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Re: "Wicked Earl George"
At 06:10 PM 6/30/1999 -0500, David Bouschor wrote:
>There is great doubt that the story of the Master of Sinclair dying in a
>Girnigoe Dungeon. It was written by Gordon who had an axe to grind with the
>Sinclairs as his Chief was Sutherland and at that time Sinclair and
>Sutherland were not getting along. There is much spurious history
>attributed to the North because of Gordon. There is ample evidence to show
>the Master of Sinclair (oldest son) lived his last years in Knockinnon
>Castle, staying out of the way of his father. He was a gentle soul and his
>father was not. The Master is buried in the Sinclair Aisle in th Wick
>Churchyard. One must be careful to note who is writing the History.
> Yours Aye, David
My original message was not intended to confirm the "story" about the death in
the Girnigoe dungeon of John Sinclair, Master of Caithness. There was only one
brief line about this event. My message was mainly about John's son, George,
the 5th Earl of Caithness. Are you suggesting that this story was also untrue?
I did carefully note who wrote the piece I quoted--it was John T. Calder. Was
Calder also biased against the Sinclairs? Was "Wicked Earl George" an unfair
nickname? Was George also a "gentle soul" like his father? I am sure that
many of these histories were somewhat exaggerated after being passed down
through several generations of oral history and I agree that we should take
them with a bit of caution.
In the last paragraph of my note I quoted Calder's caution: "Earl George,
tyrannical conduct, had procured himself many enemies, and it is quite possible
that his faults may have been thereby much exaggerated. Some of the crimes at
least with which he was charged were never fully proved against him; and it is
clear, from the whole course of his history, that he had a very bitter enemy in
Sir Robert Gordon."
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