOnd SOn 

cast'ilhiih"' of William Ronaldson or Murray, first of Pennyland. In 
1568 he got a charter to tenements in Thurso on the 
resignation of his father. He had a son, William. 

I. William Murray was styled "of Clairden." In 
1614 he got a charter from Alexander, Bishop of Caithness, 
as eldest son and heir of John, of tenements in Thurso, to 
himself and his wife, Agnes Dalmahoy, in liferent, and to 
Ranald, then- son, in fee. He had two sons : — 

1. John. 

2. Ranald. 

II. John Murray, in Clairden, was served heir to 
his father, William, in 1655, in "William Ronaldson's 
tenements" in Thurso. He died about 1656, and had a 
son, James, who is mentioned in 1658 as eldest son, but of 
whom there is no further account ; the next of the family 
who appear in connection with Clairden being David 
MmTay. 

III. David Murray, styled of Clairden, was third 



THE MURRAYS OF CLAIKDEN AND CASTLEHILL. 197 

son of John Murray, fifth of Pennyland, and married Janet, The Hurrays of 
daughter of John Cunningham of Brownhill and Giese. castieiiiii. 
He was a person of considerable note in his time, and 
was holder of wadsets on Dunnet, Swinzie, Greenland, 
Carsgo, and Aimster, and although he was styled of 
Clairden, it is supposed that he had only a wadset of 
these lands. He had three sons and two daughters : — 

1. John, who is mentioned as " eldest son " in a bond 

to him by his father in 1675, and who appears 
to have died before his father. 

2. James, afterwards of Clairden. 

3. Patrick. 

1. Elizabeth, who married, first, William Innes of 

Isauld ; and, second, George Sinclair of Barrock. 

2. Jean, who married William Innes, Writer to the 

Signet in Edinburgh.' Her father was then 
dead, and her mother, Janet Cunninghame, and 
her brother-german, James, are parties to the 
contract. 
David Murray died in 1686, and was succeeded by 
his son, James. 

IV. James Murray of Clairden was married three 
times — first, to Katharine, only daughter of James 
Murray of Pennyland,^ by whom he had no issue ; 
secondly, to Anne Cunningham, by whom he had a 

' Contract of Marriage, 12th May ^ Contract of Marriage, 6th Feb- 
1693. ruary 1690. 



198 THE HURRAYS OF CLAIRDEN AND CASTLEHILL. 

The Hurrays of daughter, Barbara, who married (it is supposed) James 

Clairdenaud ° ^ ^ , tt. 

Castieiiiii. Murray, surveyor of customs, Thurso, one of the Penny- 
land family ; and, thirdly, to Margaret Sinclair, styled 
"Lady Clairden,"^ daughter of George Sinclair of 
Barrock, and his wife, Anne Dunbar of Hempriggs. By 
this last marriage James Murray had two sons and five 
daughters : — 

1. George, his successor. 

2. David of Castlehill. Between 1750 and 1754 he 

purchased from James Budge of Toftingall the 
lands of Gai'th, which he afterwards excambed 
with James Sinclair of Durran for Stangergill, 
now part of the estate of Castlehill. He married 
Margaret, daughter of Harry Innes of Borlum, 
and had three sons and a daughter — namely, 
Alexander, in North Calder ; John, who died 
unmarried ; Captain James ; and Barbara, who 
married Dr. Liddell, and had a son Andrew, and 
two daughters, Margaret and Elizabeth. Mar- 
garet Liddell married Major George Innes, 
brother of James Innes of Thrumster, and had 
two sons, William, Lieutenant-Colonel in the 
Honourable East India Company's Service, and 
Andrew, who both died unmarried. EUzabeth 
Liddell married Colonel Zulche, and had no 
issue. 
1. Jean, who married the Reverend George Traill of 

1 Contract of Marriage, 22d and 23d September 1702. 



THE MURKAYS OF CLAIRDEN AND CASTLEHILL. 199 

Hobbister, Minister of Dunnet, and had issue. The Mmrays of 

. J rn -n Clairden and 

— Vide iraiils. Castiehui. 

2. Anne, who married the Reverend James Brodie, 

Minister of Latheron, and had issue. — Vide 
Brodies. 

3. Elizabeth, who married the Reverend James 

Oswald, Minister of Dunnet, and had issue. 

— Vide Oswalds. 

4. Janet, who married Professor Morton of St. 

Andrews, and had no issue. 

5. Margaret, who married — first, David Sinclair of 

Southdun ; and, secondly, John Gibson, Sheriff- 
substitute. 

V. George Murray of Clairden married his cousin, 
Jean, eldest daughter of John Sinclair of Barrock. He 
died in 1752, and was survived by his wife, who lived to 
an old age, and had two sons and five daughters:^ — 

1. James. 

2. Alexander, a surgeon, who died unmarried. He 

was known by the name of " Tarras." 

1. Barbara, who married William Brodie, Sherifi"- 

substitute of Caithness, and son of James Brodie, 
Minister of Canisbay. She had no issue. 

2. Anne, who married Thomas Stedman (or Steeds- 

man, as signed by himself in 1766), and had two 
sons and two daughters: (l) Dr. WiUiam Sted- 

' Discharge by them, 17C6. 



200 THE MUKRAYS OF CLAIRDEN AND CASTLEHILL. 

The Murrays of man, who had three sons, George, John Gordon, 

castiehiih" ^^^ William, and three daughters, Lucretia 

(Mrs. Bushby), Anne, and Catherine ; (2) 
George. Mrs. Stedman's two daughters were 
Jane and Mai'garet, who both died at Thurso, 
unmarried. 

3. Margaret, who died unmarried. 

4. Elizabeth. 

5. Jean. 



THE CUNNINGHAMS. 

The Cunninghams of Caprington in Ayrshire, and The Cunning 
of Broomhill, date from the time of King David Bruce, 
and they became connected with Caithness early in the 
seventeenth century. In 1624 we find John Cun- 
ningham, Admiral Depute and Sheriff of Caithness, in 
the occupation of Geise, Ormlie, and Brownhill, and 
married to a lady of the family of Rattar. 

The first Cunningham of Broomhill was John, second 
son of William of Caprington, who got in patrimony 
from his father the lands of Broomhill, which was the 
designation of this branch of the family, and continued 
to be so until the original family estate of Caprington 
was acquired by John Cunningham, the eminent advocate, 
who was created a baronet in 1669. 

John Cunningham, fibst of Broomhill, is said by 
Douglas to have been succeeded by a son, Wilham, who 
is said to have got a Crown charter of the lands in 1629, 
and to have married, first, Janet, daughter of Patrick, 
first Lord Lindores, and by her to have had three 
daughters : — 

1. Jean, married to Sinclair of Dunbeath. 
2c 



202 THE CQNNINGHAMS. 

The Cunning- 2. Margaret, married to Innes of Borlum. 

^^™''' 3. A daughter, married to Mr. Symmers. 

According to the same authority, William Cunning- 
ham's second wife was " Elizabeth, daughter of William 
Sinclair of Rattar, descended of a second son of the Earl 
of Caithness, and now (1768) claiming the title of Earl 
of Caithness, and grand-aunt of the present laii'd of 
• Rattar." The laii'd of Rattar and the claimant of the 
title in 1768 were one and the same person, and the only 
lady of the Rattar family who married into the family of 
Cunningham was Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir John 
Sinclair, first of Rattar, and the great-great-grandaunt 
of the laird of Rattar, who claimed and obtamed the title 
of Earl of Caithness in 1768 ; but it will be seen that her 
husband was not William Cunningham. By this second 
marriage, however, Douglas says he had three sons and 
four daughters : — 

1. Sir John, his heir. 

2. James of Geise. 

3. Adam, a Captain in the Army. 

1 . Janet, who married Murray of Clairden. 

2. Isobell, who married Sinclair of Telstane. 

3. Anne, who married Bruce of " Itam." 

4. Mary, who married Stewart of Ascog. 

In the pedigree of the Cunninghams, as given by 
Douglas, there is no mention of John Cunningham of 
Geise and Brownhill, Admiral Depute and Sheriff of 
Caithness ; but that he was in the occupation of these 



THE CUNNINGHAMS. 203 

lands in 1624 is shown by a receipt for rent paid by him Tiie cunning- 
in that year; and that he was Sheriff in 1625 is shown 
by a judicial ratification signed before him at Brims on 
31st March of that year ; while under the designation of 
John Cunningham of " Brownhill " he is repeatedly 
named in deeds and otherwise down to past the middle 
of the century; and in 1655 he was an Elder of the 
parish of Thurso, as appears from the Session Records. 

John Cunningham of Brownhill was twice married. 
The name of his first wife has not been traced, but it 
is noticeable that Douglas, in his account of the family of 
Lindores, says that Janet, daughter of Patrick, first Lord 
Lindores, married Sir John Cunningham of Broomhill ; 
while in his account of the Cunninghams he says that 
this lady married William Cunningham of Broomhill. 

John Cunningham's second wife was undoubtedly 
Elizabeth Sinclair, daughter of Sir John, first of Green- 
land and Rattar. In March 1636 Sir William Sinclair 
of CadboU brought an action against James Sinclair of 
Rattar, son of Sir John, for £3000 borrowed by his brother, 
John, and him for payment of his sister Elizabeth's tocher 
to John Cunningham of Geise, her husband.^ William of 
Rattar, the son of James Sinclair, and the great-grand- 
father of William of Rattar, tenth Earl of Caithness, had 
no daughter Elizabeth. 

The designation of "Brownhill" is unmistakably 
given to the John Cunningham who married Rattar's 

1 Bond, Sth May 1632. 



204 THE CUNNINGHAMS. 

The Cunning- daughter, and who occupied Geise, and was otherwise 
connected with the county ; but, as has been already 
remarked, Douglas nowhere mentions any Cunningham 
"of BroAvnhill." There is a place near Thurso and 
Ormlie known as BrownhUl ; but whether John Cimning- 
ham acquu'ed the designation from these lands, which he 
may have possessed as he did Ormlie, or whether the 
original family title was Brownhill, the "Broomhill" of 
Douglas being a misnomer or misprint, cannot now be 
ascertained. In a MS. Inventory of the Feus and 
Papers produced by the Caithness Vassals in 1720, John 
Cunningham of Geise is designed of " Broomhill," but 
this is the only instance discovered of his having been 
so designed. 

John Cunningham had by his marriages five, if not 
six daughters, and five sons : — 

1. Jean, who married in 1632 Alexander Sinclair of 
Latheron, brother of Sir John Sinclau- of Dun- 
beath. No other lady of the name married into 
the family of Dunbeath and Latheron, and this 
lady must be the same as the Jean Cunningham 
of Douglas, who, as daughter of William Cun- 
ningham of Broomhill, married "Sinclair of Dun- 
beath." She married, in 1647, WiUiam Sinclair of 
Rattar, the nephew of that Elizabeth Sinclair who 
was the second vsdfe of her father. In what 
year John Cunningham's second marriage took 
place is uncertain, but it was not later than 1636, 



THE CUNNINGHAMS. 205 

and was probably only a few years earlier, as The Cimning- 
Elizabeth Sinclair's father died in 1622, and her ''""'■ 
brother, James (who, as we have seen, borrowed 
money to pay her tocher), had only succeeded to 
the estate about 1634, on the death of an elder 
brother. Jean Cunningham was thus, almost 
certainly, of her father's first marriage. If she 
was of his second marriage, then she and her 
second husband, Wilham of Rattar, were cousins- 
german. In her contracts of marriage in 1632 
and 1647, and in other deeds, she is named as 
daughter of John Cunningham of Brownhill. 

2. Margaret, who married William Innes of Borlum. 

Tliis sister of Jean Cunningham is no doubt the 
same lady who Douglas says married Innes of . 
Borlum, and who, according to him, was the 
daughter of William Cunningham. In 1651 
John Cunningham signed a bond of caution for 
her in connection with the Borlum afiau's, and 
although she is not designated as the daughter 
of John Cunningham, she must have been so if 
she was the sister of Jean, who was certainly his 
daughter. She seems to have considered herself 
a person of consequence, for in 1683 she writes 
stating her inability to assist her son, Henry 
Innes, and at the same time to maintam herself 
" as becomes a person of my quality." 

3. Janet, who married David Murray of Clau'den. 



206 THE CUNNINGHAMS. 

The Cunning- 4. Isobel, who married Alexander Sinclair of Telstane. 

5. Anne, who married John Bruce of Ham, no doubt 

the same lady who, according to Douglas, 
married " Bruce of Itam." She afterwards 
married William Sutherland, styled " of Ham," 
of which she had the liferent. This William 
Sutherland was a son of John Sutherland of 
Little Tarbol, Sutherlandshire, and in 1712 he 
disponed his whole estate and effects to his 
nephew, John Sutherland of Little Tarbol. 

6. Mary, who married Stewart of Ascog. She was 

unquestionably the daughter of John Cunning- 
ham of Brownhill. 
The five sons of John Cunningham were — 

1. John, advocate, afterwards Sir John of Caprington. 

2. James of Geise and Eeaster. In 1677 he was an 

Elder of Thurso. He married Barbara, styled 
" Mistress of Geise," daughter of Sir James 
Sinclair of Murkle, and had a son who is 
designed William Cunningham of Reaster in 
1686. 

3. George, the third son, married Isabel Dundas. 

In 1698 he was dead, for in that year Isabel 
Dundas is designed, in an assignation of a bond 
granted by her husband's cousin, David Sinclair 
of Freswick, as "rehct of umquhile Mr. George 
Cunningham, hrother-german of Sir John Cun- 
ningham of Caprington." 



THE CUNNINGHAMS. 207 

4. Adam, who was in Carsgo in 1661. He is designed The cunning- 

as fourth son of John Cunningham, and is, no 
doubt, the " Captain Adam Cunningham of 
Aukingill " who was a Commissioner of Supply 
in 1709. His wife was Jean Milburn. 

5. Alexander. 

In 1664 John Cunningham assigned a wadset held 
by him and his wife, Elizabeth Sinclair, on the Rattar 
estate, in favour of the following " younger children of 
his second marriage," namely, James, George, Adam, 
Alexander, and Mary. His only other children were John, 
the Advocate, afterwards Sir John, who is named in this 
deed as his eldest son, and his two daughters, Jean and 
Margaret. Since John is referred to in the assignation 
by the widow of George Cunningham as the brother- 
german of her husband, he was most probably a son of 
his father's second marriage. However this may be, 
all the persons named were certainly children of John 
Cunningham of Geise and Brownhill, though they are aU 
(except George and Alexander) named by Douglas as the 
children of William of Broomhill. It is evident either 
that there was no WilUam of Broomhill, and that John 
was the correct name of the son and successor of John, 
first of Broomhill, or that, if there was a William, he had 
no family, and that John of Broomhill was his brother, 
as John, and not William, was undoubtedly the father 
of Sir John, the ancestor of the present family of Cap- 
rington. Thus Douglas is clearly mistaken in his account 



208 THE CUNNINGHAMS. 

The Cunning- of the descendants of William Cunningham of Broom- 
hams. -, .,, 
hiil. 

John Cunningham, advocate, is repeatedly mentioned 
as the son of John of Brownhill. In 1657 he assigned a 
bond to David Murray of Clairden, who had married his 
sister. M'Kay says that John Cunningham was born in 
Caithness and educated in Thurso, and that he was the 
eminent advocate who was created a baronet in 1669. 
Consequently he was the same Su' John who acquired 
Caprington by purchase after its sale by the creditors of 
his cousin, Sir William of Caprington. 

Of stUl existing families in the county connected 
with the Cunninghams of Brownhill and Geise are the 
Traills of Battar ; the descendants of David Mun-ay of 
Clairden and his wife, Janet Cunningham ; and the 
family of Innes of Sandside, descended from Margaret 
Cunningham, " Lady Borlum." 



THE CALDERS OF LYNEGAR. 

The name Calder, in its older form of Caldell, is of TiieCaideisof 

Lyuegar. 

considerable antiquity, and in the middle of the seven- 
teenth century few names in the coimty are of more 
frequent occurrence. In 1508 we find William Caldell 
of Dun, and about the same period Donald Caldell, a 
proprietor in Wick. In 1525 a charter was granted to 
one Donald Caldell of lands of Dunnet and Barrock. 
This was probably the same pei'son who married Helen 
Brisbane, one of the co-heiresses of considerable lands at 
Reiss and Ackei-gill, of which they were despoiled, when 
minors, by the Earl of Caithness. In '1558 Donald 
Caldell executed a deed in relation to the lands of 
Dunnet, and in 1563, his son, Donald of Barrock, 
resigned these lands ad remanentiam in favour of George, 
Earl of Caithness. 

The principal families of the name were those of 
Lynegar, of Strath, of Bylbster, and of Achingale and 
Newton ; but there were many others, holders of small 
wadsets in various parts of the county. 

Of the Lynegar branch the first was probably Andeew 
2 D 



210 THE (JALDEBS OF LYNEGAR. 

The caiders of Calder OF Lynegar, who in 1567 had a tack of Brabster- 

Lynegar. ^^_^^,^„^^_^ 

Charles Calder of Lynegar was present at an 
inquest in 1573. 

Laurence Calder of Lynegar, the son probably of 
Charles, died about 1629, leavmg three sons: — 

1. Charles, his successor. 

2. Laurence, who, as son to umquhile Laurence of 

Lynegar, got a precept of clare-constat in tene- 
ments in Dunnet, and a farthing land there, in 
1634, and who, in 1636, married Janet Davidson. 
He died before 1679, and had three sons — 
William, Andrew of Holland, who had a son 
Laurence, and John. 

3. John, who, as narrated in a bond to his brothers, 

Charles and Laurence, in 1634, left Caithness 
" to travel in foreign countries." 

Charles Calder of Lynegar, son of Laurence, 
married, before 1647, Margaret Sutherland, "Lady 
Dun," widow of David Sinclair of Dun, and daughter 
of Donald Sutherland of Forse. He was succeeded by 
his son, Laurence. 

It is probable that the Calders of Lynegar were at 
first merely wadsetters ; but in 1632 Charles Calder got 
a feu-charter of the lands from William, Lord Berriedale, 



THE CALDERS OF LYNE6AR. 211 

and from that date, at all events, the family were The Caiders of 
proprietors. •* '^ 

Laurence Calder of Lynegar got a disposition of 
the estate from his father in 1665, under reservation of 
his father's own liferent. In 1653 he married Isabel, 
eldest daughter of David Sinclair of Southdun, and he 
afterwards married Elizabeth Innes. In 1691-92 the 
Earl of Bi'eadalbane disponed the lands to him and 
his wife ia liferent, and to their son, James, in fee. 
Laurence was for some time Chamberlain to the Earl of 
Caithness, from whom he acquired Bowertower in 1692. 

In 1661 Laurence Calder got a wadset from the 
Caithness family of the feu-duties of Lynegar, and he 
had from time to time various wadset rights in different 
parts of the county, such as Achalibster, Achscoraclate, 
etc. 

By his first marriage he had four sons : — 

1 . William, fiar of Lynegar. 

2. John. 

3. Andrew. 

4. Alexander. 

By his second marriage he had several chUdi-en, of 
whom the eldest was — 

James, to whom in 1694 he disponed Halcro and 
Bowertower.^ James sold the latter in 1717 to John 
Sinclair of Barrock. 

1 Vide Contract 1691-92, ut supra. 



212 THE CALDERS OF LYNEGAR. 

The caiders of Laurence Calder had also three daughters : — 

1. Barbara. 

2. Elizabeth. 

3. Jean. 

William Calder of Lynegar married, in 1683, 
Elizabeth, only daughter of Walter Bruce of Ham, and 
of his wife, Ehzabeth, daughter of Alexander Sinclair of 
Latheron, third son of George Sinclair of Mey. He died 
about 1698, and left a son, William. 

William Calder of Lynegar was a minor at his 
father's death, and had for his curator Alexander Sinclair 
of Olrig, whose father had married his mother. WUliam 
married Marjory, daughter of Patrick Sinclair of South- 
dun, and had two sons : — 

1. Patrick, his successor. 

2. James. 

Patrick Calder of Lynegar married Isabel, 
youngest sister of William Budge of Toftingall, W.S. 
He and William of Rattar, tenth Earl of Caithness, were 
cousins-german, their mothers having been sisters. He 
had a son and a daughter :- — 
1. Alexander, his successor. 
, 2. Jean, who married Mr. Eussell, but whose issue 

are extinct. 

Alexander Calder of Lynegar held some office 



THE C ALDERS OF LYNEGAR. 213 

or employment in the Exchequer Office at Edinburgh, The caiders of 
and was the last proprietor of Lynegar of this family. 
He married Barbara Gray, and had three sons and two 
daughters : — 

1. Alexander, Colonel in the Madras Native Infantry, 

who married Anna Bunbuiy, and had a son, 
Francis, who married Mary Graham, and left no 
issue ; and a daughter, Anna Bunbury, who 
married Mr. Wall, and has issue. 

2. Francis, Captain, R.N., who died unmarried in 

1855. He was a gentleman of most benevolent 
character, and a fountain has been erected in 
Belfast to his memory. 

3. Patrick, Deputy Commissary- General, who died 

rmmarried in 1853. 

1. Isabella, who married William Sinclair of Freswick, 

and who died in 1812, leaving a son, John, and 
two daughters, of whom the eldest was Mrs. 
Thomson Sinclair of Freswick. — Vide Freswick. 

