Excerpts from the 600th Celebration News, 1998- this page courtesy of John Quarterman with all rights reserved.  For full credit and more information, see his website at: http://sinclair2.quarterman.org/sinclair/history/mid/zeno_map.html.  Certain expired links have been eliminated or changed.

Preparations for the Voyage

Prince Henry commissioned Antonio and Nicolo Zeno, the brothers of Carlo Zeno "the Lion" of Venice, to draw a map of the north Atlantic region. The resulting "Zeno Map" was so accurate that sailors of all nations used it for the next 300 years. Recently the military aerial photographic maps have found thirty-seven points of identity with the Zeno Map! In addition, Sinclair reassigned some of his land holdings to his brothers, in case he should not return from this dangerous voyage.

The Actual Expedition

In 1398, Prince Henry set sail with 200-300 men in twelve tiny ships. Antonio Zeno was the navigator and recorder of the fleet's log, which is called the "Zeno Narratives." The voyage took the explorers to Faeroes, Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and to New England. They had harmonious contacts with the Micmac Indians throughout at least one year. Several archaeological artifacts remain to validate their miraculous adventure. They are the Zeno Narratives and Zeno Map, a Venician cannon in Nova Scotia, the Micmac Indian legends, and a rock carving in Westford, Massachusetts. Some researchers believe that Sinclair and his group built the Newport Tower in Rhode Island. Antonio Zeno reported about Henry Sinclair, "If ever there was a man who is worthy of a mortal memory, it is this man [Henry Sinclair] because of his great bravery and goodness".

Accomplishments Were Not Announced to the World

Unfortunately, Henry returned and was soon slain in an ambush in Orkney. It is thought that his assassination was ordered by the Hanseatic League to rid itself of such a powerful rival. To make sure that Prince Henry Sinclair's trans-Atlantic achievements were not followed up, the Hansea arranged to have Sinclair's son, also named Henry, arrested at sea while escorting the Crown Prince of Scotland to France for safekeeping. Henry and the King's son were confined for the next fourteen years in an English prison. His other son, William [actually, his grandson], was content to live in regal comfort in his Rosslyn Castle, where he designed and constructed Rosslyn Chapel. It was adorned with stone carvings, including corn and cactus, not here-to-for known in the Old World. Antonio Zeno also died immediately upon his return voyage. Only Prince Henry's daughter, Elizabeth is credited with passing the story of the epic voyage along to her son, John. He proudly told his in- laws, one of whom was the wife of Christopher Columbus! Later, the Zeno Narratives were discovered, providing the world with a more definitive report of Prince Henry's voyage.

Continued Next Month

The story of Prince Henry Sinclair will continue in October's issue of this Newsletter with many proofs that he actually made the voyage of 1398 from Scotland to North America.

New Film About Prince Henry

Writer/actor Michael Hiland has nearly finished the script for a film about Henry Sinclair. It will trace the his life from childhood at Rosslyn in Scotland through his amazing trans-Atlantic voyage. Hiland is conducting research that includes the Micmacs and the Templars. Having both St. Clair and Micmac blood, Hiland has a very meaningful perspective to offer. Such notables as Niven Sinclair and Bob Brydon have offered assistance. Several potential producers and directors have been approached. This is a hot project!


About Prince Henry . . . .

In our earlier issue we told about the youth of Henry Sinclair. Born in Rosslyn Castle in Scotland, he became baron of Rosslyn, Grand Master of Scottish Masons, "Jarl" of Orkney, all at an early age. his biography is now continued.]

Henry Sinclair employed the services of Nicolo and Antonio Zeno, brothers of the most famous admiral of the time, Carlo Zeno. Nicolo had been an elector of the Doge and was one of the twelve Orators sent by the Venetian Senate with five galleys to Marseilles to carry the Pope and his court to Rome. Nicolo had also been captain of a galley in the war to protect the Genoese, and he was the Venetian ambassador to Ferrara in 1382. The Zenos brought to Sinclair the design of the first cannon used on ships.

Nicolo died in 1395, and Antonio became captain and navigator of Henry's fleet. They maintained the ship's log, the "Zeno Narrative". It told about a survey to make a map of Greenland in about 1393 by Nicolo Zeno. This Zeno Map of the North proved to be the most accurate map in existence for the next 150 years! And this "Narrative" has helped to prove that Sinclair sailed to America.

Henry Sinclair, his trusted friend, Sir James Gunn, Antonio Zeno, and his Templar friends planned a voyage to find this rich new land. After fitting out their thirteen barks, they took to the sea around April 1, 1398. with 200 - 300 men. Day after day they sailed. The Zeno document suggests they saw land at Newfoundland, but natives drove them away. Sailing farther, they came to Chedabucto Bay in Nova Scotia. They dropped anchor on the first of June in Guysborough harbor.

The Zeno Narrative provides only a limited description of the party's exploration. A hundred soldiers were dispatched to explore the source of smoke they saw swirling above a distant hill. It came from a great fire in the bottom of a hill, where a spring from which issued a certain substance like pitch ran into the sea. They also saw many people, half-wild, and living in caves. This was their first contact with the Micmac Indians. Geographical detective work, archaeology, modern science and various documents have pinpointed the burning hill as the asphalt area at Stellarton, about 50 miles direct from the head of Guysborough harbor.

