The Johnstons were a powerful clan famous in Border song and story. They derived their name from a barony of Johnston in Annandale, and the name occurs in records of the 13th century. From that time onward they were prominent in Border warfare. They supported the crown in 1633 Sir James Johnston of Johnston was created Lord Johnston of Lochwood by Charles I, and ten years later Earl of Hartfell. Sir John 3rd Baronet was unjustly executed in London in 1690 for being present at the marriage of Captain Campbell of Mamore who was alleged to have abducted Miss Wharton and married her. Campbell escaped to Scotland, but Johnston was betrayed by his landlord for Z50.00. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. JOHNSTON is among the twenty most common names in Ireland. They came as settlers from Scotland and England during the 17th century, and settled mainly in Ulster. The associated arms are recorded in Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Early records of the name mention Gilbert, son of John, who appears in charters in 1195. The name was originally derived from the Hebrew given name YOCJANAN (Jehovah has favoured me with a son), and the name was adopted into the Latin (via Greek) as JOHANNES. This name has enjoyed enormous popularity in Europe, being given in honour of St. John the Baptist, precurser of Christ and of St. John the Evangelist, author of the fourth gospel, as well as others of the nearly one thousand saints of the name. There are numerous variant spellings of the surname, and it is known to every country in the world in different forms. There have been many notables of the name including twenty-one popes and two anti-popes XVI (997-8) and XXIII the former included in the papal numbering, which erroneously contained a fictious John XV who was thought to have ruled for a few weeks immediately prior to the true John (985-96). John (surnamed Lackland) 1167-1216 was the king of England from 1199 youngest son of Henry II born in Oxford.
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