The History of Leith

October 3, 2011

LEITH’S SEA-DOGS: THE FIGHTING BARTONS.

ANOTHER noted family of Leith sailormen, who for several generations were the most renowned seafarers belonging to the Port, was that of the Bartons, one of whom, Wood’s old friend, Sir Andrew Barton as he is so often called, although there is no record of his ever having been knighted, was among the most famous and daring sea-captains of his time. If Wood was the Scottish ” Nelson” of his day, Andrew Barton was undoubtedly the Scottish ” Drake.” The first of this family to come into prominence was John, a noted mariner of Leith, who, in the reign of James III., was skipper of the Yellow Carvel, described as one of the king’s ships. Under his command the Yellow Carvel seems to have met a good deal of ill-fortune, for she was captured by the English, although afterwards
restored by Edward IV., and was then nearly wrecked among the rocks off North Berwick before she won fame under the captaincy of the brave and skilful Sir Andrew Wood.
John Barton had three sons, all of whom rose to fame —Andrew, the eldest and most renowned; Robert, familiarly known among Leith sailor folk as Robin, and by the English, who held him in wholesome dread, as Hob o’ Barton ; and John

source-The Story of Leith

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