Back Row L-R: Andrew, Thomas Paton, Helen
Front Row: L-R: Mair, Alex, Nancy
Back Row L-R: William, John, Andrew, Alex
Seated L-R: Hugh, Mother (Jane Sloan), Andrew Paton, Margaret (Maggy)
Front Row L-R: Tommy, Agnes (Nan) Click for larger image

1604 - 1684 Meadowhead, Fenwick
Meadowhead Farm
Married: 1. Janet Lindsay
2. Janet Millar from Eaglesham by whom he had six children
Covenantor: Executed Edinburgh, (25 April 1684) as written on the memorial plaque - date differs on his memorial) Captain John Paton of Meadowhead, Fenwick
Covenantor= A Scottish Presbyterian, especially one who struggled (1557 - 1688). For religious liberty and who adhered to the National Covenant (1638)

1656 - Meadowhead, Fenwick &
of Bankhouse, Galston
Married: Sarah Paterson, April 1693

3. JOHN PATON 1696 - 17?? Bankhouse, Galston Married:  Mary Stevenson, 26 May 1725

4. WILLIAM PATON 1733 - 17?? Bankhouse, Galston Married: Elizabeth Walker 2 of a family: Robert, Mary

5. ROBERT PATON 1763? - 1821 Plowlands, Craigie Married: Janet Reid 1790 10 or 11 of a family

6. ALEXANDER PATON 179? Plowlands, Craigie Married: Janet Stevenson at Fenwick June 1815 2 sons James b 1816, Andrew b July 1820

1820 - Born: Craige
In Gatehead, Riccarton
Strandhead, Tarbolton 1861 census
Married: Agnes White 14 May, 1847, Riccarton 4 of a family
Margaret , Alec, Janet, Andrew

1854 - 1945 Born: 27 February, Tarbolton
of Stairaird, then
Carleton Mains
and Lendal Lodge
Married: Jean (Jane) Sloan 27 Nov 1884 8 of family,
Andrew, William, Alex, John, Margaret, Hugh, Agnes, Thomas
ANDREW Auchencairn (family: Andrew, Janet (Jessie), Hugh, Grace (Bunty)
WILLIAM India and Southampton - no family
ALEX Carleton Mains
JOHN died young
MARGARET Aunt Peg/Maggie - spinster.
HUGH Millenderdale
AGNES (Nan) - Lockwood Mains (Mrs Andrew Taylor)
THOMAS Burn Farm Annbank moving to Hill Farm, Haversham, Nr Milton Keynes in 1955
family: Andrew, Alex, Mair, Nancy


1901 - Born: Feb 22nd
Moved in 1955 to Hill Farm, Haversham from Burn Farm, Annbank, Tarbolton, Ayrshire
Married Helen Fergusson 4 of family
Andrew, Alexander, Thomas, Nancy

Hill Farm House, Haversham
ANDREW First farmed Cow Common Farm, Bletchley now farms at Fairford Gloucestershire - an Ernest Cook Trust farm.
Married Dorothy Neasham
4 of family
Heather, Fiona, Thomas, Alex
ALEXANDER First farmed Pindon Farm, Pindon End, Hanslope, now farms at Adstone, Towcester
Married Elizabeth Cook
3 of family
William, Helen, Hugh
THOMAS MAIR Jun. July 1935 - December 2002
Married Gillian Bradshaw
3 of family
George, Andrew, Eleanor
NANCY Married John Smith
4 of family
Andrew, Duncan, Fiona and Carolyn


1935 - 2002 Born: July 1935 Died 22nd Dec 2002
Farmed at Hill Farm, Haversham
Married Gillian Bradshaw, born Home Farm, Hardmead, Newport Pagnell 3 of family
George, Andrew, Eleanor
GEORGE George, Chartered Surveyor
Born Feb 1969
Married Georgina Back of Norfolk in 2000
2 of family
Phillippa Alice Paton July 2001
Oliver George Paton June 2003
ANDREW Farms at Haversham
Born Feb 1972
Married Rachel Hussey of Thame, Oxon
3 of family
Fergus Paton Jan 2006
Tommy Paton 2008
Iona Paton Jan 2010
ELEANOR Married Julian Sapwell in 1975
2 of family
Isobelle Sapwell 2003
William Sapwell 2006

Farming at Haversham Married Rachel Elizabeth Hussey 3 of family
Fergus, Thomas, Iona



Covenanters Memorial, Grassmarket Memorial to the Covenanters who died on the gallows in the Grassmarket during the reigns of Charles II and James VII, the latter becoming known as 'The Killing Time'. Following Cromwell's occupation of Scotland in 1650, but more especially with the restoration of episcopacy by Charles after 1660, presbyterians who had aspired to a theocracy at the time of the National Covenant (1638) became persecuted religious dissenters. Viewed by their royalist enemies as dangerous fundamentalists (a Scottish Taliban), they could be killed on the spot if they refused to take an oath of loyalty to the Crown and were given no quarter if they had taken up arms against royal authority. Between 1661 and 1688, over 100 were hanged on this traditional execution site. The memorial, displaying a Martyrs Cross, was paid for by public subscription and created in 1937. The legend reads, "Many Martyrs and Covenanters died for the Protestant Faith on this spot."

"Up the Lawnmarket, and down the West Bow*,
Up the big ladder, and down the short tow*.

