Rosslyn St. Clair descendants

The family crest of the St. Clairs of Rosslyn from c.1500, as depicted in a carving or moulding in the ceiling of the withdrawing or dining room at Rosslyn Castle when building work was being completed by Sir William St. Clair of Pentland in 1622. It was described by Hay as 'Argent a Cross ingrailed sable; for supporters, a Mermaid on the Dexter, and a Griffin on the Sinister; a Helmet befitting his quality; above which is a Dove Argent, beaked and membered, Gules. Motto, Credo. The Mermaid has a comb in the right hand, and in the left a branch of some sea weed'.


The following descendant chart of the Rosslyn St. Clairs is based on the assumption that the first of their name arrived in Scotland in 1174 with William the Lion, king of Scotland, after his release by the English king, Henry II. The following is recorded in Scalacronica by Sir Thomas Gray of Heton, kt. (1272-1363), a chronicle of England and Scotland from 1066 to 1362:

Pur quoi il enprist od ly en Escoce plusours dez fitz pusnes dez seygnours Dengleterre qi ly estoient beinuoillauntz, et lour dona lez terres dez autres qy ly estoient rebelis. Si estoint ceaux dez Baillolse, de Bruys, de Soulis, et de Mowbray, et les Saynclers; lez Hayes, lez Giffardis, lez Ramesays, et Laundels; lez Bifeys, lez Berkleys, lez Walenges, lez Boysis, lez Mountgomeris; lez Vaus, lez Coleuyles, lez Frysers, lez Grames, lez Gourlays, et plusours autres;

The only St. Clairs in England who would have had foreknowledge of William the Lion attending Henry II's court on his way back to Scotland would have been the sons and grandsons of Hugh de St. Clair. Henry de St. Clair, who founded the Herdmanston St. Clair line, may well have been one of his grandsons. However, it cannot as yet be confirmed that William de St. Clair, who was granted Rosslyn in 1180 according to Nisbet, was his brother, but it seems very likely.

Three lines of descent originated with William, earl of Orkney, earl of Caithness, Lord St. Clair, and lord of Rosslyn, who died in 1480. The lords St. Clair descended from William (the Waster), his only son from his first marriage, the earls of Caithness descended from William, his first son from his second marriage, and the lords of Rosslyn descended from Sir Oliver, the latter William's brother.

In 1620, Sir Oliver's great great grandson, William Sinclair, settled in Ireland with his second wife and two children, George and William Sinclair, leaving his ancestors' inheritance in Scotland to his eldest son, Sir William St. Clair of Pentland.