The Zeno brothers called Prince Henry by the name of "Zichmni". This is an ancient translation of "Orkney", a shortened form for Prince of Orkney. From the Zeno Narrative we read the following translation by Richard H. Major:

``So we brought our barks and our boats in to land, and we entered an excellent harbor, and we saw in the distance a great mountain that poured out smoke. .... there were great multitudes of people, half-wild and living in caves. These were very small of stature and very timid; for when they saw our people, they fled into their holes. .... When Zichmni heard this and noticed that the place had a wholesome and pure atmosphere, a fertile soil and good rivers and so many other attractions, he conceived the idea of staying there and founding a city.''

Some men, led by Antonio Zeno, returned home to Europe. The rest chose to remain with Prince Henry with two oar-powered boats. It is thought they wanted to establish a settlement. At last the Templars might have a home, free of suppression!


Prince Henry persuaded the Micmac Indians to act as guides in his exploration of Nova Scotia. He first thought it to be an island. The narrow isthmus at Bair Verte changed his mind. It was navigable by canoe to Cumberland Basin with a portage of only three miles. The trip along River Herbert toward Parrsboro included only one portage of just 400 yards in its 22-mile length. Sinclair may then have traveled on to Annapolis Basin and across the Micmac canoe route to Liverpool. By October, he was back on Green Hill, southwest of Pictou harbor, to attend a gathering of the Micmacs. "Twas the time for holding the great and yearly feast with dancing and merry games."

Next, he doubled back to Spencer Island, Minas Channel, and did some hunting. The meat of the animals was sliced and dried. The bones were chopped up and boiled in a big iron pot to extract the marrow.

Historians and investigators have discovered other sites in Nova Scotia, where Henry Sinclair probably visited. Evidence is not complete, but it is highly suggestive. A few locations include the Castle at the Cross, Oak Island and its Money Pit, and the Cannon of Louisburg Harbor.

Castle at the Cross

The Castle at the Cross is atop Cadbury Hill and Gastonbury Tor, 17 miles from Chester, Nova Scotia. Only a mound of earth and stone remains today of the suspected ancient structure. Researchers believe 14th Century Norsemen and Scots built it, based on designs in the rubblework masonry. Several items were found around these ruins, including a much corroded pin, portion of a sword blade, wooden cones, and pieces of iron tools. From the scanty ruins, it is thought that the Castle had guard towers, main gate with pillars, and a dome or cone. Some historians believe this was a settlement by Prince Henry Sinclair, as shown in the lower left of the famous "Zeno Map" of the North. The Micmac legends describes Prince Henry's winter quarters in the vicinity of Advocate Harbor and Parrsboro. It was there, near Cape D'Or, that the explorers are thought to have built a new ship for their return voyage. The exact location is uncertain, however, mounds of dirt and stone formations have given archaeologists some clues. Here the Christian explorers would have celebrated Christmas, perhaps the first Christmas ever on American soil!

Cannon of Louisburg Harbor

It is more than coincidence that a unique, primitive cannon was found about 1849 at Louisburg Harbor on Cape Breton Island. Presumably, this gun was from Prince Henry's fleet in 1398. It had eight rings around its barrel, and a detachable breech with a handle. Several very similar cannons are on display at the Naval Museum in Venice. These are the same type as those used by Carlo Zeno at the Battle of Chioggia. They became obsolete by the end of the 14th century. Later cannons were made in a single piece without that kind of barrel rings.

Oak Island

Oak Island in Mahone Bay of Golden River, Nova Scotia, is one of only two islands, in a group of 350, where oak trees can be found! These oaks are thought to have been planted by ancient mariners to serve as a navigational aid to find the Castle at the Cross. From Oak Island, looking toward the mainland of Nova Scotia, the river leading to the Castle is to the right. The Celtic word for "oak" also means both "right" and "door".

Money Pit

This island on the Atlantic side has captured much attention because of its Money Pit, which is shrouded by mystery. It is a deep hole at the center of Oak Island. An elaborate security system was devised, whereby anyone exploring its depths would trigger the flood tunnels. Is this the hiding place for gold panned from Golden River? Or did Prince Henry deposit some Templar treasures in this hiding place? Was the Holy Grail placed there for safekeeping?

The Pit was discovered by three boys in 1795. At a depth of two feet there was a layer of stones. At 10 feet lay the first of many oak log platforms, set at 10-foot intervals as the depth increased. In 1802, Onslow Company discovered more log platforms, going down 93 feet. In 1849, the Truro Company drilled augur holes near the existing cavity. At the 154-foot level the drill went through a 5-inch oak platform and dropped another 12 inches farther until it struck another oak platform. Then it went through 22 inches of metal scrap, including an ancient watch chain! Oak timbers reappeared at a deeper depth, followed by another 22-inch layer of metal fragments. After the next layer of oak, they found 6 inches of spruce wood. Still other digs produced some scraps of parchment, with letters that looked like "vi" in hand script. At the 171-foot level an iron plate appeared. Coconut fibre, not native, was dated to be of 14th century origin! Then in 1909, the famous treasure hunter, Franklin D. Roosevelt many shares in Old Gold Salvage & Wrecking Company, which did more exploring at the Money Pit, but to no avail. More than $2 million has been expended on this Money Pit!


