Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 40.djvu/65
[Visitation of Dorset, 1623 (Harl. Soc.), p. 74; Burke's Extinct Baronetage; will registered in P. C. C. 128, Pye.]
his wife, Margaret (d. 1660), daughter and co-heiress of John Colles of Barton, Somerset, he left one surviving son, Sir Nathaniel Napier [q. v.], and two daughters.
NAPIER, HENRY EDWARD (1789–1853), historian, born on 5 March 1789, was son of Colonel George Napier [q. v.], younger brother of Sir Charles James Napier [q. v.], conqueror of Scinde, of Sir George Thomas Napier [q. v.], governor of the Cape of Good Hope, and of Sir William Francis Patrick Napier [q. v.], historian and general. He entered the Royal Naval Academy on 5 May 1803, and, embarking on 20 Sept. 1806 on board the Spencer, 74 guns, was present in the expedition against Copenhagen in 1807, and assisted at the destruction of Fleckeröe Castle on the coast of Norway. From 1808 till 1811 he served in the East Indies, and on 4 May 1810 received his commission as lieutenant. On 7 June 1814 he was promoted to the command of the Goree, 18 guns, and, soon after removing to the Rifleman, 18 guns, was for a considerable time entrusted with the charge of the trade in the Bay of Fundy. In August 1815 he went on half-pay, having previously declined a piece of plate which had been voted to him for his care in the conduct of convoys between the port of St. John's, New Brunswick, and Castine. On 31 Dec. 1830 he was gazetted to the rank of captain, and was put on half-pay.
His chief claim to notice is that he was the author of ‘Florentine History from the earliest Authentic Records to the Accession of Ferdinand the Third, Grandduke of Tuscany,’ six vols., 1846–7, a work showing much independence of judgment and vivacity of style, but marred by prolixity. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society on 18 May 1820, and died at 62 Cadogan Place, London, on 13 Oct. 1853.
He married on 17 Nov. 1823 Caroline Bennet, a natural daughter of Charles Lennox, third duke of Richmond; she died at Florence on 5 Sept. 1836, leaving three children.[O'Byrne's Naval Biographical Dict. 1849, p. 804; Gent. Mag. 1854, pt. ii. p. 90.]
NAPIER, JAMES (1810–1884), dyer and antiquary, was born at Partick, Glasgow, in June 1810, and started life as a ‘draw-boy’ to a weaver. Subsequently he became an apprentice dyer, and, being interested in chemistry, he with David Livingstone [q. v.] and James Young [q. v.], celebrated for his discoveries regarding paraffin, attended the classes in Glasgow of Professor Thomas Graham, who was later master of the mint. Subsequently Napier went to England, and lived several years in London and Swansea. About 1849–50 he returned to Glasgow, where he became closely associated with Anderson's college and the technical school founded by James Young; he died at Bothwell on 1 Dec. 1884.
Napier wrote: 1. ‘A Manual of Electro-Metallurgy,’ 1851, 8vo (5th edit. 1876). 2. ‘A Manual of the Art of Dyeing,’ Glasgow, 1853, 12mo (3rd edit. 1875, 8vo). 3. ‘The Ancient Workers and Artificers in Metal,’ 1856, 12mo. 4. ‘Stonehaven and its Historical Associations,’ 2nd edit. 1870, 16mo. 5. ‘Notes and Reminiscences relating to Partick,’ Glasgow, 1873, 8vo. 6. ‘Manufacturing Arts in Ancient Times,’ Edinburgh, 1874, 8vo. 7. ‘Folklore; or Superstitious Beliefs in the West of Scotland within this Century,’ Paisley, 1879, 8vo. By this last work Napier will be best remembered. It is an admirable example of folklore of a district, honestly collected, and narrated without ostentation. It is invaluable to any student of Scottish folklore. He also contributed various papers to the Glasgow Archæological Society, one paper on ‘Ballad Folklore’ to the ‘Folklore Record,’ vol. ii., and numerous others to the Glasgow Philosophical Society's ‘Proceedings’ (cf. The Royal Society's Cat. of Scientific Papers). He also published additions to Byrne's ‘Practical Metal-worker's Assistant,’ 1864, 8vo, and illustrated MacArthur's ‘Antiquities of Arran,’ 1861, 8vo.[Brit. Mus. Cat.; Allibone's Dict. of Engl. Lit.; Athenæum, 1884, ii. 810; other newspaper notices, and personal knowledge.]
NAPIER or NEPER, JOHN (1550-1617), laird of Merchiston, inventor of logarithms, was the eldest son of Sir Archibald Napier (1534-1608) [q. v.], by his first wife, Janet Bothwell. He was born in 1550, before his father had completed his sixteenth year, at Merchiston Castle, near Edinburgh. There he resided during his childhood with his youthful father and mother, a younger brother Francis, and a sister Janet. The only brother of his mother, Adam Bothwell [q. v.], elected bishop of Orkney in 1559, wrote to his father on 5 Dec. 1560, 'I pray you, sir, to send John to the schools either to France or Flanders, for he can learn no good at home.' This advice was afterwards followed. In the beginning of 1561 the bishop executed a will in favour of his nephew, but nothing came of it, as he subsequently married and had a son (Mark Napier, Memoirs, p. 63, &c.) At the age of thirteen John went to St.