2. Barbara, who died unmarried in 1870. 

The late Mrs. Eliza Campbell or Grant, Thurso, 
writes, in 1826, to the late William Sinclair of Freswick, 
in reference to the Lynegar family, as follows : — " Sir 
James Calder, the father of Sur Harry and of Admiral 
Calder, was Equerry to the late Queen Charlotte, and 
his daughter married Admiral Hotham. I knew Sir 
James, and when he heard what part of Scotland I 
came from he particularly inquired for the Caiders of 



214 THE CALDERS OF LYNEGAR. 

The Caiders of Ljiiegar, who, he told me, were a very ancient family 
with whom he was connected, and had the honour of 
being a younger branch of the same family. He sent for 
Jean Calder (Mrs. Russell), and shewed her great atten- 
tions, as did Lady Calder and Mrs. Hotham." 



THE CALDEES OF ACHINGALE AND 
NEWTON. 

/ Thebe is little doubt that the Calders of Achingale The caiders of 

1 -\T 1 ii- 1 IT J Achingale and 

and Newton were nearly allied to the Lynegar and Newton. 
Strath family of the same name. 

In 1577 Achingale was occupied by Robert Caldell, 
and from that date down to 1763 the Calders are found 
as tenants, wadsetters, or feuars of Achingale, Newton, 
and Banks of Scouthel. In 1629 Donald Calder of 
Newton obtained a feu- charter of these lands from the 
Earl of Caithness ; in 1639 he and his wife, Isabel Murray, 
obtained a tack of Achingale from John, Master of 
Berriedale; and in 1665 Alexander Calder, then of 
Achingale, obtained a wadset of the feu- duties payable 
under the charter of 1629, and of the tack of 1639. 

Alexander Calder of Achingale and Newton 
died about 1678, and had three sons : — 

1. Alexander, his successor. 

2. Lieutenant Donald Calder of Newton. 

3. John of Strath. 

Alexander Calder op Achingale married Anne, 



216 THE CALDERS OF ACHING ALE AND NEWTON. 

The caiders of daughter of William Sutherland of Langwell, and widow 
Newton. of Johu Imies of Oust. He was succeeded by his eldest 
son, Alexander. 

Alexander Calder of Achingale and Newton 
married, in 1722, Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander 
Sinclair of Sixpenny, and had issue — 

1. Donald. 

1. Beatrice, who married William Henderson in 
Dirlot. 

Donald Calder of Achingale died without issue. 

Beatrice Calder, as heiress to her brother and 
father, disjjoned the lands in 1763 to her uncle, William 
Sinclair, in whose family they remained until 1804, when 
they were acquired by Wilham Sinclair of Freswick. 
The reversion of the wadset of 1665 had come into the 
hands of Sir James Sinclair of Dunbeath, and was 
acquired by William Sinclair, his son-in-law. 



THE CALDERS OF STRATH. 

Before 1649 part of the lands of Strath of Bylbster The caiders of 
was feued to the heirs of Marcus Calder. 

In 1651 Alexander Calder of Strath married Margaret, 
daughter of Donald Budge of Toftingall ; and in 1665 the 
Earl of Caithness gave a feu-charter of the whole lands 
to him and his wife. 

In 1680, they, with consent of their son, Alexander, 
disponed Strath to Alexander Calder of Achingale. 

In 1692, John Calder, brother-german of Achingale, 
and his son, Donald, got a disposition of Strath. John 
married Margaret Calder, and had issue : — 

1. Donald. 

1. A daughter who, in 1718, was wife of James Innes 
in Thrumster, grandfather of the late Major James 
Innes of Thrumster. 

Donald or Daniel Calder of Strath married 
Elizabeth, daughter of David Sutherland of Ausdale, and 
great-granddaughter of William Sutherland of LangAvell. 
He had two sons and three daughters : — 

l."" James, Collector of Excise, Thurso. 
2 E 



218 THE CALDERS OF STRATH. 

TheCaidersof 2. Patrick, Captain in the 64th Regiment of Foot, 
who died unmarried in 1807. 

1. Janet, who married Mr. Murray. 

2. Margaret, who married Alexander Calder. 

3. Emily, who died unmarried. 

Collector James Calder of Strath had a son and 
a daughter : — 
1. David. 

1. Jean, who married Captain George Swanson, 
Gerston. 

David Calder of Strath and Pennyland sold 
Strath in 1801 to William Stewart in Downreay, father 
of the late General Stewart, and Pennyland he sold to 
Mr. Sinclair of Freswick. 



THE DUNBARS OF HEMPRIGGS. 

I. This branch of the family of Dunbar is dii'ectly The Dunbars of 
descended from Sir Alexander Dunbar of Westfield, *™p'''ss^- 
Knight, son of James Dunbar, fifth Earl of Moray, and 
great-grandson of John Dunbar, second Earl. He was 

born about 1425, and died 10th March 1497 or 1498. 
He married Isabel, daughter of Alexander Sutherland of 
Duffus, who died 11th November 1505. He had eight 
sons and a daughter, and was succeeded by his third son, 
Alexander. 

II. Alexander Dunbar of Auldcash, Kilboyach, 
AND KiLCALMKiLL, third son of Sir Alexander, was killed 
in 1498 by Alexander Sutherland of Dalred or Dirlot, in 
Caithness. He married Lady Janet Sutherland, who 
survived him. Sir Robert Gordon states that he married 
Margaret Baillie, widow, in 1460, of John, tenth Earl of 
Sutherland, which is a mistake, he having been only three 
years of age at the period of this alleged marriage. He 
was succeeded by his eldest son, James. 

III. James Dunbar of Auldcash, Conzie, Kil- 
CALMKILL, AND KiLBOYACH, was born about 1480. He 



220 THE DUNBARS OF HEMPRIGGS. 

The Dunbars of was setved heir to his father in 1501, and died in 1553 
empng„s ^^ 1554. According to Douglas he married Helen Innes, 
and was succeeded by a son, James, who married Tsobel 
Brodie, but it is proved by a deed registered at Edinburgh 
in 1539-40, that he was twice married at least, his first 
wife being Helen or Elen Innes, and his second wife 
being Isabel Brody or Brodie, and he was succeeded by 
his son, Alexander. 

IV. Alexander Dunbar of Conzie and Kilboyach 
married Elizabeth, daughter of John, sixth Lord Forbes 
(ch. 1564), and had several sons, of whom the fifth was 
William, his successor. 

V. William Dunbar of Struthers, afterwards of 
Hempriggs {of one-third of which he got a charter in 
1574), is called portioner of Hempriggs in his father's 
will, which is dated 25th February 1577. He married 
Catherine, the daughter (and heiress probably) of John 
Anderson of Struthers and Janet Gibson, his spouse, and 
he died on 25th November 1624. He had four sons and 
a daughter : — 

1. John, his heir. 

2. James. 

3. Ninian. 

4. Robert. 

1. Isobel, who married Hepburn of Inverlochty. 

VI. John Dunbar of Hempriggs was twice married, 



THE DUNBAES OF HEMTRIGGS. 221 

and had by his first wife, Elizabeth, daughtei* of George The Duubars of 
Sinclair of May, a son, John. 

VII. John Dunbar of Hempriggs, and also of 
Latheronwheel (which he purchased), married Anna, 
eldest daughter of Andrew Fraser, Commissary of Inver- 
ness, and in his contract of marriage, dated 26th Septem- 
ber 1624, his father, John Dunbar, made over to him 
his lands of Hempriggs "as they had been left to him 
by his father, William." Jolm had two sons and three 
daughters : — 

1. WilUam, afterwards Sir William. 

2. Kobert of Northfield, afterwards Sir Robert. 

1. Janet, who married Patrick Gumming of Ernside. 

2. Gatherine, who married William Geddes, Minister 

of Wick from 1659 to 1675. 

3. Anne, who married her cousin, George Sinclair, 

first of Barrock. Of this marriage is descended 
the present representative of the family of Sinclair 
of Barrock. 

VIII. Sir William Dunbar, who was created a 
Baronet of Nova Scotia in 1698, was a man of consider- 
able ability and local influence. In 1691 he purchased 
the lands of Telstane, and changed the name to Hemp- 
riggs. He also purchased Old Wick and other lands on 
the south side of the water of Wick; and in 1699 he 
acquired the Ackergill estates, which formerly formed a 
barony held by the Keiths, Earls Marischal. He also 



222 THE DUNBARS OF HEMPRIGGS. 

The Dimbais of acquired the lands of Wick, Papego, South and North 
Kilmsters, and Miln of Wenless, which before 1591 were 
held by the Earl of Sutherland off the Bishop of Caith- 
ness and then of the Crown, and were in that year 
resigned by the Earl in favour of the Earl of Caithness. 
He held a commission from the Earl of Breadalbane as 
Sheriff and Justiciar of Caithness. He married his second 
cousui, Margaret, daughter of Alexander Sinclair of 
Latheron, by whom he had a son and a daughter : — 

1. Benjamin, who married Janet, daughter of Patrick 
Sinclau' of Ulbster, and who died before his 
father without issue. 

1. Elizabeth. 

On Sir Wilham's death without male issue the 
baronetcy devolved on his brother, Robert, and the 
estates, under an entail executed by himself, on his 
daughter, Elizabeth. Elizabeth Dunbar married, first, 
Sir Robert Gordon of Gordonstoun, great-grandson of 
Alexander, fifteenth Earl of Sutherland, and had by 
him three sons and four daughters. From her third 
daughter, Lucy, who married David Scott of Scotstoun, 
is descended, maternally, the present Duke of Portland. 
Sir Robert having died m 1701, his widow married, 
secondly, James Sutherland, second son of Lord Duffus, 
who was created a baronet in 1706, under the title of 
Sir James Dunbar of Hempriggs. Of this second mar- 
riage there were two sons and four daughters : — 

1. William, born in 1708. 



THE DUNBARS OF HEMPRIGGS. 223 

2. James, an officer in the army, who died in Jamaica The Dunbars of 
in 1742 unmarried. "''" ° ' 

1. Janet, who married, first, John Sinclair of Barrock, 

by whom she had a son (John Sinclair of Sibster), 
and a daughter ; and, secondly, Harry Innes of 
Borlum and Sandside. 

2. Charlotte, born in 1712, who married Sir William 

Sinclair of Keiss, and had two sons. Captain 
Alexander, and Kennedy-Muir. 

3. Elizabeth, who married Eric Sutherland, eldest son 

of Kenneth, third Lord Duffus (attainted in 1715). 
They had two daughters : — (1.) Elizabeth, who 
married, first, her cousin, Captain Alexander 
Sinclair, son of Sir William of Keiss ; and, 
secondly, Charles Sinclair of Olrig, by whom she 
had an only daughter, Fenella ; and, thirdly, the 
Reverend Mr. Rudd, Yorkshire, by whom she 
had a son and two daughters. (2.) Charlotte, 
who married Sir John Sinclair of Mey, and had 
issue, James, afterwards Earl of Caithness. 

4. Rachel, who married James Sutherland of Lang- 

well, and had a son, Robert, and a daughter, 
Elizabeth. Robert Sutherland married Ann 
Sinclair, heiress of Brabster. 

IX. Sir William Dunbar of Hempriggs married, 
first, Elizabeth, only daughter of Alexander Dunbar of 
Westfield. Elizabeth Dunbar was the undoubted heir of 



224 THE DUNBARS OF HEMPRIGGS. 

The Dunbars of line of the old family of Dunbars, hereditary Sheriffs of 
empnggs. -^Qj-Sij, descended from James, fifth Earl of Moray, of the 
Dunbar line. By this first marriage Sir William had a 
daughter, Janet, who married Captain Thomas Dunbar, 
styled, after his marriage, " of Westfield," and descended 
of the same stock as his wife. They had three sons and 
two daughters : — Patrick ; Alexander, who died in 1782 ; 
William- Henry ; Elizabeth, who married James Moodie 
of Melsetter, had issue, and died in 1798 ; Mary Maxwell, 
who married the Reverend Peter Nicolson of Shebster, 
Minister of Thurso, and had issue, and died in 1806. 

Sir William married, secondly, Jean, daughter of 
David Sinclair of South Dun, by whom he had no issue. 

He married, thirdly, Henrietta, daughter of Hugh 
Rose of KUravock, and had by her two sons and three 
daughters : — 

1. Benjamin, his successor. 

2. Robert. 

1. Elizabeth. 

2. Alexandrina. 

3. WUliamina. 

X. Sir Benjamin Dunbar of Hempriggs married 
Janet, daughter of George M'Kay of Bighouse, and had 
two sons and three daughters : — 

1. George, his successor. 

2. Captain Robert of Latheronwheel, who died 

unmarried, 11th August 1857. 



THE DUNBARS OF HEMPRIGGS. 225 

1. Louisa, who married Garden Duff of Hatton. The Dunbars of 

2. Elizabeth, who died unmarried. Hempnggs. 

3. Henrietta, who married Wilham Sinclair Wemyss 

of Southdun. 
On the death of James Sutherland, last Lord Duffus, 
the title was assumed by Sir Benjamin, as heir-male 
through his grandfather. Sir James Dunbar or Suther- 
land, but smce his decease, in 1843, it has been in 
abeyance. 

XI. Sir George Dunbar of Hempriggs devoted 
himself to country pursuits for many years, and carried 
on extensive improvements on the family estates, thereby 
largely enhancing their value. He added to their extent 
by the purchase of part of Myrelandhorn and of the 
estate of Sibster, and by the acquisition of the lands of 
Tannoch in exchange for portions of his Strathmore 
property. He set aside the entail executed by his great- 
great-grandfather, Sir William, and died 28th August 
1875, unmarried. 



2 F 



THE DUNBAES OF NORTHFIELD 
AND BOWERMADDEN. 

TheDunbarsof I. RoBERT DUNBAR OF MyRELAND, AND OF NORTH- 

Northfield and 

Bowermadden. FIELD, BOWERMADDEN, AND LiSTER, WaS SeCOnd SOn 01 

John Dunbar of Hempriggs and of Latheronwheel. 
Having succeeded to the baronetcy on the death of his 
elder brother, Sir Wilham of Hempriggs, he was styled 
Sir Robert of Northfield. In the Rebellion of 1715 he 
appeared with a party at the Cross of Wick, and drank 
the Chevalier's health. 

He seems to have been twice married. In 1675 he 
married Mary, daughter of Patrick Sinclair of Ulbster. 
In 1708 he acquired Myreland and Quintfall from Lord 
Glenorchy; and about the same period Bowermadden 
and Bolster were acquired by his son, Patrick. He 
died in 1742, and had four sons, and two, if not three, 
daughters : — 

1. Patrick, his successor, who was the last-named 

substitute in the entail of Hempriggs, executed 
by Sir William Dunbar, his uncle, 

2. William, 



THE DUNBARS OF NORTHFIELD AND BOWERMADDEN. 227 

3. James. TheOunbarsof 
. -p. . n Northfield and 

4. UaVld. Bowermadden. 

These three younger sons are named in the Ulbster 
entail, and were doubtless of their father's marriage to 
Ulbster's daughter. They are all supposed to have died 
young. 

5. Marjory, who married David Sinclair of Southdun. 

6. A daughter, , who married George Manson of 

Bridgend. 

In certain judicial proceedings in 1781 between Miss 
Katharine Sinclair of Southdun and George Manson 
Sinclair of Bridgend, it is stated, in reference to Miss 
Sinclair's father, David, and Bridgend's grandfather, 
George Manson, that a friendship which had existed 
from near neighbourhood came to be a closer connection 
" by intermarriages of two daughters of Sir Robert 
Dunbar." It is inferred that David Sinclair and George 
Manson each married one of Sir Eobert's daughters, 
and of these, Marjory was the second wife of David 
Sinclair. The name of the other has not been ascer- 
tained, and reference is made to the notes on the Bridg- 
end family for particulars regarding George Manson's 
marriages. 

Sir Robert seems to have had a third daughter, for 
in "Fasti Eccles. Scot.," David Dunbar, minister of 
Olrig from 1735 to 1762, third son of John Dunbar of 
Kinsorth, married Mary Dunbar, who died in 1780, and 
their only son died in minority. 



228 THE DUNBARS OF NORTHFIELD AND BOWERMADDEN. 

TheDunbarsof II. SiR PATRICK DuNBAR OF NORTHFIELD, BOWER- 

Nortlifield and x i- •if>_L*-i/>ni-f 

Bowel-madden. MADDEN, AND LiSTER, was twice mamed, iirst, m 1697, 
to Katharine, youngest daughter of William Sinclair of 
Dunbeath, by whom he had two sons, E.obei't and William. 
In 1708, William, in a disposition to the lands of Lister, 
in which his father was Hferenter, and he was fiar, he is 
designed as "eldest son," and in 1758 his father was 
served heu: in special to him; and, secondly, in 1722, to 
Katharine, daughter of Joseph Brodie of MUntown, 
Morayshire, by whom he had two sons and three 
daughters : — 

1. John, born in 1727, who married his cousin, Mar- 

jory, daughter of David Sinclair of Southdun, 
and died without issue. 

2. Patrick, born in 1733, died young. 

1. Elizabeth, who succeeded her father. 

2. Anne. 

3. Henrietta, who died unmarried. 

III. Elizabeth Dunbar of Northfield and Bower- 
madden, married James Sinclair of Durran, and had 
issue. — Vide Durran. 



THE TKAILLS OF CASTLEHILL AND RATTAR 

The connection of this family with the county dates The Trains of 

•^ . . CastleWUand 

irom tlie settlement of Dr. George Iraill as mimster of Rattar. 
Dunnet in 1751. 

In 1581, George Traill, of the family of Traill of 
Blebo, in Fife, settled in Orkney. He was twice married : 
to Jean Kennedy and to Isabella Craigie. From the 
former marriage are descended the Orkney families of 
TraUls of Holland, Skaill, Tirlot, and Vena, and from the 
latter are descended the Traills of Quendal, Hobbister, 
Westness, and Weststove. 

James Trail, first of Quendal, was the son of 
George Traill by his second marriage, and he had three 
sons : — 

1. James of Quendal, his successor. 

2. George, first of Hobbister. 

3. John of Sanday. 

George Traill of Hobbister had two sons : — 

1. James, who died in 1756. 

2. George. 

Dr. George Traill, third of Hobbister, succeeded 
to that estate on the decease of his brother James in 



230 THE TRAILLS OF CASTLEHILL AND RATTAE. 

The TraiUs of 1756. Having studied for the Church, he was settled as 

Kattav. minister of Dunnet in 1751. In 1761 he purchased 

Castlehill; in 1773 he obtained the degree of D.D. from 

the University of King's College, Aberdeen, and in 1785 

he died, aged 62. 

In 1753 Dr. Traill married Jean,^ daughter of James 
Murray of Clairden, and his wife, Margaret Sinclair 
(daughter of George Sinclair of Barrock and his first wife, 
Anne, daughter of John Dunbar of Hempriggs), and had 
two sons and three daughters : — 

1. George, who died unmarried. 

2. James, advocate, afterwards of Castlehill and 

Rattar. 

1. Margaret. 

2. Isabella. 

3. Barbara. 

These ladies all died unmarried. 

James Traill of Hobbister, Castlehill, and 
Rattar, was appointed SheriflP-depute of Caithness in 
1788, and about 1789 he purchased the estate of Rattar. 
He married Lady Janet, youngest daughter of WiUiam 
Sinclair of Rattar, tenth Earl of Caithness, and died in 
1843, in the eighty-fifth year of his age. He was held 
in the highest estimation diu-ing his long, active, and 
useful life, as an able judge and as a leading county 
gentleman. 

1 Ob. May 1810. 



THE TRAILLS OP CASTLEHILL AND RATTAR. 231 



Mr. Traill had three sons and six daughters : — The Traiiu of 

1 /^ „ 1 • Castlehill and 

1. (jreorge, his successor. ^attar. 

2. John, a young gentleman of much promise, who 

died in early Hfe. 

3. James, barrister, who for many years was one of 

the Police Magistrates of London. 

1. WilUamina-Barbara. 

2. Jean. 

3. Isabella. 

4. Mary. 

5. Margaret, who died at Brighton, 3d June 1878, 

aged 82. 

6. Janet. 

These ladies all died unmarried. They were, during 
then- lives, held in universal regard. 

George Traill of Kattar represented Orkney in 
Parliament for three yeai's. In 1841 he was elected 
member for the county of Caithness, which he represented 
until 1869, when he retired, having been returned in 
seven successive general elections, five times without a 
contest, and twice by majorities. He entered the House 
of Commons as a Liberal, and in his public career he was 
throughout eminently consistent, while in his private 
relations he was held in the greatest esteem as an upright 
and honourable man. He died, unmarried, at London, 
on 29th September 1871, in his eighty-third year. 



THE OSWALDS. 

The earliest member of this family of whom there is 
notice is James Oswald of KirkwaU, who was born about 
1590, and died about 1660. He got a charter from the 
Earl of Caithness of tenements in Kirkwall. He had a 
son, James. 

James Oswald was a Baihe of Wick. He married 
Barbara, daughter of Coghill of that Ilk, and had two 
sons :— 

1. James, born in 1654. 

2. George, born in 1674. 

James Oswald was Episcopal minister of Watten. 
He married Mary, daughter of Richard Murray of Penny- 
land, and had two sons and two daughters : — 

1. B-ichard of Scotston, a merchant in Glasgow, who 

died in 1763. 