(lines from Walter Scott's 'Guy Mannering')

*these words rhyme with 'cow'; tow means rope

This is Captain John's Memorial marker at Fenwick Church.
At the top, above the inscriptions, there is an open Bible with the words, "THE WORD OF GOD," and another part that says,

The top part of the inscription reads:



The lower part of the inscription reads:

Who Antichrist do this oppose,
And for truth's cause, their lives lay down,
Will get the victory o'er their foes,
And gain life's everlasting crown.

Convenanter's Flag

Captain John Paton.

Extract from The Scots Worthies by John Howie of Lochgoin as edited by Rev. W.H. Carslaw 1870. Pages 479-494 Captain John Paton.

JOHN PATON was born at Meadowhead, in the parish of Fenwick, and shire of Ayr. He was brought up in the art and occupation of husbandry till near the state of manhood; but of the way and manner in which he first entered upon a military life, there are various accounts. Some say he enlisted as volunteer, and went abroad to the wars in Germany, where, for some heroic achievement, at the taking of a certain city (probably by Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden) he was advanced to a captain's post, and that when he returned home, he was so much changed that his parents scarcely knew him. Other accounts bear, that he was with the Scots army who went to Edinburgh in January, 1643-4, and was at the battle of Marston Moor; at which place, it is said, that by some bad drink an asthmatical disorder was contracted in his breast, which continued ever after. But in either case he must have returned home very suddenly; for it is said, that in 1645, when the ministers in the western shires called upon their own parish militia to oppose Montrose's insurrection, he was appointed by Mr. William Guthrie to the post of captain, and behaved with much gallantry among the Covenanters, particularly upon their defeat by Montrose at Kilsyth.

Montrose having, upon July 2nd, obtained a victory over the Covenanters, advanced over the Forth; upon the 14th he encamped at Kilsyth, near Stirling, and upon the 15th, encountered the Covenanters' army, commanded by Lieutenant-General Baillie. At the first onset, some of Montrose's Highlanders going too far up the hill, were surrounded by the Covenanters, and were likely to have been worsted ; but the old Lord Airly being sent from Montrose with fresh supplies of men, the Covenanters were obliged to give way, and were by the enemy driven back into a standing marsh or bog, 'where there was no probability either of fighting or escaping. In this emergency one of the Captain's acquaintance, when sinking, cried out to him, for God's sake to help; but when he got time to look that way, he could not see him, for he was gone through the surface of the marsh, and could never be found afterwards. After this disaster, the swiftest of the Covenanters' horse got to Stirling, but the foot were mostly killed on the spot; and in the chase, which, according to some historians, continued for the space of fourteen miles, the greater part of the Covenanters' army was either drowned, or cut off and killed by these cruel savages.

In this extremity, the Captain, as soon as he could get free of the bog, made the best of his way sword in hand through the enemy, till he had got safe to Colonels Hacket and Strachan, when all three rode off together. They had not gone far till they were encountered by about fifteen of the enemy, all of whom they killed, except two who escaped. When they had gone a little farther, they were again attacked by about thirteen more, and of these they killed ten. But, upon, the approach of about eleven Highlanders more, one of the Colonels said, in a familiar dialect, " Johnny, if thou dost not somewhat now, we are all dead men;" to whom the Captain answered, "Fear not, for we will do what we can before we either yield or flee before them." They killed nine of them, and put the rest to flight.

About this time the Lord began to look upon the affliction of His people. For Montrose having defeated the Covenanters at five or six different times, the Committee of Estates began to bethink themselves, and for that end saw cause to recall General David Leslie, with 4000 foot and 1000 dragoons, from England. To oppose him, Montrose marched southward; but was shamefully routed by Leslie at Philiphaugh, upon the 13th of September. Many of his forces were killed and taken prisoners, and he, himself escaped with much difficulty. After this, Mr. William Guthrie and Captain Paton returned home to Fenwick.

Thus matters went on till 1646, when there arose two factions in Scotland, headed by the Duke of Hamilton and the Marquis of Argyle; the one of which aimed at bringing down King Charles I. to Scotland, the other opposed it. However, the levies went on, whereby the Duke, with a potent army, marched to England. In the meanwhile, Major-General Middleton came upon a handful of the Covenanters, assembled at the celebration of the Lord's Supper at Mauchline, a small village in Ayrshire. At this place were William Adair, William Guthrie, and John Nevay, ministers, and the Earl of Loudon, who solicited Middleton to let the people dismiss in a peaceable manner, which he promised to do. But, in a most perfidious way, he fell upon them on the Monday after, which occasioned some bloodshed on both sides; for Captain Paton (being still suspicious of these malignants, notwithstanding all their fair promises) caused his people from Fenwick to take arms with them; and although they only acted on the defensive, still it is said that the captain that day killed eighteen of the enemy with his own hand.

The Duke of Hamilton and his army being defeated, and he himself afterwards beheaded, the English following up the victory, Cromwell and his men entered Scotland, and by them the Engagers were not only made to yield, but quite dispersed. Whereupon some of the stragglers came to the West for plunder, and took up their residence for some time in the muirs of Loudon, Eaglesham, and Fenwick, which made the Captain again bestir himself. Taking a party of Fenwick men, he went in quest of them, and found some of them at a certain house in that parish called Lochgoin, and there gave them such a fright, though without any bloodshed, as made them give their promise never to molest or trouble that house, or any other place in the bounds again, under pain of death. And they went off without any further molestation.

