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Another Admiral Sinclair

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TO:   Sinclair list: sinclair@zilker.net
      and Douglas Nicholson
From: Robert Sinclair Rodger, Halifax, Nova Scotia:
Date: 27 June 1998
Subj: Another Admiral Sinclair

There is a fairly recent (Royal Navy) Admiral Sinclair that
followers of "Admiral Sinclair and his fortune" might like to
hear about.  I do not think he was related to Douglas
Nicholson's (Dlnbn@aol.com) Admiral, but the history may be of
interest nevertheless.

John Gordon Sinclair was born on 30 or 31 July 1790; probably
in or near Fort George, Inverness where his father Sir Robert
Sinclair (5th Nova Scotia Baronet of Stevenson) was Lieutenant-
Governor.  His mother, Madelina, was the 2nd daughter of
Alexander, the 4th Duke of Gordon.

Sir Robert died on 4 August 1795; so the 5-year-old John became
Sir John, the 6th baronet of the line.  At the incredible age of
9 years and 1 month (on 1 September 1799), Sir John joined the
Royal Navy and served for a time with Horatio, Lord Nelson, on
the "Victory".  He spent 63 years in the Royal Navy; becoming
Lieut on 7 Jul 1809, Com on 18 Aug 1812, Capt on 6 Jun 1814,
R-Adm on 8 Jun 1849, V-Adm on 17 Oct 1856, and Adm on 5 Aug 1861.
He died on 13 Nov 1863 and is buried with his wife and other
family members inside St Mary's Collegiate Church in Haddington,
which is near the Stevenson estate in East Lothian, Scotland.

Sir John was appointed to command the 18-gun brig-sloop "Redwing"
on 13 Aug 1812 and distinguished himself in two actions in 1813,
for which he was officially commended and which won much public
approbation.  Thus on 18 Aug 1813, at Morjean harbour (between
Marseilles and Toulon), the Redwing and the Kite, in spite of
fire from four batteries that protected the entrance to the bay,
swept themselves in and took a most judicious position for
covering the marines: who carried the citadel battery by
escalade.  The boats under the direction of Captain Sir John
Sinclair of the Redwing, then entered the mole, across the
entrance to which two heavy gun-boats were moored, and captured
them as well as a third gun-boat and 24 merchant-settees and

Sir John was succeeded by his son, Sir Robert Charles Sinclair,
who died on 5 May 1899 without issue; so the title passed to his
second cousin, once removed, Maj Gen Graeme Alexander Lockhart of
Cambusnethan, Lanark.  At his matriculation in the Court of the
Lord Lyon, on 5 May 1901, he took the title Sir Graeme Alexander
Sinclair-Lockhart Bart.   He had been known as Lockhart because
he was part of the family of Dame Martha Lockhart (Lady
Castlehill) who was the wife of the 4th Sinclair baronet of
Stevenson, and she had entailed her own considerable estate
(Castlehill, Stonehouse, and Cambusnethan) to some of her younger
sons and their descendants, who took her name Lockhart.  Martha
belonged also to quite a notable family (e.g. the Lockharts are
the true holders of the "Talisman" about which Sir Walter Scott

Sir Graeme was mentioned in dispatches for his gallantry at the
Battle of Lucknow, and created a Companion of the Most Honourable
Order of the Bath.  He was Colonel of the 78th Highlanders (the
Ross-shire Buffs) and his decorations are in the museum of that
regiment's depot - Fort George, Inverness - of all places!

I knew nothing of all this when I was a young soldier doing
primary training in Fort George during World War II.

The beautiful waters of the Moray Firth almost lap the walls of
Fort George, and I sometimes wonder if Admiral Sir John Gordon
Sinclair acquired his love of the sea from boating on the Firth,
as I did during my six weeks there.

It makes genealogy easier if you have the good fortune to have
titled people among your ancestors, because you can then find out
a good deal about them from books such as Burke's Peerage and
Baronetage, or Debrett's Peerage.  But one would be ill-advised
to accept every word in those books as gospel truth, because they
are subject to error.  For example, my great grandmother Frances
Charlotte Mercer Lockhart (Sir Graeme's sister) appears to have
been unmarried (according to Burke's 1922 edition); but her
husband, Robert Swan, reported that they married in Edinburgh on
7 May 1851.  That same edition says the 4th Sinclair baronet of
Stevenson died in 1752: in fact he died in September 1726, it
was his wife Martha (Lockhart) who died in 1752 at the good age
of 82.

I think it would be a great idea if those consulting this
Sinclair mailing list were to keep good records of their own
lives, because there will likely be some descendants (direct or
indirect) who will find your life to be quite interesting: Tom
Middlemass's "An Immigrant's Journey" accessible from the
Sinclair page (pas1.erols.com/sinclair) is a wonderful example
of what I wish I had from my great grand-parents.

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