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

October 15, 1996 Issue

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

Plans being made for Memorial in Advocate

Rev. David Chisling, pastor of the United Church, Nova Scotia, reports that funds are being raised for a memorial in the village of Advocate. It will recognize not only Prince Henry Sinclair, but also others, including the Micmacs and the French under Champlain, who founded the area. When the giant Provincial park opens in Cape Chignecto in 1998, with its 8000 acres of beauty, they anticipate a major celebration in coordination with the 600th anniversary of Prince Henry.

``Henry St. Clair'' ship

During the Summer months, communications were very poor with our Scottish partners at the University of Edinburgh. Now the situation seems to have improved, according to both Chris Minty and Neil Stewart. Revised plans were completed a month ago, and they have been submitted to Lloyds of London for insurance underwriting. A copy of those plans is in our hands. Solicitation efforts have increased in Great Britain, with the objective of securing enough funds to enable them to lay the keel of the ship in December.

The reasons for modifying the original design researched and drawn by Iain Oughtred were based upon safety and modernization factors. Compliance with the tests of The British Department of Trade & Industry requires a change in the Sail Plan. According to Captain Neil Stewart, the sail area will have to be about 1800 square feet, rather than 900, as in Oughtred's plan. In order to accomplish this, he plans to have a square mainsail with a fore and aft jib and mizzen. Also, he intends to add a triangular ``raffee'' topsail. It is planned that to make the sail safe to reef, the square sail will be lowered to the deck and disconnected from the mast so that the yard can be stretched along the deck with both ends inboard. The mainmast will be 13-1/2 inches in diameter, round and hollow, about 58-feet tall. The hollow construction will allow electrical wiring for the radar to pass out of sight. In Stewart's words, ``The vessel should have a magnificent and dramatic appearance.''

600th Celebration Committee

A dedicated group of 15 persons has met nearly every month to guide the world-wide planning process for the 600th anniversary of the 1398 Expedition. It has printed this newsletter, prepared various informative fliers, and founded two Web Sites. Contact with many organizations has resulted in beneficial exchange of information. All efforts are voluntary. Printing and mailing have recently been supported by the contributions of Bronze Sponsors. This is a team effort, and we thank everyone concerned.

Availability of Medieval Galleys

Fourteenth century Scottish galleys, or Viking-type ships, are available in several places today. Shown here is one at anchor in Lerwick Harbor in Shetland. Behind it is the large P&O ferry by the name ``St. Clair'', which operates regularly between Aberdeen and Shetland. The proposed ``Henry St. Clair'' Scottish Galley is similar, except for the side-mounted rudder, common in the Viking days. In Prince Henry's time, the rudder was rear-mounted.

Impressive presentation

The auditorium of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, NS, was filled to capacity non the evening of September 24th. It was a public presentation about Prince Henry., sponsored by the Clan Sinclair Societies of Nova Scotia and Canada. Elizabeth Ross, former Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Heritage Society, was the featured speaker. Having resided briefly at Rosslyn Castle, she has personally followed the foot steps of Prince Henry throughout Scotland, Orkney, Shetland, and Nova Scotia. Her presentation captured the flavor and ambience of 14th Century Europe. In the background the sounds of Medieval music was heard. Following slides of Prince Henry's castles in Europe, she illustrated his sojourn in Nova Scotia. Jim S. Clair rendered an excellent reading of the Glooscap Legends. We thank William E. Sinclair for this report.

New discovery!

Niven Sinclair reports that with the help of Dr. Jonathan Wills, who has sailed the waters of Shetland for over 28 years, Prince Henry's castle in Shetland was found! The effort required aerial scouting by helicopter. Thirty-seven possible sites were narrowed down to three. Then, by foot, the one site was located. The foundations of the 14th century castle are clearly visible. The BBC camerman filmed from the air and from the sea. In Niven's words, ``The discovery of this castle and adjacent bay allows us to complete our understanding of Henry's historic voyage to the New World in 1398. We know his exact point of departure and his place of landfall, Guysborough, in Nova Scotia.''

Information Sources

The Internet is a new source for a very wide range of information, including Prince Henry! Many thanks are deserved by John Olin and John S. Quarterman for their many hours of time and skill in maintaining our Web Sites. At last count there were 22 Web Sites where one can find information related to our Medieval hero. For your convenience some are listed below:

Donations will help!

The expense of conducting a celebration for the 600th anniversary of Prince Henry's epic voyage must be raised from voluntary contributions. A sizeable amount is needed for building the full-sized Replica of the Sinclair boat. Also, mailing & printing costs by this 600th Celebration Committee need to be covered.

Three levels of contribution have been established. The Bronze Sponsor ($40 per calendar year) covers a subscription for this ``600th Celebration News'', as well as a commemorative scroll and an invitation to one of several Celebration parties. The Silver Sponsor ($1500 one-time gift) receives the above, plus their name or logo will be placed on a pennant flag flying fore or aft on the ship's rigging. The Gold Sponsor ($15,000 or above one- time gift) also will have its name or logo emblazoned on the mainsail and on a large shield, carried by crew members and displayed on the ship. (Benefits relating to the ship are dependant upon the success of its building and sailing.)

Contributions are tax exempt in Scotland, but not in the United States nor Canada, unless special arrangements are made for Silver or Gold restricted gifts.


Please make out your check for Bronze Membership to ``St. Clair Voyage 1398'' and send it today to
Pete Cummings,
PO Box 158,
Worcester, MA, 01613.
Clan Sinclair .
Last update: 99/06/20 11:36:49