Edinburgh lawyer and judge.
Admitted to the bar (1743). Deputy sheriff of Perthshire (1754). Judge, with the title Lord Swinton (1782); lord of justiciary (1788). Published several legal treatises. Evidently laid claim to Pennsylvania and New Jersey lands that had once belonged to Arent Sonmans, an early East Jersey proprietor who had married Swinton’s great-grandfather’s widow.
Son of John and Mary (Semple) Swinton of Swinton, Berwickshire. Married Margaret Mitchelson; thirteen children. Friend of Franklin’s friend Sir Alexander Dick.