The Micmac Indians have a custom of preserving their history, and passing it along to the next generations, by their legends. This tradition continues today. Historians have studied these Legends. There are seventeen striking similarities between Glooscap and Prince Henry. Even the name "Glooscap" in Indian tongue, sounds like the combination of "Jarl Sinclair"! References to his personal features and qualities are too coincidental to be by accident. Until then, the Indians did not know how to fish with nets. Europeans were introduced to corn at this time in history. The large sailboat of Prince Henry was called "floating island" by the Indians. A quotation from the Micmac legends follow:

"Kuloskap was the first,
First and greatest,
To come into our land -
Into Nova Scotia, Canada,
Into Maine, into Wabanaki,
The land of sunrise, or Light.
Thus it was Kuloskap the Great
Made man: He took his arrows
And shot a tree, the ash,
Known as the basket-tree.
From the hole made by the arrow
Came forth new forms, and these
Were the first of human kind.
And so the Lord gave them a name
Meaning "those born from trees".
Kuloskap the Lord of Light
Made all the animals.
First he created
All of giant size;
Such was the beginning."
(Page 50, "Kuloskap the Master")

New England

In the springtime, the European explorers loaded up in their ships and traveled southward, perhaps carried by a northeaster, to the New England Coast, just north of Boston. Perhaps their southward voyage was planned, seeking more evidence of the peacefulness of this "rich and populous land".

Evidence indicates they travelled up the Merrimack River to Stony Brook, which they followed as far as possible. The party landed and explored this new land, meeting peacefully with the Algonquin Indians. To the west they could see a hilltop, from which the Indians may have sent smoke signals.


Symposium focused upon Prince Henry

A panel of seventeen experts in various phases of Henry Sinclair and his 1398 Voyage to North America was held in Kirkwall, Orkney, on September 5-7, 1997. Each made a 1-hour presentation on specific subjects. See the summaries which follow. All told, they conveyed an impressive body of information about this Earl of Orkney.

The times were ready!

Dr. Peter Waddell, University of Strathclyde, author and inventor, told of the Hanseatic League from northern Germany during the 14th and 15th centuries. They monopolized trade between the Baltic seaports. The Danish and Norwegian kings became deeply in debt to the Hansea. Queen Margaret of Norway and Denmark sought to develop a "Northern Commonwealth" to compete. Meanwhile, the Venetian trading ships were venturing into the Baltic waters. This was the time when Prince Henry Sinclair was granted the earldom of Orkney. Nicolo Zeno from Venice is known to have been employed by Henry Sinclair.

Sinclair's castle in Orkney

Dr. Peter D. Anderson, the Deputy Keeper of the Records, described the Sinclair dynasty and its fortress. While no visible trace of Kirkwall Castle remains today, ancient records and pictures tell us that it was located on the shore of the harbor in Kirkwall, in the vicinity of the present Broad and Castle Streets. The Castle was rectangular, surrounded by a larger curtain wall 55-ft long by 11-ft thick. Built in the late 1300's by Prince Henry, it served the earldom until about 1470. Its final days were during the Battle of Somersdale, which was fought by two competing branches of the Sinclair family, fighting over control of portions of Orkney, Shetland, and Caithness.

The Knights Templar

Dr. Tim Wallace-Murphy, Templar Historian and author, spoke on the history, beliefs, and survival of the Knights Templar. He noted that Sinclairs are woven within the Templar web. Founded in Jerusalem in 1119 to guard the Christian pilgrimages, the Knights are believed to have found enormous treasure in the hidden vaults under the ancient Herod's Temple where they were quartered. In addition, they found the secrets of "sacred geometry". Membership rapidly grew and land was donated to them, forming a network stretching from the Holy Land to the far reaches of Europe. Using their power base wisely, they became the leading money brokers in the world. They built churches, fortifications, bridges, and castles, while operating the largest fleet the world had ever seen. Moreover, they lent vast sums to popes, princes, kings, and merchants. King Philip le Bel of France devised a simple method to cancel his enormous debt, and that was the Suppression Order. On Friday the 13th of October 1307, sixty senior Knights were arrested in Paris. Torture and death followed. Most Templars fled safely to Lombardy, Scotland, Portugal, and the Baltic states. Those finding refuge in Scotland, fought as allies of Robert the Bruce and gained royal protection. All documentary evidence was suppressed, except for their symbolism and architecture. Rosslyn Chapel is a veritable encyclopedia in stone of Templar beliefs.

