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.