2. Alexander, a merchant in Glasgow, who died in 

1766. 

1. Margaret, who married Baird of Chesterhall. 

2. Isabella, who married James Campbell of Lochend. 



THE OSWALDS. 233 

George Oswald, second son of Bailie Oswald, was The oswaid^. 
ordained minister of Dunnet in 1697, and died in 1725. 
He married Margaret, daughter of Kichard Murray of 
Pennyland, and had two sons and four daughters :— 

1. The Reverend James Oswald, Dunnet. 

2. Eichard Oswald of Auchencruive, who married 

Mary, daughter of Alexander Ramsay, Esq., 
Jamaica, and died in 1784 without issue. 

In the original Statistical Account of Caithness it is 
asserted that Richard Oswald was an unsuccessful candi- 
date for the Parish School of Thiu'so. This story must, 
however, be incorrect, for as Mr. Oswald was born in 
1704, and as the Session Records show that the competi- 
tion for the school took place in 1706, the unsuccessful 
competitor must have been a different person. The 
name Oswald was not uncommon in Thurso at that 
time. 

In the pubhshed papers and correspondence of Lord 
Shelburne there is an account of his employment of Mr. 
Richard Oswald to negotiate peace with America, after 
the first war. Mr. Oswald is described as a well-known 
Scotch merchant in the city of London, who had originally 
become known as a contractor during the Seven Years' 
war, and who, being dissatisfied with the manner in which 
his business was carried on, went to Germany himself, 
and acted as Commissary-General of the ai-my of the 
Duke of Brunswick. In 1759 he purchased the estate of 
Auchencruive, in Ayrshire. He married Miss Mary 
2 G 



234 THE OSWALDS. 

Ramsay, through whom he became possessed of extensive 
estates m America and the West Indies. Owing to his 
connection with these parts, he had ah-eady been fre- 
quently consulted by the Government during the war. 
In 1777 he had visited Paris, and made acquaintance with 
Vergennes and Franklin. He was known as holding very 
hberal views on economic and commercial qviestions, being 
a disciple of Adam Smith, to whom he owed his intro- 
duction to the Secretary of State. He left England with 
a letter from Lord Shelburne to Franklin in which his 
Lordship writes : " I have had a longer acquaintance with 
him than even I have had the pleasure to have with you. 
I believe him an honest man, and after consulting some 
of our common friends, I have thought him the fittest for 
the purpose. He is a practical man and conversant in 
those negotiations which are most interesting to mankind. 
This has made me prefer him to any of our speculative 
friends, or to any person of higher rank." The nego- 
tiation with America was ably conducted by Mr. Oswald, 
who received high praise for his remarkable singleness of 
purpose. 

1. Jean, who married David Manson, merchant in 

Thurso, and left no issue. 

2. Elizabeth, who married William Anderson, merchant 

in Wick, and had a son, Alexander, a merchant 
in London. 

3. Mary, who married Andrew Robertson, minister of 

Farr in 1727, and afterwards of Killearn. She 



THE OSWALDS. 235 

died in 1787. They had a son, Harry Oswald, a TheOswa 
merchant in Glasgow. 
4. A daughter, who married John Sutherland, minister 
of Golspie in 1731, and of Tain in 1752, son of 
Arthur Sutherland, minister of Edderton. Mr. 
Sutherland had a numerous family of sons 
and daughters. The eldest son was William 
Sutherland, minister of Wick from 1764 to 
1816. 
From the Presbytery Records it appears that in 1699 
the minister of Dunnet " delated " two persons, a man 
and a woman, " suspect of witchcraft," and requested the 
advice of the presbytery, who recommended the accused 
to be confronted with the witnesses, and a report to be 
made to next meeting ; but there is no further account 
of the matter. This is about the last we hear of proceed- 
ings before church courts against witches in Caithness. 

Dr. James Oswald, minister of Dunnet, was trans- 
lated to Methven in Perthshire, and died in 1773. He 
married Elizabeth, daughter of James Murray of Clairden, 
and had four sons and three daughters : — 

1. George of Scotston, wlio married Miss Smith of 
Meth vein, and died in 1819. He had four sons 
and five daughters : Richard, who succeeded his 
grand-uncle, Richard Oswald of Auchencruive, 
and died without issue ; David, Captain in the 
Nineteenth Regiment ; James, Captain in the 



236 THE OSWALDS. 

Koyal Navy ; Alexander, an Advocate ; Miss 
Oswald, afterwards of Scotston, who died in 1864, 
aged ninety-eight ; Catharine, who married Mr. 
Haldane ; Margaret, who married General Wilson; 
Christian, who married Alexander Anderson, 
merchant in London ; and Mary, who married Mr. 
Dennistoun. 
2. Alexander, of ShieldhaU, who married Margaret, 
only daughter of John Dundas of Manor, and 
died in 1813. They had three sons and three 
daughters. The sons were — John, who died un- 
married in 1800 ; James, a merchant in Glasgow, 
afterwards of ShieldhaU, and M.P. for Glasgow, 
he succeeded to Auchincruive on the death of 
his cousin, Richard, and died unmarried in 1853, 
aged seventy-four ; and Richard, who married his 
cousin. Miss Anderson, and had two sons and 
two daughters. Richard's eldest son, Alexander 
Haldane Oswald, in succession to his uncle, James, 
of Auchincruive, and M.P. for Ayrshire in 1843, 
married Lady Louisa, daughter of William, first 
Earl Craven. His only son died in 1868, and 
he himself died in September of the same year, 
leaving two daughters, Louisa Elizabeth, who 
married Colonel Farquharson of Invercauld, and 
another, who married the Honourable J. Manners 
Yorke. The second son of Richard Oswald was 
George, who succeeded to Auchincruive on the 



THE OSWALDS. 237 

death of his brother, Alexander, and died in The Oswalds. 
March 1871. 

The daughters of Alexander Oswald of Shield- 
hall were — Agnes, who died unmarried; the 
second was Lillias, who married Andrew Mitchell, 
Writer in Glasgow, and the third was Margaret, 
who married Dr. Macfadzean, Ardrossan. 

3. James, thu'd son of Dr. James Oswald. 

4. Richard, who died young. 

1. Janet. 

2. Margaret. 

3. Barbara, who married Mr. Laii'd, and had an only 

daughter, Miss Margaret Laird. 



THE INNESES OF THUKSATEK 

The inneses of The historian of the family of Innes of Innes asserts 
that they possessed " the third rig of Caithness, which 
they kept till the year 1540," and he supposes that they 
may have acquired some part of their Caithness posses- 
■ sions as early as 1260 or 1270. The editor of Forbes' 
account of the family, however, had been unable to dis- 
cover any evidence of their having held lands in Caith- 
ness previous to 1507, at which date Alexander, son and 
heir of Alexander Innes of Innes, got a charter of Dun- 
beath, Reay, and Sandside. In 1541 and 1564 he 
obtained charters of various lands in Latheron, Wick, 
and Thurso parishes, which had previously belonged to 
the Oliphants ; but these the Innes family do not appear 
to have held for any length of time. In 1529 Dunbeath, 
Reay, and Sandside had passed into the hands of the 
Sinclairs, that being about the time of the marriage of 
Alexander Sinclair of Stemster to Elizabeth Innes. 

It is not known what was Elizabeth Innes's connec- 
tion with the family of Innes ; but about the middle of 
the seventeenth century, Margaret, only daughter of 
Alexander Innes of Innes, married William Sinclair of 



THE INNESES OF THURSATER. 239 

Dunbeath, the son and heir of Alexander Sinclair and The inueses of 
Elizabeth Innes. In addition to these, several inter- '^'''""'*'''^''- 
marriages took place between the house of Innes and the 
Caithness family. 

Other branches of the family, or at least persons 
bearing the family name, had a more permanent connec- 
tion with the county, namely, the Inneses of Thursater 
and their collaterals, and the Inneses of Sandside. 

The first notice we have of the Inneses of Thursater 
is in 1560, when " Maister Walter Innes of Thursater" 
appears as witness to a charter of the lands of Wester- 
seat, gra,nted by John, Earl of Sutherland, to Hutcheon 
Murray or Pyper, which was signed at Scrabster on 30th 
December in that year. In 1554 and 1566 a Mr. Walter 
Innes was vicar of Thurso, and he is also mentioned as 
having obtained from the Bishop in 1564 a lease of lands 
in Brims, adjoining Thursater. There can be little doubt 
of the identity of " Mr. Walter," the vicar, with " Maister 
Walter of Thursater," " Maister" havmg been the usual 
title of a preacher. 

From 1567 down to 1582 Thursater was possessed by 
William Innes, who is described as of Thui'sater and 
portioner of Brims. He was also Bailie to the Bishop of 
Caithness. He had a son, Robert, who died before him. 

It appears from a discharge dated 25th November 
1582, and signed at Girnigo by William Innes, who is 
therein designed "of Bryms," that his son, Robert, married 
Margaret Sinclair, " Oy " or grandchild of George, fourth 



240 THE INNESES OF THURSATER. 

The inneses of Earl of Caithness ; and the discharge acknowledges pay- 
ment of 100 merks from the Earl's son, George, Chan- 
cellor of Caithness, as in full satisfaction of 300 merks 
promised by the Earl in the contract of marriage of his 
" Oy." Whose daughter Margaret Sinclair was is not 
mentioned. Her name does not occur in the family pedi- 
gree, and it may have been that she was a daughter of 
WilUam, the elder brother of the Chancellor, if she was 
not a daughter of the Chancellor himself. 
Robert Innes had five sons : — 

1. John. 

2. Robert of Owst. 

3. George of Skaill. 

4. Alexander of Borrowstoun. 

5. James in Watten. 

John Innes of Thursater, eldest son of Robert, 
married Isobel Innes, and had three sons : — 

1. Robert, fiar of Thursater. 

2. William. 

3. Walter. 

Robert Innes of Thursater had a son and a 
daughter : — 

1. James, his successor. 
1. Janet. 

James Innes of Thursater married in 1656 Barbara, 



THE INNESES OF THUKSATER. 241 

daughter of John Murray of Pennyland ; she must have The iimeses of 
been his second wife. James Innes had two sons and a '^'""''''''"• 
daughter : — 

1. Robert, his successor. 

2. John, surgeon in Edinburgh in 1683. 

1. Margaret, who married William Sinclair of Thrum- 

ster, son of John, older of Brims, and grandson 

of John Sinclair of Ulbster, — his father and elder 

brother, both afterwards of Ulbster, being parties 

to the contract of marriage. 

. Robert Innes oe Thursater received a disposition 

from his father, James, in 1665. He was apparently not 

the son of Barbara Murray, who married his father only 

in 1656. Robert had two sons : — 

1. James, younger of Thursater, in 1668. 

2. WUliam. 

James Innes of Thursater is found in the Kirk-Session 
Records as an Elder in 1666 and 1667, and there was a 
James Innes also in 1675. 

James Innes of Thursater, " grandson of Robert Innes," 
was infeft in 1684, on a precept of dare constat, and 
was, it is presumed, the son of James, who was younger 
of Thursater in 1668, and afterwards of Thursater. 

From 1684 there is no certain account of this family ; 
but the last-mentioned James Innes appears to have had 
a son, Robert. At all events, in 1705, John Sinclair of 
Brims was infeft on a disposition of Thursater and Easter , ^ 

Brims, granted by Robert Innes of Tliursater. There is 
2 H 



242 THE INNESES OF THURSATER. 

The inneses of a tradition that the last laii'd of Thursater was accustomed 
to attend the kirk of Thurso (of which he was an elder) 
with his " twelve children," which may accomit for the 
extinction of the family estate. 

In 1718 a daughter of John Calder of Strath was the 
wife of James Innes in Thrumster, who was afterwards 
in Ollaclate. Their son, William, was also in Ollaclate, 
and was father of the late Major James Innes of Thrum- 
ster, and it is thought that the connection traditionally 
said to exist between the Inneses of Thursater and the 
Inneses of Thrumster was through this James Innes of 
1718, and that he was probably the son or grandson of 
the last Innes of Thursater. 

Reverting to the other sons of Robert Innes and 
Margaret Sinclair, there were : — 

I. Robert Innes of Oust, in 1633, who married 
Elizabeth Sinclair-, and died before 1671, leaving two sons 
and three daughters : — 

1. George. 

2. John. 

1. Jean, who married Thomas Gunn or Rorieson in 

Thurdistoft. 

2. Margaret, who married James Innes of Borrow- 

stoun. 

3. Janet, who married John Forbes in Achscrabster, 

in 1674. 
There were apparently two families of Inneses of Oust, 



THE INNESES of THURSATER. 243 

as "we find in 1671 Elspeth Innes, relict of William Innes Theinnescsof 
of Oust, and William, her eldest son. 

II. George Innes of Oust married Katharine, 
daughter of Alexander Sinclair of Forss, and had a son, 
John. 



III. John Innes of Oust appears from 1677 to 1682. 
He married Anna, daughter of William Sutherland of 
Langwell, a branch of the Sutherlands of Forse. They 
had a son and a daughter : — 

1. John, to whom his uncle, James Sutherland of 

Langwell, was tutor. 
1. Marion, who, in May 1703, married John, eldest 
son of Robert Calder in Wmless, with consent of 
her mother, who was then wife of Alexander 
Calder of Achingale. Her tocher was 2800 merks. 
Of the Oust branch there is no further account. 
The third son of Robert Innes of Thursater was — 
George Innes of SkaiU, who had a son, Walter. 
Walter Innes of SkaUl married Katharine, daughter 
of Sir James Sinclair of Murkle, and had issue : — 

1. John, who, as yoimger of Skaill, is included in the 

criminal letters in 1668 against the gentlemen 
of Caithness for their raid into Strathmore. 

2. Walter. 

1. Mary, who married Angus M'Kay of Golval, Strath- 



244 THE INNESES OF THURSATER. 

The inneses of The fourth son of Robert Innes of Thursater was — 
Thursater. Alexander Innes of Borrowstown, who married Mar- 

garet Miller, and had a son, James. 
James Innes of Borrowstown married his cousin, 
Margaret, daughter of Robert Innes of Oust, and had a 
daughter, Elizabeth. 

Elizabeth Innes married Henry Budge, son of Robert 
Budge in Stainland. 

These Inneses of Oust, Skaill, and Borrowstown held 
their several lands, not as proprietors, but under the 
redeemable tenure of wadsets, although during the sub- 
sistence of the wadsets the holders exercised the usual 
rights of proprietors. A great portion of the lands in the 
county was held at this period in a similar way, and untU 
comparatively recent times the number of absolute pro- 
prietors was lunited. 



\ 



THE INNESES OF SANDSIDE. 

In 1507 Sandside belonged to the family of Innes of Tbeinnesesof 
Innes. In 1529 it had passed into possession of the first '^"'*'' ^' 
Sinclairs of Dunbeath, probably through the marriage of 
Elizabeth Innes to Alexander, son of WiUiam, second 
Earl of Caithness, and in 1610 it was acquked firom the 
great-grandson of Alexander Sinclair by Lord Forbes, 
who was allied to the Inneses. In 1624 it was purchased 
by Sir Donald M'Kay, and about 1625 it was acquired 
by William Innes, a Morayshire gentleman, said to have 
been related to the family of Innes of Innes, and who had 
come into the county as Chamberlain for Lord Forbes. 
Isauld formed part of the original estate, but in 1703 a 
charter of adjudication and novodamus was obtained by 
Mr. Robert Gordon, wherein Isauld was erected into a 
barony, and in 1723 that property was acquired by the 
family of Murkle, of whose estate in Caithness it still 
forms part. 

It is uncertain when William Innes, first of 
Sandside, died. He appears to have had two sons : — 

1. William, supposed to have been the eldest. 

2. John, who in 1626 is mentioned as an Officer in 



246 THE INNESES OF SANDSIDE. 

The inueses of the troops ralscd by Sir Donald M'Kay for the 

^'^"'^^' ^' King of Denmark, and who is said to have 

obtained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. 

"William Innes, second op Sandside. — In 1638 
there is a deed which narrates a bond granted in 1634 by 
WUliam Innes, " Elder and Younger," in which it is stated 
that both were " sty lied Captains." It is difficult to say 
who these two Captains were. In 1631 and 1637 char- 
ters were granted to William Innes of Sandside, and in 
1640 a Wniiam Innes was succeeded by his eldest son, 
James, who had a brother, William of Isauld and Bor- 
lum. Unless "younger" in the bond of 1634 necessarily 
leads to the conclusion that Captain William Innes 
"younger" was the heir-apparent of Sandside, he may 
have been the same person as William of Isauld and 
Borlum. If Captain William "younger" was not that 
person, then the parties to the bond must have been 
either William Innes, first of Sandside, and his son and 
successor ; or Wdliam Innes, the second of Sandside, 
and a son, William. On the latter supposition, that son 
must have been the father of James, Robert, and 
WilUam Innes, and must himself have succeeded to Sand- 
side, as William, second of Sandside, would not have two 
sons of the same name. Captain William, and Wilham 
of Isauld and Borlum. 

William Innes, second or third of Sandside, had 
three sons : — 



THE INNESES OF SANDSIDE. 247 

1. James. The Inneses of 

2. Robert, in Shebster. 

3. Williani of Isauld and Borlum, who died before 

1655/ and to whom reference is afterwards 
made. 

James Innes of Sandside was served heir in 1640 
to his father, William Innes, whichever of the Wilhams 
that may have been. In 1637 he had joined his father 
in a bond, wherein he is described as his eldest lawful 
son ; and from 1640 down to 1693, a period of fifty-three 
years, there is a James Innes of Sandside, who is sup- 
posed to have been the same person. 

About the time of James Innes's succession there is 
mention of an Alexander Innes, as eldest son of William 
Innes of Sandside, but of him there is no further account. 

James Innes married Elizabeth Johnstone, and had 
three sons and a daughter : — 

1. Wilham, younger of Sandside in 1684. 

2. Robert, tutor of Sandside. 

3. Arthiu", mentioned in 1697. 

1. Elizabeth, to whom, in 1673, her father granted 
a bond of provisioii, which is witnessed by her 
uncle, Robert, m Shebster. In 1682 she mari-ied 
William Sinclau-, Commissary of Caithness, 
eldest son of William Sinclair of Hoy (not 
WiUiam, afterwards of Scotscalder), and she had 

' Bond, 1638. 



248 THE INNESES OF SANDSIDE. 

The inneses of two SOUS : William, writer in Thurso, and 

Robert, rector of BuMan in Essex. 
It is uncertain at what time James Innes died, and 
whether his successor, William Innes, was his son or 
his grandson. In 1684 his son, Wilham, is styled 
younger of Sandside, but from 1693 down to 1701, when 
William Innes, then a minor, was laird of Sandside, with 
his uncle, Robert, as tutor, there is no mention, so far 
as appears, of the succession of William, the eldest son of 
James. 

William Innes of Sandside, grandson (as is sup- 
posed) of James, died without issue in 1747. In 1710, 
being then Captain Innes, he fought a dviel with Alex- 
ander Sinclair of Olrig, in which the latter was unfortun- 
ately killed, and for some time thereafter he resided 
abroad. This quarrel, which excited strong feeling in 
the county, from its fatal result, appears to have arisen 
under the following circumstances : Captain Innes and 
a party of gentlemen of the name of Sinclair had met 
at Thurso, m the lodgings of the lahd of Murkle, who 
was then a youth of seventeen. In the course of the 
evening Murkle left the room in ill-humour, and went to 
bed, whereupon it was proposed that the strongest 
of the party should cany liim back, and Innes, follow- 
ing up the joke, carried the young laird from his bed, 
and placed him, wrapped in blankets, in the chair. 
This increased his bad humour, and he spat in Innes's 



THE INNESES OF SANDSIDE. 249 

face, wliicli called forth the remark that " the best of the The inneses of 
Sinclaii'S dared not do that." Olrig fired at this, and ^"^ ^"^^' 
instantly challenged Innes, who, however, unwiUmg to 
carry the dispute further, represented to Olrig that the 
contest was unequal, he, Olrig, having a large family, 
while he himself had none. But Olrig insisting on fight- 
ing, they met at a place near Loch Ulgrim on Scotscalder, 
Olrig armed with a broadsword, and Captain Innes with 
a rapier. The result was that Olrig was run through the 
body, and died within a few days. 

Reverting now to the brothers of James Innes, it 
appears that William Innes of Isauld and Borlum died 
before 1655. 