The Venetian Connection

Dr. Andrew Sinclair, historian and author, presented some ways that Venice was evidenced in Prince Henry's expedition. There is today a large Zeno villa at Canareggio in Venice. Documents by Marco Barbaro entitled, "Libro di nozzi", reveal that Nicolo, the younger brother of Admiral Carlo Zeno, was commander of the Zicni (or Zichmni) fleet between 1383 and 1388. In 1396 it is known that Nicolo Zeno was banned from office in Venice. Another brother, Antonio, remained with Zichmni for another 13 years, when he retired in 1400. The name of Zichmni is translated to be Sinclair. A cannon, found in Louisburg Harbor, is identical to one on display in Venice, made in the late 1300's; it was obsolete by the 1400's. The Zeno Map, made by Antonio and Nicolo, remained in use by mariners for 150 years because of its accuracy.

Shetland, a point of voyage departure?

Dr. Jonathan Wills, a writer and boatman, described the coastline and vantage points in Shetland. He noted that a logical route from Orkney to the New World would lead Prince Henry to the Shetland islands. It could serve as an excellent "jumping- off" place. Several sheltered harbors were identified. Nearby, a lookout peak would be a necessity. Such a location was Vera Burton. Furthermore, an aerial reconnaissance by Niven Sinclair and Jon Wills found a site very likely to have been Prince Henry's "castle", sheltering him while on land.

The The Voyage and the vision

Mark Finnan, a Canadian writer and broadcaster, described the vision of Prince Henry's voyage. Certainly, early explorers such as St. Brendon and Tim Severen, had unusual inspiration and faith in order to undertake their voyages. Paul Knutson's exploration in 1362 has led many people to believe he was responsible for the unique stones found in the Minnesota and Lake Superior regions. For Prince Henry there were the family legends of his Viking ancestors. More recently, he listened to the fishermen who returned from the north Atlantic seas with tales of population and vegetation. The Zeno Map is admittedly crude and even erroneous in certain areas. It is possible that part of the history of the crossing was made up in the Zeno Narratives. Nevertheless, much truth can be gleaned from these documents. True or not, John Cabot's voyage on the "Matthew" 100 years later has been heralded by the Queen of England, radio, television, and film makers. The Prince Henry saga is richer by far, for it contains a quest for the Holy Grail.

In the steps of Prince Henry

William F. Mann, author and urban planner in Nova Scotia, lead the audience through a labyrinth of clues, deep within the forests of Nova Scotia. He told his reasons for believing that Prince Henry followed those paths 600 years ago. Moral allegory and sacred geometry form a basis for Bill's theories. By identifying certain known locations, it is possible to lay out on a map other vitally important locations. The landing site, the smoking hills, the Money Pit, and the two islands where Oak trees exist. These, and many more identifiers, have led to the discovery of an ancient camp site, thought to have been Prince Henry Sinclair's.

The Legends of the Mi'kmaqs

Dr. Peter Christmas, head of Micmac Cultural Association of Nova Scotia, was assisted by Don Julien, chief executive of the Confederacy of Mainland Micmacs, and Kerry Prosper, chief of the Confederacy of Mainland Micmac Indians, gave the audience a clear view of the organization, beliefs, and feelings of the Native Americans who probably welcomed Prince Henry and his explorers. They found a number of Masonic symbols which were similar to theirs; however, they feel that many questions as to the historical significance are left unanswered. Dr. Christmas said that in Mi'kmaq oral tradition a great white man with a beard had come from far away beyond recorded memory.

Newport Tower

James P. Whittall, Jr., Archaeological director of the Early Sites Research Center in Massachusetts, spoke on the studies and beliefs surrounding the round stone building in Newport, RI. It was constructed in the style of Norman Romanisk architecture inspired from the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The unique style of the Newport Tower was further influenced by the Templars round churches of Scandinavia. Local building traditions from whence the builders came also influenced its style. Determination of the date of original construction is usually based upon the study of features, such as arches, windows, niches, beam holes, key stones, mortar, and the orientation of openings. Those found within the Newport Tower have been dated in the broad range of 1150 - 1400. However, some specific features narrow the range to the late 1300's.

Is it possible that Prince Henry did not do it!

Brian Smith, Shetland Archives, offered a flamboyant array of reasons he feels cast a shadow upon the claim that Prince Henry Sinclair crossed the ocean to North America. Among them are a 500 year delay in making claims; the lack of contemporaneous claims by Sinclairs or Templars; numerous errors found in the Zeno Narratives; "Zichmni" referred to in the Zeno Narratives is thought to be really the Duke of Surrand; Nicolo Zeno was a political prisoner in Venice from 1360 to 1400; and the Zeno Narratives never mentioned Orkney.