Charles I. having been beheaded, January 30, 1649, and Charles II. called home from Breda 1650, the Scotch Parliament, upon notice of an invasion from the English, appointed a levy of 10,000 foot and 3000 horse, to be instantly raised for the defence of the King and kingdom; among whom the Captain again took the field, for he was now become too popular to be hid in obscurity.

Accordingly, Cromwell and his army having entered Scotland in July 1650, several skirmishes ensued betwixt the English and the Scots, when the latter were, upon the 3d of September, totally routed at Dunbar. After this, the Act of Classes being repealed, both Church and State began to act in different capacities, and to look as suspiciously on one another as on the common enemy. There were in the army, on the Protesters' side, Colonels Ker, Hacket, and Strachan; and of inferior officers, Major Stuart, Captain Arnot, brother to the laird of Lochridge, Captain Paton, and others. The contention came to such a crisis, that Colonels Ker and Strachan threw up their commissions, and came to the West with some other officers; many of whom were esteemed the most religious and best affected in the army. They proceeded so far as to give battle to the English at Hamilton, but were worsted; the Lord's wrath having gone forth against the whole land, because Achan was in the camp of our Scottish Israel.

The King and the Scotch army being no longer able to hold out against the English, shifted about, and went for England; and about the end of August 1651, Worcester surrendered to them. But the Parliamentary army following hard upon their heels, totally routed them upon the 3d of September, which made the King flee out of the kingdom. After this the Captain returned home, when he saw how fruitless and unsuccessful this expedition had been.

About this time, he took the farm of Meadowhead, where he was born, and married Janet Lindsay, who only lived a very short time. Here he no less excelled in the duties of the Christian life, in a private station, than he did while a soldier in the camp. Being under the ministry of Mr. William Guthrie, he was made a member of his session, and continued so till that bright and shining light in the Church was extinguished by Charles II. That King having been restored, and the yoke of supremacy and tyranny wreathed by him about the neck of both Church and State, matters grew even worse till the year 1666, when, upon the excesses committed in the South and West by Sir James Turner, some people rose, under the command of Barscob and other gentlemen from Galloway, for their own defence. Several parties from the shire of Ayr joined them, commanded by Colonel James Wallace from Auchens. Captain Arnot came with a party from Mauchline; Lockhart of Wicketshaw, with a party from Carluke ; Major Lermont, with a party from above Galston; Neilson of Corsock, with a party from Galloway; and Captain Paton, who now behoved to take the field again, commanded a party of horse from Loudon, Fenwick, and other places.

Being assembled, they went eastward, and renewed the Covenants at Lanark ; from thence they went to Bathgate, then to Colinton, and so on till they came to Rullion, near Pentland Hills, where they were, upon that fatal day, November 28, attacked by General Dalziel and the King's forces. At their first onset, Captain Arnot, with a party of horse, fought a party of Dalziel's men with good success ; and after him, another party made the General's men flee; but upon their last encounter, about sunset, Dalziel, being repulsed so often, advanced the whole left wing of his army upon Colonel Wallace's right, where he had scarcely three weak horse to receive them, and they were obliged to give way. Here Captain Paton, who was all along with Captain Arnot in the first encounter, behaved with great courage and gallantry. Dalziel, knowing him in the former wars, advanced upon him himself, thinking to take him prisoner. Upon his approach, each presented their pistols. At their first discharge, Captain Paton, perceiving the pistol-ball to hop down upon Dalziel's boots, and knowing what was the cause (he having proof armour), put his hand to his pocket for some small pieces of silver he had there for the purpose, and put one of them into his other pistol. But Dalziel, having his eye on him in the meanwhile, retreated behind his own man, who by that means was slain. The Colonel's men, being flanked on all hands by Dalziel's men, were broken and overpowered; so that the Captain and other two horsemen from Fenwick were surrounded five men deep, through whom he and the two men at his back had to make their way, when there was almost no other on the field of battle; having, in this last rencounter, stood almost an hour.

Whenever Dalziel perceived him go off, he commanded three of his men to follow hard after him, giving them marks whereby they should know him. Immediately they came up with the Captain, before whom was a great slough, out of which three Galloway men had just drawn their horses. They cried to the Captain, what would they do now? He answered them, " What was the fray? he saw but three men coming upon them;" and having caused his horse to jump the ditch, he faced about, and with his sword drawn in his hand, stood still, till the first, coming up, endeavoured to make his horse jump over also. Upon this, he with his sword clave the trooper's head in two; and the horse, being injured, fell. into the bog, with the other two men and horses. The Captain then told them to take his compliments to their master, and tell him he was not coming that night; and so came off, and got safe home at last. This sword, or short shabble, yet remains. It was then, by his progenitors, counted to have twenty-eight gaps, which made them afterwards observe, that there were just as many years of the persecution as there were steps or broken pieces in its edge.

