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


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


Sir John de St. Clair, m. unknown
William de St. Clair [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 Sinclair,  Sheriff of Edinburghshire [granted Roslin and Catcune 1279, Inverleith 1280. Seal with 3 boar’s heads and engrailed cross] (c.1240 -1299) m. Alicie/Amicia (surname unknown)
William Sinclair, Bishop of Dunkeld, ‘the King’s Bishop’ ( -27 Jun 1337)
Annabella Sinclair ( -bef. 1304) m. (1) Sir Robert Bisset of Upsettlington (Berwickshire) ( -abt. 1290) m. (2) Sir David Wemyss of Wemyss (Fife) ( -1332)
Thomas Sinclair ( -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 Sinclair, 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 Sinclair ( -bef. 1336)
Margaret Sinclair ( -aft. 1361) m. (1) Sir John Sinclair of Herdmanston [ancestor of St. Clair of Longformacus], issue
m. (2) Thomas Stewart, Earl of Angus
Sir William Sinclair, Baron of Roslin ( -bef. 1367) m. Isabella ( -abt. 1418), dau. of Malise of Strathearn (Perthshire), Earl of Orkney and Caithness, and Marjory, dau. of William, Earl of Ross
David Sinclair
Henry I Sinclair, 1st Earl of Orkney, Baron of Roslin ( -bef. 1402)
m. (1) (?)Florentia, Princess of Denmark
m. (2) Jean, dau. of Sir Walter de Haliburton of Dirleton (East Lothian)
John Sinclair [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 Sinclair ( -bef. 1469) m. Agnes(?) Chisholm [ancestor of St. Clair of Dryden]
Beatrice Sinclair m. 1411 Sir William Borthwick of that ilk
Elizabeth Sinclair m. (1) Sir John Drummond ( -1428) of Cargill and Stobhall (Perthshire) m. (2) Patrick Dunbar, Master of March
Jonet Sinclair m. (?)Sir James Sandilands of Calder (West Lothian)
Jean Sinclair 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 Sinclair m. Sir Alexander Ramsay ( -1402) of Dalhousie (Midlothian)
Unnamed dau. m. (?)Unnamed Tweedie of Drumelzier (Peebleshire)
Mary Sinclair m. Thomas Somerville of Carnwath (Lanarkshire)
Marjory Sinclair m. 1409 Sir David Menzies (1377-1449) of Wemyss (Fife)
Margaret Sinclair m. James Cragy of Huip, Stronsay (Orkney)
(?)Unnamed dau. m. Unnamed Hay, Lord of Erroll (Perth and Kinross)
Henry II Sinclair, 2nd Earl of Orkney, 10th Baron of Roslin, Lord Sinclair and Pantler of Scotland (c.1375-1 Feb 1420) m. c.1407 Egidia, dau. of Sir William Douglas of Nithsdale and Egidia Stewart
Beatrix Sinclair m. c.1423, James ‘the Gross’, 7th Earl Douglas, 1st Earl of Avondale
William Sinclair, 3rd and last Earl of Orkney, 1st Earl of Caithness, 2nd Lord Sinclair, 11th Baron of Roslin, Lord Chancellor of Scotland (c.1407-bef. 21 May 1480)
m. (1) Elizabeth (-11 Nov 1451), dau. of Archibald, 4th Earl of Douglas
William Sinclair (the Waster) [ancestor of the Lords Sinclair] ( -bef. 8 Jan 1487) m. c.1458, Christian Leslie, dau. of George, Earl of Rothes and Christian, dau. of Walter Haliburton of Dirleton, issue
Catherine Sinclair m. 1469 (div. 1478) Alexander Stewart, Duke of Albany
Elizabeth Sinclair ( -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, (natural son), Captain of Bergenhus, Norway and Foud/Sheriff of Shetland ( -c.1506) m. Sonneta (surname unknown)
m. (2) c.1456, Marjory, dau. of Sir Alexander Sutherland of Dunbeath
William Sinclair, 2nd Earl of Caithness ( -9 Sep 1513) m. Mary, dau. of Sir William Keith of Inverugie (Aberdeenshire)
Eleanor Sinclair ( -21 Mar 1518) m. Sir John Stewart of Balveny, Earl of Atholl
Margaret Sinclair m. 1480 David Boswell ( -1493) of Glasmont and Balmuto (Fife)
Alexander Sinclair ( -aft. Feb 1508/9), priest at Pentland
George Sinclair ( -aft. 1498)
Robert Sinclair ( -aft. Feb 1506/7, Edinburgh)
Arthur Sinclair ( -aft. 1504)
Euphemia Sinclair ( -aft. 1498)
Marjory Sinclair ( -aft. 1498)
Catherine Sinclair ( -aft. 1498)
Mariota (or Marion) Sinclair
John Sinclair, canon of Glasgow, bishop-nominate of Caithness ( -c.1484)
Sir Oliver St. Clair, 12th Baron of Roslin ( -c.1536)
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 St. Clair (natural sons, both legitimised 1508)
Dr Henry St. Clair (1508-Jan 1565, Paris, France), Bishop of Ross
Sir Oliver St. Clair of Pitcairns (Perthshire) and Whitekirk (East Lothian) (1498-abt. 1567) m. abt. 1538 Katherine, dau of Patrick Bellenden of Auchinoull
Isobel St. Clair m. c.1556 James Menzies, burgess of Edinburgh
Alexander St. Clair of Cocksburnpath (Berwickshire) ( -aft. 1542)
Dr John St. Clair, Bishop of Brechin ( -Apr 1566)
Robert St. Clair of Over Liberton (Midlothian)
James St. Clair [naturalised in 1508?]
