Copy of the AFFIDAVIT of Sir ARCHIBALD NAPIER, 1625.

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"Know ye that I, Sir Archibald Napier of Merchiston in the Kingdom of Scotland Knt., Deputy Treasurer and one of His Majesty's privy council there. Forasmuch as my entirely beloved kinsmen Sir Robert Napier of Luton Hoo now of the County of Bedford Knt. And Bart., Sir Nathaniel Napier of Middlemarsh Hall, Nicholas Napier of Tintinhull Esq., John and Robert Napier of Puncknowle in the County of Dorset Esquires, being desirous of being confirmed of their pedigree and descent from my house, I have to satisfy their lawful and laudable request herein declared the truth thereof, and the original of our name, as by tradition from father to son we have generally and without doubt received the same - That one of the Ancient Earls of Lennox in Scotland had issue three sons, the eldest Alexander succeeded him in the earldom of Lennox, the second was named Donald, and the third named Gilchrist (he for killing two of the Abbott of Paisley's servants for fishing in the river of Linfren lived outlawed all his lifetime among the hills of Arrochar) his father gave the lands of Kilpatrick to the Abbey for satisfaction of the offence.

"Alexander the then King of Scots having wars did concreate his lieges in the battle, amongst whom he that commanded was the Earl of Lennox (keeping his eldest son at home) sent his second son to serve for him with the forces that were under his command. This battle went hard with the Scots, for the enemy pressing furiously upon them forced them to give ground until at last the fell to flat running away which being perceived by Donald he pulled his father's standard from the bearer thereof and valiantly encountering the foe being well followed by the Earl of Lennox's men, he repulsed the enemy and changed the fortune of the day, whereby a great victory was got. After the battle as the manor is everyone advancing and setting forth his own acts the King said unto them "Ye have all done well but there is one amongst you who hath Na peer," and calling Donald into his presence he commanded him in regard of his worthy service and in augmentation of his honour to change his name from Lenox to Napier, and gave him the lands of Gosford and lands in Fife and made him his own servant, which discourse is confirmed by sundry of my old evidencies and testimonies wherein we are called Lenox alias Napier.

"After this the earldom of Lennox for want of heirs male fell to daughters, the eldest thereof was married to Sir Murdoch Menteith of Rosko who was Earl of Lennox during his natural life; the younger was married to Lord Darnley (of whom is descended the King's Majesty by Henry Darnley who married Mary, Queen of Scots and by a younger branch Lord [undecipherable] and Richmond who died in 1614, the Dukes of Lenox and divers other nobles of Scotland). Sir Murdoch Menteith had two daughters the second married to Halden of Glenegis and the first was married to John Napier of Rosko and Merchiston being the son of Sir Alexander Napier of Merchiston Knt. descended from Donald aforesaid.

"Amongst them was great strife and controversies for the title and honour of Lennox but the revenue was divided among them and I hold some lands to this day in Lenox which came to my ancestors by the same division as also certain lands which did anciently belong to the said Menteith; for he by the laws and customs of the country enjoyed the same for his life, and left the same to descend to Halden of Glenegis; but Napier of Merchiston besides his marriage bore his ancient arms, surname and descent from the house of the Earls of Lenox: the Lord Darnley was in the King's special favour and inclination which being known to Napier of Merchiston being then in the King's service he relinquished his suit and it is said got Blarnivader for that cause. But I do find that he did give his part of the fishing of Leven and the watermouth of Inch Taverock with the patronage of some churches for Blarnivader. And for the further testimony for this affection of the said Napiers of Merchiston the Lord Darnley did in recompense of their relinquishing their claim to the dignity of Lenox, tie himself to support and maintain the said house of Napier and their heirs in all just occasions and engagements as by ancient evidences is manifested and appeareth.

"The said Sir John Napier of Merchiston and Rosko had issue Archibald who had issue Alexander, James and John. Sir Alexander had issue Sir Alexander and Alexander commonly called Sandy second son. Sir Alexander had issue Sir Archibald, who had issue Sir John and Sir Alexander. Sir John was my father.

"Alexander alias Sandy, second son to Sir Alexander and brother to Sir Alexander my great grandfather as aforesaid having spent the greater part of his youth in foreign parts came into England and lived in Exeter in the time of King Henry VIII and had issue the aforesaid Sir Robert Napier Knt and Bart, Richard Napier of Linford, now living and diverse other sons and daughters.

"John the younger son and brother to Sir Alexander aforesaid came into England and first planting himself at Swyre in Dorset had issue Edward Napier of Holywell in Oxford and Swyre, James of Baglake Co. Dorset, and Nicholas of Tintinhull Co. Somerset. The eldest brother Edward of Hollywell had issue William, who had Edward of Oxford, now living, and others. James of Baglake, second son, had issue John, William, and Sir Robert. John had issue James of Baglake who had issue James of Waymouth and Melcombe Regis now living and merchant adventurers. William Napier of Puncknowle second son of James of Baglake had John and Robert now living. The third son Sir Robert Napier of Middlemarsh Hall sometime chief Baron had Sir Nathaniel Napier now living. John son of William of Puncknowle hath issue Henry, and Robert son of same William has issue William, Andrew, Robert, Edward, John, Arundel, Ann and Catherine.

"These things being found by me as aforesaid causeth me out of the natural affection and love which I bear to my loving Cousins Sir Robert Napier Knt. And Bart., Sir Nathaniel Napier Knt. And Robert Napier Esqre and the rest of my said kindred in England to testify and give all allowance to them to bear my arms supporters and crest with their due differences as their lawful right and ancient inheritance and as the same are depicted in the margin; and do hereby acknowledge them to be kinsmen of my blood and branched from my house according to due proof as is above declared. In witness whereof I have hereby set my hand and seal of arms. Dated the 1st day of June A.D. 1625.


Archibald Napier of Merchiston."

Last modified:
31 October 2015

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