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Rosslyn Chapel



---------- > From: Nicole <ygrandov@vom.com> > To: sinclair@zilker.net >
Subject: 15th Century Rosslyn Chapel > Date: Wednesday, May 13, 1998 10:22 PM >
 >  > My name is Nicole, I've been getting lots of mail for my boyfriend, Tom >
Sinclair, on my > computer.  I find this very interesting.  I've spoke a person
who has > visited the > Rosslyn Chapel.  He has so much information I can't
even remember all he > talks > when I talk to him.  I'm still trying to figure
out the Royal Scotts and > the Scotts Royal. >   Well, this info comes from the
Chapel Tour pamphlet. > 	Welcome to Roslyn Chapel which was founded in
1446 by William  > Sinclair who was the third and last Sinclair Prince of
Orkney.  William > was fifty when he started the building and was already
considered an old > man.  However, we are fortunate that he lived long enough
to see the > choir area completed and the start of the transepts.  William died
in > 1484.  The correct name for Roslyn Chapel is the Collegiate Church of >
St. Matthew and was to have been built in cruciform shape.  The foundations >
are there for entire building.  The nave extends more than 95 feet from > the
west end of the existing Chapel.  The Chapel is built entirely > of sandstone
which was quarried locally;  the interior has a protective  > wash on it which
gives it a rather uniform color.  The wash was put on > in the 1920s.  The
vaults of the Chapel are extensive and extend the full > length of the
building, running between the two rows of pillars.  Within > these vaults the
knights of the family are lying in their full armour. > The first one to be
buried in this manner was William, the founder, in > 1484, and the last was
also a William Sinclair who was killed at the Battle > of Dunbar in 1650.  Our
research has shown that William, the founder, had > brought some of his
illustrious ancestors to be interred in his lovely > Chapel, notably Sir
William Sinclair of 1297 who was Grand Prior of the > Knights Templars.  His
stone can be seen lying in the north-west corner of  > the Chapel.  Prince
Henry Sinclair, first Prince of Orkney, was born in > the Robin Hood Tower of
Rosslyn Castle in 1345.  He is also interred at  > Rosslyn.  He became known as
the Holy Sinclair and he became the first > Prince of Orkney in 1379.  With the
aid of Templar funding, Henry > commissioned twelve ships to be built for a
voyage of exploration to the  > New World.  He was accompanied by Antonio Zeno,
a member of one of the > most illustrious families in Venice.  Antonio was
Henry's navigator. > Henry sailed to Nova Scotia in 1398. He lived amongst the
MicMac Indians, > teaching them how to fish with nets, and to sow crops, etc. 
He them sailed > down > to the Eastern seaboard to what is now known a
Massachussetts, where his > great friend, Sir James Gunn died.  Henry had Sir
James' effigy carved > on a rock face at Western Massachusetts, which can be
seen to this day. > Henry was murdered shortly after his return to the Orkneys.
 His grandson, > William, had his body brought back to be buried with due
honour and > respect here a Rosslyn.  William commemorated Henry's trip to the
New > World by carving into the stone some of the strange plants that Henry >
brought back with him.  To the right of the south door can be seen the >
American cactus, and on the arch of the second window at the east > end of the
south aisle can be seen Indian sweetcorn.  The other plants > and vegetables
which abound in the Chapel, and in particular the > architraves > and capitals
of the pillars, represent a harvest thanksgiving or a healing > garden.  As you
enter the Chapel, please stand at the crossing facing the > Main Altar.  You
are now looking east.  Look up to the roof.  It is over > 3 feet thick and
divided into five sections.  Starting at the east end you  > have a series of
daisies which represent Innocence.  The next panel are > lillies for Purity -
the Virgin Mary.  The next are flowers open to the sun > adoration.  We then
have roses for Love - Christ.  Lastly, at the west > end we have the stars
which represent the Heavens and amongst those stars > you can see four guardian
angels, the sun, the moon and a dove.  Coming > down to the clerestory area you
can see where there would have been two > rows of statues, twenty-four in all.
These were taken down and possibly > hidden at time of the Reformation.  The
one above the main altar is > a Victorian replacement;  it was put there in
about 1882. >  >  > 		I'll continue later there is so much more. > 
			Nicole

Be careful with this Nicole. You may be breaking UK copyright laws by
reproducing this. I suggest that if anyone is interested in the chapel they
write or e-mail Rosslyn chapel  (I have the e-mail address if anyone wants it )
and requests the excellent guide produced by the Sinclair Earl of Rosslyn which
retails at around 3.50. Its full of fascinating information on Sinclair
history and has some wonderful photos of the chapel, its well worth the small.
fee.

Regards

John.Duguid@snl.co.uk