Sir William Sinclair of Roslin

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William "the Crusader" Sinclair of Roslin, Lord of Roslin

Also Known As: "William "the Crusader" Sinclair Lord of Rosslyn", "St. Clair"
Birthplace: Rosslyn Castle, Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland
Death: Died in Malaga, Andalucia, Spain
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Henry Sinclair of Roslin, 7th Lord of Roslin and Alice de Fenton
Husband of unknown Sinclair; Elisabeth Spar ; Margarete Gartney and Rosabelle
Father of John St Clair; Thomas St Clair; William Sinclair of Roslin and Margaret Sinclair of Roslin
Brother of John Sinclair and Margaret Sinclair

Occupation: Earl of Rosslyn, Knight, nobleman., "the Crusader"
Managed by: Joanna Helen Roper
Last Updated:

About Sir William Sinclair of Roslin

Sir William Sinclair or Saint Clair (d. 1330), of Roslin, friend of Robert Bruce, was the son of Sir Henry Sinclair of Roslin [see under Sinclair, Sir William, (fl. 1266–1303)] by Alicia de Fenton. According to Father Hay, he received from Robert the Bruce the grant of Pentland Moor in free forestry and the office of great master-hunter of Scotland on account of the prowess of his two dogs, ‘Help’ and ‘Hold,’ in capturing a fleet white deer which repeatedly baulked the efforts of Bruce's hounds (Genealogy of the Sinclairs, p. 16). He was one of the knights chosen to accompany Sir James Douglas (1286?–1330) [q. v.] to the Holy Land with the heart of Bruce; and, in view of the service which he was expected to render him, received from Bruce a pension of 40l. (Exchequer Rolls, i. 209). He was slain, along with Douglas, on the plains of Andalusia by the Saracens on 25 Aug. 1330 (Wyntoun, Chronicle). By his wife Isabel—sometimes surnamed Sperra—daughter of Malise, earl of Strathearn*, he had three sons and a daughter: Sir Henry Sinclair, earl or prince of Orkney [q. v.], William, David, and Margaret, who married first, Thomas, second earl of Angus, and secondly, Sir William Sinclair of Herdmanston. [Wyntoun's Chronicle; Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vol. i.; Hay's Genealogy of the Sinclairs of Roslin.] T. F. H.** [Ref: DNB, Editor, Sidney Lee, MacMillan Co, London & Smith, Elder & Co., NY, 1909, vol. xviii, p. 308]

* SP under "Ancient Earls of Strathearn" gives no such dau. of any of the Earls of Strathearn named Malise & in the article on William under "Sinclair, Earl of Orkney" (see below) does not identify his wife...CH

** Thomas Finlayson Henderson, author of this article.


Sir William St. Clair [son of Henry St. Clair of Roslin & Alice de Fenton] had a grant of a pension of £40 in anticipation of his services in the Holy Land 1329,(14-566) being one of the knights chosen to accompany Sir James Douglas to Palestine with the heart of Bruce, but was slain in Andalusia by the Saracens 25 August 1330.(1-567) He was the father of:-

1. William, next mentioned.

2. Margaret, married, first, dispensation dated 3 June 1353,(2-567) to Thomas, Earl of Angus, who died in 1361. They were said to be related in the fourth degree. She married, secondly, Sir John Sinclaire of Hermandston.(3-567) She had a pension from King David II. from the lands of Tollie.(4-567)

3. Thomas, Bailie of Orkney for the King of Norway; a witness to a resignation by Bernard de Rowie to Hugh de Ross of the lands of Fouleroule in Aberdeenshire on 20 January 1364,(5-567) and died before 1 November 1371, leaving a son:- Alexander, who attested an instrument at Kirkwall in 1364, had a charter from King David in confirmation of a charter by Hugh Ross of Philorth to him of the lands of Estertyre 1 November 1369,(6-567) and of one by William, Earl of Ross of the lands of Bray, in the sherffdom of Inverness, on 1 November 1369.(7-567)

4. John, a witness in 1367.

(14-566) _Exch. Rolls_, i., 209. (1-567) Dalrymple's _Annals_, ii. 131. (2-567) _Cal. of Papal Reg. Letters_, iii. 512. (3-567) Robertson's _Index_, 62, 25. (4-567) _Reg. Mag. Sig._, fol. 29, No. 59. (5-567) _Reg. Aberdon._, i. 106. (6-567_Reg. Mag. Sig._, fol. vol. 76, No. 273. (7-567) _Ibid._, 76, No. 274. [Ref: SP VI:566-7]

Source: Curt Hofemann


  • Burke's Peerage and Baronetage "A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage" by Sir Bernard Burke, 92nd edition. Published by Burke's Peerage Ltd in 1934; 106th edition, Charles Mosley Editor-in-Chief, 1999.
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Sir William Sinclair of Roslin's Timeline

Rosslyn Castle, Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland
Age 44
Rosslyn Castle,Edinburgh,Midlothian,Scotland
August 25, 1330
Age 47
Malaga, Andalucia, Spain
Age 47
Rosslyn Castle, Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland