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Re: Heraldry question

At 13:28 22/03/01 -0500, you wrote:
>My Sinclair ancestor was Arthur Sinclair. According to the genealogy I
>have for him, his home was in Scalloway, Shetland.  He was a ship owner
>and captain between Scotland and Virginia.  I find he had two different
>ships.  He also sealed his correspondence with his "coat of arms", yeah,
>that's not the right name, anyway, I have a description of it and I many
>years ago saw a copy in a book in the Library of Congress. I now have a
>CD on heraldry, among the books in "The General Armory of England,
>Scotland, Ireland and Wales". This book has the Sinclair arms and crest,
>Baron Sincalir (St Clair), Quarterly first and fourth, az a ship at
>anchor, her oars erect at saltire, within a double tressure flory,
>counter flory or for Orkney; second and third, az a ship under sail or
>for Caithness, over all an escucheon or charged with a cross engrailed
>sa for Sinclair.  Crest - a swan ar ducally gorged and chained or.
>Supporters, two gryphons ppr armed and beaked or.  Motto: Fight
>I understand that the only person able to use this particular "coat of
>arms", is the person himself. That his sons would have theirs
>differentiated - Yes?
>I understand, that under the clan system, those of his clan would be
>able to wear the crest shown within a belted circle with the buckle on
>the bottom and the end of the belt shown tied - Yes?
>Would it therefore follow, that Arthur Sinclair of Scalloway, who
>settled at Cobham, Surry County, VA Was Baron Sinclair?
>Mr. Arthur Sinclair on Betsy - Bristol to VA, 28 Aug 1752; 26 Feb 1755;
>29 Mar, 14 Jun, 5 Jul 1756 in each case carrying passengers
>Exportations skins and furs from Rappahannock District:  25 Oct 1764-25
>Apr 1769 (Note from William & Mary 2W(2)196) Appointed trustee town of
>Cobham, 1784 (source State Papers of the Commonwealth, p 57) (from my
>The reason for all this is an oil painting of Captain Arthur Sinclair,
>his son who was at the Battle of the Lakes, War of 1812.  Sometimes, I
>feel I am chasing a ghost. This man's painting has been in my memory
>since I was a small child.
>Sally esdemio@att.net

The coat-of-arms which you describe is that of the St Clairs of Hermanston
who became the Lords Sinclair in 1677 when Henry St Clair of Hermanston
received a new patent of the Sinclair peerage which was distinct from but
which, nevertheless, replaced the earlier peerage of the St Clairs of Rosslyn.
Prince Henry Sinclair was the first "Lord Sinclair" being "chief of the 

This new patent was granted because:

The line of Rosslyn was generally assumed to be extinct but it seems scarcely
credible that there are no male descendants extant of the eight sons of Sir
Oliver or the  eight sons of the first Sir William or the ten sons of Sir 
Sinclair of Pentland.

This is not to question the granting of the Sinclair peerage to the St Clairs
of Hermanston because this family was inter-related to the St Clairs of
Rosslyn by the marriage of Sir William St Clair of Hermanston to Margaret
St Clair of Rosslyn (who had previously been the wife of Thomas, Earl of
Angus, the brother of King David II of Scotland) but to question the loss
of the Rosslyn Estates to the (remote*) distaff side of the family when there
were plenty of male Sinclair descendants with superior claims who could
(with a little effort) have been traced.

Niven Sinclair

* Three times removed

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