After this, Christ's followers and witnesses were reduced to many hardships; particularly such as had been any way accessory to the 'rising at Pentland, so that they were obliged to resort to the wilderness, and other desolate and solitary places. The winter following, he and about twenty persons had a very remarkable deliverance from the enemy. Being assembled at Lochgoin, upon a certain night, for fellowship and godly conversation, they were warned (through a repeated dream of the enemy's approach) by the old man of the house, who had gone to bed for some rest on account of his infirmity; and that, just within as much time as enabled then to make their escape, the enemy being within a short distance of the house. After they got off, the old man rose up quickly, and met the soldiers with an apology for the state the house was then in (it being but a little after day-break), and nothing at that time was discovered. About this time, the Captain sometimes remained at home, and sometimes in those remote places wherein he could best be concealed from the fury of his persecutors. He married a second wife, Janet Millar from Eaglesham (whose father fell at Bothwell Bridge); by whom he had six children, who continued to possess the farms of Meadowhead and Artnock in tack, until the day of his death.

He frequented the pure preached Gospel wherever he could obtain it, and was a great encourager of the practice of carrying arms for the defence thereof, which he took to be a proper mean in part to restrain the enemy from violence. But things growing still worse and worse, new troops of horse and companies of foot being poured in upon the western shires, on purpose to suppress and search out these field-meetings (which occasioned the rising in 1679), by these unparallelled seventies, they were, with those of whom the apostle speaks, "destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth" (Heb. xi, 37, 38).

The persecuted Covenanters, under the command of Mr. Robert Hamilton, having got the victory over Claverhouse on the 1st of June 1679, at Drumclog in Evandale, in which skirmish there were about thirty-six or forty of that bloody crew killed, went on the next day towards Glasgow in pursuit of the enemy; but that proving unsuccessful, they returned, and on June 3, formed themselves into a camp, and held a council of war. On the 4th they rendezvoused at Kyperidge, and on the 5th they went to Commissary Fleming's park, in the parish of Kilbride; by which time, Captain Paton, who all this time had not been idle, came to them with a body of horsemen from Fenwick and Galston; and many others joined them, so that they were greatly increased.

They had hitherto been of one heart and one mind; but a certain party of horse from Carrick came to them, with whom were Mr. Welch and some other ministers who favoured the Indulgence; after which they never had a day to do well, until they were defeated at Bothwell Bridge, upon the 22nd of June following.

The protesting party would not join with those of the Erastian side, till they should declare themselves for God and His cause, against all and every defection whatever; but Mr. Welch and his party found out a way to get rid of such officers as they feared most opposition from; for orders were given to Rathillet, Haughhead, Carmichael, and Smith, to go to Glasgow, to meet with Mr. King and Captain Paton; and they obeyed. When at Glasgow, King and Paton led them out of the town, as they apprehended for the purpose of preaching, but upon inquiry where they were going, it was answered that according to orders sent privately to Mr. King and Captain Paton, they were to go and disperse a meeting of the enemy at Campsie. Upon going there they found no such thing; which made them believe it was only a stratagem to get free of Mr. King and the rest of the faithful officers.T

The faithful officers were Robert Hamilton, David Hackston of Rathillet, Hall of Haughhead, Captain Paton in Meadowhead, John Balfour of Kinloch, Walter Smith, William Carmichael, William Cleland, James Henderson, and Robert Fleming. Their ministers were Donald Cargill, Thomas Douglas, John Kid, and John King. Richard Cameron was then in Holland. Henry Hall of Haughhead, John Paton in Meadowhead, William Carmichael, and Andrew Turnbull, were ruling elders of the Church of Scotland.

Thus the Protesting party continued to struggle with the Erastian party, in which contendings Captain Paton had no small share, until that fatal day, June 22, when they were routed, and made to flee before the enemy. The Captain at this time was made a Major; and some accounts bear, that the day, preceding he was made a Colonel. Wilson, in his History of Bothwell Bridge, says, that he supposes John Paton, Robert Fleming, James Henderson, and William Cleland, were chosen to be Colonels of regiments. However, as he did not enjoy this place long, we find him still afterwards called by the name of Captain John Paton.

After the defeat at Bothwell Bridge, Captain Paton made the best of his way homeward; and having had a fine horse, with all manner of furnishings, from the sheriff of Ayr, he gave it to one to take home to his master. However, it was robbed of all its fine mounting by an old intelligencer (of the same name as was supposed) which very much surprised the sheriff when he received the horse, and the Captain when he got notice thereof. This was a most base and shameful action, designing to stain the character of this honest and good man.

The sufferers were now exposed to new hardships, and none more so than Captain Paton, who was not only declared rebel by order of proclamation, but also a round sum was offered for his head, which made him be more hotly pursued, and that even in his most secret lurking places. In this time, a little after Bothwell, he had another most remarkable escape and deliverance from his bloodthirsty enemies, which fell out in this manner.

The Captain, with a few more, was one night quartered in the forementioned house of Lochgoin, with James Howie, [Howies of Lochgoin: Lochgoin, that lonely farm on the Eaglesham Moor was often a refuge to fleeing Covenanters and that family saved many a life. Nowadays there is a museum and monument at the farm where the Covenanters once walked.] who was one of his fellow-sufferers. At the same hour a party, being out in quest of some of the sufferers, came to Meadowhead, and from thence went to another remote place in the muirs of Fenwick, called Croilburn, but finding nothing, they went next to Lochgoin, as apprehending they would not miss their design there; and that they might come upon this place more securely, they sent about five men with one Sergeant Rae, by another way, by which the main body could not come so well up undiscovered.

