Expedition To America?
Did a Scottish nobleman lead an expedition to America nearly 100 years
There is mounting evidence that in 1398 Prince Henry St Clair, Earl of Orkney, visited Nova Scotia and even
established a colony there. Henry was one of the St Clair (later Sinclair) family, one of the most prominent noble
families of England and Scotland who had fought alongside William the Conqueror in 1066.
The theory about the New World colony originated with a work known as the Zeno Narrative by the Venetian Nicolò
Zeno, published in Venice in 1558. Zeno claimed that his account was based on late 14th-century letters by two of
his ancestors, the brothers Nicolò and Antonio Zeno, telling of their voyage to America at the end of the 1390s
with a prince of the Scottish islands whom they called Zichmni.
The first to support the authenticity of the Zeno Narrative - and to identify Zichmni as Prince Henry St Clair -
was Captain Cook's associate Johann Reinhold Forster in the 1780s.
Since then the Zeno Narrative has been supported by an ever-increasing body of evidence.
Controversial discoveries in America - such as the Westford Knight, the
effigy of a medieval knight carved on a rock ledge in Massachusetts, and an apparently medieval structure
called Newport Tower in Rhode Island - demonstrate the presence of northern Europeans in America in the Middle
Ages, many years before they were supposed to have arrived there.
Carvings of what appear to be American plants can be seen in the
enigmatic Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh, which was built by Prince Henry's grandson, Sir William St Clair.
In America, the Micmac people of Novia Scotia have legends telling of a white hero who came across the ocean
from the east. Called Glooscap, this figure has many striking similarities with Prince Henry St Clair.
The writer Frederick J. Pohl - who had been interested in the story since the 1950s - first brought the subject
to the public's attention in 1974 with his Prince Henry Sinclair: His Voyage to the New World in 1398.
In 1992 Andrew Sinclair's The Sword and the Grail supplied exciting new evidence for Prince Henry's voyage,
suggesting an intriguing connection with the mysterious order of military monks, the Knights Templar.
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