Proofs that the Voyage occurred

Niven Sinclair, of London, Great Britain, a businessman, researcher, and inspirer, presented a comprehensive set of "Proofs". These are the result of Niven's tireless efforts to re-trace Henry Sinclair's footsteps around the world. Facts were derived from many reliable references. Aspiring for greatness, Henry became a Baron in 1358, Ambassador to Copenhagen in 1363, Crusader in 1365, and Jarl of Orkney in 1379. While serving as Ambassador, Henry had contact with Carlo Zeno, Ivar Bardsson, Paul Knutson, and of course, Queen Margaret, at which time his planning for the voyage began. In 1392 he went to London to purchase some ships. The "Proofs" are as follows:

Zeno Map:
Having enlisted Nicolo Zeno as fleet commander several years earlier, four ships were dispatched by Henry to chart the northern seas during 1393 - 1395. The Treaty of Kalmar was signed in 1397.
Contingency plans:
Ten years prior to this, Prince Henry gave indication of his forthcoming Voyage, because he distributed much of his land; to his brother John he gave Pentland and Shetland, brother David received the lands of Aberdeen, and to his daughter Elizabeth, he directed that his lands in Norway would go to her if he died without a mail heir.
Accuracy of Zeno Map:
For the next several centuries, the Zeno Map was used by mariners and recognized by such well-known cartographers as Ruscelli, Ortelius, and Cornielle. Professor Hapgood found 37 points of identity between the Zeno Map and recent aerial surveys by the US Air Force.
Zeno Narrative:
Many references in the Narrative could not have been fabricated by a writer two centuries later. These include the Spring of Pitch and name references to places.
14th Century Cannon:
Found in the waters of Louisburg Harbor, this cannon is exactly the same as one on display in Venice, which is authenticated to be late 14th century in origin.
Newport Tower:
Many features in this Tower provide good evidence, though contested, that it was built by the Sinclair expedition.
Legends of the Micmacs:
There are many clues in the oral history of the Native Americans which indicate the influence of Henry Sinclair in their land.
Westford Knight Carving:
Located in Westford, MA, there is a stone ledge onto which is carved a full sized armorial effigy of a 14th century knight, holding a shield bearing the crest of Clan Gunn.
Boat Stone:
An egg-shaped rock measuring about 18" diameter was found in Westford, MA, bearing a carved impression of a 14th century ship and the numerals "184" with an arrow.
Scottish evidence in Rosslyn Chapel:
Carved in stone about 1450 there are some Aloe and some Corn [maize], both believed to have been unknown in Europe at the time, unless they were transported back from America by Prince Henry.

Celebration in 1998!

H. S. "Pete" Cummings, Jr., chair of the Prince Henry Project, provided a view of what to expect on the 600th Anniversary celebration. The availability of money and people has seriously limited the dreams of his Committee. D'Elayne Coleman and W. E. "Bill" Sinclair added their comments. Events are expected on February 22, 1998 in Moultrie, GA; June 2, 1998, in Guysborough, NS; July 31, 1998, in Advocate, NS; Aug 1998 in Parrsboro, NS; Sep 18 1998 at Lincoln, NH; Sep 21, 1998, in Westford, MA.  Or, contact Prince Henry Project at PO Box 158, Worcester, MA, 01613.

Replica Ship in question

Funds from the public have not been sufficient to acquire a replica of Prince Henry's ship for the 600th celebration. However, Bob Green, Voyage Leader, remains highly optimistic. His vision is to raise private monies for a profitable enterprise to build the ship, sail it across the ocean, and exhibit it at 600th anniversary events. If you are interested in investing funds in this venture, contact Bob Green at phone 609-383-1066.

Memorial Park

The Sinclair Memorial Park is alive and well in Guysborough, Nova Scotia. A permanent, large monument to Prince Henry has been installed. D'Elayne Coleman reports that a comprehensive grant request and business plan has been submitted to the Nova Scotia government. If approved, it will expand the Park to be the Prince Henry Sinclair Historic Village. It will function to educate the general public on other explorers of North America. Within its 120 acres is proposed to be a Native American village and a European settlement, staffed by interpreters.


First Celebration Event

On February 21 & 22, the Scottish Festival in Moultrie, GA, will present a Symposium on Prince Henry Sinclair. Many speakers are scheduled. Plan to attend. For more information, contact Beth Gay at PO Box 1110, Moultrie, GA, 31776, 912-985-6540.

NH Highland Games for 600th Anniversary

The primary setting for celebrating the Scottish arrival in America Six Centuries ago will be Lincoln, New Hampshire. Starting on Thursday, Sept. 17th, 1998, it will run four days, through Sunday, Sept. 20. Traditionally, the NH Highland Games have been the biggest in New England, with more than 42,000 people attending. It will start with a grand Tattoo, having massed bands and such special attractions as the Black Watch and the 78th Highlanders. Competitors from 20 States and Canadian Provinces are expected, with prize money exceeding $100,000.

Clan Sinclair and Clan Gunn will be designated as "Honored Clans". Both clans are anticipating large turnouts on this momentous anniversary of the arrival of Prince Henry Sinclair and Sir James Gunn to these shores in 1398. For those desiring a greater depth of information, there will be a Symposium consisting of 1-hour sessions on such topics as Westford Knight, Newport Tower, Rosslyn Chapel & Castle, Sinclair Genealogy, How-to-get-children-involved, and the Prince Henry saga.

Immediately after the NH Highland Games, the 600th Celebration will reconvene in Westford, MA, near the site of the Westford Knight Carving. A harbor cruise is planned on the Merrimac River in Newburyport, and a commemorative luncheon will follow in Exeter, NH.


