Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Swinton, John (d.1402)

SWINTON, Sir JOHN (d. 1402), Scottish soldier, was in the service of Edmund de Langley, earl of Cambridge and afterwards duke of York [q. v.], in 1374 (Cal. Documents relating to Scotland, iv. 221). He probably continued in the English service till December 1377, when he had leave to return through England to Scotland (ib. iv. 254). Swinton distinguished himself by his valour in the battle of Otterburn in August 1388, when he had a leading part in the capture of Harry Hotspur [see Percy, Sir Henry, (1364–1403)]. He had a safe-conduct on 14 Nov. 1391, and again on 24 July 1392, as Scots ambassador to England (ib. iv. 431; Fœdera, vii. 733). He again came to England in July 1400 (ib. viii. 151). At the battle of Homildon Hill, on 14 Sept. 1402, Swinton led the disastrous charge of the Scots, supported by Sir Adam de Gordon, with whom he had previously had many quarrels. Both Swinton and Gordon were slain in the battle.

Swinton married (1) Margaret, countess of Mar, who died in 1390; and (2) Margaret, daughter of Robert Stewart, duke of Albany [q. v.], the regent of Scotland. By the latter he had a son John, who fought against the English in France, and first struck down Thomas, duke of Clarence, at the battle of Beaugé, on 20 March 1421 [see Thomas, (d. 1421)]. He was killed fighting for the French at Verneuil on 17 Aug. 1424.

[Bower's continuation of Fordun's Scotichronicon, iv. 1078, 1149, 1215, 1220; Annales Henrici Quarti ap. Trokelowe, &c., p. 415 (Rolls Ser.); Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, vol. iv. p. clxxxvi; Anderson's Scottish Nation, iii. 547.]

C. L. K.