Napier Book List

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Books published 1951 to 1975

Charles Napier, Friend and Fighter, 1782-1853.
Rosamond Lawrence, John Murray, London, 1952.
The life of General Sir Charles Napier, eldest son of Colonel George Napier and Lady Sarah Lennox. Contains photographs of portraits of Colonel George, Lady Sarah, Charles and his brother William.

The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club for 1953 (Volume XXVIII).
Various authors, printed by T and A Constable, Edinburgh, issued January 1953.
Mention of a Thomas Napper, paper maker at Sutton Mills. (It is a correction for an article on paper making in Edinburgh which appeared in the previous volume, Volume XXVII).

The Chapel of St Mahew, Cardross.
No author but published by the Glasgow Archdiocese of the Catholic Church in 1955.
The Chapel of St Mayhew sits on a piece of land known as the Kirkton of Kilmahew. A chapel existed on the site before the 14th century. The land on which it stood came into the possession of the Napiers of Kilmahew in 1357 and the family maintained the chapel. Duncan Napier, Laird of Kilmahew, rebuilt the chapel in 1467 and it was this building that was restored in 1955. This tiny booklet (20 A6 pages) tells the story of the chapel. It contains a map of the area showing the position of the chapel in relation to the other medieval churches in the area and also a ground plan of the chapel.

The Third Statistical Account of Scotland. Volume V, The City of Glasgow..
J Cunnison and J B S Gilfillan (Editors), Collins, Cathedral Street, Glasgow, 1958.
Contains references to Robert Napier (The Father of Clyde Shipbuilding), his shipbuilding cousin David Napier, and the company of Napier and Miller. An excellent reference book for Glasgow.

Men and Machines. A History of D. Napier & Son, Engineers, Ltd., 1808-1958.
Charles Wilson and William Reader, Wiedenfeld and Nicolson, 7 Cork Street, London W1, 1958.
As the title says, a history of the engineering company founded by David Napier of Dumbarton, cousin of Robert Napier (The Father of Clyde Shipbuilding) and the other David Napier, the eminent marine engineer. Many photos of members of the family, engines, cars and aircraft. An excellent list of sources. It also contains an abbreviated family tree for David and his cousins David and Robert. An essential reference book for anyone researching this subject.

Napier Verse.
Rev. William Addison, published privately by his wife, Mrs Edith Addison, 1960.
William Addison was minister at Ettrick and Buccleuch from 1929 to his death in 1953 and was a well known local poet. This is a companion volume to Ettrick Verse (see above). This volume is dedicated to the Rt Hon. Francis Nigel Napier (14th) Lord Napier and (5th) Ettrick, who has written a foreword to the book. The first poem in the book is To the Master of Napier, 5th December 1951, on the coming-of-age of the dedicatee. The second poem is on the return of the ashes of Francis Horatio Napier from Johannesburg for burial at Ettrick on 18th January 1950.

A Genealogy of Alexander Napier of Randalstown, County Antrim, Northern Ireland and New York City, USA.
Produced privately by Rachel Baker Napier, Larchmont, New York, 1960.
Includes members of the family resident in Scotland in 1999.

The Vintage Motor Car.
C Clutton and J Stanford. R T Batsford Ltd., London. First paperback edition 1961, reprinted 1962.
Contains references to Napier motor cars. One picture of a 1919 Napier 40/50 Luxury Tourer.

The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club, Volume XXXI, The Tower of Merchiston.
Helen Armet and Stuart Harris, The Old Edinburgh Club, 1962.
A history and architectural description of the Tower together with information about its restoration. Contains plans and reproductions of old prints. This article was written in 1961 as an interim report, midway through a six-year restoration programme. The Tower became the centre-piece of the newly created Napier Technical College, which has now become Napier University.

The Kirk of St. Ternan, Arbuthnott.
Rev. George A Henderson MA, Oliver & Boyd Ltd., Edinburgh, 1962.
This book covers extensively the ecclesiastical, economic, social and educational life of a Mearns parish and also relates it to the growth of Scotland's life during fifteen centuries. Based on rich local records, it deals with the whole period from Pictish times to the present day, through the Roman Catholic period, the Reformation and post-Reformation period, the Episcopal period and the Church of Scotland period. It deals in some detail with the Arbuthnott family and the Montrose and Jacobite risings. There are three Napiers mentioned, James (perhaps John), George and William. Could be a useful reference if researching the Napiers of the Mearns.

