Prince Henry Sinclair was the son of Sir William Sinclair. Prince Henry gained the Earldom of Orkney in 1379. Henry was entitled to the position by way of his mother, Isabella, Countess of Orkney, Scotland.
In 1398 Prince Henry Sinclair was the commander of a fleet of ships that explored the North Atlantic Coast of North America (as yet unproven, but with unauthenticated evidence) Henry took the fleet in search of timber to begin a ship building trade. He sailed under the Norwegian Flag, as the Orkney's were also an Earldom of Norway.
During the visit to North America, Prince Henry Sinclair built a new long ship, and sailed it back to the Orkney Isles. During this visit to North America, he explored an area known today as Westford, Massachusetts. While visiting Westford one of the Knights of his military contingent known to have been Sir James Gunn died. A monument to Sir James was “drawn” by punching holes in a rock wall outlining a Templar Knight... This authenticated carving is known today as:
“the Westford Knight .”
The Clan Gunn uses this semi-factual "legend" to claim that their Sir James was a discoverer.
Although this voyage was recorded by Zeno, his pilot, the records were not taken as facts. Zeno was of Venetian ancestry, and when he returned to Venice, the people could not even believe that there was a place like the Orkney's let alone North America.
Prince Henry Sinclair returned to his home in Roslyn, when he discovered that the English were raiding his barony. In the rush to battle to defend his people, and the Highland Clan, he was mortally wounded. Prince Henry was buried in his armor, at the site of the present day Roslyn Chapel. Roslyn Chapel, as those who were there can attest, was built in the early 1400's and has carvings in its detail work that are unmistakably rendition of the corn plant (maize) and the aloe cactus , both of which can only be found in that time period in North America.
From Mysterious Britain: "The Knight Templars and Rosslyn Chapel The Prince of Orkney was undoubtedly involved in the Order of the Knights Templar, who were forcibly disbanded in 1307, although they continued on in one form or another. The Templars have become embroiled in many legends of mystical significance. They were supposed to have in their possession the Holy Grail, and it has been surmised that the chapel is the hiding place for this and other religious treasures, including a fragment of the holy rood, the cross of the crucifixion. The vault, unopened for centuries is the suggested repository for these items. The vault actually contains the remains of the Sinclair ancestors, interred in full armour as was customary until one of their wives objected to the practice in the 1700's.
Some of the carvings within the chapel suggest that there was an early contact with the New World 200 years before the 'discovery' of America by Columbus. The carvings depict what is thought to be an American Cactus and Indian Sweetcorn, things that should not have been known when the chapel was created. Perhaps the Templars, who travelled far and wide discovered America before Columbus. "see Clan Sinclair's' Trial in 1997 to determine whether Jarl Henry Sinclair "did it". From The New World Celts : "Prince Henry Sinclair, Earl of Orkney leads the last Norse-Celtic Atlantic Expedition, landing in New England in 1396, almost one hundred years before Columbus. Affiliated with the legendary Knights Templar, stories persist that St Clair buried remarkable treasures in Nova Scotia, possibly the Grail itself. In 1398, Sir John Gunn dies in Massachusetts, where his rockcut memorial and arms may still be seen. Sinclair builds a Tower at Newport, which remains to this day. The Atlantic journey The Zeno narrative The Zeno Map The Sinclair Voyage Nicalo Zeno Sir James Gunn memorial: the Westford Knight Is the Holy Grail in Nova Scotia?"
Sir Henry Sinclair
PRINCE HENRY SINCLAIR
Discoverer of America 1398