Swords of the Covenanters: Captain John Paton of Meadowhead #History #Scotland


Among the relics of the Covenanters, their swords are often treasured.

Two swords that are said to have belonged to Captain John Paton of Meadowhead survive.


In 1887, they were recorded by Johnston:

‘Captain Paton’s Sword. — The weapon is 27 inches long, and is sadly consumed by the rust of time. The tradition of the house is that it has twenty-eight “nicks” or notches, one for each year of the persecution.’ (Johnston, Treasury of the Scottish Covenant, 638.)

‘Captain PATON’s Sword. — A small blade is to be seen at Lochgoin [now a museum], but the real formidable weapon of Captain Paton is said to be an Andrea Ferara, forty inches long, in possession of Thomas Rowatt, Esq., of Bonnanhill, Strathaven, a descendant of Paton.’ (Johnston, Treasury of the Scottish Covenant, 644.)

Paton’s “Andrea Ferara” is pictured at the top of this post. For some excellent photos of it, see here.

The bible Paton held on the scaffold in 1684 is, or was, also at Lochgoin:

‘Captain Paton’s Bible. — “Which he gave to his wife from off the scaffold when he was executed for the cause of Christ at Edinburgh on 8th May, 1684: James Howie received it from the Captain’s son’s daughter’s husband, and gave it to John Howie his nephew.” A few of the last leaves are wanting, but singularly enough the Bible closes with the words of Rev. xii. 11. It is the authorised version, and bears the date 1653.’ (Johnston, Treasury of the Scottish Covenant, 638.)

A recent article (2018) indicates that Paton’s Bible is now held at Fenwick Parish Church.

For all posts about Paton of Meadowhead, see here.

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Images © Copyright Douglas Bond (top) and Lochgoin and Fenwick Covenanters Trust.

Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please feel free link to this post on Facebook or other social networks or retweet it, but do not reblog in FULL without the express permission of the author @drmarkjardine

~ by drmarkjardine on September 14, 2016.

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