He was twice married. By his first wife he had a 
son : — 

William Innes of Isauld, who is mentioned in 1660 
and 1668. He married Elizabeth, daughter of 
David Murray of Clairden, by whom he had 
a son, James. About 1684 James Innes, then 
of Sandside, and William, his eldest son, granted 
to David Murray of Clairden a bond of corrobora- 
tion of debts and diHgences affecting the estate, 
and in 1693 his son, James Murray, granted a 
deed of restriction of the adjudications in favour 
of his nephew, James Innes, son of Isauld. 
Elizabeth Murray, the mother of James, was 
liferented in Sandside, and was styled "Lady 
Sandside." How she obtained this liferent is 
2 I 



250 THE INNESES OP SANDSIDE. 

Theinnesesof not known, as her husband, William Innes of 

Isauld, does not appear to have been also of 
Sandside. He may, however, have been in posses- 
sion as an adjudging creditor. 
WiUiam Innes of Isauld and Borlum married, secondly, 
Margaret Cunningham, said by Douglas to have been 
daughter of William Cunningham of Broomhill, but who 
was, more probably, the daughter of John Cunningham of 
Brownhill, who signed a bond of cautionry for her. Of this 
marriage there were several children, and among these — 
Henry, the eldest son. 
Jean, who got in 1650 from her half-brother, William 

of Isauld, a bond for 500 merks. 
Henry Innes was apparently a minor at the time of 
his father's death, and was, as stated in a deed by his 
mother in 1683, "under great burden of debt." She 
was liferented in Borlum, and in order to assist her son, 
she assigned to him certain claims on the estate of 
Sandside, that being all she could do for him, after main- 
taimng herself and family, " as becomes a person of my 
quaUty." Henry Innes married Jean, daughter of John 
Sinclair, first of Brabster, and had three sons and a 
daughter : Harry, the eldest son ; Alexander, who died 
in the West Indies, where he is said to have held " a 
considerable employment ; " John, who was a young man 
at school in 1698, as appears from a letter by him to his 
uncle, Alexander Sinclair of Brabster, written in that year; 
and Margaret, who married David Murray of Castlehill. 



THE INNESES OF SANDSIDE. 251 

Harry Innes of Borltjm succeeded to Sandside on The inneses of 
the death of Captain William Innes, in 1747. He 
married Janet Dunbar, widow of John Sinclair of 
Barrock, and daughter of Sir James Sutherland or 
Dunbar of Hempriggs, and had two sons : — 

1. William, his successor. 

2. Alexander, whose daughter, Anne, married John 

Sutherland of Wester, and had by him a son 
and six daughters. 

William Innes of Sandsibe, son of Harry Innes, 
married in 1764 Mary Craddock, who survived him, and 
resided for many years in Thurso, where, as " Lady 
Sandside," she was much esteemed and respected. 
They had two sons and several daughters : — 

1. William, his successor. 

2. Henry, who died without issue. 

Mrs. Macdonald, who had a son and two daughters. 

Major William Innes of Sandside was served heir 
to his father, William, in 1787. He married his cousin, 
Miss Craddock, and died in 1842 without issue, being 
succeeded by his nephew. Captain Donald Macdonald. 

Captain Donald Macdonald of Sandside, RE., 
was served nearest and lawfid heh of provision to his 
uncle in 1843, under settlements executed in 1816 and 
1830, and he died I7th October 1872. He married Lady 



252 THE INNESES OF SANDSIDE. 

The inneses of Ramsay Maule, daughter of Lord Panmure, and had five 

Sandsicle. - , , 

sons and two daughters : — 

1. Lieutenant-Colonel Macdonald, who married Miss 

Lindsay, and died in India leaving one son, an 
infant. 

2. Henry. 

3. John. 

4. Arthur. 

5. Dudley- Ward. 

1. Mary. 

2. Patricia, who died young. 

The estate has been sold to the Duke of Portland, 
and none of the family of Sandside remain in the county. 

This sketch of the family is confessedly imperfect, but 
the sources of information have been hmited. 



THE COGHILLS OF THAT ILK. 

The proprietors of the small estate of CogMU and The cogMiis of 

,^ ^ ° that Ilk. 

Gersay in Watten, now part of the estate of Watten, 
were, so far as is known, the only county landholders 
who bore the designation " of that Ilk." 

The first, apparently, of this family was Alexander 
Coghill " of that Ilk," who flourished previous to 1630, in 
which year he was succeeded by his son, David. 

David Coghill got a charter in 1630 from William, 
Lord Sinclair, and another charter in 1638 from John, 
Master of Berriedale. In 1650 he was infeffc in Scottag, 
on a charter from the Earl of Caithness. 

Barbara Coghill, daughter of " Coghill of that Ilk," 
who married James Oswald, a Bailie of Wick, may 
have been the sister or perhaps the daughter of David 
CoghiU. 

Thomas Coghill of CoghiU and Gersay, the son probably 
of David, obtained a precept of dare constat from the 
Earl of Caithness. 

In 1671 David Coghill of CoghiU got a charter from 
the Earl of Caithness, confirming a disposition to him by 
David Coghill of CoghiU ; and it is presumed that he 



254 THE COGHILLS OF THAT ILK. 

The coghiiis of was the son of Thomas, and grandson of the first 

that Ilk. -r^ . 1 

David. 

About the end of the century (1698) the lands were 
acquired by Alexander Manson of Watten. 



THE SINCLAIRS OF BORLUM, TOFTKEMP, 
AND THURA. 

In the South or " Murkle Aisle " of the parish The Smciairs of 
church of Thurso there is a mural inscription on the kemp, and 
north-west wall, in the following terms : — '^^^'^' 

" This is the burial-place of James Sinclair of Borlum ; 
and here lyes James Sinclair his eldest son and his 
spouse, Eliz. Innes, who left behind them the Revd. Mr. 
John Sinclair who was Rector of James interred in Leck- 
patrick nigh Strabane in Ireland 1665." " Here lyes 
Isabel Sinclair who was married to the Revd. George 
Anderson Minister of Halkirk ; and Elizabeth Sinclair 
married to John Farquhr, Bailze of Thurso ; and Mar- 
garet Sinclair spouse to George Sinclair in Ulgrimbeg." 

Isabel Sinclair was the grand-daughter of James 
Sinclair of Borlum, and it is thought that EKzabeth and 
Margaret were probably her sisters ; that aU three were 
daughters of James Sinclair, the eldest son of Borlum, 
and that George Sinclair, the husband of Margaret, was 
a grandson of John Sinclair, first of Assery. 

Who James Sinclair of Borlum was is very uncertain. 
He may have been a grandson of WUliam Sinclair of 



256 THE SINCLAIRS OF BORLUM, TOFTKEMP, AND THURA. 

The sinciairs of Dunbeath, to whom Brubster, Brims, Toftkemp, and 

kemp, a'ud Thura belonged : Borlum's name occurs in common with 

"™' all these places in the county records from 1624 to 1646 ; 

or he may have been of the family of Murkle, and if so, 

he may have been a brother of John Sinclair, first of 

Assery, and a son of James Sinclair, first of Murkle. 

In M'Kay's history it is mentioned that James Sin- 
clair of Borlum was killed (time not stated) by one Neil 
M'Kay, for the share he had in the slaughter of the 
latter 's father in an atiray in Thurso, about 1648, 
with which Murkle was concerntd. Then, Mm-kle was 
cautioner for him and for his own son, John Sinclair of 
Assery, in 1637; and frequent marriages took place 
between the immediate descendants of Sinclair of Bor- 
lum and Sinclair of Assery. Thus, Borlum's son. Major 
"William Sinclair, married Assery 's grand-daughter, Mar- 
garet Doull ; Borlum's grand- daughter, Jean Sinclair, 
married Assery 's great-grandson, Alexander Sinclair ; 
and Borlum's grandson, Richard of Thura, married Eliza- 
beth, daughter of George Sinclair of Assery. It may be 
noticed also that James Sinclair of Murkle is found as 
cautioner for John Sinclair of Assery, his son, and James 
of Borlum, and that John Sinclair, fourth of Sybster, 
the son of Assery, is cautioner in 1658 in the marriage- 
contract of Borlum's daughter, Jean. 

On the other hand, if James Sinclair was of the 
Dunbeath family, he was probably the son of George 
Sinclair of Downreay, the youngest son of William Sinclair. 



THE SINCLAIRS OP BORLUM, TOFTKEMP, AND THURA. 257 

It is certain, at all events, that there were transactions The sindairs of 
between James Sinclair and the descendants of WiUiam kern'ranr"' 
Sinclair in relation to lands which belonged to the family. '^''"™- 
In particular, there is mention of a renunciation of rights 
held by Borlum over Spittal, granted by him, in 1649, to 
John Smclair of Brims, grandson of Dunbeath. This 
deed, if extant, would perhaps throw hght on his history.^ 
A few years ago a family of Sinclairs of Holyhill, in 
Ireland (of whom notice will be found in " Burke "), 
claiming to be descended from a " Sir James Sinclair of 
Caithness," made inquiries in regard to their Caithness 
ancestry. There is no doubt that this family is descended 
from a clergyman named James Sinclair, rector of Strath- 
bane, a grandson of James Sinclair of Borlum, while the 
tradition among them that their ancestor was a Sir James 
Sinclair strengthens the supposition that Borlum was of 
the Murkle family. John Sinclair of Freswick writes in 
1782 from Knaresboro' : "At York ther'se a very re- 
spectable sensible man. Councillor Robert Sinclair of the 
Holyhill family in Ireland. He has a property there of 
£400 a year ; is marry 't here to a lady of good family, by 
whom he will get £10,000. The late Mr. Pope of Reay 
knew to what family in Caithness they were connected. 
He wants to know his descent, when they emigrate, or 
when came of the Caithness family." 

' Reference is made to notes on that there was a connection between the 

Sinclairs of Dunbeath and Stemster as to Sinclairs of Borlum and Wester-Brims, 

younger branches of Dunbeath family, and the Sinclairs of Brims descended 

Mr. Alexander Sinclair was of opinion from the Sinclairs of Dunbeath. 

2 K 



258 THE SINCLAIRS OF BORLUM, TOFTKEMP, AND THURA. 

The sinciairs of In 1853 a letter was received by the late Sir John 
kemprand""' Sinclair (Barrock) from a gentleman in Ireland to the 
Thura. following effect : " In tracing the pedigree of the Lowry 

family of the County Tyrone in this country, I find that, 
early in the 18th century, Robert Lowry, grandfather of 
the first Lord Belmore, married Miss Sinclah, daughter 
of the Rev. James Sinclair of Holyhill, County Down, and 
grand-daughter of Sir James Sinclair of Caithness. Could 
you assist me in identifying this Sir James, as I am 
induced, as a matter of family history, to trace this if pos- 
sible ?" This no doubt has reference to the family of the 
Rev. James Sinclair. 

James Sinclair of Borlum had four sons, James, 
Alexander, WiUiam, and Robert, and a daughter, Jean. 
1. James Sinclair of Wester-Brims married Elspeth 
or Elizabeth Innes, probably of the Inneses of 
Thursater and Wester-Brims, and died before 
1659, leaving a son, John, and several daughters. 
The existence and history of John Sinclair, his 
son, are clearly shown by the inscription (given 
above) in Thurso Old Kirk, and by the state- 
ments in a contract, dated 23d September 1659 
(Sheriff-Court Records, 1665), between Elizabeth 
Innes, his mother, and his uncle, Alexander 
Sinclair of Telstane. James Sinclair of Thura 
(Borlum), as principal, and his son, James of 
Wester- Brims, as cautioner, had come under 
certain obhgations which Elspeth Innes, as exe- 



THE SINCLAIRS OF BORLUM, TOFTKEMP, AND THURA. 259 

cutrix of her husband, had to pay. She led an The sinciaira of 
adjudication of the lands of Thura and Toftkemp, ke°mp"and° 
then possessed by Major William Sinclair, for'''^^*' 
1600 merks, and she assigned the decreet to 
Alexander Sinclair of Telstane and his wife, 
Isabel Cunningham ; he becoming bound to lead 
an adjudication against John, son of James of 
Wester- Brims, as heir of line to his grandfather, 
James of Thura and Borlum. This assignation 
is drawn by John Cunningham, advocate, no 
doubt the brother of Isabel Cunningham, and 
afterwards Sir John of Caprington. — ( Vide Cun- 
ninghams). Further, in a deed executed by Eliza- 
beth Innes, as relict of James Sinclair of Wester- 
Brims, in connection with the sale of Brims, in 
1660, to John Sinclair of Tannoch, mention is 
made of her son, Mr. John Sinclair, minister of 
Leckpatrick, in Ireland. 

James Sinclair had certainly three daughters : 
Isabell, who married the Reverend George Ander- 
son, minister of Halkirk, as mentioned in the 
inscription above quoted ; Jean, who married 
Alexander Sinclair, notary-public in Thurso ; 
and a third daughter, who married Alexander 
Abernethy, in Swordale, and thereafter Alexander 
Mulliken, in Papigo, chamberlain to the Earl of 
Caithness. 
2. Captain Alexander Sinclair, second son of James 



260 THE STNCLAIES OF BORLUM, TOFTKEMP, AND THURA. 

The sinciairs of Sinclair of Borlum and Thiira, was first of Bower- 

kemp, and tower, and afterwards of Telstane (now Hemp- 

'^'^' rig'gs), of which he held a wadset from the Earl 

of Caithness. He married Isabel, the daughter — 
according to Douglas — of William Cunningham 
of Broomhill, but more probably of John Cun- 
ningham of Brownhill. Captain Sinclair had two 
sons, John (1683) and James, and two daughters, 
Katharine, " Lady Dun," wife of William Sinclair 
of Dun, and thereafter of Alexander Sutherland 
of Ausdale, by whom she had a daughter, 
Isabella ; his second daughter married one John 
Fullerton. 

In 1666 there is on record an inhibition at 
the instance of John, Alexander, George, Eliza- 
beth, and Margaret Sinclair, as " lawful heirs " of 
Alexander Sinclair of Telstane. It is not ex- 
plamed who these persons were, or what was their 
relationship to Alexander Sinclair. 
3. Major William Sinclau- of Thm-a, third son of James 
of Borlum, got a disposition of the estate from 
his father in 1651. He served in the German 
wars, and was in the fight at Aultimarloch in 
1680, on the side of the Sinciairs. He married 
Margaret, daughter of John Doull of Thuster, 
Wick, and grand-daughter of John Sinclair, first 
of Assery. He had three sons and a daughter : 
(l) John, afterwards of Thura, who disponed the 



THE SINCLAIES OF BORLUM, TOFTKEMP, AND THUBA. 261 

estate in 1702 to his brother, Richard; (2) The sincUirs of 
Richard of Thura, who married Elizabeth, kemp, and 
daughter of George Sinclair of Assery, and '"*' 
had a son, Captain John Smclair, who sold 
the lands ia 1754 to Daniel Taylor; (3) James, 
of whom there is no account ; and (l) Jean. 

4. Robert Sinclair, fourth son of James of Borlum, had 
a daughter, Elizabeth, who married Donald Hen- 
derson in Sibster, afterwards in Achalibster. 
— Vide Hendersons of Westerdale. 

1. Jean, the daughter of James Sinclair of Borlum, 
married, in 1658, Alexander Steill, who is de- 
signed as "servitor to the Earl of Caithness." 
Her brothers. Captain Alexander and Major 
William, were parties to the contract of marriage, 
and her tocher was 1000 merks. 



THE BEUCES OF STANSTILL. 

The Briices of The Bruces, of wliom the principal family was Bruce 

of Stanstill, are of old standing in the county. It is 
believed that ancient charters connected with this family 
are still extant in the charter-chest of Mr. Wemyss of 
Southdun ; but the information at hand does not ex- 
tend beyond 1559. At that period, Stanstill, which had 
formed part of the bishopric, was feued out with other 
lands to John, Earl of Sutherland. In the charter by the 
Bishop, Stanstill is mentioned as then held in feu by 
"William Davidson." As we find, in 1562, "David 
Saul of Stanstill," and, in 1567, "David Bruce of Stan- 
stUl," and David having been a family name, it is 
probable that " William Davidson " was William David' s- 
son, that is, William Saul or Bruce, son of David Saul or 
Bruce. Saul seems to have been the patronymic or clan 
name of the Bruces, for, in 1630, David Bruce, then 
of Stanstni, bequeathed " two hundred merks of his 
readiest rents to be dedicat and given to the buUding of 
ane He and burying place in the ku-k yard of Bower in 
the Clan-Saul Hillock, where he has ordainit to bury 
his bodie." 



THE BRUGES OF STANSTILL. 263 

I. David Bruce, who was probably the David Saul The Bruces of 
of 1562, obtained a charter of Stanstill and part of Kirk 
in 1567 ; and in 1577 he received sasine on Stanstill, and 
in the hereditary office of Keeper of the Loch of Alter- 
wall and fresh-water fishings thereof, on a charter from 
Alexander, Earl of Sutherland, the son of Earl John. 
David Bruce had two sons : — 

1. William, his successor. 

2. John, mentioned in 1601. 

11. William Bruce of Stanstill and Hastigrow 
obtained a tack of teinds in 1573 ; and in 1582 he got a 
precept as heir to his father. He died in 1622. He was 
twice married ; first to Isabella, daughter of Patrick 
Mowat of Buquholhe. She died in 1601, as appears from 
a tombstone to her memory, which had been origmally 
placed in the parish church of Canisbay, and which is 
still extant in the churchyard there. By her William 
Bruce had three sons and two davighters : — 

1. David, his successor. 

2. William, mentioned in 1617. 

3. Patrick, who had a son named Magnus, and other 

children — Magnus being the eldest. 

1. Christian, who married Gavin Bruce, portioner of 

Lyth. 

2. Isabella. 

William Bruce married, secondly, Janet Murray, 
widow of David Sinclair, apparent of Forss, and daughter 



264 THE BRUGES OF STANSTILL. 

TieBrucesof of Murraj of Pulrossie, Sutherlandshire. She survived 
her husband ; and much Htigation took place beivs^een 
her and her relations {the Murrays of Pulrossie and Span- 
ziedale) and her stepson, David Brvice, with the result, 
as stated in a letter in 1630, from David Bruce, minister 
of Olrig (a near connection of the Stanstill family), to 
Magnus Mowat of BuquhoUie, that " the Ladye craftily 
wrought her point, to the ruin of the House." 

By Janet Murray, William Bruce had a daughter, 
Janet, who married James Sinclair of Boaster, afterwards 
of Battar, son of Sir John Sinclair, first of Greenland and 
Battar. By her eldest son, William, the Battar line was 
carried on. 

III. David Bruce of Stanstill succeeded his father, 
William, and married Helen, daughter of George Ogilvie 
of Carnoustie, and sister of Sir George Ogilvie. In refer- 
ence to the misfortunes which befell the family of Stan- 
still in the time of David Bruce, minister of Olrig, he 
writes that, " the want of his tocher gude fra Carnoustie 
brought a discord betwixt his father and him," of which, 
he adds, his stepmother took advantage to his prejudice. 

David Bruce left the estate much involved in debt, 
and the minister of Olrig, the fast friend of the family, 
urged BuquhoUie, the uncle of Stanstill, "to lat all 
friends put to their shoulders for the standing of the 
House that is so unjustly pursuit," he himself having 
taken charge of the young heir, whom he describes as a 



THE BRUGES OP STANSTILL. 265 

"pretty quick bairn of nine years of age." David Bruce The Bruoes of 
died in 1630, leaving a son and four daughters : — 
1. William, lais heir. 

1. Janet. 

2. Jean. 

3. Elizabeth. 

4. Margaret. 

By his will he " left in Legacie " his four daughters as 
follows : Janet, to Lady Hatton, her mother's sister ; 
Jean, to his cousin-german, Christian Mowat, wife of Sir 
John Sinclair of Dimbeath ; Elizabeth, to her uncle, the 
laird of Birness ; and Margaret, to her aunt. Christian, 
wife of Gavin Bruce of Lyth. 

IV. William Bruce of Stanstill appears to have 
married a daughter of Sir John Sinclair of Dunbeath, for 
in a bond to Sir John, in 1640, he mentions the latter as 
his father-in-law. If he had issue, there is no account of 
them. David Bruce of Lyth, the minister of Olrig, who 
had taken charge of William when a minor, at his death, 
in 1633, committed his ward to the care of his brother 
and heir, WilHam, and a great deal of litigation subse- 
quently took place between them. 

The estate was apparently hopelessly sunk in debt, 
and Sir John Sinclair had acquired apprisings over it, 
amounting to 20,000 merks. In 1649, William Bruce, 
portioner of Lyth, got right to these apprisings from Sir 
John, subject to the condition that Patrick, the uncle of 
2l 



266 THE BRUGES OF STANSTILL. 

The Bruces of William Bruce of Stanstill, or Magnus, Patrick's eldest 
stansti . ^^^^ should be entitled to redeem the lands within a 
certain time. This makes it probable that, at the period 
of this transaction, William Bruce was dead, and had left 
no issue. The estate was not redeemed, and conse- 
quently, in 1653, Kobert Bruce, eldest son of WiUiam 
Bruce of Lyth, came into possession of Stanstill. The 
Lyth Bruces were no doubt connected with the Stanstill 
family, as were the Bruces of Hastigrow and Ham ; but 
the particulars of the relationship have not been traced. 

V. Egbert Bruce of Stanstill, the son of William 
Bruce, portioner of Lyth, and nephew of David Bruce, 
minister of Olrig, married Elizabeth or Elspeth, daughter 
of James Sinclair of Rattar, and had a son, WiUiam. 

VI. William Bruce of Stanstill is described, in 
1667, as "Younger of Stanstill," and as portioner of 
Lyth. In 1666 he married Margaret, daughter of David 
Sinclair of Southdun.^ His further history is unknown, 
but the title-deeds of the estate will no doubt show when 
StanstiU passed from the Bruce family, as it long ago did. 
There is some notice of a second son, George. 

1 Contract of Marriage. 



THE BRUGES OF HAM. 

Walter Bruce of Ham, third son of Saul Bruce ofTUeBrucesof 
Lyth, obtained, in 1636, from James Sinclair of Rattar, ^''"' 
a wadset of Ham and Wester; and in 1647 he got a 
wadset of Brough from William Sinclair of Rattar. In 
1663 the Earl of Caithness gave him a charter of these 
lands, confirming to him and his heirs "an irredeemable 
bond of alienation." 

