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Re: emphasis on Norman history

At 08:44 28/06/99 -0700, you wrote:
Dear Laurel,

Believe me, there have always been more women than men.  Men were killed in battle or, in modern times,
by being over fed by their husbands.  The widows went on to marry again. Emma St Clair is a case in point.
She was (1st) married to Ethelred 'the Unready'*who fled to Normandy in 1013 after having been beleaguered
by Danish invaders and (2) she married  King Canute (Knut) of Denmark who had added the English Crown on the
death of Edmund Ironside who he had defeated in 1016.  Knut abandoned his English mistress and sent for Emma
to strengthen his position in England (although she was the daughter of Richard 'the Fearless' Duke of Normandy).
In the circumstances, it seems odd that Ethelred actually sought refuge with Richard when he fled to Normandy
but that is what happened - more particularly as his son, Edgar 'the Atheling' was believed to be the rightful heir
to the English throne (on the death of his great uncle Edward 'the Confessor' in 1066)  Edgar was actually born in
Hungary during the exile in that country of his father, Edward 'the Atheling'.

I hope this helps to clarify the position but, if like me, you have been constantly confused by the array of Edgars,
Ethelreds, Edwards and Edmunds nothing short of a genealogical table really helps.

As to whether we are 'directly' descended from Rollo, the evidence is thin on the ground because a list of his sons
of Richard II show:

Malger (Mauger), the Archbishop of Rouen, who was banished to the Channel Islands by
William ' the Bastard' where he died without issue.
William of Arques, Count of Talou, who also died without issue.

Sons of Richard I show:

Malger, the 3rd son of Richard I who was the Earl of Corbeil and Mortain had a son, William
'the Warling' who was exiled to Apulia and of whom nothing more is heard.
Robert, the 2nd son, who was also the Archbishop of Rouen, left one son, William who had
no known issue.

It is said that William 'the Conqueror' struck down the proud kindred of his father and lifted up the lowly kindred of his
mother.  Experts agree that William 'the Warling' was exiled on the merest suspicion of treason.  A single word
(probably 'bastard') is said to have brought about his exile and disappearance (which usually meant murder).

The Sinclair challenge to William's supremacy had been silenced at the Battle of Val-es-Dunes in 1047 but, after the
Battle of Hastings, it is known that a number of the Norman knights, who had become disenchanted with William's bullying,
deserted him and found their way to Scotland where they took up the cause of Edgar 'the Atheling' who, by that time,
had already arived in Scotland from Hungary with his sister, Margaret, who aggravated matters even further by marrying
the Scottish King, Malcolm Canmore.  Thus, the rift between Scotland and England grew ever wider although there were
a growing number of inter-related Normans (and, ipso facto, St Clairs) on both sides of the boundary line who were to be
found at the forefront of all the border battles.

About two things we can be certain.  Firstly, there were plenty of Normans about so they]didn't all die without issue and,secondly, the Sinclairs must have been directly descended from Rollo to be able to legitimately challenge William 'the Conqueror' for the Duchy of Normandy .  The 'exact' link is likely to remain obscure.  There is no evidence
that any of the three Richards, Dukes of Normandy ever had a daughter, Helene, who was
said to have married Walderne St Clair but the Battle of Val-es-Dunes suggests otherwise.
There was certainly a blood link and, in those days, it was a bloodline which gave the right
to succeed - hence the Sinclair fury when Robert 'the Devil' suggested that his 'bastard' son, William should succeed him.  It is this action which proves the Sinclair lineage beyond any
shadow of doubt.

* Etheldred 'the Unready' is something of a misnomer as the 'Unready' derives from his Anglo-     Saxon nickname which was 'unroed'  which means, as the name readily translates, as 'unread' as opposed to being 'unprepared'.

We are again back to Laurel's poser as to whether 'fighting with' means 'fighting alongside       with' or 'fighting against'.

All too often in history, we find people changing sides on the promise of land, titles and wealth so those who began fighting 'with' end up by fighting 'against'.  Edward I of England would entice the Scottish nobles with promises of land,  titles and wealth in order  to obtain their allegiance.  I am sad to say that a Sinclair was amongst them.  Later   (like many others) he repented and threw his lot in with Wallace and with Bruce and eventually signed the Declaration of Independence at Arbroath in 1320.  Chivalry and fraternity are dead letters when it comes to personal aggrandisement.  Even Churchill changed his political affiliation
to further his own career and probably saved the British nation as a consequence of this

It is a sobering thought to think that our heroes often have feet of clay.

Apologies for the length of this reply.

Niven Sinclair

>Dear Cousins,
>    I confess to being the instigator of so many questions concerning the
>Norman years and transition (titles) into Scotland.  The reason for this
>emphasis is that I'm trying to gather every piece of significant history to
>help piece together this foundation of ALL our ancestry that is being
>presented in a 4 part series in the Yours Aye.  I wanted to keep these in
>chronological order to help people see the continuity and flow of history.
>I know it is making some of you anxious about getting facts about another
>period that concerns or interests you more.  Please bear with me and we will
>get through this together.  More contemporary articles will appear next
> I have had to revise the last article 3 or 4 times as more comes in and
>what I thought was true, needs to be changed completely.  I don't fool
>myself into thinking that what will be in print and on the Clan website will
>be the last word.  I think it will be the duty of all to report any new or
>old research that comes along that provides new insight or new facts so that
>we can update the website.  We don't want to  keep adding layer after layer
>of misinformation if we can find the facts.  There will be times that I will
>give you 2 or more versions of a story so that you can see where we are in
>our knowledge. In this case.  I will not, from this distance of history,
>make a judgement about what is fact or fiction.
>    I feel that there is a goodly chunk that is missing or that someone
>hasn't sent me yet.  It concerns the interaction of the St. Clairs with the
>Capets.  I have just little pieces of sentences that hint at intrigues and
>wonderful stories that would explain the actions of the St Clairs, maybe.
>    Once years ago, I read that Edward the Exile's son was born in Hungary.
>That was all there was in the book.  I just couldn't understand how an
>Englishman got to Hungary?  Many of you know that story (sort of) and see
>that behind a few words is a list of relationships that are entangled in the
>story, Queen Emma (St. Clair). Battle of Hastings, William the Seemly,
>Malcolm Canmore, etc., so too, with Hugh Capet the Great probably beginning
>with his father's generation.
>I do agree with you that it feels like we are belaboring the subject right
>now.  It is really very possible that we don't descend from Rollo or some of
>his descendants at all.  Since there were few women around and many men, who
>can say who the father really was any more than one can really prove today
>that every male in their line was really their ancestor.  But these
>offspring were recognized by the community and raised with the rights and
>titles as if they really were the sons of the Dukes thus they are a product
>of their environment and contributed heavily to the historical records of
>those times.  So how much we can rely on our BLOOD being so great and mighty
>is a debateable subject.  (My opinion)  I don't think that Blood makes a
>person great.  It is how on we conduct ourselves and the moral choices that
>we make that produces either commendable citizens or warts on society.
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