[Clan Sinclair]
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[Sir John Sinclair]

Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster

Painting by Sir Henry Raeburn (1756-1823, kt1823) of Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster, who compiled the statistical account of Scotland and in 1792 introduced the black-faced Cheviot sheep to Scotland. This innovation accellerated the Clearances. —jsq
[Sir John Sinclair]
From: "Privateers" <>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 15:52:24 +0100

About the enclosure Bill and the resulting aftermath, I'm going to keep this short and sweet

Born: 1754
Croaked: 1835
Member of Parliament: 1780-1811
President of the Board of Agriculure 1793-1798, 1806-1813.

A critic of the ministry of Pip; carried the enclosure Bill of 1796 through the commons; was a commisioner of Exise in 1811. A scientific agriculturist and particularly concerned with the improvement of Northern agriculture.

Was the G-G-G-G-G-G-Grandfather of reknowned modern day male.


From: Niven Sinclair <>
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 13:44:20 +0100

Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster founded the Department of Agriculture when he was a Minister in the Government of William Pitt, the Younger.

He was a great agriculturalist and carried out a copious correspondence with Washington and other Heads of State.

I have two books containing (a) his letters to Washington and (b) to the other Heads of State.

He also carried out the first statistical study of Scotland — a man of amazing energy and brilliance.

From: John S. Quarterman
Date: Thursday, September 05, 2002 2:24 AM

In Thomas Paine's Rights of Man, he refers to:
``(See Sir John Sinclair's History of the Revenue.)''

Which Sir John Sinclair was this?

From: Rory Sinclair
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2002 08:36:12 -0400

Dear John: The History of the Public Revenue of the British Empire by Sir John Sinclair, Baronet M.P. London, 1785, 1790 and 1803.

It is in 3 volumes. I own a reprint by Kelly Publishers, New York, 1966 in their Reprints of Economic Classics series

Generally, anything with John Sinclair as author will be our Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster ancestor of the current Lord Thurso whose name is also John. He, the modern John, is a newly elected MP and thus follows in the footsteps of Sir John and indeed his Grandfather, Archibald who was Minister for Air in Churchill's war cabinet and was made the first Viscount Thurso.

Sir John was indefatiguable and wrote and published something almost every day of his adult life.

Rory in Toronto.

From: Rory Sinclair
Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2002 09:07:46 -0400

Dear John:

The following titles I have culled from Rosalind Mitchison's book Agricultural Sir John: The Life of Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster 1754-1835 (1962)

I have heard of many more in passing, some pamphlets and small works on such things as "On the Treatment of Impetago" and "Travelling in Eastern Europe" (published as a pamphlet after a 2 week tour of Poland, Austria et al.) and some of which I have seen for sale in various book sales.

  • General View of the Agriculture of the Northern Counties
  • Account of the Systems of Husbandry Adopted in the More Improved Districts of Scotland
  • The Statistical Account of Scotland.
  • A History of the Public Revenue of the British Empire
  • Code of Agriculture (I have a copy dedicated to Lord Tweed and signed by Sir John with the date 1832)
  • Code of Health and Longevity
  • Dissertation on the Authenticity of Ossian (Sir John believed that Macpherson's poetry originated with Ossian)
  • General Report on Scotland
  • Observations on the Scottish Dialect
  • Thoughts on the Naval Strength of the British Empire
I am not sure if there is a bibliography of his complete oeuvre but this will give you a flavour of what he was about.

He wrote thousands of letters and was a correspondent of Burke, Pitt the younger, Jefferson and just about anybody who was anybody during his day. His correspondence still exists at Thurso East Mains in Thurso, the house occupied by his descendant John Thurso and his wife Lady Marian Thurso.


Last changed: $Date: 2002/09/06 19:06:27 $ [Clan Sinclair]