1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 generations  
Henry de St. Clair (fl.1180) [granted Carfra, Lauderdale and Herdmanston, before 1189]
  Alan [granted Langild, Lauderdale, before 1196] m. Matilda, dau. of Alexander de Windsoure of Morland  
  Ada m. Petrus de Haga                      
William de St. Clair [granted Roslin, 1180, according to Nisbet]          
    Sir William, kt. [granted Rosslyn and Innerleith, 1244] m. Amicia [or Agnes], dau. of Patrick Dunbar, earl of Marche  
      William, bishop of Dunkeld, the king's bishop (-1357)              
      Annabel (-c.1304) m.1 Sir Robert Bisset; m.2 Sir David Wemyss of Wemyss (-c.1330)  
      William, of Longformacus                        
      Sir Henry, baron of Rosslyn (fl.1292-1336) m. Alice de Fenton [or Alicia, dau. of Ramsay of Dalhousie]  
        John, d. in Spain after crusade (-1330)                  
        Sir William, kt., d. in Spain after crusade (-1330) m.            
          Thomas, bailie of Orkney (-c.1371), m.            
            Alexander, of Estirtyry and Bray                  
          Margaret m.1 Thomas Stewart, earl of Angus (-1361); m.2 Sir John St. Clair of Herdmanston
          William, next lord of Rosslyn (fl.1348-1358)              
          m. Isabella, dau. of Malise, II, earl of Orkney and Caithness, earl of Stratherne  
            Henry I (the Holy), earl of Orkney, lord of Rosslyn (fl.1363-1404)    
            m.1 (?)Florentia of Denmark                  
            m.2 Jean, dau. of John Halyburton of Dirleton            
              John, of Kirkton, lord of Shetland m. Ingeborg, dau. of Waldemar, king of Denmark  
              Elizabeth m. Sir John Drummond of Cargill and Stobhall (-1428)    
              Margaret m. James of Cragy of Hupe            
              Jean m. Sir John Forrester of C0rstorphine, Liberton etc (-1448)    
              dau. m. Cockburn of Skirling                
              dau. m. Heron of Marieton                
              Mary m. Thomas Somerville of Carnwath            
              Marjory m. 1409 Sir David Menzies of Weem (1377-1449)      
              Janet m. earl of Sutherland                
              Henry II, earl of Orkney, Lord St. Clair, lord of Roslin (c.1375-1422)    
              m. c.1407 Egidia, dau. of William Douglas, lord of Nithsdale    
                William, earl of Orkney, earl of Caithness, Lord St. Clair, lord of Rosslyn (-1480)  
                m.1 Elizabeth (-c.1451), dau. of Archibald Douglas, earl of Douglas, duke of Tourraine  
                  William (the Waster) of Newburgh, LORD ST. CLAIR of Dysart (-1487)  
                  m. c.1458 Christian, dau. of George Leslie, earl of Rothes, issue  
                m.3 Jonet Yeman                
                  Sir David of Sumburgh, governor of Bergenhus, 'foud' of Shetland (-1507)  
                m.2 c.1456 Marjory, dau. of Alexander Sutherland of Dunbeath    
                  William, EARL OF CAITHNESS, d. at Flodden (1476-1513)  
                  m. Mary, dau. of Sir William Keith of Inverugie, issue  
                  Eleanor m. Sir John Stewart of Balveny, earl of Atholl (1440-1512)  
                  Elizabeth m. laird of Houstin        
                  Margaret m. 1480 David Boswell of Glassmount (-1493)    
                  Marjory m. Andrew Leslie, Master of Rothes (-c.1478)    
                  Catherine m. Alexander Stewart, duke of Albany (-1485)    
                  Sir Oliver, lord of Rosslyn (-c.1523)          
                  m.1 Christian Haldane            
                  m.2 Isabella Livingstone      
                  m.3 Margaret, dau. of William Lord Borthwick    
                    Dr Henry, of Stevenson, bishop of Ross (1508-1565)    
                    Sir Oliver, of Pitcairns and Whitekirk (1498-)
                    m. Katherine, dau of Thomas Bellenden of Auchinoul (1497-)  
                    Dr John, bishop of Brechin (-1566)        
                    Margaret m. Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick of Closeburne (-1515)  
                    George, fiar of Rosslyn, (-1510)
                    m. Agnes, dau of Robert Crichton, lord of Sanquhar    
                      Sir William, lord of Rosslyn (-1540)
                      m. Alison, dau. of George Lord Home [or Sir Patrick Home of Fastcastle]
                        Alexander, of Cuthilton and Little Denny m.  
                        Oliver, of Westravensneuk      
                        Sir Mathew            
                        Edward, of Dryden and of Ethay in Orkney  
                        Sir William, kt., lord of Rosslyn (-c.1567)
                        m. Isabel, dau of Sir Walter Ker of Cessford  
                          Henry, natural son        
                          Edward, lord of Rosslyn (-1582)      
                          m. Christian, dau. of Sir George Douglas of Parkhead
                          William, next lord of Rosslyn (c.1561-c.1628)  
                          m.2 Jean Dobie        
                            William (c.1612-), Ballyloughmaguif, Co. Tyrone
                            George (c.1613-), Ballyloughmaguif, Co. Tyrone
                          m.1 Janet Edmonstone (-c.1590), dau. of
                          Sir John Edmonstone of Ednim in the Mers  
                            Sir William, kt., lord of Rosslyn and Pentland  
                            (c.1590-1650) m. Anne [or Anna], dau. of
                            John Spottiswood, archbishop of Glasgow  
                              William, d. in France, m. issue 2 daughters
                              Lewis, d. at siege of Hallingsted  
                              George, d. young    
                              Archibald, unm.    
                              Rachael m. Hume, laird of Foord  
                              Rachael (sic), d. unm.    
                              Margaret, d. young    
                              m.1 Sir John Rollo of Bannockburn  
                              m.2 Stirling of Herbertrshire  
                              m.3 Colin McKenzie  
                              John (the Prince), (-1690) lord of Rosslyn
                              Sir James, next lord of Rosslyn (-1706)
                              m. Jean, dau of Sir Henry Spottiswood, Dublin
                                James, d. at battle of Boyne (1671-1689)
                                Thomas (1676-) m. Elizabeth dau. of
                                Captain Wauchope  
                                  James m. dau. of Commissioner
                                  Wedderburn, issue  
                                  dau. m. Bower of Methie and
                                  and Kincaldrum  
                                  1 daughter    
                                Helen (1670-) m. Henry Kerr of Gredane
                                in the Mers    
                                Anna (1674-1683)  
                                Alexander, lord of Rosslyn (1672-)
                                m. Jean, dau of Robert Lord Semple
                                  2 sons and 3 daughters, d. young
                                  William, last lord of Rosslyn
                                  (1700-1778) m. Cordelia, dau. of
                                  Sir George Wishart of Cliftonhall
                                    3 sons and 4 daughters, d.young
                                    Jane, a natural daughter
                                    Sarah m. Sir Peter Wedderburn