John Swan (1787 - 1869)
The son of Thomas and Annie Swan who were married in Coldingham in 1784, John moved south in his adult life and worked as an engineer and inventor.
He was one of several people credited with the invention of the screw propeller, demonstrating its effectiveness when compared to the paddle wheel on a lake in Dulwich in 1824, three years before Josef Ressel patented the idea and two decades before the famous Admiralty trial between the screw driven Rattler and the paddle driven Alecto.
He is buried in Abney Park Stoke Newington.
Photo: Tom Uprichard