Rosslyn St. Clair descendants

The following descendant table 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. Cler. Henry de St. Clair, who founded the Herdmanston St. Clair line, may well have been one of his grandsons.

Three main 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 Sinclair 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 Barons of Roslin descended from Sir Oliver, the latter William’s brother. Using Roland Saint-Clair’s ‘Saint-Clairs of the Isles’ as a template, archive documents and charters have been checked where available, to ensure the following tree is as up to date and accurate as possible. Where they cannot be confirmed, they have been marked (?).

Nina Cawthorne

Descendant table

Henry de St. Clair ( -aft. 1203) [Sheriff of Lauder, granted Carfrae (Lauderdale) and Herdmanston (East Lothian), bef. 1189], m. unknown
Alan ( -aft. 1245) [confirmed in Carfrae after 1189], m. Matilda, dau. of Alexander de Windlesoure of Westmorland (England)
Ada, m. Petrus de Haga (Peter de Haig) of Bemersyde (Berwickshire)


Sir John de St. Clair, m. unknown
William [witness to a charter with his father dated c.1196 to 1200]


Sir Robert de St. Clair ( -abt. 1240) [witnessed several charters for the Comyn family]
Gregory de St. Clair ‘of Berwickshire’ [seal on Ragman Roll 1296 with 3 boar’s heads]
Alexander de St. Clair [squire, captured at Dunbar 1296]
Reginald de St. Clair [squire, captured at Dunbar 1296]


