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Re: Castle at the Cross

Dear Ramsay;
Your kind posting I read with respect and interest and an appreciation for your professional discipline. We need more of your profession in many parts of the world. I too was curious and intrigued by the Henry Sinclair voyage and thought that as you raise it, further insights are useful. What has triggered my interest is how Americans as a Society box, glorify and repackage their History. I say this with a sadness that is shared because I am an American as well. For example we were taught about the great explorers and the voyage of Christopher Columbus discovering America. The facts of the matter were that he never saw what is now the United States, he discovered the Caribbean and most importantly the trade winds. With the discovery of the trade winds trips could and were made monthly to the America's. He was not the first and the existence of North America was actually known well before his voyage. The Basques have been coming to fish since 1200, and the Norwegians had been coming since 800 AD. Now, this is where the Historian and the Archeologist must collaborate and work to expand their knowledge together. We knew in Canada about the Viking voyages because they were kept in the songs and poems. It was only in the last 25 years that settlements in Greenland and Newfoundland were discovered and excavated. The Historian and the Archeologist combined their efforts.

I have read extensively about the voyage of Henry Sinclair and have had some fun exploring the story. The abysmal status of the Canadian research is truly sad. Having stated this, I add however the foremost archeological site in all of America is Fort Louisburg in Cape Breton reconstructed at some $25,000,000. Truly remarkable right down to a reconstruction of the Mediterranean cannons used as early as 1398.

Having studied the history from a Canadian perspective, the voyage is both plausible and in my view extremely likely. The King of Norway to which Henry owed allegiance as a Jarl, certainly was aware of the North American settlements as he was of the Greenland settlements. By 1398 they had a 400 year prior history. Now the archeologists have assisted and brought evidence of at least one permanent settlement well before Henry.

Similarly the fishermen of Europe were aware of the Grand Banks but being illiterate were not writing their experience down and the appreciation of longitude was still centuries away. It did not mean that the Grand Banks were not fished but simply we know want to know more.  When Henry came to North America in 1398, Scotland was totally feudal, possessions and empire was not important, and the King barely holding the clans together. If any motivation existed for such a trip, it is my conjecture that he was interested primarily in trees particularly oaks for their ability to be used in the building of ships as all the lumber had been used in Northern Europe for large ship building. Deforestation is not a new phenomenon! Remember that both the relationship of Henry to both Norway and to Robert of Scotland are documented.

I have set forward the foregoing in support for your understanding that the quest for knowledge is an ongoing one, needing effort and work. It is never closed and our personal understanding of history and appreciation of facts are such that we need to be far better focused.

In summary there is in my view excellent evidence that a voyage could have been made and is further totally plausible and supportable by known facts. Talents such as yours are needed by Americans and Canadians to assist in the development of the study of their history. I urge you and all other Sinclairs to support the ongoing quest for knowledge and evidences that contribute not only to our family history, which is a proud one, but also to the need to appreciate the history of North America, which history is poorly taught, and frequently warped by media and Hollywood, and ignores the efforts of the ordinary man in moving forward the progress of civilization.

Thank you for your fine comments and perspectives.

Neil Sinclair
descend Argyll
Toronto Canada.

Ramsey(NOTE)-Styer, Darwin wrote:

Dear Margaret, (She is a Rintoul- lowland Scotch and descendanded from Earl Morton. and puts up with her husbands obsessions with Sinclairs!)
Thank you so much for clarifying this.  I am new to this list (last
Friday, 4-17-98) and really appreciate the explanation.  I am an
archaeologist, as well as a Sinclair, and I truly believe in checking my
facts.  I have had a great deal of trouble believing anything that has
been stated before concerning the exploration of the New World and the
Sinclair involvement because of the lack of documented sources.
(The Zeno diaries are documented and been debated over for a 200 years and I understand over some 100 published papers.) The factual information needs more development which is why Oak Island, Guysborough, Stellerton, and The "Castle" and the Newport Tower, and Westford Knight are very important starting sites. It takes interest and students of science like you and money to bring the facts and knowledge forward. I think it beats animal bones!

You might enjoy the following:
The Colubus Conspiracy by Michael Bradley 1991 isbn 0-88882-131-x Hounslow Press, Toronto Canada.

 (However, all of this undocumented dribble is coming from only one or
two people that don't believe in footnotes. (There are over 6 publications of which I am aware.)  (The above reference does have extensive footnotes)
PS The Ramsay isnt from PEI is it?