Arthur St. Clair ( -aft. 1543) [granted land in Over Liberton by Isabella Livingston]
Margaret St. Clair ( -c.1558) m. (1) Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick of Closeburne (Dumfries) ( -1515); m. (2) Sir Robert Lauder of the Bass (East Lothian)
George St. Clair, ‘fiar’ of Roslin ( -Apr 1510) m. Agnes ( -aft. 1563), dau. of Robert Crichton, Lord Sanquhar (Dumfries)
Alexander St. Clair ( -aft. 1547)
Arthur St. Clair ( -aft. 1546)
Sir William St. Clair, 13th Baron of Roslin ( -May 1554) m. aft. 1516 Agnes Hume
Gilbert St. Clair
Patrick St. Clair
Alexander St. Clair of Cuthilton and Little Denny (Stirlingshire) ( -aft.1542)
Hercules St. Clair ( -aft. 1571)
John St. Clair ( -aft. 1561)
Oliver St. Clair of West Ravensneuk (Midlothian) ( -aft. 1598)
Sir Mathew St. Clair ( -aft.1573)
Edward St. Clair of Eday, Orkney [charter from Oliver of Pitcairns, 1563]
Elizabeth St. Clair ( -aft. 1547) m. Sir William Cunningham of Glengarnock (Ayrshire)
Sir William Sinclair, 14th Baron of Roslin, Justiciar of Lothian and Tweedale ( -1583) m. Isabel, dau. of Sir Walter Kerr of Cessford
Elspeth Sinclair
Isobell Sinclair
Helen Sinclair
Beatrix Sinclair m. c.1578 Magnus Sinclair of Kyninmonth of the Leyis  (Aberdeenshire), son of William, 4th Lord Sinclair and Agnes Bruce
Margaret Sinclair m. 1575 John, son of William Drummond of Smithston
Henry (natural son) [?prebend at Rosslyn chapel, 1571]
Edward Sinclair, Baron of Roslin (signed the barony over to his brother) ( -1582) m. 1574 Christian, dau. of Sir George Douglas of Parkhead, Governor of Edinburgh Castle, no issue
William Sinclair, 15th Baron of Roslin (c.1561-c.1628) m. (2) Jean Dobie of Roslin ( -1634)
William Sinclair (c.1612-aft. 1633) of Ballyloughmaguiffe, Co. Tyrone, Ireland
George Sinclair (c.1613-aft. 1633) of Ballyloughmaguiffe, Co. Tyrone, Ireland
m. (1) aft. 1583 Janet Edmonstone ( -c.1590), dau. of Sir John Edmonstone of Ednam (Roxburghshire)
Sir William Sinclair, 16th Baron of Roslin (c.1590-1650) m. 1610 Anne, dau. of John Spottiswood, Archbishop of Glasgow
Sir William Sinclair of Pentland ( -bef. 1636)
Margaret Sinclair (natural dau.) ( -1698) m. James Carruthers
Elizabeth Sinclair (natural dau.), unmarried
Ludovic/Lewis Sinclair ( -aft. 1664) [Army Captain, emigrated to Poland]
Henry Sinclair
Patrick Sinclair
Charles Sinclair, died abroad
Robert Sinclair, died young
George Sinclair, died young
Rachael Sinclair m. George Home, Laird of Foord (nr. Haddington)
Margaret Sinclair, died young
Helen Sinclair ( -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 Sinclair, 17th Baron of Roslin ( -1690), no issue
Sir James Sinclair, 18th Baron of Roslin ( -1699) m. c.1667 Jean, dau of Sir Henry Spottiswood, Sheriff of Dublin
Helen Sinclair (1670-aft. 1705) m. Archibald Kerr of Graden
James Sinclair (1671-1690, died at battle of the Boyne, Ireland)
Anna Sinclair (1674-1683)
Thomas Sinclair (1676- ) m. Elizabeth, dau. of Capt. Francis Wauchope, brother of Sir John Wauchope of Niddrie (Midlothian)
James Sinclair ( -aft. 1749) m. (?)Agnes, dau of Alexander Wedderburn
Francis Sinclair ( -aft. 1764), Colonel in Spanish army at Naples
Antonio St. Clair
Margaret Sinclair ( -1746) m. Alexander Bower of Meathie
Alexander Bower of Kincaldrum (1738- )
Sarah Sinclair ( -1746, in France)
Alexander Sinclair, 19th Baron of Roslin (1672-1706) m. Jean, dau of Robert, 7th Lord Sempill and Ann Douglas of Mordington
Two sons and three dau., died young
William Sinclair, the last and 20th Baron of Roslin (1700-1778) m. Cordelia, dau. of Sir George Wishart, 1st Baronet of Cliftonhall (Midlothian)
Three sons and four dau., died young
Sarah Sinclair ( -c.1781) m. Sir Peter Wedderburn of Chesterhall (East Lothian)
Alexander Wedderburn-St. Clair, Earl of Rosslyn (1733-1805), issue
Jane Sinclair (1730-1816), natural dau.
Dr William St Clare, (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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