Sir William (c.1240 -1299) [Sheriff of Edinburghshire, granted Roslin and Catcune 1279, Inverleith 1280. Seal with 3 boar’s heads and engrailed cross] m. Alicie/Amicia (surname unknown)
William ( -27 Jun 1337), Bishop of Dunkeld, ‘the King’s Bishop’
Annabella ( -bef. 1304) m. (1) Sir Robert Bisset of Upsettlington (Berwickshire) ( -abt. 1290) m. (2) Sir David Wemyss ( -1332) of Wemyss (Fife)
Thomas ( -1296) [standard bearer for the Scots army, died at battle of Dunbar]
Unnamed dau., m. c.1304, Henry de Brade, Lord of Braid (Midlothian)
Sir Henry, Baron of Roslin ( -bef. Sep 1337) m. c.1306, Alicia de Fenton, dau. of Sir William de Fenton of Baikie (Angus) and Cecilia Bisset of Beaufort (Inverness)
(?) John ( -bef. 1336)
Margaret Sinclair ( -aft. 1361), m. (1) Sir John Sinclair of Herdmanston
m. (2) Thomas Stewart, Earl of Angus
Sir William Sinclair ( -bef. 1367), Baron of Roslin, m. Isabella ( -abt. 1418), dau. of Malise of Strathearn (Perthshire), Earl of Orkney and Caithness, and Marjory, dau. of William, Earl of Ross
Henry I Sinclair ( -bef. 1402), 1st Earl of Orkney, Baron of Roslin,
m. (1)(?) Florentia, Princess of Denmark
m. (2) Jean, dau. of Sir Walter de Haliburton, of Dirleton (East Lothian)
John [life-grant of the Lordship of Shetland 1418], m. (?) Ingeborg, natural dau. of Valdemar, King of Denmark and Tova Little, dau. of the Commissioner of Rugen
William ( -bef. 1469), m. Agnes(?) Chisholm [ancestor of St. Clair of Dryden]
Beatrice, m. 1411, Sir William Borthwick of that ilk
Elizabeth, m. (1) Sir John Drummond ( -1428) of Cargill and Stobhall (Perthshire), m. (2) Patrick Dunbar, Master of March
Jonet, m. (?) Sir James Sandilands of Calder (West Lothian)
Jean, m. Sir John Forrester ( -1448) of Corstorphine (Edinburgh, Midlothian)
Unnamed dau., m. (?) William (or Alexander) Cockburn of Skirling (Peebleshire)
Unnamed dau., m. (?) Unnamed Heron of Marieton (Kirkcudbrightshire)
(?) Catherine, m. Sir Alexander Ramsay ( -1402) of Dalhousie (Midlothian)
Unnamed dau., m. (?) Unnamed Tweedie of Drumelzier (Peebleshire)
Mary, m. Thomas Somerville of Carnwath (Lanarkshire)
Marjory, m. 1409, Sir David Menzies (1377-1449) of Wemyss (Fife)
Margaret, m. James Cragy of Huip, Stronsay (Orkney)
(?) Unnamed dau., m. Unnamed Hay, Lord of Erroll (Perth and Kinross)
Henry II Sinclair (c.1375-1 Feb 1420), 2nd Earl of Orkney, 10th Baron of Roslin, Lord Sinclair and Pantler of Scotland, m. c.1407 Egidia, dau. of Sir William Douglas of Nithsdale and Egidia Stewart
Beatrix, m. c.1423, James ‘the Gross’, 7th Earl Douglas, 1st Earl of Avondale
William Sinclair (c.1407-bef. 21 May 1480), 3rd and last Earl of Orkney, 1st Earl of Caithness, 2nd Lord Sinclair, 11th Baron of Roslin, Lord Chancellor of Scotland,
m. (1) Elizabeth (-11 Nov 1451), dau. of Archibald, 4th Earl of Douglas
William (‘the Waster’) ( -bef. 8 Jan 1487) [ancestor of the Lords Sinclair], m. c.1458, Christian, dau. of George Leslie, 1st Earl of Rothes
Catherine, m. 1469 (div. 1478), Alexander Stewart, Duke of Albany
Elizabeth ( -1508), m. (1) Sir Andrew Leslie, Master of Rothes
m. (2) Sir John Houston of that Ilk (Renfrewshire)
m. (3) Janet Yeman ( -aft. 14 July 1483), no issue
Sir David of Sumburgh ( -c.1506), natural son, Captain of Bergenhus, Norway and Foud/Sheriff of Shetland, m. Sonneta (surname unknown)
m. (2) c.1456, Marjory, dau. of Sir Alexander Sutherland of Dunbeath
William Sinclair ( -9 Sep 1513), 2nd Earl of Caithness, m. Mary, dau. of Sir William Keith of Inverugie (Aberdeenshire)
Eleanor ( -21 Mar 1518), m. Sir John Stewart of Balveny, Earl of Atholl
Margaret, m. 1480, David Boswell of Glasmont and Balmuto (Fife) ( -1493)
Mr. Alexander ( -aft. Feb 1508/9), priest at Pentland
George ( -aft. 1498)
Robert ( -aft. Feb 1506/7, Edinburgh)
Arthur ( -aft.1504)
Euphemia ( -aft.1498)
Marjory ( -aft.1498)
Catherine ( -aft.1498)
Mariota (or Marion)
John ( -c.1484), canon of Glasgow, bishop-nominate of Caithness
Sir Oliver St. Clair( -c.1536), 12th Baron of Roslin,
m. (1) Christian Haldane (?), dau. of Sir James Haldane of Gleneagles
m. (2) Margaret Borthwick, dau. of William, 3rd Lord Borthwick
m. (3) bef. 1513, Isobel Livingston ( -bef. 1552)
James and Matthew [natural sons, both legitimised 1508]
Dr Henry (1508-Jan 1565, Paris, France), Bishop of Ross
Sir Oliver (1498-abt. 1567) of Pitcairns (Perthshire) and Whitekirk (East Lothian), m. abt. 1538, Katherine, dau of Patrick Bellenden of Auchinoull
Isobel, m. c.1556, James Menzies, burgess of Edinburgh
Alexander ( -aft. 1542) of Cocksburnpath (Berwickshire)
Dr John ( -Apr 1566), Bishop of Brechin
Robert of Over Liberton (Midlothian)
James [the James naturalised in 1508?]
Arthur ( -aft. 1543) [granted land in Over Liberton by Isabella Livingston]
Margaret ( -c.1558), m. (1) Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick of Closeburne (Dumfries) ( -1515), m. (2) Sir Robert Lauder of the Bass (East Lothian)
George St. Clair ( -Apr 1510), ‘fiar’ of Roslin, m. Agnes ( -aft. 1563), dau. of Robert Crichton, Lord Sanquhar (Dumfries)
Alexander ( -aft. 1547)
Arthur ( -aft. 1546)
Sir William St. Clair ( -May 1554), 13th Baron of Roslin, m. aft. 1516, Agnes Hume
Alexander ( -aft.1542) of Cuthilton and Little Denny (Stirlingshire)
Hercules ( -aft. 1571)
John ( -aft. 1561)
Oliver ( -aft. 1598) of West Ravensneuk (Midlothian)
Sir Mathew ( -aft.1573)
Edward of Eday, Orkney [charter from Oliver of Pitcairns, 1563]
Elizabeth ( -aft. 1547) m. Sir William Cunningham of Glengarnock (Ayrshire)
Sir William ( -1583), 14th Baron of Roslin, Justiciar of Lothian and Tweedale, m. Isabel, dau. of (?)Sir Walter Ker of Cessford
Beatrix m. 1578, Magnus Sinclair of Kininmonth (Aberdeenshire) son of William, 4th Lord Sinclair and Mariota Bruce
Margaret m. 1575, John, son of William Drummond of Smithston
Henry, natural son [?prebend at Rosslyn chapel, 1571]
Edward ( -1582), Baron of Roslin (signed the barony over to his brother), m. 1574, Christian, dau. of Sir George Douglas of Parkhead, Governor of Edinburgh Castle, no issue
William Sinclair (c.1561-c.1628), 15th Baron of Roslin, m. (2) Jean Dobie
William Sinclair (c.1612-aft. 1633) of Ballyloughmaguiffe, Co. Tyrone, Ireland
George Sinclair (c.1613-aft. 1633) of Ballyloughmaguiffe, Co. Tyrone, Ireland
m. aft. 1583, (1) Janet Edmonstone ( -c.1590), dau. of Sir John Edmonstone of Ednam (Roxburghshire)
Sir William (c.1590-1650), 16th Baron of Roslin, m. 1610, Anne, dau. of John Spottiswood, Archbishop of Glasgow
Sir William of Pentland ( -bef. 1636)
Margaret (natural dau.) ( -1698), m. James Carruthers
Elizabeth (natural dau.), unmarried
Ludovic/Lewis ( -aft. 1664) [Army Captain, emigrated to Poland]
Charles, d. abroad
Robert, d. young
George, d. young
Rachael, m. George Home, Laird of Foord (nr. Haddington)
Margaret, d. young
Helen ( -c.1710) m. (1) 1664, Sir John Rollo ( -1666) of Bannockburn, m. (2) 1672, William Stirling of Herbertshire, m. (3) Colin McKenzie, brother of the Earl of Seaforth
John ( -1690), 17th Baron of Roslin, no issue
Sir James ( -1699), 18th Baron of Roslin, m. c.1667, Jean, dau of Sir Henry Spottiswood, Sheriff of Dublin
Helen (1670-aft. 1705), m. Archibald Kerr of Graden
James (1671-1690), d. at battle of the Boyne, Ireland
Anna (1674-1683)
Thomas (1676- ), m. Elizabeth, dau. of Capt. Francis Wauchope, brother of Sir John Wauchope of Niddrie (Midlothian)
James ( -aft. 1749), m. (?)Agnes, dau of Alexander Wedderburn
Francis ( -aft. 1764), Colonel in Spanish army at Naples
Antonio St. Clair
Margaret ( -1746), m. Alexander Bower of Meathie
Alexander Bower of Kincaldrum (1738- )
Sarah ( -1746, in France)
Alexander (1672-1706), 19th Baron of Roslin, m. Jean, dau of Robert, 7th Lord Sempill and Ann Douglas of Mordington
Two sons and three dau., d. young
William (1700-1778), the last and 20th Baron of Roslin, m. Cordelia, dau. of Sir George Wishart, 1st Baronet of Cliftonhall (Midlothian)
Three sons and four dau., d. young
Sarah ( -c.1781), m. Sir Peter Wedderburn of Chesterhall (East Lothian)
Alexander Wedderburn-St. Clair (1733-1805), Earl of Rosslyn
Jane (1730-1816), natural dau.
Dr William, natural son, Preston, Lancashire

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’.

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