John St Clair, Master of Sinclair

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John St Clair, Master of Sinclair (5 December 1683 – 2 November 1750)[1] was a Scottish noble and Tory politician.

Background[edit]

He was the older son of Henry St Clair, 10th Lord Sinclair and his wife Grizel Cockburn, eldest daughter of Sir James Cockburn, 1st Baronet.[2] St Clair was educated at the University of Franeker.[3]

Career[edit]

In 1708, he stood for Dysart Burghs to the British House of Commons, but as a peer's eldest son, his election was declared void.[4] Thereupon St Clair joined Preston's Regiment as a captain-lieutenant later in that year, however having killed two brothers in duels without seconds was forced to leave a short time after.[5] Sentenced to death by a court martial, he was granted a reprieve by the regiment's commander John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough.[5] St Clair came then in the service of King Frederick I of Prussia until being pardoned by Queen Anne of Great Britain in 1712.[4]

In 1715, St Clair supported the Jacobite rising and took part in the Battle of Sheriffmuir in November of that year, for which he was attainted and excluded from succession to his father's lordship.[6] He fled to Kirkwell Castle and therefrom to the continent.[6] Pardoned by letters patent in 1726, St Clair returned to Scotland and although an act of parliament in 1736 relieved the forfeiture's terms, he never assumed his title.[6]

Family[edit]

On 16 August 1733, he married firstly Lady Margaret Stewart, daughter of James Stewart, 5th Earl of Galloway and widow of James Carnegie, 5th Earl of Southesk.[4] She died in 1747 and St Clair married secondly Amelia Murray, daughter of Lieutenant-General Lord George Murray at Arnhall on 24 April 1750.[4] Both his marriages were childless.[7] St Clair died at Dysart and, but for the forfeiture was succeeded in his title by his younger brother James, a general in the British Army and Member of Parliament for forty years.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Leigh Rayment - Peerage". Retrieved 12 August 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Burke, John (2001). Peter de Vere Beauclerk-Dewar, ed. Burke's Landed Gentry of Great Britain. ISBN 0-9711966-0-5. 
  3. ^ Eveline Cruickshanks, Stuart Handley and D. W. Hayton, ed. (2002). The House of Commons, 1690-1715. vol. V. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 486–487. 
  4. ^ a b c d Douglas, Sir Robert (1910). Sir James Balfour Paul, ed. The Scots Peerage. vol. VII. Edinburgh: David Douglas. pp. 586–587. 
  5. ^ a b Thomson, A. T. (1845). Memoirs of the Jacobites of 1715 and 1745. vol. I. London: Richard Bentley. pp. 285–295. 
  6. ^ a b c Anderson, William (1867). The Scottish Nation. vol. III. Edinburgh: A. Fullerton. p. 459. 
  7. ^ "ThePeerage - John St Clair, Master of Sinclair". Retrieved 24 March 2007. 
Parliament of Great Britain
New constituency Member of Parliament for Dysart Burghs
17081710
Succeeded by
James Abercromby
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Henry St Clair
Lord Sinclair
de jure
1726–1750
Succeeded by
James St Clair