" This house was always a harbour to our late sufferers, both gentlemen, ministers, and private Christians, for which, and for their non-conformity to Prelacy, the family were not only harassed, pillaged, and plundered ten or twelve times during that period, but also both James Howie the possessor, and John Howie, his son, were, by virtue of a proclamation, May 5, 1679, declared rebels, and their names inserted in the fugitives' roll. They were so happy as to survive the Revolution, yet they never acceded to the Revolution Church. The said James Howie, when dying, November 1691, emitted a latter will or testament, wherein he not only gave good and satisfying evidence of his own wellbeing and saving interest in Jesus Christ, but also gave a most faithful testimony to Scotland's covenanted work of reformation, and that in all the parts and periods thereof.

The sufferers had watched all night, which was very stormy, by turns, and about day-break the Captain, on account of his asthmatical disorder, went to the far end of the house for some rest. In the meanwhile George Woodburn went out to make observations, from which he was but a little time returned, when on a sudden, ere they were aware, Sergeant Rae came to the inner door of the house and cried out, "Dogs! I have found you now." The four men took to the spence - James and John Howie happening to be then in the byre among the cattle. The wife of the house, Isabel Howie, seeing none but the sergeant, cried to take to the hills, and not be killed in the house. She took hold of Rae, as he was coming boldly forward to the door of the place in which they were, and ran him backward out of the outer door of the house, giving him such a hasty turn as made him fall on the ground. In the meanwhile, the Captain being alarmed, got up, put on his shoes, though not very hastily, and they all got out, by which time the rest of the party was up. The sergeant fired his gun at them, which John Kirkland answered with his. The bullet passed so near the sergeant that it took off the knot of hair on the side of his head. The alarm being now general, the Captain and the rest took the way for Eaglesham muirs, and the soldiers followed. Two of the men ran with the Captain, and other two stayed by turns, and fired back on the enemy, the enemy fired on them likewise; but by reason of some wetness their guns had got in coming through the water, they were not so ready to fire, which helped the others to escape.

After they had pursued them some time, John Kirkland turned about, and, stooping down on his knee, aimed so well that he shot a Highland sergeant through the thigh, which made the foremost stop as they came forward, till they were again commanded to run. By this time the sufferers had gained some ground, and being come to the muirs of Eaglesham, the four men went to the heights, in view of the enemy, and caused the Captain, who was old and not able to run, to take another way by himself. At last he got a mare upon the field, and took the liberty to mount her a little, that he might be more suddenly out of their reach. But ere he was aware, a party of dragoons going from Newmills was at hand; and what was more observable, he wanted his shoes, having cast them off before, and was riding on the beast's bare back : but he passed by them very slowly and got off undiscovered. At length he gave the mare her liberty, and went into another of his lurking places. All this happened on a Monday morning; and on the morrow these per- secutors returned, and, plundering the house, drove off the cattle, and left almost nothing remaining.

About this time the Captain met with another deliverance, for, having a child removed by death, the incumbent of the parish, knowing the time when the corpse was to be interred, gave notice to a party of soldiers at Kilmarnock, to come up and take him at the burial of his child. But some persons present at the burial persuaded him to return back, in case the enemy should come upon them at the churchyard; which he accordingly did, when he was but a little distance from the Church. He was also a great succourer of those sufferers himself, in so far as his circumstances could admit, several of his fellow-companions in the tribulation and patience of Jesus Christ resorting at certain times. to him; such as David Hackston of Rathillet, Balfour of Kinloch, and Donald Cargill. It is said, that Mr. Cargill dispensed the sacrament of baptism to twenty-two children in his barn at Meadowhead, some time after the engagement at Bothwell Bridge.

Being now near the end of his race and weary pilgrimage, about the beginning of August 1684, he came to the house of Robert Howie in Floack, in the parish of Mearns (formerly one of his hiding places), where he was, by five soldiers, apprehended before ever he or any in the house were aware. He had no arms, yet the indwellers there offered him their assistance, if he wanted it. Indeed they were in a condition to have rescued him; yea, he himself, once in a day, could have extricated himself from double that number. But he said, it would bring them to further trouble, and as for himself, he was now become weary of his life; being so hunted from place to place, and being well stricken in years, his hidings became the more irksome. He was not afraid to die, for he knew well, that whenever he fell into their hands, this would be the case, and he had got time to think thereon for many years; and for his interest in Christ, of that he was sure. They took him to Kilmarnock, but knew not who he was (taking him for some old minister or other), till they came to a place on the highway, called Moor Yeat, where the good man of that place, seeing him in these circumstances, said, "Alas! Captain Paton, are you there! " Then to their joy, they knew whom they had got into their hands. He was carried to Kilmarnock (where his eldest daughter, being about fourteen years of age, got access to see him) then to Ayr, then back to Glasgow, and soon after to Edinburgh.

It is reported as a fact, that General Dalziel met him here, and took him in his arms, saying, " John, I am both glad and sorry to see you. If I had met you on the way, before you came hither, I should have set you at liberty; but now it is too late. But be not afraid, I will write to his Majesty for your life." The Captain replied, "You will not be heard." Dalziel said, " Will I not? If he does not grant me the life of one man, I shall never draw a sword for him again." And it is said that, having spoken some time together, a man came and said to the Captain, " You are a rebel to the King; " to whom he replied, " Friend, I have done more for the King than perhaps thou hast done." Dalziel said, "Yes, John, that is true" (perhaps meaning at Worcester) ; and struck the man on the head with his cane till he staggered, saying, he would teach him better manners than to use such a prisoner so. After this and more reasoning, the Captain thanked him for his courtesy, and they parted.

