WILLIAM, son of the Comte de Sancto Claro in Normandy, and a cousin of Yoland de Bren, Queen to Alexander III, was the progenitor of the Sinclair Clan. Their original seat was Roslin Castle; and they inherited the Norse Earldom of Orkney. William Sinclair, 3rd Earl of Orkney, who founded the collegiate Church of Roslin in 1441, was Lord High Treasurer of Scotland in 1445, and Ambassador to England. In 1456 he was made Earl of Caithness. He married Lady Margaret, daughter of Archibald, Earl of Douglas, Duke of Touraine. He died before 1480, and was succeeded by his son, William, 2nd Earl of Caithness, who was slain at Flodden. John, 3rd Earl, was killed during an insurrection in Orkney. His son, George, 4th Earl, supported Mary Queen of Scots, and Bothwell. He died 1583, leaving two sonsJohn, Master of Caithness, and George, ancestor of Sinclair of Mey. He was succeeded by his son, George, 5th Earl. George, 6th Earl, had no children, and died in debt. George, 7th Earl, died childless, and his honours fell to John Sinclair of Murkle. In 1789 the Earldom passed to Sir James Sinclair, 7th Baronet of Mey as 12th Earl ; and on the death of George, 15th Earl, to the Sinclairs of Durran, of whom James Augustus became 16th Earl in 1889. The Chief of Clan Sinclair is the Earl of Caithness.
THIS clan claim descent from Gregor, a son of King Alpin, who ruled about 787. They had great possessions in Perthshire and Argyllshire. They held their lands by the sword, fighting bravely for their homes, and gave their enemies such good excuse to urge their dispossession that their name was suppressed by Parliament. In the thirteenth century they held the lands of Glenorchy. Later they appear as tenants of the Campbells. Patrick, who succeeded in 1390, had two younger sons John Dhu MacGregor of Glenstrae; and Gregor MacGregor of Roro, in Glenlyon. Ultimately the chieftainship went to the Glenstrae branch. In 1502 the line of Roro was dispossessed by the Campbells. In 1603 the MacGregors overthrew their oppressors, the Colquhouns of Luss, at Glenfruin, For this they were outlawed, and their Chief, Alexander MacGregor, with many of his followers, was executed in Edinburgh in 1604 ; but as late as 1744 MacGregor of Glengyle drew blackmail on the Highland Borders. The suppression of the name was annulled by Parliament in 1774. Rob Roy was of the House of Glengyle. Scott proved that the MacGregors were the real “Children of the Mist.” MacGregor of MacGregor and Balquhidder, whose line holds a Baronetcy, has been officially recognised as Chief of the clan.