Walter Bruce married three times ; first, Janet, eldest 
daughter of James Sinclair of Rattar ;^ secondly, Barbai'a, 
daughter of William Smithe, minister of Dunnet from 
1614 to 1650;^ and, thirdly, Elizabeth, daughter of 
Alexander Sinclair of Latheron, and sister to the first 
Sinclairs of Brabster and Barrock. The last-named 
survived her hvisband and married George Sinclair of 
Olrig. 

By his first marriage Walter Bruce had two sons 
and a daughter : — 

1. John, his successor. 

2. David, afterwards styled of Ham. 

' Contract of Marriage, 20th December 1642. 
2 Contract of Marriage, 1057. 



268 THE BRUGES OF HAM. 



The Braces of 1 . Janet. 

Ham. 



By his second marriage he had two sons and a 
daughter : — 

1. Walter. 

2. William. 

1. Rose or Rosie, who married Andrew Gunn, and 
who seems to have been heiress to Walter and 
WUliam. 
By his third marriage he had a daughter : — 
Ehzabeth, who married William Calder of Lynegar. 
John Bruce of Ham married Anne, daughter of John 
Cunningham of Brownhill, and had two daughters : — 

1. Janet. 

2. Elizabeth. 

These ladies are both mentioned in 1694 as daughtei's 
of the deceased John Bruce of Ham. 

John Bruce appears to have been succeeded by his 
brother, David, as " heir-male " of him and his father, 
Walter; while at the same time his daughter, Janet, 
is designed as Janet Bruce of Ham. 

Janet Bruce manied ^neas or Angus Sutherland, 
merchant m Thurso, and had a son, William. 

In 1738 James Murray of Clairden adjudged from 
William Sutherland, son of Janet Bruce, his rights to 
Ham, as representing his mother, his grandfather, John, 
and his great-grandfather, Walter. From James Murray 
the lands of Ham, etc., came into the possession of Smclair 
of Barrock, and they finally reverted to the Rattar family. 



THE BRUGES OF HAM. 269 

David Bruce of Ham, the "heir-maill" of his brother, TheBrucesof 
John, and his father, Walter, is mentioned in 1694 as '^' 
" now of Ham," but there is no further notice of him, 
and it would seem as if the possession had remained in 
the family of John Bruce untU the date of Clah-den's 
adjudication in 1738. 

John Bruce's widow, Anne Cunningham, was life- 
I'ented in Ham, and married William Sutherland, who 
was thereafter styled of Ham. He is not to be con- 
founded with her grandson, William Sutherland, the son 
of her daughter, Janet. 



THE BRUGES OF LYTH. 

The Braces of In 1524 Ljtli belonged to the " Mansons." In that 
year Kenneth, Donald, and William Manson got a charter 
of the lands in equal shares from Andrew, Bishop of 
Caithness, and, in 1532, a commission was directed by 
the Pope for confirming the grant. 

Between 1583 and 1610, Lyth was acquired by the 
Bruces, William Bruce of Stanstill having, in 1583, 
obtained a charter from the Bishop of one-third, — while, 
in 1601, another one-third was held by Saul Bruce, and 
the remaining one-third, in 1610, by Gavin Bruce. 

Saul and Gavin Bruce, portioners of Lyth, were 
probably brothers, and in a removing agamst them in 
1610, at the instance of William Bruce of Stanstill 
(Gavin Bruce's father-in-law), from the lands of Bilster, 
they are designed by the alias of " Donald WiUiamsons." 
Their connection with the Stanstill branch is not known 
further than Gavin's alliance by marriage. 

In 1592 there was a charter to William Bruce, eldest 
son of Donald Williamson or Bruce. In 1681 the Bishop 

granted a charter to Bruce, heir of Gavin Bruce, 

son and heir of Donald. In 1683 there was a special 



THE BRUGES OF LYTH. 271 

vetour and also a precept of dare constat to James Bruce, The Bruces of 
grandson of Gavin. Thus there are : — 

1. Donald Bruce Williamson. 

2. William Bruce, eldest son of Donald, in 1592. 

3. Gavin Bruce, who married Christian, daughter of 

William Bruce, second of Stanstill. 

4. Bruce, Gavin's son. 

5. James Bruce, grandson of Gavin. In 1682 he 

disponed his third of Ljth to George Sinclair of 
Barrock. 

I. Saul Bruce married one of the Manson family, to 
whom, in 1524, Lyth, then divided into three portions, 
belonged. He had three sons and a daughter : — 

1. David, minister of Olrig, or more probably of 

Halkirk. In 1591 Saul Bruce was minister of 
Reay, and between 1597 and 1599 he was trans- 
lated to Olrig. David Bruce is not in the list of 
ministers of Olrig in " Fasti Eccles. Scot." 

2. Waham. 

3. Walter of Ham. 

I. Marjorie, who married Sinclair of Dun. 

II. David Bruce, portioner of Lyth, said to have 
been minister of Olrig and Skinnet, married Janet 
Sinclair, the widow of John Smart, who was minister of 
Wick in 1638, and who died minister of Dunnet, in 1667. 

The great interest taken by David Bruce in the affairs 



Lyth. 



272 THE BKUCES OF LYTH. 

The^Bruces of of the StanstUl family has been abeady noticed. He died 
in 1633, and, having no family, he left his property of 
Ly th to his brother, William, who is designed of Milburn ; 
his moveables to his brother, Walter Bruce of Ham ; a 
legacy to his sister, Marjorie ; and another legacy to her 
" and Wilham Sinclair's bairns." William Sinclair of 
Dun is mentioned by Father Hay as having married 
Marjorie, daughter of Saul Bruce of Leith (Lyth). She 
vpas, no doubt, David Bruce's sister. 

III. William Bruce, portioner of Lyth, succeeded 
his brother, David, and had three sons : — 

1. Robert. 

2. George. 

3. William of Myreland ; and also of Kirk and 
Myrelandhorn, which he apprised from James 
Sinclair, and assigned to his grandson, George, 
together with an apprising of Lyth. 

IV. Robert Bruce, eldest son of William, and 
portioner of Lyth in 1653, came into possession of Stan- 
still. For further particulars regarding him reference is 
made to the " Notes " on the StanstiU family. 



THE BRUGES OF HASTIGEOW 
AND SEATER 

The lands of Hastigrow belonged, in 1582, to The Braces of 

_j^.,-. ._ , r> n Ml 11 Hastigrow and 

Wiluam i3ruce, then oi btanstill, and they mustseater. 
have belonged also to his father, David, first of Stan- 
still, for William obtained a precept as heir to his 
father. 

In 1604, Hastigrow was in possession of John Bruce,^ 
who probably was John, the brother of WiUiam. John 
had a son, David. 

David Bruce of Hastigrow and Seater was served 
heir to his father in 1607,^ and had a son, Magnus. 

Magnus Bruce of Hastigrow and Seater was 
served heii- to his father,^ and had two sons : — 

1. John of Hastigrow, who married Katharine 

Dunnet. 

2. WiUiam of Seater. 

In 1686 the brothers made a division of their 
father's property. John got Hastigrow, to which he 

1 Charter by E. of C„ 9tli June 1604. 

2 Precept, 11th August 1607. 

3 Sasine on Disposition by his father, 1657. 

2m 



274 THE BRUGES OF HASTIGROW AND SEATER. 

The Braces of also had a disposition from his father and grand- 
seater."^ '^ "° father in 1657; and Seater fell to William. Hasti- 

grow was sold to George Sinclair of Barrock in 1687. 

Both it and Seater now belong to the Southdun 

estate. 



THE CAMPBELLS AND M'lVEES 
OR IVERACHS. 



From " An Account of the Clan Tver," or, as they are The campbeiu 
named by Gordon, The Sail- Wick- Iver in Caithness, by i";'rars''" " 
Principal Campbell of Aberdeen, — printed for private 
circiilation in 1868, and reprinted in 1873, — it appears 
that some at least of the Caithness Campbells, viz. the 
M'lvers Buey {Buidhe, Yellow-haired), latterly Camp- 
bells of Quoycrook, in Caithness, and Duchernan, in 
Argyle, are descended from Kenneth Buey M'lver, who 
emigrated from Argyle to Caithness between 1575 and 
1585, accompanied by his brother, Farquhar, and a band 
of the clan. In 1594 Farquhar was slain in a fight near 
Harpsdale. Kenneth was ahve in 1616, and had obtained 
a charter of Quarrycrook in Halkii-k. 

Kenneth M'lver is said to have had two sons : — 
William M'lver or William Kennetson, who was chief 
of the clan, and John. The latter and his uncle, 
Farquhar, are supposed to have been the progenitors of 
many of the Caithness M'lvers and Iverachs, some of 
whom assumed the name of Campbell. 

About 1626 William Buey was dispossessed by Lord 



276 THE CAMPBELLS AND M'IVERS OR IVERACHS. 

Tiie Campbells Bemedale of such lands as were held from him, and he 
iverachs!^'^" returned to Argyle. Having interested Lord Lorn in his 
fortunes, he assumed the name of Campbell, and, coming 
back into Caithness with a new body of his clansmen, he 
carried on a feud with Lord Berriedale for several years. 
At length he was taken prisoner, along with one of his 
sons, and both were put to death. 

In Principal Campbell's account of the Caithness 
M'lvers, they are said to have occupied most of the 
lands in the parishes of Halkirk and Reay, and in the 
southern extremity of the parish of Thurso, of which the 
Earl Marischal and Lord Oliphant were superiors ; and it 
is stated that they can be traced in possession of Quoy- 
crook, part of Braal, Scotscalder, and North Calder, 
Lieurary, Brubster, Soure or Shurery, Braalbin, Gerston, 
Comlie-foot, Housell, Drakress, Olganymore, Sibmister 
(Sibster), and Sordale. But what portion of these lands, 
with the exception of Quoycrook, they held by a heritable 
title, is said not to have been ascertained. 

William Buey M'lver had several sons, but there is 
uncertainty as to their names. By one of them, Donald, 
he had three grandsons : — 

1. Patrick Buey Campbell of Quoycrook. This was 
a family possession, recovered by him in 1657, and 
of which he obtamed a new charter in 1674. It is 
the same place to which, under the name of 
Quarrycrook, Kenneth M'lver had acquired a 
charter. 



THE CAMPBELLS AND M'IVERS OR IVERACHS. 277 

2. Farquhar Campbell or M'lver, in Eumsdale. He The campbeik 

and M'li 
Iveraclis, 



had a son, William. andM-Iversor 



3. Alexander Campbell of Coralie-foot, near Halkirk. 
He had a wadset of these lands, dated 6th March 
1682. He married Agnes Charleson, and had at 
least two sons and a daughter : Donald Camp- 
bell, in Stainland and Aimster, chamberlain to 
Lord Breadalbane ; John Campbell in Comhe- 
foot; and Isabel, who married, in 1700, William 
Davidson, in Buckies. The following inscription 
is to be seen on a gravestone in the kirkyard of 
Halkirk : — " Here lyes Alexander Campbell of 
Comilfiet, who died 10 Nov. 1693." An adjoin- 
ing stone marks the grave of his brother, 
Farquhar. 
Patrick Buey Campbell married Helen Bayne, of the 
Baynes of Bylbster, or of Clyth, and had an only son, 
Donald, and several daughters, of whom one married 
Murdoch Campbell, in Brubster, and another, named 
Anna, mamed her cousin-german, William, tacksman of 
Eumsdale, in 1697, son of Farquhar Campbell or M'lver. 
In 1705, Helen Bayne, then rehct of Patrick Buey 
Campbell, executed a renunciation of part of Quoycrook 
in favour of her nephew, Donald, the son of Alexander 
Campbell of ComHefoot ; and in the same year she dis- 
poned her hferent in certain other lands to her son-in- 
law, Murdoch Campbell, in Brubster. 

From Donald Buey Campbell of Quoycrook, the son 



278 THE CAMPBELLS AND M'IVERS OR IVERACHS. 

The campteiis of Patrick, are descended the Campbells of Duchernan, 
iverachs. i^ -A-fgyle. — Vide Principal Campbell's "Account." 

The Iverachs of Caithness are sub-cadets of the 
M'lvers Buey, and during last century they, for several 
generations, occupied lands at Braehour, Clayock, and 
Lieuraiy. From William Iverach, in Sordale, the repre- 
sentative of this branch in the earlier part of last 
century, are descended Messrs. Peter Iverach in Weydale, 
James Iverach in Harpsdale, and William Iverach of 
Wideford, in Orkney. 

The Campbells, who were for the first half of last 
century Heritable Commissary and Sheriff Clerks of 
Caithness, are also supposed to have been sub-cadets of 
the Buey Campbells, and are believed to be descended 
from the family of Quoycrook, their immediate ancestor, 
Donald Campbell, younger, merchant in Thurso, having 
been, it is thought, a younger son of William Buey 
M'lver, or of John, his brother. Donald Campbell had 
three sons : — 

1. James, merchant in Thurso, who died unmarried. 

2. Wniiam, Sheriff-Clerk, of whom afterwards. 

3. John Campbell of Castlehill, which he pm-chased 

from Lord Breadalbane in 1711. He was also 
Commissary and Sheriff Clerk. He married 
Anne, daughter of William Sinclair of Rattar, 
and widow of Robert Sinclair of Durran. By her 
he had a son, CoHn, who died without issue; 
and two daughters, — Isabel, who married James 



THE CAMPBELLS AND M'lVERS OR IVERACHS. 279 

Campbell of Balhreck, or perhaps Barhreck, in The Campbells 
Argyle ; and Janet, who married James Budge of iveraciis. 
Toftingall, and had no issue. 
On the death of their brother, Colin, the two sisters 
succeeded to Castlehill, and sold it to David Murray. 

On or near the site of the present House of Castlehill 
stood the Old Castle of Stangergill, the original name of 
the property, and after the erection of the new House 
the estate got the name of Castlehill. 

William Campbell (No. 2) was twice married ; first, 
to Elizabeth, daughter of James Murray of Pennyland, - 
by whom he had a son, Donald. 

By his second wife, Helen Mudy or Helen Mowat, he 
had six sons : — 

1. James, Sheriff-Clerk, and of Lochend, which he 

purchased, in 1749, from James Sutherland of 
Swinzie, for 20,000 merks, the rental being £50. 
He was served heir to his father, and married, 
first, Maiy, daughter of John Sinclair of Forss ; 
and, secondly, Isabella, daughter of the Reverend 
James Oswald, episcopal minister of Watten. 
He died in 1766, leaving two sons, — William and 
Oswald, who both died unmarried, — the latter in 
1776; and a daughter, Elizabeth, also supposed 
to have died unmarried. Wilham and Elizabeth 
are mentioned in Bishop Forbes's diary in 1762. 

2. William, immediate younger brother of James, was 

secretary to Admiral Vernon, and by his wife, 



280 THE CAMPBELLS AND M'lVERS OR IVEBACHS. 

The Campbells Philadelphia, he had a son, Captain Alexander 

ancl M'lvcrs or 

iverachs. Campbell, R.N. Captain Campbell had a son, 

Alexander, who was served heir to his grand- 
uncle, James of Lochend, in 1777, and who sold 
Lochend, in 1778, to William Sinclair of Fres- 
wick, for £2015. Alexander died before 1787, 
leaving a widow, named Susannah Poole, who 
was his executrix. 

3. John. "J 

4. Patrick. > These three died without issue. 

5. Colin. ) 

6. Hugo Campbell, brother-german of James and 

William, was joint Sheriff-Clerk with James. 
He married Jean, daughter of John Sinclair of 
Forss, and had two sons, — John, and Rose, a 
merchant, who died in Spain unmarried; and 
two daughters, — Isabella, who died unmarried, 
and Eliza, who married, first, Alexander Suther- 
land, merchant in London, son of Bailie George 
Sutherland, Wick, and, secondly, John Grant, 
illegitimate son of Mr. John Grant of Latheron- 
wheel, which estate he occupied under a wadset. 
Mr. Grant entered the army, and obtained the 
rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Portuguese 
service. He had no issue by his marriage to 
Miss Campbell. 
From an account of " Rossend Castle," near Burnt- 
island, which, together with some adjacent land, was 



THE CAMPBELLS AND M'lVEES OR IVERACHS, 281 

purchased by the Town Counci] of that place, in January The campbeUs 
1873, for £7500, it appears to have been a place of much iverachs. 
historical interest. In 1715 the Castle was occupied by 
the Earl of Mar and his troops, and about half a century 
later (1765) it was in the possession of "Murdoch 
Campbell of the Caithness Campbells." There is no 
doubt this was Murdoch Campbell, sometime writer and 
merchant in Thurso. 

In 1750 Mr. Campbell purchased a portion of a tene- 
ment in Thurso called Bruce's Tenement, and in the 
disposition he is designed "writer in Thurso." In 1752 
the remainder of Bruce's tenement was purchased by 
Murdoch Campbell, " merchant in Thurso." The identity 
of the "writer" and the " merchant " is undoubted, for, 
in the disposition in 1752, reference is made to Mr. 
Campbell's previous purchase in 1750 ; and in 1776, in 
a disposition by him of the whole tenement to Alexander 
Duncan, merchant in Thurso, which was signed at Burnt- 
island, he is designed " Murdoch Campbell of Rossend." 
At what period Mr. Campbell left Thurso has not been 
ascertained. 

In the account of Rossend, Mr. Campbell is stated to 
have married Margaret, daughter of John Taylor of 
Pitcairlie, and the heiress of Carbiston ; but in the dis- 
position in 1750, his wife, to whom the tenement then 
purchased was conveyed in liferent, is named Rachel 
Taylor. He seems to have had an only chUd, a daughter, 
who, in 1790, married Robert Beatson of KUrie, and of 
2 N 



282 THE CAMPBELLS AND M'IVEKS OR IVERACHS. 

Tiie Campbells the Eojal Engineers ; and she inherited Rossend. 

iverachs!^"^^ °' These Tajlors and Beatsons did not belong to Caithness. 
Robert Beatson succeeded to Rossend through his mar- 
riage to Mr. Campbell's only daughter. 

It has been supposed that Murdoch Campbell, writer, 
was a grandson of Murdoch in Brubster, the son-in-law, 
and perhaps the nephew (as supposed), of Patrick Buey 
Campbell of Quarrycrook, and son of William Campbell, 
called WUliam Beag, or Dorcry, afterwards in Brubster, 
who was not improbably a brother, and certainly a near 
relative of Patrick Buey Campbell of Quarrycrook, 
Farquhar (M'lver) in Rumsdale, and Alexander Camp- 
bell of ComHefoot. It is certain that Murdoch Campbell 
in Brubster had at least one son, for, as appears from a 
contract of marriage in July 1721, William Campbell, his 
son, married Janet, daughter of Sir James Sinclair of 
Dunbeath. She is supposed to have been an illegitimate 
daughter, as Sir James did not marry earlier than 1705, 
and there is no mention of this daughter otherwise. 
William Campbell was at the time of his marriage in 
Milton of Dunbeath, and in 1753 he was in Wester- 
Latheron. In 1733 he got a wadset from Sir James 
over Milbuy of Houstry, to himself and his wife, and 
their eldest son, James, afterwards in Dysart ; and it may 
be that Murdoch Campbell of Rossend was another of his 
sons. When a young man, Murdoch appears to have 
been a clerk in the office of James and Hugo Campbell, 
the supposed connections of his family. 



THE HENDERSONS OF STEMSTER. 

The traditional account of the Caithness Hendersons The Hendersons 
Is that they are descended from Henry Gunn, a younger °'^'^'"^''''' 
son of George Gunn, who was chief of the clan In the 
fifteenth century. After the slaughter of their chief and 
several of his sons in a combat with the Keiths, a family 
difference led to Henry separating himself from his sur- 
vivmg brothers, and settling in the lowlands of Caith- 
ness. In 1594 we find mention of a champion of the clan 
Gunn, named Donald Mac- William Mac-Hendric, who may 
have had something to say in the matter of the Hender- 
son patronymic ; but the popular account is, as has been 
said, that they are the descendants of Henry Gunn. 

I. Donald Henderson, who was in Stemster in 
1680, had two sons : — 

1. David, who is said to have settled in Zetland. 

2. Alexander, 

II. In the year 1700 Alexander Henderson got a 
general disposition of moveables from his father (who 
appears to have been in easy cu-cumstances), and in 1706 
he resided in Lochside. He married Anna or Agnes 



284 THE HENDEESONS OF STEMSTER. 

The Hendersons Murray, sister-german of Ranald Murray, in Bowertower. 
In 1726 lie was tacksman of Stemster, and in 1736 lie 
became tenant of Gerston, where he resided till his 
death in 1743. 

He had an only son and four, if not five, daughters : — 
1. David. 

1. Christian, who married, in 1726, Francis Swansoii, 

son of William Swanson in Stemster, who be- 
came tenant of Gerston in 1751 or 1752, and 
whose descendants were the tenants till 1872. 

2. Margaret, who married Adam Henderson, son of 

Benjamin Henderson in Achalibster, from whom 
are descended the family of Hendersons, some- 
time in Clyth. 

3. Anne, who married Donald Henderson, second 

laird of Westerdale. 

4. Barbara, the youngest daughter, who married, in 

1751, Alexander Sinclair, the last laird of Dun, 
being his second wife. She had no issue. 

5. There seems to have been in 1754 another daugh- 

ter named Ehzabeth, who was apparently then 
unmarried. 