His trial was not long delayed. Wodrow says, that in April 16, the Council ordered a reward of £20 sterling to Cornet Lewis Lauder, for apprehending John Paton, who had been a notorious rebel these eighteen years. He was brought before the Justiciary, and indicted for being with the rebels at Glasgow, Bothwell, etc. The Advocate passed his being at Pentland, and insisted on his being at Bothwell. The Lords found his libel relevant, and for probation they referred to his own confession before the Council, that he, John Paton, of Meadowhead in Fenwick, was taken in the parish of Mearns, in the house of Robert Howie, in Floack; that he haunted ordinarily in the fields and muirs ; that he was moved by the country people to go out in the year 1666, and commanded a party at Pentland; that he joined with the rebels at Glasgow, about eight days before the engagement at Bothwell, and commanded a party there, etc.

The assize had no more to cognise upon but his own confession, yet brought him in guilty, and the Lords condemned him to be hanged at the Grassmarket of Edinburgh, on the 23rd of April. But, by other accounts, he was charged before the Council for being a rebel since the year 1640; for being an opposer of Montrose; for being at Mauchline Muir, etc. He was prevailed on to petition the Council, upon which he was respited to the 30th, and from that to May 9, when he suffered according to his sentence. No doubt Dalziel was as good as his word; for it is said, that he obtained a reprieve for him from the King; but that, coming to the hands of Bishop Paterson, was kept up by him till he was executed; which enraged the General not a little. It seems that they had a mind to spare him; but, as he observed in his last speech, the prelates put an effectual stop to that. In the last eight days that he lived, he got a room by himself, that he might more conveniently prepare for death; which was a favour at that time granted him above many others.

What Captain Paton's conduct or deportment at the place, of execution was, we are now at a loss to know, only it is believed it was such as well became such a valiant servant and soldier of Jesus Christ, an evidence of which we have in his last speech and dying testimony, wherein among other things he said, "You are come here to look on me a dying man, and you need not expect that I shall say much, for I was never a great orator, or eloquent of tongue, though I may say as much to the commendation of God in Christ Jesus, as ever a poor sinner had to say. I bless the Lord I am not come here as a thief or murderer, and I am free of the blood of all men, and hate bloodshed, directly or indirectly; and now I am a poor sinner, and never could merit anything but wrath; and I have no righteousness of my own; all is Jesus Christ's, and His alone.

"Now, as to my interrogations, I was not clear to deny Pentland or Bothwell. The Council asked me if I acknowledged authority? I said, all authority according to the word of God. They charged me with many things as if I had been a rebel since the year 1640, at Montrose's taking, and at Mauchline Muir. Lord, forgive them, for they know not what they do!" Then after intimating his adherence to the Scriptures, the Covenants, and the whole work of Reformation ; he said, " Now I leave my testimony as a dying man against that horrid usurpation of our Lord's prerogative and crown-right; I mean that supremacy established by law in these lands, which is a manifest usurpation of His crown, for He is given by the Father to be Head of the Church"

(Col. i. 18).

Further, he addressed himself in a few words to two or three sorts of people, exhorting them to be diligent in the exercise of duty; and then, in the last place, saluted all his friends in Christ, whether prisoned, banished, widows, fatherless, wandering and cast out for Christ's sake and the Gospel's. He forgave all his enemies, in the following words ; " Now, as to my persecutors, I forgive all of them; instigators, reproachers, soldiers, private council, justiciaries, apprehenders, in what they have done to me; but what they have done in despite against the image of God in me, who am a poor thing without that, it is not mine to forgive them; but I wish they may seek forgiveness of Him who hath it to give, and would do no more wickedly." Then he left his wife and six small children on the Lord, took his leave of worldly enjoyments, and concluded saying, "Farewell, sweet Scriptures, preaching, praying, reading, singing, and all duties. Welcome Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! I desire to commit my soul to thee in well-doing ! Lord, receive my spirit! "

Thus another gallant soldier of Jesus Christ came to his end, the actions of whose life, and demeanour at death, do fully indicate that he was of no rugged disposition, as has been by some asserted of these our late sufferers; but rather of a meek, judicious, and Christian conversation, tempered with true zeal and faithfulness for the cause and interest of Zion's King and Lord.

He was of a middle stature (as accounts bear), strong and robust, somewhat fair of complexion, with large eye-brows. But what enhanced him more, was courage and magnanimity of mind, which accompanied him upon every emergent occasion; and though his extraction was but mean, it might be trulsaid of him, that he lived a hero, and died a martyr.

Captain John Paton

Copyright 2001-2002 by Nadine R. Hansen

Captain John Paton, Scottish Covenanter and martyr, was born in Meadowhead, Scotland and executed in Edinburgh on 9 May 1684.

In May 2001 I visited Edinburgh and Fenwick and took pictures of the Covenanters' Memorial in Edinburgh, Grey-Friars Church, where the National Covenant was signed, and of Captain John's memorial marker at the church in Fenwick. Please visit the Photo Gallery to view these pictures and others relating to Captain John, including pictures of some of his belongings and a mezzotint of him.

