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Prince Henry Sinclair
Lauren is absolutely right.
Henry Sinclair owed everything to his mother. He listened to the
tales of the Norse
sagas at his mother's knee and she never allowed him to
forget that he had a
rightful claim to the 'jarldom' of Orkney through his grandfather, Malise
II, who held
the Earldoms of Orkney, Caithness and Stratherne.
Malise II married twice. His first marriage was to Joanna, daughter
of the earl of
Monteith, by whom he had:
who married Weyland de Arde, whose son:
de Arde who, as a result of his descent from Malise II
Governor and Commissioner of Orkney in 1375 but, for
inexplicable reason, was never given the 'jarldom'.
died without issue so this side of the family can be ruled
of the battle for the 'contested succession' which followed.
By the second marriage of Malise II to Majory, daughter of the Earl of
Ross he again failed to
produce a male heir but had four daughters:
who married Sir William Sinclair of Rosslyn and begat:
Sinclair who did not become Earl of Orkney until 1379 which
35 years after the death of his grandfather, Malise
II. In fact,
II died before Henry was born.
Henry's brothers Thomas, John, and David and sister, Margaret.
married Erengisle who was a Swedish nobleman but also
grandson of Brynjol, a Norwegian Baron, who had accompanied
Haakon on his disastrous voyage to regain control of the Western
of Scotland which ended in defeat at the Battle of Largs. It
because of this 'relationship' that Erengisle was chosen to be
of Orkney in 1353* Unfortunately (for Erengisle) he became
in the battle over the sovereignty of Norway (i.e. between Eric
Pomerania and King Magnus of Sweden who, at the material time,
Regent of Norway) and King Magnus sequestrated all his Norwegian
and declared his title to be forfeited.
third daughter (whose name is with my books in Caithness) married
Sperra who, eventually, was killed by Henry Sinclair in Shetland
1391 when he attempted to take over the islands in direct
the undertaking he had given when Henry had eventually been granted
Earldom of Orkney.
the fourth daughter, died unmarried.
Following the removal of Erengisle, the King of Norway sent for the three
men who had a claim to
the 'jarldom' of Orkney, namely:
These men were cousins.
After meeting the three cousins at Tunsberg, which was the seat of the
Norwegian Royal family at the
time, King Haakon chose Henry Sinclair whereupon Henry Sinclair requested
that his two cousins be
required to surrender all claims which they had to lands in Orkney
and Shetland. This is clear from
the Installation Document which was signed at Maarstrand (now part of
Sweden) on 2nd day of August
However, Henry's brother, John had already been representing Henry's
interests in Orkney from 1369
and, of course, his g.g.uncle, Henry Sinclair, had been made ballivus
of Orkney as early as 1321 long
before Henry was born.
The Sinclair connection with Orkney and, therefore, with Norway began
long before our family ever acquired
the name of Sinclair> Indeed, as I have already quoted from a
letter written by Lord Henry Sinclair to King
John of Denmark, in which he said, inter alia:
certain services to be performed for the Kings
Norway, my progenitors were granted were granted the earldom
Orkney since before the birth of Christ"
We must all be proud of our Norse ancestry because that is
where our roots are deepest.