More on Sir William
Who was Sir William Alexander?
I’ve written extensively about this man in my Oak Island books, as I think he was the catalyst for the Oak Island treasure mystery.
I’m not the first to mention him in that regard. Other authors who published before me have also alluded to him either being responsible for, or at least knowing something about the Money Pit, on Oak Island.
I thought it would be interesting for us all to get to know him a little better. Here’s a little more info on him.
Most biographies will say he was born in 1567. However, under a portrait of him published in a book of his poems, in 1637, are Latin words which state that he was 57 years of age at the time, meaning he would not have been born until 1580.
His father died at the very beginning of 1581, leaving him as Laird or Baron of Castle Menstrie and its estates. If he was, in fact, born in 1580, he would have taken on this role at only one year of age. If the 1567 date is correct, he still would have been only 14 when he became Baron of Menstrie.
Either way, he was watched over by Clan Campbell, and his first “job” was as tutor for the young Chief of Clan Campbell, whose English name was Archibald, but, who in Gaelic, would be Gylascop. I have mentioned, before, the similarity between the name Gylascop and Glooscap, and an earlier Gylascop Campbell was the first cousin to Henry Sinclair. (See further explanation under the "Thoughts On Glooscap" tab on this website).
Also, the Campbell Clan has a tradition of a Campbell Knight Templar making his way back to Scotland from the Holy Land, dressed in beggars garb that covered his Knights Templar mantel, which he didn’t reveal until he got to his Scottish castle.
The Alexanders were descended from the MacDonald Clan, or Clan Donald. William Alexander was actually William Alexander MacDonald. He descended from either Angus Og MacDonald, through a descendant named Alexander, or through Angus Og’s brothers, also named Alexander. Clan Donald historians have presented a lot of information to support each of these.
Sir Ian McDonald MacUisdean, the current premier Knight Baronet of Nova Scotia, and I, both descend from Angus Og, as well.
The Gaelic MacUisdean became anglicized as McQuiston and other spellings.
What’s interesting is that Angus Og MacDonald is said, by some speculative historians, to have led Templars at the Battle of Bannockburn, and that he was, in fact, a Knights Templar, himself. I talk a little bit about this in my books.
The Alexander family received grants of Templar land twice in the mid 1500s.
William Alexander's Menstrie Castle is located 5-7 miles from the famous battlefield of Bannockburn, where Robert the Bruce defeated the English, in 1314, almost exactly 100 days after Jacques de Molay was burned at the stake for being the leader of the Knights Templar.
Molay died on March 18, 1314. The Battle of Bannockburn took place on June 23-24, 1314. This would be the 98th and 99th day after de Molay’s execution, with King Edward. By the 100th day, William II of England was hiding away in Dunbar Castle, on his way back to England.
Though Edward II wasn’t the king who executed de Molay, he joined in with most European kings to banish the Templars.
Only in Scotland and Portugal did they find any haven.
The Templars already owned about 640 properties in Scotland, including tenement buildings, castles, churches, silver and gold mines, and other properties. Although no Scottish Templars were ever put on trial, they were still dissolved so that Scotland could be reinstated with the Catholic Church.
All Scottish Knights Templar properties and their belongings, which one can only imagine included many riches, had to be parceled out to the families of these Knights Templar. There are many cases of relics from that era being held by various clans.
Even the Freemasons have been known to hold several Templar relics. Doug Crowell and I worked on the discovery of an ancient book detailing the "twelve Templar Treasures" held by the Freemasons.
It would be virtually impossible, or at least not very likely, that William Alexander could grow up on former Templar land, within walking distance of the famous Bannockburn battlefield, with possibly his own ancestor being a Knights Templar, and not be profoundly aware of them.
Through his tutoring of Archibald Campbell, he was able to work his way into the court of King James VI of Scotland, who became King James I of England and Ireland.
He became a famous poet and playwright, and worked his way up to Secretary of Scotland for life, which meant he was the defacto King of Scotland, when James moved to London.
I strongly believe Sir William Alexander intended to become King of Nova Scotia, and I have presented a lot of evidence and writings (both contemporary and more modern assessments) that indicate this was his plan.
In order to pull this off he needed money and there are many quotes from him either asking for money or complaining about not having enough money. This is why, according to my theory, he partnered with Al Strachan, who had stolen a massive treasure just as the Nova Scotia adventure was getting started.
Strachan became his partner, Strachan financed a ship bound for Nova Scotia, and Strachan received a letter, the year after the Nova Scotia venture failed, from Sir William, asking him not to sue to get his money back.
William Alexander chartered land that included Oak Island to a man, in 1630, and Al Strachan signed as a witness. This land included a place called Mirligaiche, which is supposed to be a Mi'kmaq word describing Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, but for which I have presented strong evidence to show that it included a much larger area (including Oak Island and New Ross) and that it was a Scots Gaelic word used as far back as the 9th century.
This bit of information took a lot of research and most of that is published in my Oak Island Knights book, although aditonal information has arrived that made it into my Oak Island Endgame book.
Later, as Oak Island was being settled, descendants of the families of Strachan and Alexander owned property there. My latest book, Oak Island Endgame, shows some amazing family connections to Oak Island, that can’t be denied, and can’t be coincidence.
Here's another curious note on William Alexander, showing how he was related to Sir Walter Scott, the author of Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, and many other romantic novels.
Sir Walter Scott, Scottish novelist, poet, historian, and biographer, is often considered both the inventor and the greatest practitioner of the historical novel, as well as one of Scotland’s most famous and prolific writers.
Scott was a Freemason. He also served as Vice President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, the organization with which I have been a Fellow since 2014, and as President of the Royal Society, which was founded by Knight Baronet of Nova Scotia George Mackenzie, and Robert Moray, the son and a grandson of Knights Baronet of Nova Scotia, both also being Freemasons.
On Sir Walter Scott’s personal copy of the book “Recreations with the Muses,” written by Sir William Alexander (founder of Nova Scotia), and published in 1637, Scott wrote “Sir William Alexander, sixth Baron of Menstrie, and first Earl of Stirling, the friend of Drummond of Hawthornden and Ben Johnson, died in 1640. His eldest son, William, Viscount Canada, died before his father, leaving one son and three daughters by his wife, Lady Margaret Douglas, eldest daughter of William, first Marquis of Douglas. Margaret, the second of these daughters, married Sir Robert Sinclair of Longformcus in the Merse, to whom she bore two daughters, Anne and Jean. Jean Sinclair, the younger daughter, married John Swinton of Swinton; and Jean Swinton, her eldest daughter, was the grandmother of the proprietor of this volume.”
(In other words, "of Sir Walter Scott.")
This would make Sir Walter Scott the 4x great grandson (if my math is correct) of Sir William Alexander, a fact of which he seemed to be rather proud.
Another illegitimate son of William Alexander the Younger was Daniel LeBlanc of Nova Scotia, as proven through DNA testing. His mother was the daughter of a Mi'kmaq chief, Sagamo Segipt, considered the Mi'kmaq King of Nova Scotia, by William Alexander and King Charles I.
This is also a bit of breaking news, with the testing of the DNA being requested by a member of the LeBlanc family, and attested to by Family Tree DNA.
Sir Walter Scott is also credited with finding the Crown Jewels of Scotland which had been hidden away in Edinburgh Castle for over one hundred years, just by reading and researching old records, and following them where the led. Obviously, this is what I am trying to do, in order to solve the mystery of Oak Island.