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Thread: Schooner Jessie Sinclair, owned by Sinclairs of Rattar

  1. #1

    Default Schooner Jessie Sinclair, owned by Sinclairs of Rattar

    Hi, new to this forum.

    My ancestors were watchmakers from Castletown: Charles Angus and his son Donald Angus (my great grandfather).

    Donald Angus (1834-1910) married Janet Sinclair (1856-1943), from Rattar, in 1881. Janet's father was James Sinclair (1805-1879), a merchant from Rattar, and her mother was Janet or Jessie McBeath (1819-1903). I believe James Sinclair owned (or part owned) at least two sailing ships: the Jessie Sinclair and the Janet Sinclair (both registered in Wick). James and Jessie also had a son David Sinclair (1851-1879) who is referred to as the captain of the schooner Banrigh, so perhaps that was part of the family fleet too. The Jessie was listed as belonging to J Bremner, but it is noted that he was probably the largest shareholder in a small consortium. However, James Sinclair appears to have been allowed to name the ships after his wife and his daughter, so he must have been a major shareholder.

    My family has a painting of the Jessie Sinclair (now with my cousin in Australia) which lists the master as William Brotchie. (I believe William Brotchie came from Dunnet, and died in Dunnet in 1902.) (I know the Castletown Heritage Society also has a different painting of the ship.)

    I'm very interested in this shipping connection, and wondered if anybody knew anything about the Sinclairs in this regard? Or had any information on these ships? I know the Jessie was built in Fraserburgh in 1871. The Janet was built in 1868 and last seen leaving Alloa for Shetland on 16/11/1881 (not heard of since). I would love to know what happened to the Jessie Sinclair as I've not been able to find out anything. (I may at some point visit Lloyds in London and see what I can find in their ships lists.)

    I'm also interested in any info about Charles and James Angus' watchmaking business (I have a grandfather clock made by one of them) but perhaps that's a different thread. Thanks for any info, on either subject!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2018


    The "Jessie Sinclair" was built in Fraserburgh in 1871 (82 tons). From 1872 to 1883 the owner (or managing owner if more than one owner) was James Bremner of Wick. From 1885 to 1904 the owner (or managing owner if more than one owner) was John Sinclair of Dunnet. From 1907 to 1920 the "Jessie Sinclair" was registered in Castletown, Isle of Man, and the managing owner was William Qualtrough, Port St Mary, Isle of Man. By 1917, the ship had been lengthened. I can't find a record from 1921 forward.

    The "Janet Sinclair" belonged to William Coghill of Castletown from 1870 to 1875. In 1876, the owner was George Sinclair, Castletown. From 1879 to 1882, the owner was George Sinclair, 24 Harbour Quay, Wick (who moved from Castletown).

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