Sir John Swinton was among the band of Scottish barons who signed the
bond of protection of the infant James VI in 1567 against the Earl of
Bothwell on his marriage to the childs mother, Queen Mary. In
1640 Sir Alexander Swinton, twenty-second of that Ilk, became sheriff
of Berwickshire. He died in 1652, leaving six sons and five daughters.
His second son, Alexander, was appointed to the Supreme Court of Scotland
in 1688, taking the title, Lord Mersington. The eldest son,
John, was colonel for the regiment of Berwickshire, and at the Battle
of Worcester in 1651, he was taken prisoner, and his brother, Robert,
died in an attempt to carry off Oliver Cromwells standard. John
was later appointed by the Lord Protector to the Council of State he
established to assist in ruling Scotland in 1655. His involvement with
Cromwell led to his being tried for treason in 1661, and although he
escaped the block, his estates were forfeited and he was imprisoned
for six years. He died in 1679 and was succeeded by his son, Alexander,
who later died without issue. Alexanders brother, Sir John, succeeded
as the twenty-fifth Laird of Swinton who, after a successful career
as a merchant in Holland, returned to Scotland in the wake of the Revolution
of 1688 which brought William of Orange to the throne with his wife,
His fathers forfeiture was rescinded, and Swinton sat in both
the Scottish Parliament and, later, in the British, at Westminster.
John Swinton of that Ilk, the twenty-seventh Laird, became a member
of the Supreme Court in 1782, taking the title, Lord Swinton.
Captain George Swinton, descended from the Swintons of Kimmerghame,
a cadet of the chiefly house, was Lord Lyon, King of Arms, and Secretary
to the Order of the Thistle from 1926 to 1929. Major General Sir John
Swinton, who still resides at Kimmerghame, is the Lord Lieutenant of
Berwickshire. The present chief lives in Canada.