Sinclair of Dryden in Perthshire
Sir John Sinclair, 3rd of Dryden was in a position of high favour at the court of King James IV and also with his Queen, Margaret Tudor. As a reward for his service, the King granted Sir John ‘my knight and his successors‘ the lands of Banks of Row (amongst several others) in Menteith (Stirlingshire) on 11 May 1491. On 11 April 1502 Sir John granted a tenancy of Banks of Row to his younger brother, known as ‘Master’ William to avoid confusion with his other brother named William, who was also a royal servant, serving as ‘ostarius’ or usher to the outer door of the King’s chamber.
In 1495, a Richard Sinclair and John of Row were recorded as baillies of Dunblane and given the subsequent marriage of Margaret Sinclair, daughter of Master William Sinclair of Banks of Row, to Robert Row, son of John Row of Dunblane, it is possible that Richard Sinclair was also somehow connected to the Dryden family, although no documentary proof exists.
Henry Sinclair, yet another of Sir John’s brothers, married Beatrix Chisholm, widow of John Murray of Strowan and she gained a feu charter of Nether Ardoch and Drumlacok (or Drumlaw) in the parish of Muthill (Perthshire) from her cousin, William Chisholm, Bishop of Dunblane. Their daughter Marion married William Stirling, second son of Sir John Stirling of Keir, and as the heiress to her father, she and her husband were granted a feu charter of Nether Ardoch and Drumlacok from William Chisholm in 1543, after which the lands remained with the Stirling family. The Stirling and Sinclair families inter-married when Beatrix, the daughter of Marion Sinclair and William Stirling, married her cousin, William Sinclair 2nd of Galivmor and Glassingal. William’s father, Edward had a charter of the lands of Galivmor on 21 January 1529 and a charter from William Chisholm, Bishop of Dunblane for the lands of Glassingal and Drumduie (or Drumdoalls) on 3 July 1546. On 1 August 1588, William Sinclair of Galivmor and Glassingal had a royal charter for the lands of Auchinbie in the parish of Dunblane.
Despite being kin by marriage, a dispute over the rightful possession of the lands of Auchinbie led to murder when George, the son of Beatrix Stirling and William Sinclair, killed James Stirling of Auchyle. The Sinclairs claimed they held Auchinbie from the King under the 1588 charter and the Stirlings claimed they held it by charter from William Chisholm, Bishop of Dunblane, which had also been confirmed by the King. In revenge, James Stirling’s elder brother, Archibald Stirling of Keir, his servant Matthew Colhoun, James Kinross, fiar of Kippenross and George Muschet, set about William Sinclair and his sons George and Edward as they left a church near Stirling on 5 June 1593, murdering them in the kirkyard. Sadly, blood feuds were common in sixteenth-century Scotland, particularly when land was such a valuable commodity. It was not until 1596 that the feud was finally settled with both parties signing a bond of reconciliation which involved William Sinclair 3rd of Galivmor and Glassingal agreeing to give up the Sinclairs’ claim to Auchinbie and infefting Archibald Stirling of Keir in the lands instead.
Nina Cawthorne, August 2020
Sinclair of Nether Ardoch and Drumlaw
Henry Stirling of Ardoch and Drumlacok ( -c.1618) m. Helen, dau. of Sir John Haldane of Gleneagles (Perthshire)
William Stirling ( -bef. 1628), rector of Aberfoyle, m. Geillis Bisset
James Stirling ( -c.1614), advocate, m. Isabel Borthwick
John Stirling ( -aft. 1620)
Jean Stirling m. James Kinross of Kippenross
Elizabeth Stirling m. Thomas Drummond of Corscaple
Unnamed dau. m. Robert Buchanan of Lennie
Sinclair of Banks, Galivmor and Glassingal
(?)Edmund Sinclair [also witness to above 1546 charter]
Edward Sinclair, 1st of Galivmor and Glassingal (Perthshire) ( -c.1579) m. bef. 1546 Elizabeth Littil
Thomas Sinclair ( -aft. 1642) [apprenticed in Edinburgh 1642]
James Sinclair ( -1652) [apprenticed in Edinburgh 1635]
George Sinclair ( -3 June 1593)
Henry Sinclair m. Marie Campbell, dau. of Colin Campbell of Lundie (Stirlingshire)
William Sinclair, 3rd of Glassingal ( -1626), ‘indweller in Dunblane’ m. (1) Margaret Chisholm ( -c.1581)
m. (2) c.1596 Mary, dau. of Sir John Livingstone of Abercorn
James Sinclair m. unknown
John Sinclair, 5th of Glassingal [served heir to his grandfather Henry on 6 Sept 1655 and sold the lands to Duncan Drummond of Balhadie on 8 Oct 1680]
m. (2) Gregor McGregor, chief of Clan McGregor