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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Captain Archibald Paton

THIS city worthy and character was a son of Dr. David Paton, a physician in Glasgow, who left to his son the tenement in which he lived for many years preceding his decease, called Paton’s Land, opposite the Old Exchange at the Cross (but lately removed to make way for the Trongate Station of the City and Central Railway). The broad pavement,—or plainstanes, as it is called,—in front of the house, formed the daily parade-ground of the veteran.

The captain held a commission in a regiment that had been raised in Scotland for the Dutch service; and after he had left the tented field, lived with two maiden sisters, and Nelly, the servant, who had, from long and faithful servitude, become an indispensable member of the household. The captain was considered a very skilful fencer, and excelled in small sword exercise, an accomplishment he was rather proud of, and often handled his rattan as if it had been the lethal instrument which he used to wield against the foe.

The wags of the day got up a caricature of the captain parrying the horned thrusts of a belligerent bull in the Glasgow Green. He died on the 30th July, 1807, at the age of 68, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father in the Cathedral, or High Church burying grounds. Captain Paton forms the subject of Lockhart’s celebrated serio-comic Lament, which was first published in Blackwood’s Magazine for September, 1819.

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