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I have received an answer by fax from the Lyon Clerk concerning Henry's
title. Ian of Noss had written "He (the Lyon Clerk) is the ultimate source
of anything ancestral or heraldic in Scotland." He is accurately a she, Mrs
C.G.W. Roads M.V.O. Mrs Christian Names are Elizabeth Ann.
Mrs Roads whole letter to me dated 29 January 2002 is reproduced;
"Dear Monsieur Sinclair
Your letter to Mrs.. McCracken has been passed to me as you were raising
queries about a letter I had written.The quotation given in your letter does
contain words that I wrote in a letter but the whole of the part described
as an extract from my letter was not written by me.
" It is quite clear that in a number of works, including writings by Father
Richard Augustine Hay in 'Genealogie of the St. Clairs', people have
referred to Henry as Prince of Orkney. Quite why, I do not know, except that
at an early period, it was thought that these powerful Earls were almost of
Princely status and indeed in formal documents, an Earl can still be
described as 'The Most High and Puissant Prince' but so far as I can see
there is no statement or use of the words 'Prince of Orkney' in official
Charters, etc. I wonder if it has something to do with the Norse
Predecessors to the Earls of Orkney. I see, for instance, that Sigurd
Magnusson was created King of Orkney and the Isles in the spring of 1099 by
his father, King Magnus III of Norway, and thus in Norse times there was
certainly at least one King as well as many Jarls of Orkney. The use of the
word 'King' among the lands held by Norway, or under the influence of
Norway, have been fairly widespread. There were those described as King of
Man and King of the Isles. These descriptions, I think,appear fairly
regularly throughout the Sagas.
That use of the word 'King' together with the semi-Regal status of the
Rulers of Orkney, is what lead to them describing the Sinclair Earls as
You will see that one or two words have been omitted from the quotation you
were given. I did not, however write the last two paragraphs which from
your letter appear to be quoted.
I am fairly clear that that the word "Prince" was used in association with
the individual therefore it was Prince Henry, Earl of Orkney, not someone
who would be described as "Prince of Orkney"
I do hope that this clarifies the matter for you.
Yours sincerely" Mrs. Signs her name Elizabeth A Roads
The added paragraphs she referees to are as follows quoted from Ian of Noss
"The title of 'Prince' was essentially an honorific given to a man who
walked in Royal circles; who was related to Royalty; who controlled 200
islands (i.e. Principality just as Wales is a Principality).and who, by his
demeanour and stature was a "Prince of men".
It also allows us to distinguish this outstanding man from the other "Henry
Sinclairs" who help to make up the Sinclair/StClair family history."
These paragraphs appear on the Clan Sinclair web site and on that site are
attributed to Niven Sinclair,
Mrs Roads has given her permission for this letter to be distributed. If any
one wishes a copy of the letter I would be happy to fax it to them.
----- Original Message -----
From: "John S. Quarterman" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2002 2:43 PM
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