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Re: Selling castle for taxes

>At 11:44 09/08/99 -0400, you wrote:
>>The only story I know of concerns George Sinclair, the 6th Earl of Caithness,
>>who mortgaged his estates to John Campbell of Glenorchy. George Sinclair of
>>Keiss eventually got them back through royal decree. Not being an expert like
>>the other marvelous people on this list, I hope I have provided what you may
>>be looking for. By the way the mortaging of the estates took place in the
>>late 1600s.
>>[ This is the Sinclair family discussion list, sinclair@mids.org
>>[ To get off or on the list, see http://www.mids.org/sinclair/list.html
>   Johnnye,
>I think you have your George's mixed up.  You have obviously confused 
>George VI with
>George IV.
>It was George IV who sold his Estates to his principal creditor who was 
>Campbell of Glenorchy.


I would seldom think to ask you this about a genealogical matter, but:

Are you sure?  Every other source I've seen says it was George 6th
Earl of Caithness who lost the Earldom through debt and death
to Campbell of Glenorchy.

According to Pete Cummings' data, the fourth Sinclair Earl of Caithness
was George Sinclair b. 1533 d. 1582.

Laurel? Lena? Others?

>His losses were sustained in civil wars.  Writing from Thurso Castle on 
>25th August, 1661 he fully explains the effect of those wars:

Interesting.  Which wars in particular?

> "I can give an accounbt of 200,000 which I have lost to
>Generals Middleton and Morgan besides the burning of my houses which put me 
>in such a conditionthat I had not a place to settle myself in till I
>laid out a thousand pounds to repair the house I live in"
>There were two dispositions in favour of Glenorchy, the first dated 10th 
>June, 1661 and the
>second dated 8th October, 1672 conveying all and sundry, his lands etc. The 
>latter stipulated
>that, in the event on non-redemption, Glenorchy and his heirs would be 
>entitled to use the
>surname of Sinclair and the arms of the House of Caithness.  There can be 
>no doubt that this
>particular clause had been inserted at the request of Campbell of Glenorchy 
>to be used as a pretext
>for the assumption of the title of the Earl of Caithness at a subsequent 
>period which, of course,
>Indeed, when George IV died at Thurso Castle in 1676, his widow (Mary 
>Campbell, the daughter of
>the Marquis of Argyll) immediately married her kinsman, Campbell of 
>Glenorchy who was created
>Earl of Caithness .  (The fickleness of women has no 
>  Glenorchy's right was challenged by George Sinclair of Keiss.  However, 
>the Privy Council
>  upheld Glenorchy's claim and prohibited Keiss from assuming the title of 
>Nevertheless, the people of Caithness were in favour of George Sinclair of 
>Keiss because they regarded
>Glenorchy as an usurpur who had taken advantage of the necessities of 
>George IV to trick him out
>of his lands.  George Sinclair of Keiss maintained his rebellion against 
>Glenorchy eventually invaded Caithness.  The Battle of Altimarlach ensued 
>about which I have already written

And in that writeup you said it was the sixth Earl of Caithness who
owed money to Campbell.

> but, although the Sinclairs were defeated,  Keiss continued 
>to press his case
>and eventually laid siege to Castles Sinclair and Girnigoe which he reduced 
>by firearms and
>artillery to the ruin which we see today.

It had to be a Sinclair to cause such damage to Sinclair castles. :-)

>For this act he was declared a rebel by the Government along with Sinclair 
>of Broynach, Sinclair
>of Thura and Mackay of Strathnaver who had assisted him in his battle 
>against the Campbells.
>Eventually, through the intervention of the Duke of York, Keiss was 
>pardoned and given the Earldom
>of Caithness.   Glenorchy was compensated for his loss  by being made the 
>Earl of Breadalbane                                                and 
>Baron of Wick.  However, the people of Caithness detested him so much 
>because of his
>cruelties at the Battle of Altimarlach  that public opinion forced him to 
>quit Caithness altogether.
>He sold his Caithness lands to the Sinclairs of Ulbster in 1719 who became 
>the largest landowners
>in the County.
>George Sinclair of Keiss, who became George V of Caithness,  (the 45th Earl 
>of Caithness) died
>without issue and was succeeded in the Earldom by his second cousin, Sir 
>John Sinclair of Murkle.
>Thus the title jumped from the Sinclairs of Mey, to the Sinclairs of Keiss 
>to the Sinclairs of Murkle
>and, later, it went over to the Sinclairs of Rattar before coming back 
>again to the Sinclairs of Mey
>only to revert to the Sinclairs of Durran before returning to the senior 
>branch, the Sinclairs of Mey
>( i.e. if you ignore the Broynach Claim).
>If you find all this confusing, you are not alone.  We are truly a mixed up 
>bunch.   Sinclairs married
>other Sinclairs with such regularity that the different branches became 
>inextricably interwoven until
>everyone could claim descent from an Earl of Caithness at some point in 
>their family tree and, believe
>me, they do!!
>Niven Sinclair

John S. Quarterman <jsq@mids.org>
[ This is the Sinclair family discussion list, sinclair@mids.org
[ To get off or on the list, see http://www.mids.org/sinclair/list.html