Genealogy of Prince Henry

From Clan Sinclair (USA) there is offered a new soft covered booklet of 181 pages entitled, "The Genealogy of Prince Henry Sinclair". It traces the ancestry of Prince Henry from Norway in the 6th century to thousands of descendants, including more than 70 living members of Clan Sinclair! It is registered with the ISBN number 1-880110-21-0. Copies may be purchased from Clan Sinclair, its Commissioners, or Pete Cummings at $27.50 which includes postage & handling.

Book describes the voyage

The Prince Henry Project Committee, which has met monthly for the last two years to plan the 600th Celebration, has published a 46-page soft covered book entitled, Sinclair's Exploration of America. Sections in this book include reasons for the voyage, a description of the expedition, Zeno Narrative, Micmac Legends, Westford Knight, proofs that the voyage occurred, explanation of how Columbus knew about Prince Henry, and a large bibliography. Readers of this Newsletter will recognize that portions of this book have been included in each issue of this Newsletter during the past year. It sells for $22.00, including postage, and it is available from Clan Sinclair or from the address on this masthead.

Convincing Proofs

Extensive research has been performed by Niven Sinclair. He offers several "proofs", which will help to convince the "doubters" about Prince Henry Sinclair's expedition. These are quoted in part below:

  1. Contingency plans. Before Henry Sinclair left on his voyage, he made certain dispositions of his lands to his brothers, John and David. To his eldest daughter, Elizabeth, who married Sir John Drummond of Cargill, he left his lands in Norway, provided he died without a male heir.
  2. The Zeno Map. In 1398, Prince Henry Sinclair sent Nicolo Zeno with four ships to carry out a survey of Greenland. Nicolo took John, the Bishop of Orkney, with him to Greenland, and on his return two years later, he took Henrik, Bishop of Greenland, to the Orkneys. This exchange of Bishops appears in the Vatican publication "Hierarchia Catholica" on page 283, covering the years 1198 to 1431. It is a powerful confirmation of the Zeno survey of Greenland. The verification of the "Zeno Narrative" and Map was given further corroboration by such renowned cartographers as Professors Hapgood, Taylor, and Hobbs; Professors Barry Fell and Roger McLeod; Lord John Julian Norwich (noted Venetian historian); J. H. Major (Secretary of the Royal Geographic Society), and many others.
  3. Accuracy attested & confirmed. For the next several centuries the Zeno Map was used by such well-known cartographers as Ruscelli (in 1561), Mercator (in 1569), and Ortelius (in 1574).
  4. The Zeno Narrative. In the words of Professor Taylor of London University, it appears to the present writer that it would be quite out of the question for any author to invent a story which in every detail reflects fact about which it would be quite impossible that he could have been aware.
  5. Zeno had never been to Rosslyn. The "Zeno Narrative" speaks of the "spring of pitch" which the reconnaissance party of 100 soldiers found at Stellarton and which they reported back to Prince Henry at Guysborough, both places in Nova Scotia. On hearing this, Prince Henry considered it was a "good omen" because there was a similar "spring of pitch" at his home at Rosslyn in Scotland. The "pitch" had been used as a medicine against the Black Death. Now this story is faithfully recounted in the Zeno Narrative, although Antonio Zeno had never been to Rosslyn. In other words, he could only have heard of the "spring of pitch" of Rosslyn from Henry as they both stood listening to the report of the returning soldiers in Nova Scotia.
  6. The Westford Knight in Massachusetts. The effigy of a medieval knight is described by Professor Lethbridge of Cambridge University; "The sword carved on the rock can hardly be anything but a medieval sword. The whole hilt looks about AD 1200-1300.
  7. Opinion of noted expert on heraldry. Sir Iain Moncrieffe, the Albany Herald (one of Scotland's most noted authorities on heraldry) writes, "Henry Sinclair was related to the Gunns . . . so the discovery at Westford of what is apparently an effigy of a fourteenth century knight in bascinet, mail, and surcoat, with a heater-shaped shield bearing devices of a Norse-Scottish character as might have been expected of a knight in Jarl Henry Sinclair's entourage
  8. Newport Tower. In Rhode Island the Newport Tower is constructed in a similar style to the Norse/Scottish buildings of the Western and Northern Isles. More important, every single measurement within Newport Tower is based on the Scottish ell, which equals three Norse feet.
  9. Indian language. Professor Roger McLeod of Lowell University in Massachusetts compiled a huge dictionary of Norse and Gaelic words which have been assimilated into the language of the tribes along the eastern seaboard of America. Reider T. Sherwin in his book "The Viking and the Red Man" also writes about the Norse origin of the Algonquin language.
  10. Indian Legends. When Henry began to build a ship from local materials, the Micmacs tell of how "He built himself an island, planted trees on it, and sailed away in his stone canoe." When the Narragansett Indians were asked who built the Newport Tower, they replied, "They were fire-haired men with green eyes who sailed up river in a ship like a gull with a broken wing."
  11. Rosslyn Chapel. Far across the ocean in Scotland at the Rosslyn Chapel there are stone carvings of Indian maize, the American aloe cactii and sassafras, carved before Columbus was born!
  12. The Hakluyt Society. From the Boston Herald in 1892, one can read; "Leif came to the land of North America, built houses, made friends of the natives and explored the land, giving names to places some of which exist to the present day. These names were placed on the charts and are the same which Henry St. Clair used, affixed to his maps, now in possession of the Hakluyt Society."