III. David Henderson occupied the farm of Gerston 
for some time after 1748, and in 1750 he purchased 
Stemster from Sir Benjamin Sinclair for 21,500 merks. 
He married Cecilia, daughter of Wilham Honyman of 
Grsemsay, another of whose daughters was married to 



THE HENDERSONS OF STEMSTEE. 285 

Taylor of Thura, and a third daughter to the Reverend The Hendersons 
Mr. Nicolson of Shebster. "' ^'""'*''- 

The Honymans claim to be descended, in the female 
line, from Robert Stewart, first Earl of Orkney, natural 
son of James v., whose grand-daughter, Mary, was 
married to Stewart of Grsemsay. Their only daughter 
and heiress, Mary, married Andrew Honyman, who was 
Bishop of Orkney from 1664 to 1676 ; and the Bishop 
was grandfather of William Honyman of Grsemsay. 
Bishop Honyman was a son of David Honyman of 
Pitcairchney, and he had a brother, George, who was 
minister of Stromness^ in 1672. The Bishop "did many 
good and charitable deeds," including the slating and 
repamng of the church of Sand wick, and died in 1676. 

David Henderson of Stemster had four sons and 
three daughters : — 

1. William. 

2. Alexander, his successor. 

3. Patrick, who died in Demerara. 

4. John, who died in Jamaica. 

1. Mary, who married the Reverend Robert Gunn, 

minister of Latheron. 

2. Anne, who married, in 1779, the Reverend Wilham 

Gunn, minister of Golspie from 1776 to 1785, 
when he died. She lived until 1841. 

3. Margaret, who died unmarried, in 1864, aged 

ninety-seven. 

1 " Fasti Eccles. Scot." 



286 THE HENDERSONS OF STEMSTER. 

The Hendersons IV. ALEXANDER HENDERSON OF StEMSTER waS in 

early life for a short time in the Royal Navy. He 
married Margaret, daughter of William Duthie of Ar- 
duthie, and he had five sons and four daughters : — 

1. David, his successor, retired from the army as 

captain in 1816. 

2. Alexander Davidson, who was in the Indian Army, 

and was drowned in the Persian Gulf 

3. WilHam Honyman, C.B., who was a post-captain 

in the Royal Navy, and died in November 1855. 
He married Elizabeth, widow of Lord James 
Townshend, K.C.H. He had no issue. 

4. James, of Bilbster and Rosebank, Wick, who 

married Elizabeth, daughter of Kenneth M'Leay 
of Newmore, and has issue, two sons and four 
daughters, and who died 1879, aged eighty-one. 

5. Patrick, who was major in the Indian Army, and 

died in 1873 vmmarried. 

1. Margaret, who died in 1879 unmarried. 

2. Mary, who married Charles Chalmers of Monkshill, 

Esq., advocate, Aberdeen, and had issue. 

3. Johanna, died 1880, unmarried. 

4. Cecilia. 

V. David Henderson of Stemster married Marjory, 
eldest daughter of Colonel Benjamin Williamson of 
Banniskirk. He died in 1859, and had three sons and 
four daughters. He was succeeded by his eldest son, 



THE HENDERSONS OF STEMSTER. 287 

Alexander Henderson, now of Stemster, who married The Hendersons 
Susan, daughter of Allan M'Farlane, Esq., and his wife," 
Margaret, daughter of John Home, Esq. of Stirkoke, and 
has issue. 1 

' The family of Stemster is con- Langwell and Forse and Sinclairs of 
neeted through Mrs, Marjory William- Southdun and Ulbster. 
sou with the families of Sutherlands of 



THE HENDERSONS OF ACHALIBSTER AND 
WESTERDALE. 

The Hendersons Feom the middle of the seventeenth century to the 
and Wester" early part of the eighteenth, we find various Hendersons, 
dale. — g^^j^ ^g Hendersons, portioners of Brabsterdorran from 

1642 to 1695; Hendersons in Wester Nottingham, and 
in Rumster and Rangag, on the estate of Forse, and 
wadsetters of Gersay in Watten from 1655 to 1738, 
supposed to be descended from the Hendersons of 
Brabsterdorran; Hendersons in Stemster, from 1680 
downwards ; and Hendersons in Sibster, aftei-wards in 
Achalibster and Westerdale, from 1660; and it is 
probable that they were all more or less related, 
although it may now be difficult to trace a common 
ancestry. 

From Donald Henderson, who, when in Sibster, 
married Elizabeth Sinclair, daughter of Robert, fourth son 
of James Sinclair of Borlum and Thura, are descended the 
Hendersons of Achalibster and Westerdale. Donald 
Henderson was in Achalibster in 1660, and then got 
from the Earl of Caithness a wadset for a thousand 
merks of the twopenny-halfpenny lands of Westerdale, 



THE HENDERSONS OF ACHALIBSTER AND WESTERDALE. 289 

the halfpenny lands of Croft of Dale and Southside of The Hendersons 
BixmofUlgrimbeg. and^tef 

He had two sons and a daughter :— '^*'®" 

1. Robert. 

2. David, first of Westerdale. 

1. Janet, who is mentioned as " daughter of Donald 
Henderson in Achalibster and Elizabeth Sinclair." 
She married Adam Sutherland in Langwell, 
second son of William Sutherland of Langwell. 

I. Robert Henderson possessed in 1699 the two- 
penny lands of Westerdale, and in 1703 he is named 
as portioner of Dale. He married Anna Dunbar, an 
illegitimate daughter of Su' William Dunbar of Hemp- 
riggs, who, in 1701, granted to him and his wife and 
their first and second sons, William and Benjamin, a 
wadset of the twopence-halfpenny lands of Tormsdale. 
In 1718 Sir William Dunbar, as Justiciary Depute and 
Sherifi" of Caithness, appointed him Procurator-Fiscal of 
the county. In so far as appears, his chUdren were : — 

1. William in Achaldall, now called wadset lands of 

Westerdale, and in Tormsdale in 1725 and 1726, 
which he possessed as heir to his father in the 
wadset. He gave a lease of Tormsdale to his 
brother, Benjamin. 

2. Benjamin. 
1. Anna. 

Benjamin Henderson possessed Achalibster, and 
2 O 



290 THE HENDERSONS OF ACHALIBSTER AND WESTERDALB. 

The Hendersons married in 1716 his cousin- german, Esther, daughter of 
and Wester- Adam Sutherland in Langwell, and grand-daughter of 
dale. William Sutherland of Langwell. He died before 1739, 

leaving a son, Adam. 

Lieutenant Adam Henderson in Achaldall or wadset 
lands, was in 1749 tacksman of Achinarras. In 1739 he 
married Margaret, daughter of Alexander Henderson in 
Stemster and Gerston, and had with her a tocher of one 
thousand merks. He had a son and two daughters : — 
1. Benjamin. 

1. Esther, who lived with her mother for many years 

at Halkirk. 

2. Janet, better known as " Miss Jenny," who died 

in Edinburgh at an advanced age. 
Benjamin Henderson was tacksman of Clyth, and 
married his relative, Elizabeth, daughter of James Suther- 
land of Swiney, a great-great-grand-daughter of William 
Sutherland of Langwell. He had four sons and six 
daughters : — 

1. John, who was drowned in Wick Bay along with 

his mother about 1806. 

2. Adam, who went to the West Indies. 

3. Dr. James, who occupied Clyth for many years, 

and down to 18 — . He carried on a herring 
fishery extensively, and expended considerable 
sums on the harbour and farm of Clyth. Before 
settling in Clyth he was acting assistant-surgeon 
in the 3d Foot for some years, and afterwards he 



THE HENDERSONS OF ACHALIBSTER AND WESTEEDALE. 291 

acquired considerable reputation in the north as The Hendersons 
a medical practitioner. A few years before his °Lf welto-'' 
death, which took place at Glasgow on llth'^'''''- 
April 1848, he took the degree of M.D. at the 
University of Edinburgh. 
4. William was a gentleman of some literary acquire- 
ments, and was for many years engaged in 
various educational establishments in Scotland 
and England. Ultimately he went to Bombay 
as a teacher in one of the Church of Scotland 
schools. At the Disruption, in 1843, he joined 
the Free Church, but falling into bad health he 
returned to England, where he died unmarried 
about 1849 or 1850. 
Benjamin Henderson's daughters were Jean, Mar- 
garet, Anne, Elizabeth, Jessie, Alexis, and Benjamina, 
all of whom died unmarried. Alexis, his last surviving 
daughter, died at Barnstaple on 25th March 1874, and 
the family is now extinct. 

II. David Henderson, the second son, as is sup- 
posed, of Donald in Achahbster and wadset lands of 
Westerdale, got from Lord Glenorchy, in 1708, a charter 
of the sevenpenny and two farthing and an octo lands 
of Westerdale. He had a son, Donald. 

Donald Henderson of Westerdale married Anne, 
daughter of Alexander Henderson in Stemster and 
Gerston, He had a son, Alexander. 



292 THE HENDERSONS OF ACHALIBSTER AND WESTEEDALE. 

The Hendersons Alexander Hendersoii married Janet Campbell of 
aid weitef" the Campbells in Ausdale, and bad three sons and a 
^'■^^- daughter : — 

1. Donald, who married and left issue, but did not 

succeed to Westerdale. 

2. William, who occupied during his lifetime Upper 

Westerdale, and died unmarried. 

3. David of Westerdale, to which by some family- 

arrangement he got a disposition from his grand- 
father. He occupied Balhntunich or Lower 
Westerdale, and died in 1860 unmarried. 
1. Elizabeth, who maiTied William Angus, Thurso, 
and left no issue. 



THE HENDERSONS OF NOTTINGHAM 
AND GERSAY. 



After the middle of the seventeenth century we find The Hendersons 

of Nottinglia 
and Gei'say. 



frequent mention of William Henderson of Nottingham, "^^""'"si'am 



he being the same person who, as "William Rorisone, 
married, in 1655, Janet Gordon, rehct of James Suther- 
land of Forse. After her first husband's death Janet 
Gordon was styled "Lady Nottingham," having, no 
doubt, had the liferent of these lands, and thus Wil- 
liam Henderson was also designed of Nottingham. He 
appears to have been a person of some substance, from 
the bonds and obligations to him appearing on the 
records, and from the traditional account of his family 
he seems to have been the son of Rodei'ick Henderson 
(whence his sui-name of Rorisone), who was the eldest 
son of Hugh Henderson, one of the portioners who 
possessed at one time the lands of Brabsterdorran. His 
contract of marriage is dated 31st January 1655, and in 
1676 he obtained a wadset from Lord Glenorchy of the 
feu and teind duties of Gersay and Coghill in Watten, 
to himself in hferent and to his son, John, in fee. 

By Janet Gordon he had two sons, John and David. 



294 THE HENDEESONS OF NOTTINGHAM AND GEESAY. 

The Hendersons As fiar Under the wadset in 1676 John was styled of 
and Gersay.'^"' Gcrsay ; and dying without issue, he was succeeded by 
David. 

David Henderson of Gersay married in 1680 Margaret, 
daughter of Colonel Francis Sinclair in Scrabster (son of 
John Sinclair, first of Assery) and his wife, Anne, 
daughter of Francis Sinclair of Stirkoke. In his con- 
tract of marriage (June 1680) he is called "lawful son of 
William Henderson of Nottingham and Janet Gordon." 

In 1689 and 1697 he disponed the wadset to Sir 
Robert Dunbar of Northfield, and of the subsequent 
history of his family there is no account. 



THE WILLIAMSONS OF BANNISKIEK. 

The ancestor of this family appears to have been The WiUiam- 
Andrew Williamson of Achorlie, who got a feu-charter of kirk. 
these lands from the Earl of Caithness in 1665. He is 
said to have fought at Aultimarloch, on the side of the 
Sinclairs, and to have been killed there, and his body 
carried for burial to Spittal, where the Gunns (from 
whom the Williamsons are reputed to be descended) had 
their burial-place. 

I. Donald Williamson, son of Andrew WilHamsou 
of Achorlie, was a merchant in Thurso, and in 1691 and 
1692 he was a baUie of the town. He purchased Bannis- 
kirk in 1691, and the present estate of Banniskirk 
includes Achorlie. He married Katharine Korison, 
sister of Bailie Rorison, merchant in Thurso, and had a 
son and a daughter : — 

1. Benjamin, his successor. 

I. Janet, who, in 1713, married Malcolm Henderson, 

in Stemster, Reay. He had a son, Adam, who 
was in Stemster in 1753. 

II. Benjamin Williamson of Banniskirk married 



296 THE WILLIAMSONS OP BANNISKIRK. 

The William- Elizabeth Sutherland, daughter of Esther and Kobert 
kirk. Sutherland of Langwell, and had a son and four 

daughters : — 

1. Donald, his successor. 

1. Elizabeth, who married William Campbell, some- 

time in Upper Framside, and had several 
children, one of whom, the late Donald Camp- 
bell, sometime in Harland, entered the army as 
a volunteer during the Peninsular War, and 
attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He died 
at Creich, Sutherlandshire, unmarried. 

2. Jane, married Lieut. William Rose, Thurso, and 

had a son, William Rose, a merchant in Glasgow, 
and three daughters, Elizabeth and Benja- 
minina, who died unmarried, and Jane, who 
married Dr. John Wilhamson. 

3. Another daughter married John Dunnet, a ship- 

master in Thurso, son of Bailie George Dunnet, 
merchant in Thurso. They had no issue. 

4. Another daughter married, first, Donald Hender- 

son, a merchant in Thurso, and had a son, 
Benjamin, a messenger-at-arms ; and second, 
John Barnetson, tenant in Galshfield, by whom 
she had a son, the late Lieutenant Alexander 
Barnetson, sometime in Mains of Tister. 

III. Donald Williamson of Banniskirk married 
Isabell Ramsay, second daughter of James Ramsay of 



THE WILLIAMSONS OF BANNISKIRK. 297 

Chappletown of Meigle, merchant iu Dundee, and had The Wiiiiam- 
five sons and four daughters : — k°irk.° 

1. Benjamin. 

2. Major James, who married Barbara Gibson, 

daughter of George Gibson, merchant in Thurso, 
and had issue, a son and two daughters. 

3. Donald, who died in the West Indies. 

4. John, a surgeon in the army, who married Jane 

Rose, his cousin, but of whom there is no 
surviving issue. 

5. Major George, married Catharine, daughter of 

James Sinclair of Harpsdale and his third 
wife, Katharine, daughter of Alexander Sinclair 
of Lybster. He had three sons and three 
daughters. The sons were, — Donald, who died 
unmarried ; James of Banniskirk (which he 
purchased in 1862), who married Margaret, 
daughter of David Henderson of Stemster, and 
died in 1865, leaving two sons ; and George. 

1. Margaret, who married John Sutherland of 

Swiney. 

2. Elizabeth, who married John Home of Stirkoke, 

and had issue. 

3. Isabella, who married Capt. William Manson, and 

had issue. 

4. Jean, who married Alexander Patei'son in Penny- 

land, agent for the Bank of Scotland, and had 



2 P 



298 THE WILLIAMSONS OF BANNISKIRK. 

The William- IV. CoLONEL BeNJAMIN WILLIAMSON OF BaNNISKIRK. 

kirk. °' married Janet, daughter of James Sinclair of Harpsdale 

and his first wife, Marjory, daughter of David Sinclair 
of Southdun, through whom he got the lands of Scarm- 
clett and Clayock, afterwards named " Marlefield." He 
had two sons and three daughters : — 

1. James, captain in the 94th Regiment. He was 

killed at the storming of Ciudad-Rodrigo, in 
Spain. 

2. Donald, major in the 42d Regiment. He was 

killed at Burgos in 1812. 

1. Marjory, who married David Henderson of 

Stemster. 

2. Diana, who died unmarried in 1872. 

3. Jessie, who married, first, John Macleay of Keiss, 

and, second, Alexander Henderson of Stemster. 
She had no issue by either marriage. 



THE TAYLOES OF THURA. 

William Taylor, merchant in Thurso, who, about The Taylors of 
the middle of the seventeenth century, led apprisings 
against the estate of Assery, had a son, John, who was a 
joiner in Thurso. John got an assignation to his father's 
apprisings in Assery. He had two sons : — 

1. Daniel. 

2. George. 

I. Daniel Taylor, merchant in Thurso, was infeft in 

the Assery apprisings, and in 1754 he purchased 
Thura from John Sinclair, last of Thura, and dis- 
poned it in 1759 to his brother, George. 

II. George Taylor of Thura married Euphemia, 

daughter of William Honyman of Graemsay, 
and had two sons and a daughter : — 

1. John, his successor. 

2. WUliam, who died in the West Indies. 
1. Jane, who married Lieutenant M'Beath. 

III. John Taylor of Thura was served heir to his 



300 THE TAYLORS OF THURA. 

The Taylors of father in 1790, and was captain in one of the Caithness 
Fencible battalions. In 1801 he sold Thura to William 
Sinclair of Freswick, and settled in Ireland. He left 
three children, who, in 1868, resided in Dublin. They 
were — 

1. George. 

2. Arthur. 
1. Jane. 

A Mr. Taylor of Phibsboro House, Dublin, who died 
lately at an advanced age, was a natural son of 
Captain John Taylor, last of Thura. He was in 
early life a schoolmaster in the county ; and for 
many years he had been in the habit of sending 
communications to the local papers. In 1868 a 
notice appeared from Captain Taylor's family 
denying Mr. Taylor's pretensions to be con- 
sidered " the last of the Taylors of Thura," — and 
asserting themselves to be "the only legal repre- 
sentatives of his name." 



THE DAVIDSONS OF ACHINGILLS 
AND BUCKIES. 

John Davidson, Commissary of Caithness, who died The Davidsons 

before 1632, had two sons : and Buckles. 

1. William, who, in 1632, was served heir to Samuel 

Davidson, residing in France, son of the deceased 
Mr. Archibald Davidson, his cousin-german, in 
the " FischUl in Thurso." 

2. John. 

John Davidson got a wadset of AchingUls from the 
Master ofBerriedale in 1633. In the same year David 
Munro, then Commissary of Caithness, got a wadset of 
half of Aimster and Buckles, and in 1659 John Davidson 
adjudged this wadset from George, son of David Munro ; 
and in 1691 he got a charter of adjudication. He had 
two sons : — 

1. James, his successor. 

2. Wilham, who married Janet Scobie. She survived 

him, and had a liferent of Aimster and Buckles. 

James Davidson got an assignation from his father 



302 THE DAVIDSONS OF ACHINGILLS AND BUCKIES. 

The Davidsons of liis adjudication of Aimster and Buckles, and he also 

andBuckL! succecded to Achingills. In 1697 he disponed the whole 

to WiUiam Sinclair of Stemster, third son of William 

Sinclair of Dunbeath. He was a writer in Edinburgh, 

and had a daughter. 

In 1675 Buckies was occupied by George Davidson, 
who is mentioned in that year in the decreet at Mey's 
instance against the heritors and others of Caithness. 
The family tradition is that he was of the Achingills 
Davidsons, and if so, he was probably the son of William 
Davidson, whose widow had the liferent of Buckies and 
Aimster. In 1682 he was admitted an elder by the 
Bishop and Session of Thurso. He was succeeded in the 
farm by his son, Wilham. In 1700 William Davidson 
married Isabel Campbell, daughter of Alexander Camp- 
bell of Comliefoot, her brothers, Donald Campbell in Stain- 
land, chamberlain to Lord Glenorchy, and John Campbell 
in Comliefoot, being parties to the contract of marriage. 
James Davidson succeeded his father, William, and he 
again was succeeded by his son, the late John Davidson, 
and thus j&om at least 1675 Buckies has been continuously 
occupied by the Davidsons. 

In the Old Kirk of Thurso, and in the place where 
once stood the Buckies pew, there is an ancient and 
handsome gravestone, now embedded in the soil. At the 
top there are armorial bearmgs, with the motto " Vivat 
post funera virtus," and underneath the following in- 
scription : — 



THE DAVIDSONS OF ACHINGILLS AND BUCKIES. 303 

Heir lyes ane famous man The Davidsons 

Adam Davidsoun Burgess of of AchingiUs 

Inverness Indweller in Thurso 
who departed in June 1587 
being 66 yeires of age 

And heir lyes Katharine 
Sinclair his Spous who departed 
in May 1592 being 70 
yeires of age 

Memento 

Mori. 



THE GIBSONS. 

This family, originally from Edinburgh, is chiefly 
connected with Orkney, where several members of it 
settled as ministers. 

John Gibson, of Edinburgh, had four sons : — 

1. Alexander, Dean of Bower and Watten. 

2. Adam, minister of Shapinsay from 1665 to 1678, 

when he died. 

3. John, minister of Holm from 1654 to 1681. 

4. Archibald, Writer to the Signet, 1660. 

Alexander Gibson, Dean of Bower and Watten from 
1668 to 1682, married Katharine, eldest daughter of 
James Sinclair of Assery, and had four sons and a 
daughter : — 

1. Alexander, minister of Canisbay. 

2. John, minister of Evie and Eendall from 1700 to 

1724, when he died. 

