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From about 1746 to 1756, Ronnie was an inmate of Ardsmuir Prison. In the summer of 1756, the fortress ceased functioning as a prison and Ronnie, like many others, was transported to the American colonies.
In the spring of 1771, the McGillivray family arrives at the Ridge and share home and property with Ronnie. Ute McGillivray intends to try and create a match between Ronnie and her youngest daughter Senga; Ronnie runs a successful trade and has the property of the cooperage, making him an ideal match economically. However, Senga chooses to marry another man. Ute remains optimistic about finding a bride for Ronnie that may still benefit her own family.
In February 1776, when Jamie summons the men of the Ridge, Ronnie among them, and announces that he will march to Wilmington, with whatever men will follow, to join the rebel militias. When the time comes, Ronnie marches with Jamie and the other men and, along with the other rebel forces, they crush the British opposition, largely composed of retired Scottish soldiers, at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge.
Claire observes that Ronnie is capable of irritating the Angel Gabriel, let alone a woman trying to cook in the rain.
Ronnie has a half-handsome face, ginger hair, and a foxy smile. He has slender shoulders, muscular arms, and large hands.
- Ronnie is the diminutive of Ronald, a Scottish form of Ragnvaldr and Old Norse name composed of the elements regin "advice, counsel" and valdr "power, ruler".
- Sinclair is derived from a Norman French town called "Saint Clair".