Who's involved?

Behind the scenes there are many people working on the plans for the 600th celebration. They serve on the Prince Henry Project Committee, which meets monthly under the chairmanship of Pete Cummings. Mary Selver & Ian & Frances Sinclair are focusing upon Westford & Exeter. Dane & Sandra Hahn and Elmer Eldridge & Buelah are our NHHG Coordinators. Masonic activities are led by Michael Kaulback, Matt Mallard. and Nick Andreson. Bob Green has spearheaded the shipbuilding efforts. Neil St. Clair & D'Elayne Coleman are leading the efforts in Nova Scotia. Beth Gay has continued to project our public image in trade publications. The constant availability of our Newsletter to thousands of readers on the Internet has been possible thanks to John Quarterman and John Olin. Ken Swift and Matt Mallard have processed the postal version. Others who have regular interaction of ideas and suggestions with us are David Aubrey, Art Douglas, John Aulerich, Laurel Fechner, Susan Grady, Pam Manganelli, Don MacPherson, Clark Scott, Robert Knight, Gerald Steeves, Angela Peters, Bradley Barker, and David Bouschor.

Spread the word!

You can help. The marvelous story of Prince Henry's peaceful expedition to America in 1398 needs to be told to many more people. His deeds and his accomplishments serve as inspiration to all peoples in today's world. Tell your family and friends. Conduct speeches. Get school children involved. Print and distribute the literature which is available. You can amplify your efforts by contributing generously to the Prince Henry Project. Your actions and your money on this 600th anniversary will be heard! Now is the time when "spreading the word" will be highly effective.

Interesting supposition:

The first Christmas celebrated in America was in 1398 by Prince Henry's explorers in Advocate, Nova Scotia!


Harmonious Diversity

Never before in the history of mankind has it been more important to practice Harmonious Diversity!

We all need to sharpen our skills in tact and understanding. World conflicts, as well as our own personal misunderstandings, would disappear if we were more harmonious. Peace and good will would be all around us.

Let us learn from the 600-year-old saga of Prince Henry Sinclair. He and his crew of Knights and Monks can teach us an important lesson. Diverse was their impact, for the Native Americans welcomed them.

An example Six Centuries ago, which we should follow today. Let's teach this important lesson to our family and friends, and to the children in schools. This anniversary year gives us the opportunity of focusing our attention on peaceful co-existance among all peoples. That is, "Harmonious Diversity."

Frequently Asked Questions about Prince Henry

(responded by Pete Cummings)

  1. Are you sure that Prince Henry Sinclair really discovered America before Columbus?
    Yes, I am! Historians are very correct in seeking conclusive evidence. Unfortunately, the documentation about Henry Sinclair is fragmentary. Thus many people have expressed doubts. Others, have studied the saga of the Voyage of 1398, and they are willing to accept the basic premise that Prince Henry Sinclair explored America 94 years before the time of Columbus.
    You may ask, "why do people doubt the story?" The answer is obvious when you think that there were no public relations agents and no media 600 years ago. (Unlike a century later, when Columbus benefited from the printing press to project his story.) The reports of the Sinclair Voyage reached very few ears, and just as important, the leading characters quickly vanished. In effect, the story was withheld!
    Prince Henry died in battle in Orkney soon after his return from America. Some people believe he was assasinated by members of the Hanseatic League, who were threated by his success in finding new trade routes.
    The Navigator for Sinclair's fleet, Antonio Zeno, also died after his return to Venice. The Log of the Voyage, maintained by Antonio was placed in storage and not discovered for 160 years in 1558!
    The son of Prince Henry, by the same name, was captured at sea, while he was escorting the young Crown Prince James from Scotland to France for safekeeping. Both were held in English prision for many years. (This Henry, married Egida, daughter of King Robert II)


  2. Is there any reason to believe that Christopher Columbus knew anything about Prince Henry Sinclair's voyage to America? His daughter, Elizabeth, passed the story along to her son, who told his in-laws, who were the parents of Columbus's wife! (Elizabeth married Sir John Drummond, brother of King Robert III's wife. Their son married into the Perestrello family)


