Napier, Robert (1611-1686) (DNB00)

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NAPIER, ROBERT (1611–1686), royalist, born in 1611, was second son of Sir Nathaniel Napier of More Crichel, Dorset, grandson of Sir Robert Napier (d. 1615) [q. v.], and was younger brother of Sir Gerard Napier [q. v.] On 21 Nov. 1628 he matriculated at Queen's College, Oxford, but did not graduate, and in 1637 he was called to the bar from the Middle Temple, being then seated at Puncknowle, Dorset (Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714, iii. 1052). He was subsequently appointed receiver-general and auditor of the duchy of Cornwall. During the civil war he busied himself in collecting money to maintain the king's forces. He lived in Exeter while it was held as a royalist garrison, and afterwards at Truro. On the surrender of Truro to the parliament in March 1646, Sir Thomas Fairfax, in a letter to Speaker Lenthall, recommended Napier to the favourable consideration of the house, ‘as well in respect of the treaty as that he is a gentleman of whom I hear a very good report’ (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1645–7, p. 381). On 30 June 1646, having in the meantime taken the national covenant and negative oath, he begged to be allowed to compound, and was, on 12 Feb. 1649, fined only 505l. 11s. (Cal. of Committee for Compounding, p. 1372; cf. Cal. of Committee for Advance of Money, p. 1377). After the Restoration the king, in February 1663, granted him a renewal of the office of receiver-general (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1663–4, p. 62).

Napier died at Puncknowle in the winter of 1686, his will (P. C. C. 170, Lloyd) being proved on 4 Dec. He married, first, by license dated 12 July 1637, Anne, daughter of Allan Corrance of Wykin, Suffolk ( Chester, London Marriage Licenses, ed. Foster, col. 958); secondly, Catherine, sister of Lord Hawley; and thirdly, by license dated 18 March 1668, Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Evelyn, bart., of Long Ditton, Surrey, and widow of Edmond Ironside of Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, who survived him. By his first wife he left a son and a daughter, Anne, who married John Fry of Yarty, Devonshire, son of the regicide John Fry (1609–1657) [q. v.]

His son, Sir Robert Napier (1642?–1700), born about 1642, matriculated at Oxford from Trinity College on 1 April 1656, but did not graduate, and became a member of the Middle Temple in 1660. He is wrongly stated to have been master of the hanaper office. On 27 Jan. 1681, being then high sheriff for Dorset, he was knighted (Luttrell, Brief Historical Relation, i. 64), and on 25 Feb. 1682 became a baronet. He was M.P. for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis in 1689–90, and for Dorchester in 1690 till unseated on 6 Oct. 1690. He was, however, re-elected in 1698. Napier died on 31 Oct. 1700. By license dated 25 Oct. 1667 he married Sophia Evelyn of Long Ditton.

[Hutchins's Dorset, 3rd ed. ii. 770; Burke's Extinct Baronetage.]

G. G.