Life peerages are individual distinctions; otherwise, peerages
are inherited, but have varied rules of inheritance, and some may
be inherited by women. Heritable peerages expire when there is no
qualified heir. Many peers have more than one title; they may
also have baronetcies and knighthoods.
Baronets and knights are not peers. A baronetcy is inherited;
as for a knighthood, its holder is addressed as "Sir".
A knighthood is an individual distinction.
Here is a list of some St Clair and Sinclairs who are:
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[Page last updated 9 Feb 2005]
Peerages held by families named St Clair or Sinclair, and
- Barrogill - The 14th Earl of Caithness was created a baron, Lord Barrogill of Barrogill Castle (the former name of the Castle of Mey). As is usual, the title could only be inherited through the legitimate direct male line; it expired when the 15th Earl died unmarried in 1889.
- Berriedale - The Earl of Caithness is also a baron, Lord Berriedale. By tradition, the oldest son of the Earl of Caithness uses the title of Lord Berriedale, nicknamed "Berrie"; his oldest son may be known as the Master of Berriedale.
- Caithness - The 20th Earl of Caithness, Lord Berriedale, a Baronet and Chief of the Name and Arms of Sinclair is named Malcolm Ian Sinclair but known as Malcolm Caithness. Nowadays the oldest son of the Earl of Caithness uses the title of Lord Berriedale rather than Master of Caithness. This peerage is inherited through the male line only. Caithness is the county on the northeast tip of the Scottish mainland. A Conservative, the present chief is a Privy Councillor, and a representative hereditary peer in the House of Lords.
- Linklater of Butterstone - The Baroness Linklater of Butterstone, created a life peer in 1997. A Liberal Democrat, she is descended from the 1st Viscount Thurso.
- Loughborough - The Earl of Rosslyn is also a baron, Lord Loughborough. By tradition, the oldest son of the Earl of Rosslyn uses the title of Lord Loughborough; this is why the present Earl of Rosslyn was known as Peter Loughborough.
- Masham of Ilton - The Baroness Masham of Ilton, of Masham, N Riding, Co York. She is descended from the Sinclairs of Dunbeath, a daughter of the eighth Baronet, and is a life peer in her own right, active in the House of Lords. By marriage, she is also the Countess of Swinton.
- Pentland - Capt. John Sinclair of Lyth M.P. (1860-1925), Secretary of State for Scotland 1905-1912 and Governor of Madras India 1912-1919, was created 1st Baron Pentland of Lyth (in Caithness) in 1909. He was the youngest of the three sons of Sir John Sinclair of Barrock, 6th baronet of Dunbeath, and descended from George Sinclair of Mey who died in 1616. His son Henry succeeded as 2nd Lord Pentland in 1925; Henry's daughter is married and lives in New York. As he had no male heir, the title was extinguished when the 2nd Baron died in 1984.
- Rosslyn - The 7th Earl of Rosslyn, Co Midlothian, 7th Baron Loughborough, and a Baronet. His family name is St Clair-Erskine, but the Earl himself is known as Peter Rosslyn. By tradition, the oldest son of the Earl of Rosslyn uses the title of Lord Loughborough. The 2nd Earl of Rosslyn, who inherited the Rosslyn estate in 1789, was descended from both the the 1st/10th Lord Sinclair and the 1st Earl of Caithness. The present Earl, a Liberal Democrat, was elected to the House of Lords as a representative hereditary peer in 1999.
- St Clair - The 21st Lord St Clair (but for the attainder). After the Battle of Sheriffmuir
in 1715 where he took the Jacobite side, John St Clair, Master of
Sinclair, was attainted; he and his descendants were barred from succession
to any peerage. According to Burke's 2003, this 1449 creation
would have been inherited (but for the attainder) separately from his father's other titles, through his sister Grizel to her seventh-generation
descendant, heir of line of the Earls of Orkney, who is also a baron
in the peerage of Sweden. Baron St Clair Bonde
of Charleton yr has a home in Fife, Scotland.
- Sinclair - The 9th Lord Sinclair. His family name is St Clair, pronounced Saint Clair. This
peerage can also be inherited through women. By tradition, the oldest son
of the Lord Sinclair is known as the Master of Sinclair; if he has no sons,
the title may be inherited through his oldest daughter who would then be
the Mistress of Sinclair. Lately, the family has lived in
- Sinclair of Cleeve - The 3rd Baron Sinclair of Cleeve, of Cleeve, Co. Somerset. His family name is Sinclair, and he is descended from Robert Dunbar Sinclair (1824-1899) of Lybster, Caithness.
- Thurso - The 3rd Viscount
Thurso, of Ulbster, Caithness, and a Baronet. His family name is Sinclair;
his father Robin Sinclair was a great friend of Clan Sinclair Association
Canada. A Liberal Democrat, John Thurso is the Member
of Parliament for Caithness, and the only person to sit in the House of
Commons after previously sitting in the House of Lords.
Baronetcies held by families named St Clair or Sinclair:
- St Clair-Ford - Sir James Anson St Clair-Ford, 7th Bt, of Ember Court, Surrey. Descended from royalists in Devon, the first baronet's family lived in Barbados.
- Sinclair of Canisbay - The Earl of Caithness has also inherited the baronetcy of Canisbay.
- Sinclair of Dunbeath - Sir Patrick Robert Richard Sinclair of Dunbeath, 10th Bt. of Dunbeath, Caithness-shire. He is descended from Alexander Sinclair of Latheron, third son of George Sinclair of Mey and grandson of the 4th Earl of Caithness. Baroness Masham is his aunt. This family is a collateral branch of the Earl of Caithness's family.
- Sinclair of Ulbster - Viscount Thurso has also inherited the baronetcy of Sinclair of Ulbster. The first baronet was his ancestor Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster (1754-1835), who was a descendant of the 4th Earl of Caithness.
- Sinclair-Lockhart of Castle Hill - Sir Simon John Edward Francis Sinclair-Lockhart of Castle Hill, 15th Bt. Descended from the Sinclairs of Longformacus, who are thought to be descended from both the St Clairs of Herdmanston and the St Clairs of Roslin. The family has lived in New Zealand for a century.
Knighthoods held by people named St Clair or Sinclair:
- Sir Clive Sinclair
- A well-known British inventor and entrepreneur knighted in 1983.
Perhaps most famous for the pocket calculator and the Sinclair personal
computer, London-based Sir Clive Marles Sinclair was also
the chairman of British Mensa from 1980 to 1997. His company
presently makes online sales of the Wheelchair Drive Unit, the SEA-DOO
Seascooter, and the miniature Z1 AM radio, and is expected to also
sell the new folding A-bike.
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