3. Archibald of Hemisgar. 

4. George, a merchant, who married Katharine, 

daughter of Bailie Rorison, Thurso. Before her 
marriage to Mr. Gibson, Katharine Borison had 



THE GIBSONS. 305 

formed an attachment and engaged herself to The Gibsons. 
John Gow or Smith, a native of Scrabster, whose 
piratical exploits in the early part of last centviry 
suggested Sir Walter Scott's tale of " The 
Pirate." At what period of Gow's career this 
love affair took place is uncertain, but at any 
rate the Bailie disapproved of his daughter's choice, 
and while Gow was absent at sea, obliged her to 
listen to the addresses of her future husband, 
then schoolmaster at Stroma. The marriage had 
scarcely taken place when Gow returned to 
Thurso, bringing bridal dresses for his betrothed, 
who, even as matters then stood, would gladly 
have gone off with him. Gow departed highly 
incensed, and after Katharine Rorison had settled 
dovsm in Stroma, he visited the island with the 
intention of carrying her off, or having his 
revenge, but he left again without doing any 
mischief She had two sons to Mr. Gibson, and 
after his death resided at or near Banniskirk, her 
aunt, Katharine Rorison, having married Donald 
Williamson, the first Williamson of Banniskirk. 
These particulars were given to the late Dr. P. B. 
Henderson by Mrs. Ehzabeth Sinclair, widow 
of the Reverend Alexander Smith, minister of 
Olrig, who died at Thurso 15th October 1831, 
aged eighty-eight, and who was personally ac- 
quaintec^ with Katharine Rorison. In a note to 
2 Q 



306 THE GIBSONS. 

" Tlie Pirate " Gow is mentioned as having been 
a native of Orkney, but this is beheved to be 
incorrect. A narrative of his piratical proceed- 
ings will be found in Johnston's " Lives of High- 
waymen," and similar chronicles. There are other 
interesting particulars in the Notes and Advertise- 
ment to the " Pirate." In 1725 Gow and several 
of his associates were convicted at London by 
the High Court of Admiralty, and deservedly 
executed. 
1. Elizabeth, who married George Sinclair in Brabster- 

dorran. 
Alexander Gibson, the eldest son, was mmister of 
Canisbay from 1713 to 1747, when he died. He mar- 
ried Margaret, daughter of John Sinclair of Rattar, and 
widow of Alexander Smclair of Brabster. He had two 
sons : — 

1. John, sometime a writer in Edinburgh, and 

who, about 1750, was appointed Sheriflf-Sub- 
stitute of the county by Mr. Brodie of Spynie, 
then Sheriff. He married Margaret, daughter 
of James Murray of Clairden, and widow of 
David Sinclair of Southdun, and died wdthout 
issue. 

2. George, a merchant in Thvirso, who married Janet 

Sinclair, daughter of John Sinclair and EHza- 
beth Manson {vide Mansons). He had two 
daughters, — Margaret, who ma^^ied her cousin, 



THE GIBSONS. 307 

George Sinclaii- of Brabster, and Barbara, The Gibsons, 
who married Major James Williamson, and 
bad issue a son (who died unmarried), and two 
daughters. 



THE BRODIES. 

I. In the Matriculation Records of King's College, 
Aberdeen, there is an entry of " Alexander Brodie, 
Moraviensis," in 1677, which it is supposed refers to the 
Reverend Alexander Brodie, who was licensed by the 
Presbytery of Abernethy in 1711, called, and ordained 
as minister of Kildonan 18th September 1712, and trans- 
lated to Reay in 1723, where he died in 1730, leaving a 
son, James. 

II. The Reverend James Brodie was licensed by the 
Presbytery of Aberdeen, and was settled as minister of 
Latheron in May 1734. He died at Aberdeen in 1775, 
in the sixty-seventh year of his age. 

In 1735 he married Anne, daughter of James Murray 
of Clairden and his third wife, Margaret, daughter of 
George Sinclair of Barrock. She died in 1766. They had 
six sons and a daughter : — 

1. Samuel, born 1736, and died young. 

2. Alexander, born 1737. 

3. Patrick, born 1743. 

4. James, born 1745, and died young. 



THE BRODIES. 309 

5. George, born 1747, and died young. t; 

6. Eichard, born 1752. 
1. Margaret, born 1739. 

III. Alexander Brodie, the eldest surviving son, was 
minister of Carnbee, in Fife, and married Helen Pitcairn, 
daughter of the Reverend Joseph Pitcairn, Carnbee. He 
died in 1804, having had four sons and three daughters : — 

1. James, Brigadier-General and Colonel in the East 

India Company's Service, Madras, and Com- 
mander of the Bath, who was born in 1782, and 
died in 1831. He married Eliza Thompson, and 
had two sons: James, who died in 1849, un- 
married, and Alexander Oswald, sometime of the 
Ceylon Civil Service, who married Jessie Anne 
Spottiswoode, daughter of Colonel Spottiswoode, 
and died at Edinbm-gh 6th November 1874, 
leaving issue. 

2. Joseph, a merchant in Hamburg, who married 

Maria Thomson, and died in 1825, leaving issue. 

3. Alexander Oswald, a merchant in America, who 

married Eustachia Griffiths, and died in Scotland 
in 1856, without issue. 

4. Edward, who died without issue. 

1, Janet, who married Duncan Cowan, Edinburgh, 
and left four daughters : (l) Marjory, unmarried. 
(2) Janet, who married General'Charles Wahab, 
H.E.I.C.S., and haajssue. (3) Helen, who mar- 



310 THE BRODIES. 

ried Henry Madden, M.D., and left issue. (4) 
Charlotte, who married James Cowan, Lord Pro- 
vost of Edinburgh, and M.P. for the city. 

2. Elizabeth, who died unmarried. 

3. Helen, who married Alexander Cowan, Edinburgh, 

and left issue. 

IV. Patrick Brodie, third son of the Eeverend 
James Brodie, Latheron, married, in 1768, Jean Sinclau- 
(vide Mansons), and had three sons and five daughters : — 

1. David, who purchased Sibster, thereafter named 

Hopeville, and married Helen, daughter of James 
Sinclair of Harpsdale, and his third wife, Katha- 
rine, daughter of Alexander Sinclair of Lybster, 
He died in 1847, aged 75. He had five sons 
and five daughters. 

2. James, who died young. 

3. Alexander, who married Flora, daughter of Bailie 

Kenneth Sutherland, Thurso, and had five sons 
and five daughters. He died in 1859, aged 82. 

1 . Jean, who married the Reverend George Mackenzie, 

OLrig, and had issue. She died in 1802, aged 33. 

2. Janet, who died young. 

3. Margaret, who died unmarried, in 1856, aged 82. 

4. Anne, who was born 28th February 1779, and who 

died in 1813. She was married to Wilham 
Henderson, Sheriff-Substitute of Caithness, and 
had seven sons and five daughters. 



THE BRODIES. 311 

5. Elizabeth, who married William Manson, writer in The Brodies. 
Thurso, and died, without issue, in 1832, aged 50. 

V. Dr. Richard Brodie, the youngest son of the 
Reverend James Brodie, went to the West Indies, where 
he died. 

VI. Margaret, the only daughter, married John 
Grant of Latheronwheel, of which he was wadsetter. She 
died without issue. 



THE MANSONS. 

This name is of frequent occurrence in the county and 
in remote times. Thus we have Kenneth, Donald, and 
Wilham Manson, the three portioners of the whole of 
Lyth, by charter in 1524; and there are Mansons, 
portioners of Kirk in 1531, at which date John and 
Magnus Manson got a charter^ of confirmation from 
the Pope's Legate, Silvester Darius. In 1576 the 
Mansons were of some note, a number of the name 
having signed a bond of manrent to George Sinclair of 
Mey. These notes, however, are confined to a more 
recent branch of the family, and the pedigree now given 
was proved in Chancery in 1853, in a srdt at the instance 
of Mr. Anderson, executor of Margaret Manson of London, 
against her next-of-kin. 

James Manson, who resided in Watten, had five sons 
and two daughters : — 

1. Alexander. 

2. William, 

3. John. 

4. David. 

5. Charles, who died at sea. 

' Cliarter, Andrew, B. of Caithness. 



THE HANSONS. 313 

1. Elizabeth. i 

2. Christian, who died immarried. 

I. Alexander Manson was a merchant in Thurso, 
and married Elizabeth Munro. As appears from a tomb- 
stone to his memory in the Oswalds' burying-ground in 
Thurso churchyard, he died in 17 — . He had a son : — 

James, a merchant in Rotterdam, who was born in 
1726, and died in 1788. He married Margaret 
Gay, by whom he had a son, William, who died 
at Curajoa in 1801, without issue ; and a 
daughter, Margaret, who died in London in 
June 1849. She is the person referred to above, 
whose succession gave rise to the Chancery suit. 

II. William Manson was a merchant in Rotterdam, 
and died a bachelor in London, in July 1767. Under 
his settlement the descendants of his sisters were 
beneficiaries. 

III. John Manson was a ship- carpenter at Rother- 
hithe, and married Ursula Cobham. He died in 1772, 
having had two sons and a daughter : — 

1. Alexander, a shipwright at Bermondsey, who 
married Jean Bowie, and died in 1828. He had 
four sons and a daughter. The sons were : John 
and Robert, who both died in India in 1818; 
David, who died young, and Alexander, Brigadier- 
2 R 



ai4 THE MANSONS. 

General in the Bombay Artillery, who died at 
Bombay in 1862. Alexander had three chil- 
dren : Alexander R. Manson, major in the 4th 
Bombay Infantry ; Charles James Manson, 
Acting Political Agent, South Mahratta Country, 
who was killed in the Indian Mutiny, in May 
1859, at Ramdroag; and Mary Anne Jane, who 
was married to Major Alexander Cunningham 
Robertson of the 8th Regiment. 

2. William, who married Mary Gregory, and died in 
1840, aged 88. He had a son, John Jasper, who 
died in 1826 leaving issue, — and a daughter, 
Mary Ursula, who died in 1777. 

1. Mary, who married William Lang, and died in 
1838. 

IV. David Manson was a merchant in Thurso, and 
married Jean, daughter of George Oswald, minister of 
Dunnet. He died without issue. 

V. Elizabeth Manson married John Sinclair in 
Watten, and had four daughters : — 

1. Isabella Sinclair, who married David Bruce in 
Hastigrow, a descendant no doubt of the Bruces 
who owned the lands of Hastigrow and others in 
that locality in the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries. They had two sons, WiUiam and 
David, who both died in America, and five 



THE HANSONS. 315 

daughters, of whom Jean and Katharine died The Mausons. 
unmarried ; Janet Bruce married Neil Suther- 
land, and had a son, William, who married Miss 
M'Kay, daughter of the Reverend Mr. M'Kay, 
minister of Reay ; Elizabeth Bruce married 
George Gunn, and had issue ; and Isabella Bruce 
married Patrick Andrew, and had a daughter, 
Isabella, who died unmarried, and a son, William 
Patrick, now Chairman of the Scinde and Punjab 
Railway, who is married to a grand-daughter of 
the eminent painter. Sir Henry Raeburn, and has 
issue. 
2. Elizabeth Sinclair, who married John Manson, and 
had a son, WilHam, and four daughters. William 
Manson married Isabella, daughter of Donald 
WiUiamson of Banniskirk. He had issue, and 
died in 1846. Jean and Isabella died unmarried. 
Elizabeth, who died in 1805,married Donald Robe- 
son, writer in Thurso, and had four sons — John, 
William, Alexander, and Donald, and a daughter, 
Margaret. John Robeson married in India Miss 
Dunbar, daughter of Captain Dunbar of West- 
field, and left a daughter. The other sons 
died unmarried. Margaret Robeson, the only 
daughter, married her cousin, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Robert Sinclair Sutherland of Brabster, and died 
in 1869 without surviving issue. Anne Manson, 
fourth daughter of Ehzabeth Sinclair, married 



316 THE MANSONS. 

Morrison Snody, wxiter in Thurso, and died 
without issue in 1846. 

3. Jean Sinclair, who married Patrick Brodie in 

Ulbster, and had issue. — Vide Brodies. 

4. Janet Sinclair, who married George Gibson {vide 

Gibsons), and had two daughters — Margaret, 

who married George Sinclair Sutherland of 

Brabster; and Barbara, who married Major 

James Williamson, and had a son and two 

daughters. 

Mr. Alexander Brodie and his sister, Margaret, the 

only surviving children of Jean Sinclair, stood in the 

same degree of relationship to Margaret Manson of 

London as did General Manson, and the three were 

preferred, as next-of-kin, to Miss Manson's intestate 

succession, but the bulk of her estate was settled by 

will. 



THE NICOLSONS OF SHEBSTER. 

The Reverend Alexander Nicolson, son of Patrick iiie Nicoisons 
Nicolson, minister of Kiltarlity, was minister of Thurso °fsiiebster. 
from 1752 to 1785, when he died, aged 61. He acquired 
Shebster, which for several generations had belonged to 
the Munros, by purchase. He was twice married — first 
in 1754, and secondly in 1765. By his first wife he had 
two sons : — 

1. Patrick, his successor. 

2. Dr. James Nicolson. 

His second wife was Mary, daughter of Patrick 
Honyman of Grsemsay, who died in 1817, aged 89. By 
her he had a daughter, Jessie, who was twice married — 
first, to Alexander M'Leod of Lynegar, son of Donald 
M'Leod, sometime writer, thereafter Sheriff-Substitute of 

Caithness (son of M'Leod, musician in Thurso). 

They had a son, David, who died young, and two 
daughters — Mary, who died young, and Jemima, who 
married Mr. Hepburn of St. Vincent, who died in 1868, 
leaving issue. 

Jessie Nicolson was married, secondly, to William 
Sinclair, writer in Thurso, by whom she had two sons — 



318 THE NICOLSONS OF SHEBSTER. 

TheNicoisons Alexander, accountant in Edinburgh, who died without 
ofshebster. jgg^g^ ^j^^j Gordon, who died in the West Indies, also 
without issue. 

Patrick Nicolson of Shebster was minister of 
Thurso from his father's death in 1785 down to 1805. 
He married, in 1787, Mary Maxwell, daughter of Captain 
Thomas Dan bar of Westfield and his first wife, Janet, 
daughter of Sir "William Dunbar of Hempriggs. She 
died in 1806, and by her he had two sons and four 
daughters : — 

1. Alexander, who sold Shebster in 1808, with consent 

of his curators, and died without issue. 

2. Major Malcohn, who married his cousin, Jessie, 

daughter of James Moodie of Melsetter, by whom 
he had a son. By a second marriage he had 
several children. 

1. Janet Dunbar, who married Dr. Featherstone, and 

had issue. 

2. Mary, who married Major Jackson. 

3. Isabella, who married Dr. Simon Nicolson, and had 

issue. 

4. Margaret, who man-ied Lieutenant-Colonel Western, 

and had issue. 



THE GUNNS. 

A DETAILED notice of the Clan Gunn is beyond the The Gnnns 
scope of these notes : for such we must refer to Gordon 
and other authorities ; nor shall the debatable question 
be entered upon, whether their ancestor was Gunnius, 
brother of Sweyn, the Freswick pu-ate, or Guin, son of 
Olave, king of Man. By the most credible accounts, 
they are of Norwegian origin, and it is at least certain 
that they settled in Caithness at a remote date, and in 
course of time so increased in numbers as to have 
attained to the position of " The Clan Gunn." The Gunns 
seem to have occupied chiefly the highland portions of 
the county, although their burial-place was at Spittal. 
Their connection with Caithness as a distinct clan ended 
about 1619. It is singular that, until the middle of the 
seventeenth centmy, we find no written evidence of their 
tenure of land. Probably, as in the case of Donald Gunn 
of Braemore, noticed in "Ministers and Men in the Far 
North," what possessions they had were "gained by the 
sword," and retained by the same title during their 
period of prosperity. 

George Gunn was chief of the clan in the fifteenth 



320 THE GUNNS. 

The Gunns. century, and lived at the castle of Harberry, in Cly tli. 
Tliis chieftain was popularly styled the " Cruner Gunn," 
from his holding the office of " Cruner" or " Crouner " of 
the district, an ancient office which empowered the 
holder to attach the persons of offenders against the 
Crown. By his clansmen and highlanders generally he 
was known as the " Nin Braistack-more," from the great 
silver brooch worn by him as a badge of office. 

He is reputed to have had seven sons, of whom four, 
along with himself, fell in 1464, in a combat with the 
Keiths, their hereditary foes. Of these sons, James 
succeeded to the chieftainship ; Robert, the second son, 
is ancestor of the Gunns of Braemore and other respect- 
able families ; from John, the third son, are descended 
the Gunns of Dalmore and Dale, and others ; Henry, the 
fourth son, is the traditional ancestor of the Caithness 
Hendersons ; and William, the fifth son, of the WUliam- 
sons and Wilsons. James has been supposed to be the 
fifth son ; but it appears certain that on his father's 
death in 1464 he took up the chieftainship, and that he, 
along with his brothers, William and Henry, retired into 
Sutherlandshire ; and at KiUearnan, in Kildonan, the 
succeeding chiefs had their residence until the accidental 
destruction of the mansion-house by fire in 1690. 

That there was a " Crouner " in the county at a 
remote period, whether of the Clan Gunn or not, is shown 
by part of the names still attached to certain localities, — 
for instance, the " Crouner's Garden," near Strath, and 



THE GUNNS. 321 

the like ; while in an ancient document, entitled The Gunns 
" Inventar of the Gudes of Alexander Southerland, 1456 " 
(father-in-law of William St. Clair, first Earl of Caith- 
ness), there are entries proving the "Crouner" to have 
had a son Henry, and a son Alexander, thus : " Item, 
Alexander the Crouner 's son an (owing) me for the teind 
of Dael, Thurno, and the begyn, with uther geeds that he 
tuk of myn that comes to 24 of Marks and mair ; " and 
" Item, Henry the Crounars son an me for tends and ky 
(teinds and cattle) that he tuk of myn 40 merks and 
mar, as vitaU (victual) was sold in the countrie that 
tym." 

In 1664 John Gunn appears to have been in posses- 
sion of Braemore, under the peaceful title of a written 
lease from the Earl of Caithness, at a rent of £490 Scots. 
It is said that a section of the clan claimed the chieftain- 
ship for this John, but that, on a formal discussion of the 
question at a meeting in Thurso, the honour was adjudged 
to a rival candidate. 

John Gunn in Braemore obtained in 1664 a wadset 
over that estate, for 1000 merks, from John, Earl of 
Breadalbane. He appears to have lived down to at least 
1698, for in that year his son and successor, George, is 
designed in a tack of Dirlot as " Younger of Braemore." 

In 1715 George Gunn got another tack of Braemore 
from Lord Glenorchy, reserving the " salmond fishings 
with the deer and Kae;" and in the same year he 
obtained a wadset for 3000 merks. 
2 s 



322 THE GUNNS. 

In 1732 George Gunn got a wadset for 17,000 merks 
from Sir James Sinclair of Dunbeath. Sir James acquired 
Braemore in 1729 as part of the Caithness estate pur- 
chased by him and Ulbster from Lord Glenorchy. 

The representatives of this branch of the Gunns 
appear to be the Gunn-Munroes of Poyntzfield. The first 
Sir George Gunn Munro of Poyntzfield was a son of the 
Reverend John Munro, minister of Halkirk, by his 
wife, Janet Munro, only child of George Gunn of Brae- 
more. 

The genealogy of the Gunns of Braemore is stated by 
the Rev. Mr. Gunn of Watten, who has given much 
attention to the subject, to be as follows : — 

1. Robert, second son of George Gunn, "the Crounar" 

(killed in 1464). 

2. Donald, his eldest son. 

3. David, his eldest son. 

4. Alexander, his eldest son, who married Christian, 

daughter of Donald, first Lord Reay. 

5. John, his eldest son. 

6. George, his eldest son. 

7. Janet, his only child, married John Munro, 

minister of Halkirk, who died m 1743 or 1746. 
His third son was the first Munro of Poyntzfield. 

8. Captain John Gunn Munro, eldest son of Janet 

Munro, married Elizabeth Sutherland of TorboU, 
and had three sons and four daughters. In 1752 
he acquired Braemore in fee-simple. 



THE GUNNS. 323 

9. William Gunn Munro, eldest son, had no family, The Gunns. 
and was succeeded by his brother. 
10. George Gunn Munro succeeded his brother in • 
Braemore, and also inherited Poyutzfield under 
an entail executed by his uncle, Sh- George, in 
1784. In 1793 Sir Kobert Anstruther pur- 
chased Braemore for about £4000 at a judicial 
sale, and obtained a decreet of sale in his favoiu-. 



THE DOULLS OF TRUSTER. 



Tiie DouUs of JoHN DouLL OF Thuster, Wick, got a Wadset of these 



Tluister. 



lands in 1650, and in a tack of the teinds of Forse granted 
to him by the Bishop in 1685, he is designed " Servitor to 
the Earl of Caithness." He married Grizzel, daughter 
of John Sinclair, first of Assery, and had a son, John. 

John Doull was, in 1678, "Sei'vitor" to Sir Robert 
Sinclair of Longformacus, advocate, and as such he was 
probably merely an "advocate's clerk." He practised as 
a writer for many years in Edinburgh, and had a con- 
siderable business connection with the county. He had 
one son at least, and two daughters : — 

1. Patrick Doull of Winterfield. 

1. Mary, who was the third wife of George, third 

Lord Reay, and who is mentioned in " Burke " as 
daughter of John Dowell, Esq. They had two 
sons and four daughters. 

