Napier Book List

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Books published 1901 to 1925

The Life and Letters of Lady Sarah Lennox, 1745-1826 (Two Volumes).
Edited by The Countess of Ilchester and Lord Stavordale, John Murray, London, 1901.
Lady Sarah Lennox was the fourth daughter of the second Duke of Lennox, and thus a great-grand-daughter of King Charles II. After an eventful youth and first marriage, she married, as her second husband, Colonel George Napier, the fifth son of Francis, sixth Lord Napier, and his second wife. They lived in Ireland and had five sons and three daughters. The five sons rose to eminence in their chosen fields. Three became generals and fought in the Peninsular War, one became a Captain in the Royal Navy and also became the first historian of Medieval Florence, and the fifth became a Fellow of All Souls and a notable scholar.

The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club for 1908 (Volume I).
Various authors, printed by T and A Constable, Edinburgh, issued July 1909.
An article on the embalming of the heart of the first marquis of Montrose, brother of the first Lady Napier, with reference to Mark Napier, biographer of Montrose. It also contains reference to John o' Logs selling "poultrie lands of Dean".

Miscellany of the New Spalding Club, Volume II.
Edited by Peter John Anderson, University Library, Aberdeen, and printed and published privately for the New Spalding Club, 1908.
The Spalding Club was a private club, based in Aberdeen, that specialised in the publication of historical documents concerning Aberdeen, county and city. This volume consists of three documents: Summary of Fiars Prices in Aberdeenshire 1603-19, with Lists of Jurors; Register of St Paul's Episcopal Chapel, Aberdeen, 1720-1793; Aberdeen Burgess Register 1631-1700. The second contains the baptismal notices of most of the children of Mark Napier, fifth son of Francis, sixth Lord Napier and his first wife Henrietta Hope, daughter of first Earl of Hopetoun. Mark Napier married twice. This register records the baptism (1771-) of his children by his second wife Margaret Symson or Simpson. Mark was in the army and was stationed in Aberdeen for part of his career, when he was a Major and eventually a Colonel. This register also contains reference to Napiers who acted as witnesses at baptisms and also one female Napier who was t he wife of a James Stevenson. It is interesting to note the different spellings of the surname as the years progressed: Nepor, Neper, Nepper, Nepar, Napier. The third contains reference to Napiers who were made Burgesses of Aberdeen.

The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club for 1911 (Volume IV).
Various authors, printed by T and A Constable, Edinburgh, issued July 1912.
An article on the sculptured stones of Wrychtishousis with reference to coats of arms and possible succession of Napiers of Wrychtishousis (Wrightshouses). It also contains reference to Napiers of Merchiston. A very useful article.

David Napier, Engineer 1790-1869. An Autobiographical Sketch with Notes.
Produced by David Dehane Napier (Grandson of the subject). Published by James Maclehose and Sons, Glasgow, 1912.
David Napier was the cousin of Robert Napier, the Father of Clyde Shipbuilding, and David Napier, the founder of D Napier & Son (see D Napier & Son, Engineers, London. A History, Napier Powered, and Napier, The First to Wear the Green below). It is very easy to get the two Davids mixed up. They were first cousins and brilliant engineers. The David who is the subject of this book was a shipbuilder and marine engineer who established a shipyard at Millwall. Like his eminent cousin Robert, on the Clyde, he was a pioneer of ship and marine engine design. This is his story presented by his grandson.

Merchiston Castle and John Napier.
George Smith MA. Headmaster of Merchiston Castle School 1898-1914. Reprinted from The Merchistonian (the magazine of Merchiston Castle School) of 1912-13.
A 14-page booklet which contains a description of Merchiston Castle (or Tower or House as it is called at times) - the ancestral home of the Napiers of Merchiston, and also a brief history of the life of John Napier, inventor of Logarithms, who was born in the Tower in 1550. Contains a plan of the Castle, reproductions of three engravings of the Castle at different times, two interior installations, and two portraits of John Napier. (NB. This article is also published in Merchiston Castle School Register, 1833-1929 published by H & J Pillans & Wilson, Edinburgh, 1930).

