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          Saint Patrick

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Saint Patrick was a Romano-British citizen who at the age of sixteen was taken captive by Irish slave trading pirates.

 Extract from the Confessio of Patrick:

‘’My name is Patrick. I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers. I am looked down upon by many. My father was Calpornius. He was a deacon; his father was Potitus, a priest, who lived at Bannavem Taburniae. His, (Patrick’s grandfather), home was near there, and that is where I was taken prisoner. I was about sixteen at the time. At that time, I did not know the true God. I was taken into captivity in Ireland, along with thousands of others. ‘’

St Patrick does not refer to his mother in the full text, but her name is widely recorded as being 'Conchessa'.

The Annals of Ulster contain one of the earliest references to a Christian community in Dumbarton. In 314AD it records that three bishops accompanied by a deacon represented Alcyuyd at a conference in Arles, the former capital of Burgundy in south-east France.

The above reference further strengthens the argument that St. Patrick was born in or around Dumbarton, as it shows that the office of Deacon which his Father held had been extant in the area for almost a century.

In his’ Confessio’, Patrick states that his Grandfather lived at ’ Bannavem Taburniae ‘ from where he was taken prisoner. Bannavem translates from Latin derivative into English as the ‘Foot of the River ‘.

In the sixth century an Irish Princess, named Modwenna, financed a chapel dedicated to St. Patrick on Dumbarton Castle. It might be considered to be more than coincidence that an Irish Princess would choose to dedicate a chapel in Dumbarton to St. Patrick. 

 

To many of the local community there would appear to be no doubt of the area’s connection with St. Patrick. The area at the western end of the Roman Wall being known as the Parish of Kilpatrick, the village becoming Old Kilpatrick.

Locally the name of Patrick, Saint Patrick, is widely used in recognition of his strong historic connections to this area.

For example, the Roman Catholic Churches in Dumbarton and Old Kilpatrick are dedicated to St. Patrick, two local schools have been named after him, the Masonic Lodge in Old Kilpatrick is named ‘St. Patrick , Old Kilpatrick’ and, more recently, when Dumbarton District Council and the relevant Strathclyde Regional Council’s were unified as West Dunbartonshire Council in 1995, St. Patrick and the Cross of St. Patrick were an integral part of on the Coat of Arms for West Dunbartonshire local authority area.

Erik  McLeary