Paton, Andrew Archibald (DNB00)


PATON, ANDREW ARCHIBALD (1811–1874), author and diplomatist, son of Andrew Paton, saddler and government contractor, and Anne Gilchrist, his wife, was born at 75 Broughton Street, Edinburgh, on 19 March 1811 (Edinburgh Parish Registers). At the age of twenty-five he landed at Naples, and walked thence, with staff and knapsack, to Vienna. Thereafter travelling up and down among the Eastern European states, and also in Syria and Egypt, he acquired an accurate and extensive insight into the manners, customs, and political life of the East, which, with descriptions of the countries themselves, he communicated to the public in an interesting series of books. In 1839–1840 he acted as private secretary to Colonel (afterwards Sir) George Hodges in Egypt, and was afterwards attached to the political department of the British staff in Syria under Colonel Hugh Henry Rose (afterwards Baron Strathnairn) [q. v.], and was allowed the rank of deputy assistant-quartermaster-general. In 1843 he was appointed acting consul-general in Servia, and in 1846 was unofficially employed by Sir Robert Gordon, then ambassador at Vienna, to examine and report upon the ports belonging to Austria in the Adriatic. In 1858 he became vice-consul at Missolonghi in Greece, but in the following year was transferred to Lubeck, and was on 12 May 1862 appointed consul at Ragusa and at Bocca di Cattaro. He died on 5 April 1874. He married Eliza Calvert, and had issue.

His works were: 1. ‘The Modern Syrians, by an Oriental Student,’ 8vo, London, 1844. 2. ‘Servia, or a Residence in Belgrade, &c., in 1843–4,’ 8vo, 1845; 2nd edition, 1855. 3. ‘Highlands and Islands of the Adriatic,’ 2 vols. 8vo, 1849. 4. ‘The Mamelukes: a Romance of Life in Grand Cairo,’ 3 vols. 8vo, 1851. It was republished in 1861 under the title ‘Melusina: a New Arabian Nights' Entertainment.’ 5. ‘The Goth and the Hun, or Transylvania, Debreezin, Pesth, and Vienna in 1850,’ 8vo, 1851. 6. ‘The Bulgarian, the Turk, and the German,’ 8vo, 1855. 7. ‘Researches on the Danube and the Adriatic,’ which is an adaptation of information given in some of the previous works, 2 vols. 12mo, 1862. 8. ‘History of the Egyptian Revolution, from the Period of the Mamelukes to the Death of Mahommed Ali,’ 2 vols. 8vo, 1863. 9. ‘Sketches of the Ugly Side of Human Nature,’ 1867. 10. ‘Henry Beyle, otherwise De Stendhal,’ 8vo, 1874.

[Prefaces to some of the above works; Allibone's Dict. of English Literature; Foreign Office List, January 1874, p. 153, January 1875, p. 268.]

H. P.