Napier Tercentenary Volume.
Edited by Cargill Gilston Knott. Published for the Royal Society of Edinburgh by Longmans, Green and Company, London and New York, 1915.
This is a collection of articles (addresses and essays) communicated to the International Congress which met in Edinburgh towards the end of July 1914 to commemorate the tercentenary of the publication of John Napier's Mirifici Logarithmorum Canonis Descriptio. They are almost entirely concerned with logarithms and other related mathematical topics. It does contain the "Merchistonian" article on Merchiston Castle (see above).

History of Dumbartonshire (Revised) in Three Volumes.
John Irving, Bennett and Thomson, Dumbarton, Vol. I 1917, Vol. II 1920, Vol. III 1924.
Volume I - Dumbarton Castle, its place in the general history of Scotland.
Volume II - County and Burgh, from the earliest time to the close of the 18th century.
Vol. III - County and Burgh, from the beginning of the 19th century to the present time.
Many references throughout to the Napiers of Kilmahew and later Napiers connected with the shipbuilding industry. One of the most useful books for information about the Dumbartonshire area and its families.

The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club for 1916 (Volume IX).
Various authors, printed by T and A Constable, Edinburgh, issued May 1918.
This issue is devoted entirely to the Boroughmuir which involved many Napiers including: Sisters Elizabeth, Margaret and Agnes of St Catherine of Siena's Convent, the Napiers of Merchiston, Lauriston, Edinbellie, Shambodie, Wrightshouses, Ballikinrain, Buchaple, Kilmahew and Pitliver. A very useful volume.

A History of the Napiers of Merchiston shewing their descent from the Earls of Lennox of Auld and their marriage into the family of the Scotts of Thirlestane.
No author named, privately printed by J & E Bumpus Ltd., London 1921.
This is a compilation of information from many different sources, and therefore repeats a lot of what has gone before. It is a very useful collection. There is only one problem with this book, Francis Scott, who became Lord Napier after the death of his grandmother, Baroness Napier, in 1706, is referred to as the Fifth Lord Napier. Modern accounting, and all other references, refers to him as the sixth Lord Napier (he was the sixth holder of the title). Subsequent holders of the title are therefore one out with other reckonings. Although no author is stated, the present Lord Napier (14th Napier and 5th Ettrick) says that it was compiled by Archibald Scott Napier, a son of the second son of William John, Ninth Lord Napier. Despite the accounting, a very useful reference book. Quite difficult to find because of limited number printed.

Some Notes on the Napiers of Merchistoun and on the Scotts of Thirlestane.
Francis, 12th Lord Napier and 3rd Baron Ettrick, 9th Baronet of Thirlestane. 150 copies printed by the author for private circulation only by R & R Clark, Edinburgh, no date (?1921).
As the title suggests, this only deals with the Napiers of Merchistoun (or Merchiston as it is more commonly known) and the joining of the Napiers and the Scotts of Thirlestane. Quite difficult to find because of limited number printed.

The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club for 1922 (Volume XI).
Various authors, printed by T and A Constable, Edinburgh, issued January 1922.
A James Napper is listed as a Covenanter prisoner in the Edinburgh Tolbooth, 20 May 1685.

D Napier & Son, Engineers, London. A History.
Compiled and Written for Montague Stanley Napier by Alfred William Marshall, London, 1922.
Montague Stanley Napier was the grandson of David Napier who started the engineering comapny of D Napier & Son, in London in 1808. This David is not to be confused with his cousin David Napier, the marine engineer, whose autobiographical sketch is listed above. Montague Napier was responsible for the production of the first Napier motor car in 1900. This book is the story of the company up until 1922. It appears that the book was never actually published and only a few printer's proofs are known to exist. This is an extremely rare volume and Charlie Napier is fortunate to have a photocopy of one of the proofs with many manuscript annotations, contents list and index.

