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Re: George IV or VI?

The Chapel is just 400 yards north of the Castle.....................Rory
-----Original Message-----
From: John S. Quarterman <jsq@mids.org>
To: sinclair@mids.org <sinclair@mids.org>
Date: Friday, August 13, 1999 10:04 AM
Subject: Re: George IV or VI?

>>Okay, I reread Niven's response to the earldom and noted he referred to
>>George V of Keiss as the 45th Earl of Caithness. Then I realized I had
>>referred to George IV as the 6th Earl of Caithness. Oops. Would George IV
>>have been the 44th Earl of Caithness then?
>Well, that's a different issue.  The large numbers refer to the number of
>earls since the original first Norse Jarl of Orkney and Caithness.
>According to the writeup by Ian Sinclair of Noss Head Lighthouse,
> http://www.mids.org/sinclair/ian.html
> ``The autonomous maritime principality known as the Jarldom of Orkney,
> and the Earldom of Caithness, are the most ancient in geographical
> Britain. The first recorded Earl was the Norwegian Rognvald also
> Earl of Moeri, who was granted the title by King Harald of Norway in
> 871. He was of the House of Odin and started the Norse line. The title
> went to the House of Atholl or Royal Scottish line, the Angus line,
> the Stratherne line before passing to the St. Clair line in 1455. On
> this basis Malcolm is the 58th holder of the Earldom.''
>This is of course the same Rognvald who was the father of Rollo the Viking
>of Normandy fame.
>The smaller numbers, such as George 6th Earl of Caithness refer to the
>number of Sinclair Earls of Caithness since William who built Rosslyn
>resigned the Earldom of Orkney (at the king's request), and became Earl of
>Ian also remarks:
> ``The great stronghold of Girnigoe Castle is the most spectacular ruin
> in the north of Scotland and is built on a high peninsular rock with
> precipitous cliffs to the sea on three sides. A goe derives from the
> Norwegian and means a cave, a rocky creek or inlet or a deep ravine that
> admits the sea. It was, until the invention of the cannon, completely
> impregnable. Built sometime between 1476 and 1496 by William, the 2nd
> Sinclair Earl it was cut off from the mainland by two great dry ditches.''
> [...]
> ``The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Earls occupied the Castle(s). George
> Sinclair of Keiss, who later became the 7th Earl, was responsible for
> the destruction of the Castles in about 1690, by the use of cannon,
> forcing Campbell of Glenorchy, who was occupying them, to withdraw.''
> ``They have not been occupied since, and are at present owned by our
> clan chief The Rt.Hon. Malcolm Ian Sinclair the 20 Earl, and leased to
> the Castle Sinclair and Girnigoe Trust with a view to preventing further
> deterioration. Various works have been carried out already and there
> are comprehensive plans to preserve what remains for future generations
> to admire.''
>The current Earl of Caithness, Malcolm Sinclair, is thus the 58th
>Earl of Caithness since Rognvald, and the 20th Sinclair Earl of Caithness
>since Earl William who built Rosslyn Chapel.
>Meanwhile, Niven's terminology of George IV may refer to the fourth Earl
>of Caithness named George.  To complicate this further, note that such
>name counts don't necessarily have to be in the same dynasty; William III
>of England was not a Norman like William I, and Elizabeth II is not a Tudor
>like Elizabeth I.  But of course Edward I who played such a large role as
>antagonist in the wars of Scottish independence was not the first King of
>England named Edward.
>This is merely a summary of what I think may be correct from sources at
>If I have misinterpreted any of this, I hope someone with better
>(there are several on this list, including the present Earl) will provide a
>more complete and correct version, either here or elsewhere.  I think
>was working on something like that.
>>Also, Niven wrote:
>>"Glenorchy eventually invaded Caithness. The Battle of Altimarlach ensued
>>about which I have already written but, although Sinclairs were defeated,
>>Keiss continued by firearms and artillery to the ruin which we see today.
>>"For this act he was declared a rebel by the government along with
>>of Broynach, Sinclair of Thura and Mackay of Strathnaver who had assisted
>>in his battle agains the Campbells."
>>In referrence to the above underlined words: Does "he" refer to Campbell;
>>is "him"; and Should "Campbells" be Sinclairs? I'm confused.
>I would take "he" and "him" to refer to Keiss.
>>AND, is Rosslyn chapel north or south, or east or west, of Rosslyn castle?
>>It's difficult to tell on the atlas that I have.
>Someone else will have to answer that one.
>John S. Quarterman <jsq@mids.org>
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