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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:

                        Matilda who married Weyland de Arde, whose son:

                        Alexander de Arde who, as a result of his descent from Malise II
                        became Governor and Commissioner of Orkney in 1375 but, for
                        some inexplicable reason, was never given the 'jarldom'.
                        He died without issue so this side of the family can be ruled
                        out 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:

                        Isabel who married Sir William Sinclair of Rosslyn and begat:

                        Henry Sinclair who did not become Earl of Orkney until 1379 which
                        was  35 years after the death of his grandfather, Malise II.  In fact,
                        Malise II died before Henry was born.

                        Also Henry's brothers Thomas, John, and David and sister, Margaret.

                        Merretta married Erengisle who was a Swedish nobleman but also
                        the grandson of Brynjol, a Norwegian Baron, who had accompanied
                        King Haakon on his disastrous voyage to regain control of the Western
                        Isles of Scotland which ended in defeat at the Battle of Largs.  It was
                        possibly because of this 'relationship' that Erengisle was chosen to be
                        Earl of Orkney in 1353*  Unfortunately (for Erengisle) he became
                        involved in the battle over the sovereignty of Norway (i.e. between Eric
                        of Pomerania and King Magnus of Sweden who, at the material time,
                        was Regent of Norway) and King Magnus sequestrated all his Norwegian
                        Estates and declared his title to be forfeited.

                        The third daughter (whose name is with my books in Caithness) married
                        Malise Sperra who, eventually, was killed by Henry Sinclair in Shetland
                        in 1391 when he attempted to take over the islands in direct contradiction
                        to the undertaking he had given when Henry had eventually been granted
                        the Earldom of Orkney.

                        Euphemia, 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:

                        Henry Sinclair
                        Alexander de Arde
                        Malise Sperra

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:

                                "......................for certain services to be performed for the Kings
                                of Norway, my progenitors were granted were granted the earldom
                                of Orkney since before the birth of Christ"

We must all be proud of our Norse ancestry because that is where our roots are deepest.

Niven Sinclair