Maynard Sinclair

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Maynard Sinclair, centre with garland, upon winning his constituency in the NI general election (14 February 1949)

Major The Rt Hon. John Maynard Sinclair (4 August 1896 – 31 January 1953) was a unionist politician in Northern Ireland. Born in Belfast, in 1896, son of John Sinclair DL and Alice Montgomery, he was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, and in Switzerland. He served in the British Army during World War I. He was a director of the Eagle Star Insurance Company and Chairman of Vulcanite Ltd.

Political career[edit]

His first attempt to be elected to the Parliament of Northern Ireland was unsuccessful; he contested the Mourne division in 1933. He was elected to the House of Commons of Northern Ireland in 1938 for the division of Belfast Cromac. On 16 January 1941, he was appointed Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Minister of Finance (i.e. a junior minister). In May 1943, Sir Basil Brooke succeeded John Miller Andrews as Prime Minister of Northern Ireland; Maynard Sinclair was appointed Minister of Finance (de facto Deputy Prime Minister) in the Government of Northern Ireland on 6 May 1943 and was made a Privy Councillor (Northern Ireland).


Maynard Sinclair was one of 133 passengers drowned in the sinking of the ferry MV Princess Victoria on 31 January 1953, en route across the North Channel from Stranraer to Larne. He was survived by his wife, Marjorie Claridge.


The pavilion of the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) Sports and Social Club on the Stormont Estate in Belfast is named the "Maynard Sinclair Pavilion". The children’s ward at the Ulster Hospital at Dundonald is named the "Maynard Sinclair Children’s Ward". There is also a Major J. M. Sinclair Memorial Pipe Band which was formed shortly after his death and can still be found in competition throughout Ireland and Scotland.

External links[edit]

Parliament of Northern Ireland
Preceded by
Anthony Babington
Member of Parliament for Belfast Cromac
1938 - 1953
Succeeded by
Joseph Morgan
Political offices
Preceded by
Parliamentary and Financial Secretary, Ministry of Finance
1941 - 43
Succeeded by
Office abolished
Preceded by
Sir Milne Barbour, Bt.
Minister of Finance
1943 - 53
Succeeded by
Brian Maginess, QC.