  3. What's the evidence of the Voyage?
    The Zeno Map was drawn by Nicolo & Antonio Zeno, in 1393 in Prince Henry's ships and under his orders. This Map is known to have been used by mariners for the next 150 years. It showed the north Atlantic Ocean, all the way to Nova Scotia, with incredible accuracy.
    The Zeno Narrative, or ship's log, includes a number of references which would have been impossible for others to fabricate. It describes the voyage and landing.
    c. [Effigy]
    The Westford Knight carving in Massachusetts shows a Medieval Knight, bearing the Clan Gunn crest and a sword of unquestioned 14th century design. Many archaeologists agree it was carved in the late 1300's.
    The contingency plans made by Prince Henry before this voyage indicate that he was embarking on an expedition from which he might never return. His lands were disbursed to his sons and daughters.
    The Micmac Legends of the Native Americans have many references to a likeness of the Earl of Orkney, which in Indian language sounds like "Glooscap". The fishing net and reference to his "stone canoe" are examples.
    Many words in the Micmac language have a great similarity with Norse words, as were spoken by the Sinclair explorers.
    g. [Rosslyn Chapel]
    In Scotland there is a Rosslyn Chapel, in which there are hundreds of stone carvings, made in the mid 1400's. Some show American corn and Aloe Cactus, which was unknown in Europe at that time. It could only have been known if a Sinclair returned from traveling in America!


  4. The Scots love their heros. But, Prince Henry isn't as well known as William Wallace & Robert the Bruce. Does he belong in the front rank of Scots great? Yes indeed. In time, it is certain that Henry Sinclair will gain the recognition he deserves in history.


  5. Did Prince Henry really precede Columbus? Yes! The date of Prince Henry's appointment as Earl of Orkney on August 2, 1379, is unquestionably documented, well before 1492.


  6. The Scotland on Sunday newspaper quotes you as saying "Unfortunately Scots here in the USA for some reason don't seem to be able to pull together. There isn't enough cooperation between clans. Clan Gunn has stopped talking to us" Is that true?
    The single greatest lesson which Prince Henry taught the world was Harmonious Diversity. He was NOT a conquestitor. He was welcomed by the Micmac Indians, and their Legends report harmony in their relations with Glooscap.
    Every human being is different from others. Their likes and dislikes are not the same. However, the magic adhesive which brings people together is a feeling of Common Objectives. When individuals focus upon the same Goals, they are harmonious. That's when great achievements are made! Differences become unimportant.
    All Scots, including the Sinclairs and the Gunns, and in fact, all Europeans, share the Common Objective of recognizing and celebrating their earliest explorations of America. We also share the Goal of Peace and Harmony among mankind.
    The Gunns and the Sinclairs will certainly celebrate the 600th anniversary together at the NH Highland Games this year! We expect a grand event, attended by 50,000 people!


  7. What specific events will give recognition to Prince Henry Sinclair in the 600th anniversary year?
    The first celebration in 1998 will be on February 21, in Moultrie, GA, at the Scottish Weekend.
    Recognizing the Landfall 600 years ago, there will be a ceremony in Halifax, NS, on June 2nd.
    A Sinclair tent and a Prince Henry tent will be at the Illinois Highland Games in Midlothian, IL, on June 27th, preceded by displays about Prince Henry at the Midlothian Historical Society throughout the month.
    The Grand Master's Fair in Charlton, MA, will recognize GM Henry Sinclair on June 13th.
    The 600th Celebration Committee in Parrsboro, NS, is conducting a week-long festival starting on July 17th.
    Next, in Halifax, NS, Prince Henry Sinclair will be recognized at the Metro Highland Games on July 4th.
    A few days later, on July 10th, the historic Expedition will be honored at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in North Carolina.
    Many celebration events will be in Guysborough, NS, on July 13 & 14.
    Parrsboro, NS, conducts its commemorative events on July 17 thru 30.
    Advocate Harbour, NS, then has a commemorative concert and church service on July 31-Aug 2nd.
    On July 27th, the Highland Games in Alexandria, VA, on July 27th will acknowledge the Sinclair Voyage.
    Undoubtedly the most significant celebration will take place at the NH Highland Games on Sept. 17-20, for Clan Sinclair will be recognized as an Honored Clan and there will be a Gathering of Clan Sinclair.
    At the site of the Westford Knight carving in Massachusetts, a program of events will be conducted for Sinclairs, Gunns, & friends on Sept 21-22.
    On October 16th at Stone Mountain, GA, Prince Henry will be saluted for his heroic voyage 600 years ago.


  8. What organization has been coordinating the many regional interests in the Prince Henry Sinclair saga and celebration?
    During the past two years, the 600th Celebration Committee, of which I am Chairman, has held monthly meetings to stimulate and coordinate these events. Its 30 members are from many Scottish Clans, Masonic organizations, and regional areas. In addition, financial support has been contributed by over 50 individuals. Each regional event is being conducted by leadership from within that region. Clan Sinclair is also providing guidance.


  9. Where can people find more about the Prince Henry Sinclair saga?


    Without doubt, the most current authority on Prince Henry Sinclair is a businessman in London by the name of Niven Sinclair. Inspiration for the Prince Henry saga has come from dozens of published books, including
    • Prince Henry Sinclair by Fred Pohl,
    • Ancient New England Mysteries by Robert Cahill,
    • Sword of the North by Richard White,
    • Holy Grail Across the Atlantic by Michael Bradley,
    • Sword and the Grail by Andrew Sinclair,

    and many other books.

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