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   d. Teba

Evidence that John Sinclair died at Teba

From: Niven Sinclair <>
Date: Wed, 04 Aug 1999 18:30:11 +0100

Mea culpa. Sir Robert Logan was killed. It was Sir William Keith who brought the bones back. The small gravestone of William Sinclair would suggest this.

There is no doubt that both William and John Sinclair fell at the Battle of Theba on 8th September, 1330 because the Barony of Rosslyn went straight to William, the grandson, who must have been a minor at the time when his uncle, John, (if he had been alive would have been appointed guardian).

One of Bruce's latest acts was to settle, in 1329, on Sir William Sinclair a pension of 40 in anticipation of the service he was to do for him i.e. take his body to the Holy Land for burial. This had been immediately preceded by 'ane annual'.

In the Lord Chamberlain's account for 1329 he is credited with the payments to Sir Henry St Clair (the father of Sir William Sinclair) of 13.6.8d, to Sir William St. Clair 20 and to John St Clair 10.; and in 1330 the full payments are noted of 27.13.4d and 40 and 20; and again of 13.6.8d, 20 and 10 respectively at St Martin's term.

In 1331 Sir Henry St Clair received 13.6.8d and 27.13.4d whilst those of the late Sir William St Clair, Knight, and of the late John St Clair are received by the heir to whom John St Clair was uncle* i.e. William St Clair the son of Sir William St Clair. As the names William and John were always bracketed together there can be little doubt that they both travelled with the heart of Bruce; that they both took part in the Battle of Theba; and that they were both killed in that battle. If not, why the post mortem payments to the recognised heir?

* It is obviously phrased in this way to indicate that the younger brother, John St Clair had not been married at the time of the Battle of Theba so his payment had to go to his nephew, who was his next-of-kin. There can be no other interpretation.

On the other hand, his older brother, William, was married with two sons, namely (yet another) William and Thomas.

The son, William de St Clair, inherited Rosslyn directly from his grandfather. Thomas became ballivus of Orkney in 1364 and he, in turn, had a son, Alexander who received lands in Aberdeenshire and in Banffshire as confirmed by King David on 1st November, 1371.

Earlier King David (who had a fondness for awarding lands to men who had taken part in Crusades) had granted the lands of Merton and Merchamyston to '"our worthy and faithful William St Clair" bearing the date 11th February, 1358 and signed at Edinburgh.

It will be seen from the foregoing that the Sinclair connection with Orkney pre-dated the 'jarldom' being given to Prince Henry Sinclair in 1379. Indeed, as Thomas's grandfather had also been ballivus of Orkney with effect from 1321, it predated Henry's arrival by two generations.

Niven Sinclair

Squire John St. Clair (c1300-25 August 1330 Teba)

Squire John St. Clair (c1300-25 August 1330) died at the battle of Teba in Andalusia, Spain, fighting as a squire for his brother, Sir William St. Clair, attempting to carry the Heart of Bruce to the Holy Land.
Last changed: 99/11/21 14:39:58 [Clan Sinclair]