chief at the Cape of Good Hope from 4 Oct. 1837 to 12 Dec. 1843. He enforced the abolition of slavery, abolished inland taxation, depending for colonial revenue on the customs duties, and ruled the colony for nearly seven years without a Kaffir war. He sent a detachment of troops to Port Natal, and the Boers were driven out of that territory during his government (see Ann. Reg. 1842; Moodie, Battles in South Africa, vol. i.) After his return in 1844 Napier resided chiefly at Nice. King Charles Albert offered him the command of the Sardinian army, which he declined. After Chillianwalla Napier was proposed for the chief command in India, ‘but thought, in common with the people of England, that it belonged by right to his brother Charles.’ He died at Geneva on 16 Sept. 1855. Napier married, first, on 28 Oct. 1812, Margaret, daughter of John Craig of Glasgow; secondly, in 1839, Frances Dorothea, eldest daughter of R. W. Blencowe, and widow of William Peere Williams-Freeman of Fawley Court, Oxfordshire. By his first wife he had two daughters and three sons—General Thomas Conolly Napier, C.B., of the late Cape mounted riflemen; Captain John Moore Napier, 62nd regiment, who died in Sind in 1846; and General William Craig Emilius Napier, colonel King's Own Scottish Borderers (late 25th foot).
Napier wrote for his children ‘Passages in the Early Military Life of General Sir G. T. Napier,’ a work of exceptional interest, which was published by his surviving son in 1885.
[Burke's Peerage under ‘Napier of Merchistoun;’ Napier's Passages in Early Military Life; Hart's Army Lists; Gurwood's Wellington Despatches, vols. iv. and v.; Moorsom's Hist. of 52nd Light Infantry; Gent. Mag., 1855, pt. ii. p. 429.]
NAPIER, Sir GERARD (1606–1673), royalist, baptised at Steeple, Dorset, on 19 Oct. 1606, was eldest son of Sir Nathaniel Napier, of More Crichel, in the same county, by Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of John Gerard of Hyde, in the Isle of Purbeck (Hutchins, Dorset, 3rd ed. iii. 125). Sir Robert Napier (d. 1615) [q. v.] was his grandfather, and Robert Napier (1611–1686) [q. v.] was his brother. He was a commoner of Trinity College, Oxford, in 1623–4. During his father's lifetime he lived at Middlemarsh Hall, Dorset. In April 1640 Napier, as deputy-lieutenant of Dorset, joined his colleague, Sir George Hastings, in pressing men for the king's service, but was not considered energetic enough by the lord-lieutenant, Theophilus Howard, second earl of Suffolk [q. v.], who reported his remissness to Charles. He was accordingly ordered to be examined by the attorney-general and afterwards to be brought up before the lords (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1640, pp. 55, 120, 125). On 21 Oct. he was elected M.P. for Melcombe Regis, and in June 1641, having made his peace at court, he was created a knight and a baronet (Metcalfe, Book of Knights, p. 196). The House of Commons, having ineffectually summoned him to attend in his place in July and again in October 1642, ordered that he be sent for as a delinquent on 12 Nov. (Commons' Journals, ii. 685, 804, 845). On 5 Jan. 1643 he was required to lend 500l. ‘for the service of parliament’ (ib. ii. 916), but as he did not comply, directions were given to apprehend him on 10 April (ib. iii. 38). At length he sent a letter expressing his readiness to make a contribution, whereupon the commons, on 26 May, voted that his attendance in the house be dispensed with, to the end that he might better further their interests in the country (ib. iii. 105; Tanner MS. lxii. 100). As a commissioner from the king, Napier, along with Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper and Sir John Hele, addressed a letter on 3 Aug. to the mayor and corporation of Dorchester, Dorset, urging the surrender of the town (ib. lxii. 217). The commons retaliated on 22 Jan. 1644 by voting him incapable of sitting ‘during this parliament’ (Commons' Journals, iii. 374). He deemed it prudent to make his submission to the parliament on 20 Sept., when he took the covenant, advanced 500l. for the relief of parliament garrisons, and apologised very humbly for his loyalty. As he subsequently asserted that he had sustained much damage at the hands of the king's party, by whom his estate was sequestered, his fine was fixed at the comparatively small sum of 3,514l. (Cal. of Committee for Compounding, p. 1061). During the Commonwealth Napier is said to have sent by Sir Gilbert Taylor 500l. to Charles II. Taylor detained the money, and for his dishonesty he was prosecuted by Napier after the Restoration. In December 1662 he was appointed with eleven others a commissioner for discovering all waste lands belonging to the crown in twenty-three parishes in Dorset (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1663–4, pp. 43, 81, 655). Charles II, with whom Napier became a favourite, ordered a number of deer to be sent to him annually from the New Forest without fee. He entertained the king and queen at More Crichel, when the court removed to Salisbury on account of the plague in 1665. Napier died at More Crichel on 14 May 1673, and was buried in Minterne Church, Dorset (Hutchins, iv. 483). By