Covenanter John Howie wrote about Captain John Paton in his book, The Scot Worthies.

Captain John Paton Home Page Links .

Transcription from Paton Family History

Below, I have transcribed excerpts from Paton Family History, Compiled by John H. Paton, Almont, Michigan, 1905. The compiler, John H. Paton, is the son of David Paton, who came to Canada with his mother, Ann Allan Paton, after the death of her husband, John, who died in 1844. In 1852 she went to Michigan, where she died. I have inserted some statements in brackets “[]” for clarification. At the end I have summarized the line of descent, as described herein, from Captain John Paton to John Paton, the grandfather of the compiler. The book contains photographs of portraits of that John Paton, who was born in Scotland in 1776, and his wife, Ann Allan, who was born 22 Feb 1780 in Mauchline, Ayrshire, Scotland. I have long had a small copy of the photograph of this John (husband of Ann), given to me by my grandmother, with the name “John Paton” hand-written on the back, but until I saw this book I did not know for sure which John Paton it was. The excerpt follows.

John Paton


[Pages 2-8 of the portion of the book entitled, “Paton Family History.”] On father’s side of the family, our Grandfather’s name was John [Paton, b. 1776]. According to “Descendants of Alexander Paton,” written by our Cousin James R. Paton, of Liverpool, he [John, b. 1776] was the only child of his parents, Alexander Paton [b. about 1746] of Loudoun parish, and Janet Wilson [b. about 1740] of Fenwick parish. I find no record of his birthday; but the Fenwick register shows that his parents were married at Kilmarnock on March 8, 1776; and the Loudoun register shows that he was “baptized” at the meeting house on December 24, 1776. So he was probably born at about the middle of December 1776. The family tradition is that he was the Great-Great-Grandson of Captain John Paton (the Soldier-Covenanter) of Meadowhead, in the Parish of Fenwick, but the vouchers of this have not been found. In “The Scots Worthies,” it speaks of the death of one of his children, and of his committing “his wife and six small children” to the Lord, just before his death. In the “Descendants of Alexander Paton,” it is said: “The Captain had son, and a John Paton succeeded him in Meadowhead.” –(John Howie’s “Life,” p. 34, Baillie Court Book of Cunningham, July 22, 1695.)

John G. Paton, who has been a Missionary to New Hebrides for nearly half a century, also traces his descent from Captain John Paton, who was born at Meadowhead, in the parish of Fenwick. I do not find the date of his birth. He was brought up on the farm, but when a young man he enlisted, and went to the wars in Germany, and fought under Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden, and for some heroic achievement, was made Captain. Afterward he returned to Scotland, and at intervals, between 1645 and 1684, did heroic work in the struggle of the Covenanters against the encroachments of Episcopacy. Of course, he was counted a rebel against the English government, and was arrested in August 1684, and executed at Edinburgh on May 9, 1685. In “Scots Worthies,” it is said, he was courageous and magnanimous, and that “He lived a hero, and died a martyr.”

There seems to be no obscurity in the evidence that our Grandfather [John Paton, b. 1776] was the Grandson of Alexander Paton [b. about 1715, m. Jean Bordland], who is on record as tenant of “Blackbyres,” which was a part of the barony of Hareshawmuir, in the parish of Fenwick, but a short distance from Meadowhead, where Captain John Paton was born. The Kilmarnock marriage register speaks of this Alexander Paton as the “son of the late John Paton in Fennick [sic.] parish,” and shows his marriage to Jean Bordland, daughter of James Bordland, in Fosterhill, on Tuesday, July 8, 1740. He probably became the tenant of Blackbyres soon after this marriage. In the record he first appears as tenant in 1746, but at that time more than two years’ rent was due. A rent-book of this tenant (in Jas. R. Paton’s possession) shows that he paid rent from 1750 to 1756, that his widow paid the rent for the three following years, and his heirs, for four years from 1761 to 1764.

The Rev. William Paton (our Uncle) is reported as having “declared that Alexander had ten children, the eldest of whom, called John (named for his paternal Grandfather), went to India as a soldier and died there.” Others were named (1) Alexander, (2) James, (3) Janet, and (4) _____.

This Alexander is our Great-Grandfather, before mentioned, who married Janet Wilson.

[TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: By “this Alexander,” the author means “(1) Alexander,” mentioned at the end of the prior paragraph. He is the Alexander who married Janet Wilson. The Reverend William Paton appears to be the child of John Paton and Ann Allan, and thus is the uncle of the writer.]

(The other members of that family had many descendants, whose history we will not attempt to follow. We no doubt have many distant relatives who are not known as such.) This Janet Wilson (our Great-Grandmother) was born in 1740, and died October 2, 1796, aged 56. She was descended from Baillie John Brown, of Fenwick. His armchair, dated 1676, is in possession of Alexander Paton, in Galston, son of our Uncle Andrew. (When I saw it in 1897, I got the impression that it was thought to be Captain John Paton’s chair.) [Andrew is also a son of John Paton and Ann Allan Paton.]

Our Great-Grandfather [Alexander Paton, who married Janet Wilson] was born in 1747 or 48, and, as before stated, was married March 8, 1776. Our Cousin Jas. R. Paton has a Bible with his autograph–“Alexander Paton, 17–.” For a time he was a maltster in Newmilns, where the “Black Bull Inn” afterwards stood, and later, in a house at the top of the Greenholm, where the bridge was built. He then took the farm of Burnhead, near Galston, and later moved to Underwood, near the Holms farm, where he died April 15, 1816, aged 69.

