Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster

1754 - 1835

Claimant or beneficiary


Claimed with Vans Hathorn (q.v.) part of the compensation for the Argyle, Calder and Calder Ridge estates in St Vincent as co-trustees of the marriage settlement of Hon. Archibald Macdonald and Jane Campbell: Sir John Sinclair died in 1835 and the award was made to Hathorn alone.

  1. Sir John Sinclair was an MP for a variety of Scottish constituencies between 1780 and 1811. Caithness landowner, President of the Board of Agriculture 1793-8, 1806-14 and 'from the mid 1780s he devoted himself to the "promotion of improvement", particularly in agriculture. He put his ideas into practice on his own estates, was a prolific author on economic, financial and political subjects...' Included initiating the First Statistical Account of Scotland (1791-9). His political career ended amidst financial difficulties and public ridicule. He was related by his second marriage to the Hon. Archibald Macdonald.  

  2. The portrait of Sinclair is "after Sir Henry Raeburn (q.v.)", based on a work of c. 1810. It is in the National Portrait Gallery, (NPG 454). There is another portrait of Sinclair by Raeburn in the Scottish National Gallery. In it he is depicted as a regimental colonel in a uniform of his own design - he was evidently a deeply vain man - wearing trews of Gordon sett tartan. The Scottish National Gallery's note on Sinclair makes no mention of his connections to slave-owning.


T71/892 St Vincent claim nos. 492A & B (Argyle); 497A & B; 498A & B.

  1. History of Parliament 1790-1820 online [accessed 29/03/2012].

Further Information

(1) Sarah Maitland (2) Hon. Diana Macdonald

Associated Claims (1)

£6,767 4s 8d
Deceased claimant successful

Legacies Summary

Physical (1)

Thurso Castle 
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"repaired and enlarged in 1806 and 1835" by Sir John Sinclair 1st Bart. Removed to make way for the existing castle in the 1870s (now in...

Political (1)

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Caithness Caithness
1780 - 1784
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Lostwithiel Cornwall
1784 - 1790
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Caithness Caithness
1790 - 1796
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Petersfield Hampshire
1797 - 1802
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Caithness Caithness
1802 - 1806
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Caithness Caithness
1807 - 1811

Addresses (3)

133 George Street, Edinburgh, Midlothian (Edinburgh), Central Scotland, Scotland
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Post Office Directories

6 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, Midlothian (Edinburgh), Central Scotland, Scotland
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Post Office Directories

Thurso Castle, Thurso, Caithness, Highlands & Islands, Scotland