Sinclair, John



Scottish tenor singer; born near Edinburgh; known as a clarinet player in the band of Campbell of Shawfield's regiment. Was a teacher of music in Aberdeen and first appeared in London as a singer in 1810 at the Haymarket Theatre, taking the part of Cheerly in Lock and Key. Sinclair studied for a time with Thomas Welsh, was engaged for Covent Garden Theatre, London, and appeared at that playhouse in Linley's Duenna about 1811. In 1816 he married a Miss Norton, and from that year appeared successfully in London and the English provinces until 1819, in which year he went to Paris, and there studied with Pellegrini, and later in Milan was a pupil in singing of Banderali. Sinclair visited Naples in 1821, where he sought the advice of Rossini. From 1822 until 1823 he sang in Italy, appearing principally in the works of Rossini, who wrote for him the part of Idreno in Semiramide. He then returned to London, and in 1830 paid a visit to America, retiring from public life on his return to his native country. Sinclair was one of the most popular singers of his day, and created the tenor roles in Bishop's Guy Mannering, The Slave, Noble Outlaw and Davy's Rob Roy. He also composed a number of popular songs, among them Johnnie Sands; Hey the Bonnie BreastKnots; Beneath the Wave, and others. He died at Margate, England.