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Veronica (f) James Boswell gave specific details about the introduction of this name to Scotland in a note to his Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (1773). ‘The saint’s name of Veronica was introduced into our family through my great grandmother Veronica, Countess of Kincardine, a Dutch lady of the noble house of Sommelsdyck.’

Boswell gave the name to one of his own daughters. The ultimate origin of the name is much disputed. St Veronica is said to have been the woman of Jerusalem who wiped the face ofJesus with a cloth as he went to Calvary.
A relic preserved in Rome is said to be the actual cloth.
This is called the ‘vernicle’ in English, a word which derives from ‘veronicle,’ which in turn is usually explained as meaning ‘true image,’ for the features of Christ’s face are said to have been miraculously impressed upon it.

If this interpretation is correct, then the relic was named first, and the name was subsequently transferred to the saint. Some scholars see Veronica as a Latin variant of the Greek Berenice, ‘peace bringer.’ Veronica is still used in Scotland, especially by Roman Catholic families.

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