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RE: Ester Sinclair
Everyone, I am still trying to get more informaton on Ester
My friend has kindly added this item on Ester Sinclair.
I hope you enjoy it, and am eagerly awaiting more information from any of
you that can give it.
Here is a little section taken from a book of N.S. legends and lore by
Storyteller, Roland H. Sherwood.
AN EARL'S DAUGHTER
Across the face of this land there are scattered, and sometimes lost,
many tombstones erected to the memory of pioneers, male and female, whose
ancestoral connections go back to the singing hills of Auld Scotland.
One such stone may be found in the old cemetery in Earltown in
County of Nova Scotia. The area is close enough to be fairly well-known to
people of River John in Pictou County, and Tatamagouche in Colchester
Earltown is a small community of rugged beauty and was first surveyed in
the year 1817 by Alexander Miller, who gave the community its name in honour
the Earl od Dalhousie, who, at this time, was the Governor of the Province
Nova Scotia. The first settlers in this section were Donald McIntosh and
Sutherland, both of whom took up land grants after emigrating from
On the ancient and weathered tombstone in the Old Earltown Cemetary, the
name on the silent stone is that of Ester MacDonald. And behind that name on
the silent stone is a romantic story of young love. The story of Ester has
become handed down in the distridt for long years, and tells of the girl's
flight to escape a father's wrath, of the loss of her legacy, and the love
living in the then wilderness of Canada, far from the easy and good life she
knew in her father's castle in Scotland.
During the course of her life in Earltown, the runawy girl from the
in Scotland gave birth to seven children during her 11 years in this rural
section of Nova Scotia, and many of her descendants are scattered over the
of the earth, but some are close at hand, even in Pictou and Colchester
Ester MacDonald of Earltown was born Ester Sinclair (St. Clair), a
of the Earl of Caithness, Scotland.
Although she lived a sheltered life, she fell in love with a handsome
coachman in her father's employ. The romance budded secretly, and then one
night when the castle was brilliantly lighted, and gay with the gathered
dancers of the elite of the countryside, Ester Sinclair stole secretly out
the castle to elope with her coachman lover.
By devious routes over land and water, the young lovers managed to elude
the pursuers her father sent out. The fleeing couple were not found. The
man, the coachman by the name of MacDonald, managed to hide long enough so
he and Ester were married, and then, still eluding the searching father,
ship's passage to Nova Scotia.
The enraged father cut his runaway daughter off with the proverbial
shilling, which the daughter, now Ester MacDonald, never collected, nor had
desire to collect.
Even in the wilds of Nova Scotia, the MacDonald's were happy together in
their pioneer home. In later years, after all the principals in the runaway
romance had gone to their reward, poems appeared in Nova Scotia school books
that might have been written about the runaway daughter of the Earl of
Caithness, Ester Sinclair. One of those well remembered poems follows
the runaway story of Ester Sinclair, and contains these words: "So still
blaze when fate is nigh, the lordly line of St. Clair." And the other poem
the school readers of earlier times, ends with these words, "And i am still
It is hardly likely that the poems were written about Ester St. Clair,
both the poems, and the fact of her elopement with her father's coachman
ring of romance; a romance that has come down the long years and is still
us in verse and prose of young loves who put their love for each other far
beyond the comforts and wealth of their homes in a far country.
The ancient tombstone in the old portion of the Earltown cemetery which
still bears the name Ester MacDonald, and the local stories of Ester
the runawy, might - just might - be the theme that sparked the poem that
"And i am still the Lady Clair"
Sherwood tells a nice tale and is one of the best, but the story is real and
can be backed up by the county records. This is what happens to stories that
stir the pot, they get left to legend. Sherwood researched this story
thoroughly, but he is a storyteller, not a historian. Thought you might like
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