History of the Clan MacFarlane.
James MacFarlane, David J Clark Ltd., Glasgow, 1922.
As the title says, a history of the Clan MacFarlane. Interesting for Napiers because of the disputed (by Napiers) claim that the Napiers are a sept of the MacFarlanes. It is easy to see how this has arisen, as both clans are supposed to have sprung from two brothers who were sons of a Celtic Earl of Lennox. The author has listed the septs of the Clan MacFarlane but has separated out three families from the list, Galbraith, Lennox and Napier. He says: In our list we have separated Galbraith, Lennox and Napier from the rest of these Septs, as we do not understand why these families should be included as MacFarlanes. Galbraith was a separate and distinct family. Families of the name Lennox must be either descended from the parent house of Lennox or be retainers of that family, while the only Napier connection is the marriage of a gentleman of that name with a daughter of Duncan, 8th Earl of Lennox.

The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club for 1923 (Volume XII).
Various authors, printed by T and A Constable, Edinburgh, issued April 1923.
Alexander Napier, Burgess, owner of land in Roxburgh's Close, Edinburgh, March 1605, together with Robert Napier and William Napier of Wrightshouses.

Papers from the Collection of Sir William Fraser, KCB, LL.D.
Edited by J R N MacPhail, KC. T & A Constable Ltd., Edinburgh, for the Scottish History Society, 1924 (Third Series, Volume V).
Sir William Fraser (1816-1898), reputed to be descended from the Frasers of Lovat, came from near Stonehaven and became an eminent lawyer in Edinburgh. In 1852 he became Assistant Keeper of the Register of the Sasines and eventually Deputy Keeper of the Records. He edited the Dryburgh Cartulary for the Bannatyne Club, then The Stirlings of Keir (which has Napier connections), Memorials of the Montgomeries, the Maxwells of Pollock and many other contributions to the history of Scotland. In this book, compiled from the Fraser papers in his possession, in the chapter Papers Relating to the Mearns, he wuotes from a manuscript belonging to Mr John Napier (c1745-1823), formerly tenant of Mains of Allardice, afterwards Merchant in Stonehaven about Dunottar Castle and many families of the Mearns. In a section recording the valuation of Kincardineshire in 1657, a "James Nepar" in Bervie Parish, is recorded as having land worth £39.00s.00d.

Lauriston Castle. The Esate and its Owners
John A Fairley, Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh and London, 1925.
This is a history of Lauriston Castle, Edinburgh, and its owners. It was a Napier home from about 1580 to 1622.

The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club for 1925 (Volume XIV).
Various authors, printed by T and A Constable, Edinburgh, issued October 1925.
Reference to the Napier Family Sepulchral Panel on the outside wall of the High Kirk of St Giles, Edinburgh, and permission being granted to Archibald, first Lord Napier, to move it to that place (22 November 1637).

Sir Charles Napier.
T Rice Holmes, Cambridge University Press, 1925.
Biography of General Sir Charles James Napier, eldest son of Col. George Napier and Lady Sarah Lennox. Originally published as part four of Four Famous Soldiers in 1889 but updated with information obtained by the aithor after that date. Emphasis on his time in India. Various appendices caontaining good background information about conditions in India in the early 19th century.

Robert Hellier Napier in Nyasaland. Being his letters to his home circle.
Edited by Alexander Hetherwick, DD. Published by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London, 1925.
Robert Hellier Napier was a descendant of Robert Napier, the "Father of Clyde Shipbuilding". Born in Yoker, Dumbartonshire, he studied theology and became a Minister of the Church of Scotland. He decided to become a missionary in Africa and went to Nyasaland in 1909. He joined the local militia when war broke out in 1914 and served in the area until his death in action in February 1918. There is a memorial plaque to him in Dunblane Cathedral.


© Charlie Napier,
Morningside, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Last modified:
31 October 2015

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