The Sinclair Family
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewski, B.F.A.

Scotland and the Holy Grail
The Sinclair Family

Read About Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn was the Chapel of the Holy Grail.

This image is from The Clans of the Scottish Highlands by R.R. McIan (1845)

Scots in the Americas:

The St. Clairs were among the families that supported William the Conqueror in 1066 and this is how they received their holdings in Scotland. Shortly after moving, they changed their name to the Scottish Sinclair. In 1162, Henry Sinclair received land in Haddington. In 1280, William Sinclair was given the barony of Rosslyn, and they lived in Roslin Castle. William was the son of Robert St. Clair of Normandy, and many think they are of the same lines as the Haddington Sinclairs.

A Scottish earl, Henry Sinclair, reached America in June 1398, by landing in Nova Scotia (New Scotland). He met Micmac natives. They called this area "Acadie" meaning "fertile land." Although many purists still think that Columbus discovered America, there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The Vikings and the Scots were easily the first on this planet.

Henry Sinclair, the earl of the Orkneys [the islands off the northernmost point of Scotland]. The Orkneys were inhabited by the Scots, Picts, and before that the Norse settlers. The Sinclairs owned large amounts of land in Scotland. The Sinclairs built their first castle, at Roslin, in the eleventh century on College Hill. College Hill is the site of the present Rossyln Chapel, and it was re-built during the life of William St. Clair. Sir William returned to Roslin, in 1302, from the battle of Roslin Moor. The Chapel was founded by Sir William St. Clair/Sinclair, the last earl of Orkney. It is thought that Sir William belonged to the Order of the Knights of Santiago (represented by the Cockle) and the Order of the Golden Fleece, and exclusive Order founded by the Duke of Burgundy.

The Sinclairs supported Robert the Bruce. Sir William Sinclair was killed in southern Spain (along with Sir James Douglas) while carrying the Bruce's heart into battle against the Moors.

St. Clair/Sinclair was a patron of craftmasonry throughout Europe, a Grand Master and an adept of the highest degree. William's son was named Oliver Sinclair.

In 1390, Henry Sinclair wanted to sail to the Americas. The Sinclairs had Norse connections through marriage, and thus knew of Viking trips across the Atlantic. They also had connections to the famous French family of noblemen: the Sires de Coucy (DeCourcy). The Sinclairs were a family of the sea.

Their were two Henry Sinclairs: Henry Sinclair, the First earl of Orkney, and his son, Henry, who was an attendant to Prince James (later known as James I).

William Sinclair was accompanied by Sir James Gunn, and Antonio Zeno on his trans-Atlantic voyage. Sir James Gunn died on the trip, and his body is thought to be buried in a shallow grave in Massachusetts. Rosslyn Chapel was begun in 1446 and completed in the 1480's. The Knights Templar were the guardians of the Grail Family and the Stone of Destiny (Stone of the Covenant) which was moved to Scone Abbey. This stone was used to swear in Scottish kings. Edward I tried to steal the stone, which was hidden by the Cisterian Abbott of Scone in 1296.

The Sinclair Clan Crest


MacKinnon, Charles. Scottish Highlanders. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1992.

Sora, Steven. The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar: Solving the Oak Island Mystery Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books, 1999.

Wallace-Murphy, Tim and Marilyn Hopkins. Rosslyn: Guardian of the Secrets of the Holy Grail. Boston: Element, 1999

Sinclair Links:

The Clan Sinclair Sinclair Family Genealogy Forum Castles Girnigoe and Sinclair Pictures of Scotland-Rosslyn Castle and other Sinclair related sites
The Sinclair Expedition to North America - 1398 Sinclair History and Genealogy Sinclair Seal Sinclairs of Caithness


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Last updated on December 7, 2017

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