James Paton (bishop)

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James Paton
Bishop of Dunkeld
Church Church of Scotland
See Diocese of Dunkeld
In office 1571–1576 x 1584
Predecessor Robert Crichton
Successor Robert Crichton
Consecration November, 1399
Personal details
Born 1522
Died Muckhart, 20 July 1596
Previous post Minister of Muckhart parish

James Paton (1522 – 1596) was a 16th-century Scottish cleric from Ballilisk, Kinross. He matriculated at St Salvator's College, University of St Andrews on 26 November 1540. He was a supporter of the Scottish Reformation of 1560, and in 1567 became Minister of Muckhart parish, Clackmannanshire.

After the forfeiture of Bishop Robert Crichton in 1571, Paton became Bishop of Dunkeld. This seems to have been arranged for him by Archibald Campbell, 5th Earl of Argyll, to whom Paton handed over his farm at Muckhart Mill in addition to promising the earl a share of episcopal revenue. This later brought him into disrepute with the Protestant General Assembly, as did his failure to proceed against the allegedly Catholic John Stewart, 4th Earl of Atholl. Paton failed to defend himself satisfactorily, and in 1576 a decree was made depriving him of his bishopric. Paton resisted his forfeiture, but by 1584 had been replaced by the now reinstated Robert Crichton.

Paton returned to his old parish of Muckhart, though not in the capacity of a minister. He died there on 20 July 1596. He is known to have had four children, including Archibald Paton, who served in Dunkeld Cathedral during his father's espiscopate.


  • Henderson, T. F., "Paton, James (c. 1522–1596)", rev. Duncan Shaw, in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 , accessed 19 Feb 2007
  • Watt, D.E.R., Fasti Ecclesiae Scotinanae Medii Aevi ad annum 1638, 2nd Draft, (St Andrews, 1969)
Religious titles
Preceded by
Robert Crichton
Bishop of Dunkeld
1571–1576 x 1584
Succeeded by
Robert Crichton (again)