2. Margaret, who married Major Wilham Sinclair 

of Thura. 
In 1696 there was a William Doull, a writer in Edin- 
burgh, who, it is supposed, was a son of John Doull. In 
1677 John had granted a disposition of subjects in Wick 



THE DOULLS OF THTJSTEE. 325 

to Robert Calder and his son, John, by his wife, Anne The douIIs of 
Doull; and in 1696 William Doull granted another dis- 
position of the same property. 

There were other DouUs in Wick connected, it 
is thought, with the DouUs of Thuster, of whom several 
intermarried with the Calders in Wick. 

Patrick Doull of Oldfield, near Thurso, and his 
brother, Benjamin, Commissary Clerk of Caithness, were 
also connected with Wick. Benjamin died unmarried 
before 1780. Patrick was a merchant in Thurso, and 
married Mary, daughter of Robert Sinclair of Geise. His 
last surviving son, Alexander, an officer in the navy or 
marines, perished in India in 1781, by the blowing up of 
his ship. 

Patrick and Benjamin Doull had at least two sisters, 
— Mrs. Elizabeth Doull, and Janet, who married James 
Calder, merchant in Wick, whose son, Benjamin, in 
Mountpleasant, Thurso, and of the Customs, was father 
of the late General Patrick Doull Calder of the Royal 
Engineers. 

Grizzel Doull, a niece of Patrick DouU of Oldfield, 
married David Andrew, and had a son, Patrick, whose 
only son. Sir William Patrick Andrew, is Chairman of 
the Scinde and Punjab Railway. 



THE GORDONS OF SWINEY. 

The Gordons of Charles Gordon, ancestor of this family, " having 
'*"'^^' acquired considerable means by a long course of industry," 

purchased the estate of Pulrossie, in Sutherlandshire. 
This property he sold to Mr. Dempster of Skibo, and in 
1789 he purchased the estate of Swinzie or Swiney from 
Captain Patrick Sinclair of Durran, as administrator for 
his son, Patrick Sinclair Sutherland of Swinzie, for £5500. 
The conveyance was taken to his eldest son, Lieutenant 
John Gordon, who was thus the first Gordon of Swiney. 
John Gordon had five sons and two daughters : — 

1. Lieutenant John Gordon, who had a son, John. 

2. Dr. M'Kay Gordon, who settled in South America. 

3. Charles. 

4. George. 

5. WilKam. 

1. Mrs. Young. 

2. Mrs. Gunn, RisgUl. 

Under an entail executed by Mr. Gordon, he was 
succeeded by his natural son, Major-General James 
Gordon of Munsary, who died vmmarried in 1867. Upon 
his death the succession opened up to John Gordon's 



THE GORDONS OF SWINEY. 327 

great-grandson, descended from his eldest son, Lieutenant The Gordons of 
John Gordon. 

John M'Kay Gordon of Swiney, grandson of Lieu- 
tenant John Gordon by his only son, John, died soon after 
his succession unmarried, and was succeeded by his 
brother, George Montagu. 

George Montagu Gordon of Swiney sold the estate 
in 1877 to the Duke of Portland. 



THE KENNEDYS OF STEOMA.^ 



The Kennedys 
of Stroma. 



In 1659 John Kennedy, designed as sometime 
elder of Kermucks, got from the Earl of Caithness a 



^ In the MS. diary of Bishop Robei-t 
Forbes, who visited Caithness in 1762, 
there is the following statement regard- 
ing Stroma and the Kennedys : — 

" This island is famous for having 
dead bodies of men, women, and chil- 
dren, above ground, entire, and to be 
seen for 70 or 80 years, free of all cor- 
ruption, without embalming or any art 
whatsoever, but owing, it is thought, to 
the plenty of nitre that is there. The 
bodies become very brownish with 
length of time, but so that the visage 
is discernible by any friend or acquaint- 
ance that ever had seen the person 
alive. I looked over the ferry of two 
miles (from John o' Groat's) often to 
the burial-place close upon the shore of 
Stroma, which is a small house like a 
dovecote, the roof being now off aud 
the door broken to pieces, for being 
informed that the bodies were now 
under ground I did not cross the ferry 
to view it. This little repository for 
the dead was built by one Dr. Kennedy 
of Cairnmuck, as they term it in Caith- 
ness, but I take it to be Kenmuck, as 
there is such a place in Aberdeenshire, 



from which country it is said he fled 
to Stroma for homicide, having killed 
one Forbes of the family of Foveran. 
Upon this island the doctor made out a 
small habitation for himself by build- 
ing a snug house of two stories and well 
slated, and he ordered his body to be 
deposited in the little house which he 
had erected for that purpose, standing 
by itself. His body was to be seen 
here for many years, and would have 
been so still had it not been for his son, 
Murdoch Kennedy, who played such 
wretched tricks on the body of his 
father, for the diversion of strangers, 
as in time broke it to pieces. He used 
to place strangers at liis father's feet, 
and by setting a foot on one of his 
father's, made tlie body spring up 
speedily and salute them, which sur- 
prised them greatly. Then after laying 
the body down again, he beat a march 
upon the belly which sounded equally 
loud with a drum. William Suther- 
land of Wester particularly informed 
me that about forty years ago (about 
1700), he was in Murdoch's house, the 
same buUt by his father, aud with him 



THE KENNEDYS OF STROMA. 329 

wadset of liis lands in Stroma, including the Nethertown The Kennedys 
of Stroma, and the family of the Kennedys remained in 
possession until 1721. 

John Kennedy appears to have been a grandson of 
Lady BuchoUie, and to have married Janet, eldest 
daughter of William Forbes of Craigievar. The wadset 
of Stroma was taken to him and his wife. He had 
several children. 

In 1672 Margaret and Jean Kennedy, two of his 
daughters, disponed portions of the wadset to "John 
Kennedy, elder of Stroma;" and in 1685 John Kennedy, 
" younger of Kermucks," disponed the Nethertown of 
Stroma to John, " elder of Stroma," and his wife, Jean 
M'Kenzie, sister of Sir Alexander M'Kenzie of Broomhill. 

The connection between the three John Kennedys, 
namely, John, " sometime elder of Kermucks," John, 
" elder of Stroma," and John, " younger of Kermiicks," 
does not appear, but John Kennedy, elder of Stroma, 
seems to have acquu-ed the whole wadset lands, and to 
have conveyed them in 1687 and 1688 to his brother-in- 
law, Sir Alexander M'Kenzie. In 1713 Sir Alexander 
disponed the Nethertown of Stroma to his nephew, Mur- 
doch Kennedy, son of John, and about 1721 the lands 
were acquired by William Sinclair of Freswick. 

went to the burying-place, where he wit- dried haddocks, as he termed it. 
nessed him thus beating a march, and Wester's son (John Sutherland), a mar- 
saw several other bodies entire, particu- ried man, told me that only about twelve 
larly some bodies of children, hanging years ago (1750) he was in Stroma and 
by nails and pins upon the walls like saw then Dr. Kennedy's body entire." 

2 T 



THE SINCLAIRS OF KIRK AND 
MYRELANDHORN. 

The sinciairs of I^ 1592 Heurj Sinclair in Canisbay got a charter 
Kirk and Myre-£jQjj^ the Earl of Caithness of part of Kirk and Myre- 

landhorn. 

landhorn. In 1582 there is mention in the Earl of 
Caithness' testament of Henry Sinclair, his servitor, who 
may have been the Henry Sinclair of 1592. Henry 
Sinclair of Kirk had two sons : — 

1. James. 

2. David in Olrig. 

James Sinclair got a charter from his father in 1627, 
and was succeeded by his brother, David. 

David Sinclair, only lawful brother, got a precept of 
dare constat in 1667, and was succeeded by his son, 
John. 

John Sinclair got a disposition from his father in 
1669, and a charter of novo-damus from the Bishop in 
1680. John Sinclair was " servitor to Sir William Sharp, 
Keeper of the Signet," and he seems afterwards to have 
been a merchant in Edinburgh. 

In 1643 William Sinclair, elder, merchant in Thurso, 
got a wadset from James Sinclair, and had a son, Thomas, 



THE SINCLAIES OF KIRK AND MYRELANDHORN. 331 

who again had a son, Wilham. They adjudged Kirk and The sinciairs of 
Myreland, and in 1680 William Sinclair disponed these laudhom. ^'^^ 
lands to John Sinclair, who sold them to John Sinclair 
of Barrock. Nisbet mentions the arms of " Thomas 
Sinclair, lawful son to WiUiam Sinclair, merchant in 
Thurso, of the family of Caithness." These may have 
been the same Sinciairs who apprised Kirk and Myreland, 
and who may have been connected with the Sinciairs 
descended from Henry Sinclair in Canisbay, who got the 
lands from the Earl of Caithness. 



THE SUTHERLANDS OF WESTER 
TheSuther- In 1633 John, Master of Berriedale, granted to Mr. 

lands of Wester. 

John Stewart, minister of Wick, a wadset of the lands of 
Wester or Westerloch and North KUimster. This 
wadset was acquired by — 

1. William Sutherland (of the family of Sutherland 
of Forse and of Langwell), who was the eldest son of 
David Sutherland in Ausdale (third son of William 
Sutherland or M'Ean, first of Langwell), and Catharine 
Poison, his first wife, as appears from a bond of provision 
in his favour by his father, dated in 1697.^ 

2. John Sutherland of Wester succeeded his father, 
William, and married Anne, daughter of Alexander 
Innes (the younger brother of Harry Innes of Sandside), 
and died about the end of last century, leaving a son, 
Alexander, and five daughters. 

1 From the ms. diary of Bishop tably entertained by the " honest old 

Robert Forbes it ajjpears that on his Trojan and his wife, sister to the Rev. 

visit to Caithness in 1762 he saw John MacLachlan's first wife, Betty 

William Sutherland of Wester, of whom Sutherland." At this period Wester's 

he speaks highly, describing him as a son and successor, John, was married 

man of reading, who had been bred to and had children, two of whom were 

the sea and seen much of the world, confirmed by the Bishop. 
He states himself to have been hospi- 



THE SUTHERLANDS OF WESTER. 333 

3. Alexander Sutherland of Wester was in early life The sather- 
an officer in the army, and his father having left his 
affairs in an involved condition, he was reduced to a 
state of poverty, and died about 1821. The reversion 
or right to redeem the wadset had been acquii'ed by 
the Hempriggs family, on the sale of the Caithness 
estates, and after much litigation with Sir Benjamin 
Dunbar, Alexander Sutherland gave up possession of 
North Kilimster, and took a lease of Wester at a rent 
equal to the interest of the wadset sum, payment of 
which was postponed for many years. It was ultimately 
paid to the Sandside family, who had come to be in right 
of it. 



MAJOE-GENEEAL ST. CLAIE. 

Major-General 1n November 1870 the late Dr. Mill, then senior 
magistrate of Thurso, received a letter from the Secretary 
of the Western Eeserve Historical Society, Cleveland, 
Ohio, asking information regarding the early life and 
parentage of Arthur St. Clair, described as a distinguished 
American officer, who died in 1818, and for whose bio- 
graphy the Society was collecting materials. The Secre- 
tary stated that the General was bom at Thurso in 1734, 
that he went to America in 1754 or 1755 with Admiral 
Boscawen, that he joined the army in one or other of 
these years, that he was the second son of his father, 
and had received a good education, and was believed to 
have studied medicine, but had abandoned it. He was 
further said to have corresponded with relatives, includ- 
ing the late Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster, in Thurso and 
Edinburgh. 

From a copy of the New York Daily Tribune, of 28th 
April last, we observe that under the title of " The St. 
Clair Papers," a memorial of the General, in two volumes, 
has been published containing lengthened notices of his 
services, and of the stirring events in which he was 



MAJOR-GENERAL ST. CLAIR. 33.5 

engaged in America from 1755 to 1763; in the American Major-Generai 
Revolution, and in the Indian wars of the South-west. 

In regard to the General's birthplace and early history, 
the Tribune states that he was " born of a noble family 
in the town of Thurso, Caithness, Scotland, in the year 
1734. He studied at the University of Edinburgh as a 
preparation for professional life, and was indentured to 
the famous physician, William Hunter of London. But 
he had inherited the martial temper of his race, and at 
twenty-three he abandoned medicine for an ensign's 
commission in the Royal Regiment of Foot." 

On receipt of the communication to Dr. Mill in 1870, 
referred to, an endeavour was made to trace the General's 
family in Caithness. In searching the Kii-k Session 
books of Thurso, the register of baptisms does not 
record any Arthm- Sinclair in 1734 ; but on 24th March 
1736 there is the foUowmg entry: "WiUiam Sinclair, 
merchant in town, had his son Arthur (who was born 
about five o'clock in the afternoon of the preceding day) 
baptized by the Rev. Mr. William Innes, minister here." 

At this period there was in Thurso WiUiam Sinclair, 
merchant, a grandson of James Sinclair, second laird 
of Assery, whose father, John, first of Assery, was a 
son of Sir James Sinclair of Murkle, of the Caithness 
family. Possibly, then. General St. Clair may have been 
the son of William Sinclair, merchant in Thurso. Admiral 
Boscawen sailed for America in 1758, and if the General 
accompanied him, as he is said to have done, and was 



336 MAJOR-GENERAL ST. CLAIR. 

Major-Generai bom ill 1736, he "would be then about twenty-two years 
of age, and the Tribune states his age to have been 
twenty- three when he got his commission. 

If General St. Clair was, as is supposed above, of the 
family of Sinclairs of Assery, there would be relationship 
with Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster, although very distant, 
by the marriage of George Sinclair of Assery, the General's 
grand-uncle, to a lady of the Ulbster family. 

The following extracts are from the article in the 
Tribune above referred to : — 

" He was with Amherst at Louisburg, where he won by his 
gallantry promotion to the rank of lieutenant, and under Wolfe 
the following year he carried the British colours on the Plains of 
Abraham. After the siege of Quebec he married a daughter of 
the Bayards of Boston, who brought him a dowry of £14,000 
inherited from her maternal grandfather, James Bowdoin. In 
1764 he removed with his young wife to a iine landed estate in 
the picturesque Ligonier Valley of Western Pennsylvania, where 
several Scotch families of consequence had already settled. Here 
he filled a number of prominent civil positions, and took an active 
part in the boundary disputes between Pennsylvania and Virginia. 
A man like St. Clair, with a military reputation and distinguished 
in civil life, could not long remain in obscurity as the spirit of 
resistance against the mother country gathered head in the 
colonies, and in December 1775 he resigned Iiis civil offices, took 
leave of his wife and children, and as the event proved, of his 
fortune, and repaired to Philadelphia on a summons from President 
Hancock. In January he raised a regiment, and in May he 
reached Quebec at a critical time, and covered the retreat of the 



MAJOR-GENERAL ST. CLAIR. 337 

imperilled army. Through the disastrous days which followed Major-Generai 
Colonel St. Clair rendered efficient service until the wearied, ^'' *"''"''■ 
weakened, plague-smitten and demoralised forces were brought 
into camp on the banks of Lake Champlain. On the 9th of 
August 1776 St. Clair was made a Brigadier-General by Congress, 
and later in the year was ordered to leave the Northern Depart- 
ment and join Washington in the Jerseys. During the trials and 
hardships of the dark winter which followed, when the genius of 
Washington shone out so brightly at last, St. Clair was one of the 
faithful and trusted advisers of the Commander-in-chief, and took 
a conspicuous part in the operations which were crowned with 
triumph at Trenton and Princeton. It was in recognition of his 
distinguished services in this campaign that he was commissioned a 
Major-General in February, and assigned once more to command in 
the North. On the 12th of June he took command of Ticonderoga, 
and was subjected to much cruel censure for abandoning that post 
twenty-four days later, when his works were commanded by the 
guns of the enemy nearly 8000 strong, against less than half that 
number of his own ill equipped and worse armed troops. The 
skilful retreat from Ticonderoga was followed as a natural sequence 
by the decisive victory at Saratoga, and St. Clair, although sus- 
pended for a time from command, became a member of Washing- 
ton's military family. He participated in the battle of Brandy wine, 
shared the sufferings at Valley Forge, was a member of the court- 
martial which tried Andr^ and the closing days of the war found 
him marching to the support of Greene in South Carolina. Equally 
efficient in civil and military life, he was elected President of 
Congress and Governor of the North-western Territory, a post 
which he held for fourteen years, and under his administrative 
control the broad foundations of coming States were securely laid 
and established in the freedom and education guaranteed by the 
2u 



338 MAJOR-GENERAL ST. CLAIR. 

Major-Generai great charter. He was removed iu 1802 by President Madison, 
and returned to Pennsylvania in his old age, to find his fortunes 
wasted, while the Government which he had served pleaded the 
statute of limitations to escape reimbursing him for money 
advanced to prevent Washington's army from melting away. He 
had become responsible while administering Indian affairs for 
certain supplies, and this amount was also refused, at first on the 
ground of an informality in his accounts, and when this was 
rectified, the statute was pleaded once more. His property, a 
valuable one for those times, was finally forced to a sale, and the 
old soldier and his family were reduced to want. In a log house 
on a bleak ridge by the side of the old State road from Bedford to 
Pittsburg, and almost iu sight of the broad acres which once were 
his, Lewis Cass found him at the age of fourscore supporting his 
family by selling ' supplies ' to the wagoners who travelled that 
highway. One day in August 1818, when eighty-four years old, 
he was discovered lying insensible by the side of a rough and 
lonely road, where he had fallen from his wagon while on the way 
to a neighbouring town to procure some flour and other necessaries. 
He never rallied from the shock, and died on the last day of 
summer." 



LIST OF HERITORS AND WADSETTERS. 

The following List of Heritors and Wadsetters in the ust of Heritors 
county of Caithness in the seventeenth century is taken "° 
chiefly from a Decreet obtained in 1675, by Sinclair of 
Mey, against the Heritors and Inhabitants of the 
Earldom : — 

William Budge of Toftingall. 

William Budge of Easterdale. 

William Bruce of StaustiU. 

John Bruce of Ham. 

David Bruce of Lyth. 

John Bruce of Hastigrow. 

William Bruce of Seater. 

David Coghill of that Ilk. 

James Cunningham of Brownhill. 

Donald Campbell of Lybster. 

Patrick Buey Campbell of Quoycrook. 

Alexander Campbell of Comliefoot. 

Laurence and Charles Calder of Lynegar. 

Laurence and William Calder of Galshfield. 

Alexander Calder of Newton. 

Alexander Calder in Strath. 

Marcus Calder in Strath. 

Alexander Calder of Holland. 

Andrew Calder, Portioner of Banniskirk. 



340 LIST OF HERITORS AND WADSETTERS. 

List of Heritors Donald Calder of Achahoy. 

andWadsetters. p^^-^ g^^^^^ ^^ (.^^^^^ ^^ Scouthel. 

William Dunbar of Hempriggs. 
John Davidson of Achingills. 
John Doull of Thuster. 
Donald Groat of Warse. 
Malcolm Groat, Portioner of Duncansbay. 
Finlay Groat, Portioner of Duncansbay. 
George Gunn of Braemore. 
William Henderson of Nottingham. 
David Henderson of Gersay. 
John Henderson, Portioner of Brabsterdorrau. 
Donald Henderson of Achalibster. 
George Innes of Oust. 
Walter Innes of Skaill. 
William Innes of Isauld. 
Eobert Innes of Shebster. 
James Innes of Sandside. 
James Innes of Thursater. 
^ James Innes of Borrowstown. 

John Kennedy of Stroma. 
James Murray of Pennyland. 
David Murray of Clairden. 
Richard Murray of Scotscalder. 
Eobert Munro of Borlum. 
Magnus Movvat of Buchollie. 
Alexander Mowat of Swinzie. 
Donald Manson, Portioner of Dunnet. 
George Mearns of Occumster. 
George Sutherland of Forse. 
William Sutherland of Lanswell. 



LIST OF HERITORS AND WADSETTERS. 341 

Sir William Sinclair of Mey. ^.t of Heritor., 

Alexander Sinclair of Stemster. and Wadsetters. 

David Sinclair of Southdun. 

William Sinclair of Dunn. 

James Sinclair of Lybster. 

John Sinclair of Brims. 

James Sinclair of Stangergill. 

Eobert Sinclair of Duren. 

George Sinclair of Olrig. 

George Sinclair of Barrock. 

James Sinclair of Freswick. 

James Sinclair of Assery. 

William Sinclair of Forsie. 

William Sinclair of Thura. 

Francis Sinclair of Stirkoke. 

William Sinclair of Dunbeath. 

Alexander Sinclair of Telstane. 

William Sinclair of Gillock. 

James Sinclair of Ausdale. 

John Sinclair of Brabster. 

George Sinclair of Forss. 

John Sinclair of Ulbster. 

Sir George Sinclair of Clyth. 

John Sinclair of Eattar. 

William Sinclair of Hoy. 

John Sinclair of Murkle. 

John Sinclair of HoUandmake. 

Alexander Sinclair of Dalganachan. 

William Younger of Dwarick. 

Andrew Williamson of Achorlie. 

Donald Williamson of Banniskirk. 



T. AND A. CONSTABLE, PBINTEES TO HER MAJESTT. 



AITHNESS 

FAMILY 

HISTORY 



ANDERSON 




3 1197 21318 5264 



Date Due 




Brighamyou,gUn,Ve„i^ 




'm 



i^lijji)!:;!'':;:;:;':'''';"''''™ 

;p!;!;;;;;;>:v'':-. 





i'j'M 



W^^Mi