We have seen that our Grandfather [John Paton] was the only child of his parents [Alexander Paton and Janet Wilson], and was probably born in December 1776. He married on July 1, 1803, to Ann Allan. For nine or ten years they lived in the above-named Burnhead, where (according to the record in hand) six of their children were born–Elisabeth, Alexander, Andrew, John, James and David. They then moved to the dairy farm of Standalane, near Galston, where were born seven children–William, Janet, Robert, Allan, Thomas, Janet and Annie. In 1825 they moved to Titchfield Street, Galston. He was an adherent of the Anti-Burgher church in Newmilns. He died on August 15, 1844, (aged 67), and was buried in the Galston churchyard.

Grandmother [Ann Allan] was born February 27, 1780. She came with us to America in 1852. Some of us remember her very well. She was a vigorous woman till near the end of her life. Several times she travelled alone (of her own choice) between our home in Michigan and Uncle John’s home in Canada. At the latter place, at Colchester, not far from Amherstburg, she died on December 14, 1855, (aged 75) and was buried in the Colchester Cemetery, by Lake Erie.

I remember seeing, in their home in Galston, the portraits of Grandfather and Grandmother, photographs of which are now in my possession, through the kindness of our Cousin Andrew B. Paton of Crosby, England. These photographs are much like the portraits. After I received them, I called in our aged friend, John McKall [or McKail], to see them. He was the only one here who could tell me whether Grandfather’s picture is good, as he alone could well remember seeing him. After looking at the picture a few moments, he exclaimed, “It’s yer Gran’father Pawton.” He had not seen him for over fifty years. He went on to say, “It luks gae like him. It has a meek luk. Yer Gran’mither had mair force in some w’ys. She keepit the siller. Whatever he earned, at the en’ o’ the week, when he got his p’y, he’d bring it a’ to your Gran’mither, and put it in her lap. But he was a gran’ man; aye, John Pawton was a gran’ man. He was a man of gude principles. He was a very releegious man, and he was a great reader of the Bible and a great thinker. He used to be called to visit the sick and comfort the dying like a minister. Man, it was worth while to hear him pray.”


The preceding information about the descendants of Captain John Paton is written by the grandson of the John Paton born near Galston in 1776, who married Ann Allan. After John’s death, Ann emigrated to America or Canada with some of her children. The beginning of the book has a “brief history” about David Paton, the father of John H. Paton, compiler of the book, written by John H. Paton’s, sister, Annie Paton. They state that their father, David, who was born in 1812 in Ayrshire, near Galston, was the son of their grandfather, John.

Grandfather John Paton, the husband of Ann Allan, was the only son of Alexander Paton and Janet Wilson, who were married on 8 Mar 1776. He was baptized on 24 December of that same year.

Alexander, husband of Janet Wilson, was the son of Alexander Paton, b. abt. 1715 in Fenwick Parish and Jean Bordland, b. about 1715 in Meadowhead. The were married on 8 Jul 1740 in Kilmarnock.

Alexander, husband of Jean Bordland was said by his great-grandson, William Paton, to have had 10 children, the first of whom was named John and one of whom was Alexander, husband of Janet Wilson. Nothing in the text of the book explains who William said this to or how he knew about Alexander’s and Jean’s children. There may be further information about

Alexander and Jean Bordland in the book, but if there is I didn’t copy it. However, another book on the Paton family history (sorry–but I failed to write down the book title and author) lists the ten children and states that they were all born in Fenwick Parish. The children are listed as:

John Paton, b. abt 1741

James Paton #1, b. abt 1743, d. 13 Aug 1744

James Paton #2, b. abt. 1745, md. Janet Lindsay

Alexander Paton, b. 1747, d. 15 Apr. 1816

William Paton, b. abt. 1749, died of smallpox, bur. 8 Dec. 1749

(child) Paton, b. abt. 1750

(child) Paton, b. abt 1752

(son) Paton, b. abt 1754, married and had a son who married an Agnes Smith

Janet Paton, b. abt 1757, d. abt 1840, married twice, ___ Harris and ____Bordland

It is not clear to me from the book where this information came from. I think I failed to copy the page that might have had an explanation.

Alexander Paton, husband of Jean Bordland, was, according to family tradition, the grandson of Captain John Paton. His father, John, would have been the son of Captain John. The name of the wife of John Paton, son of Captain John and father of Alexander, is not known, or at least is not stated in the book.

The line of descent from Captain John Paton to the compiler of the Paton Family History is as follows:

Captain John Paton, b. about 1614, married Janet Millar. They had:

John Paton, b. about 1669, wife’s name unknown (but see below*). They had:

Alexander Paton, b. about 1715 (another source says 1707), married Jean Bordland. They had:

Alexander Paton, b. about 1747, married Janet Wilson. They had:

John Paton, b. about 1776, married Ann Allan. They had:

David Paton, b. about 18 Nov. 1812, married Christina Woodburn. They had:

John H. Paton, who compiled the book.

*Grant Paton has family records that say this John Paton married (1) Sarah Patterson and (2) Marion Barland.

[My own line descends through James Paton, the brother of David Paton.]