Robert Napier 1791-1876 Exhibition.
Compiled by R T Everett BEM, Librarian, The Institution of Mechancal Engineers. Published by The Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 1 Birdcage Walk, Westminster, London SW1, 1963.
This is a catalogue and descriptive brochure of an exhibition held at the Institution between 15th July and 4th September 1963.

Veteran and Edwardian Motor Cars.
David Scott-Moncrieff, B T Batsford Ltd., London, 2nd Edition, 1966 (first published 1955).
This book is basically a history of British, Continental and American motor cars from 1900 to 1914. It has very interesting entries regarding Napier cars and engines, and gives technical specifications and prices.

The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club for 1966 (Volume XXXII).
Various authors, printed by T and A Constable, Edinburgh, issued March 1966.
Reminiscences of a walk from Tollcross to Morningside, mentioning briefly the Napier family, Merchiston Tower and the site of the Doocot for Merchiston Tower. Another article on a Lieutenant-Governor of Edinburgh Castle between 1751 and 1753 mentions a Colonel Napier.

A Late Beginner.
Priscilla Napier, Michael Joseph, London, 1966. Paperback edition, Michael Russell (Publishing), Limited, Wilby Hall, Wilby, Norwich NR16 2JP, 1966. ISBN 0 85955 242.
An autobiographical memoir of her childhood which was spent in Egypt.

The 1933 24-litre Napier-Railton.
William Boddy. Profile Publications Ltd., PO Box 26, 1a North Street, Leatherhead, Surrey, England, 1966. Profile Publications Number 28.
Descriptive booklet about the Napier-Railton racing car specially designed for the racing driver John Cobb by Reid Railton, chief engineer of racing car engineers Thomson & Taylor and built round a used 12 cylinder, 24 litre, Napier Lion aircraft engine. The car was specially designed for long distance races and held world records for distances from 200 miles to 3000 miles, and times from 3 hours to 24 hours. Full technical details of the car are given as well as many photographs.

Napier Family.
Ivan Napier, Rainelle, West Virginia, USA. Privately printed and published, 1968.
This book is good on the genealogy of the family of Ivan Napier up to the date of publication. However, it does perpetuate the myth, believed by some Napiers in the USA, that their ancestor Dr Patrick Napier was a grandson of John Napier of Merchiston, inventor of logarithms. It has very many mistakes and inaccuracies regarding the early history of the Napiers in Scotland.

The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club for 1969 (Volume XXXIII, Part 1).
Various Authors, printed by Bishop and Sons Ltd., Edinburgh, issued 1969.
The restoration of Merchiston Tower was completed in 1964. This article, by Stuart Harris,supplements the original article (Volume XXXI, 1962), amending and amplifying the original report. Contains further photographs and a plan.

Wellington. The Years of the Sword.
Elizabeth Longford, Weidenfield and Nicolson, 5 Winsley Street, London W1, 1969. ISBN 297 17917 9.
The first of a two volume biography of Hon. Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of Wellington. This volume covers his youth and his military career up to the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The three Napier soldier brothers, Charles James, George and William, all served under Wellington in the Peninsular War and many references to them are made in this book. Their father Col. George Napier and mother, Lady Sarah Lennox, are also mentioned

Merchiston Tower, Edinburgh.
Author unknown, Napier Polytechnic of Edinburgh, no date but thought to be about 1970.
A small (A5) leaflet produced by Napier Polytechnic (as it had become by 1970) describing the Tower plus a brief history of John Napier (of Logarithms). Contains some monochrome reproductions of views of the exterior of the Tower, and colour photographs of the interior.

Gold at Wolf's Crag? An Enquiry into the Treasure at Fast Castle.
Fred Douglas, Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh, 1971.
In July 1594, John Napier of Merchiston, inventor of Logarithms, met with Robert Logan, Laird of Restalrig, and agreed a contract (a contract of magic) with him to try to find the treasure believed to be hidden at Faux Castle (or Fast Castle as it is now known) on the east coast of Scotland, between Coldingham and St Abb's Head. This involves Crusader gold, the search for the Holy Grail, Knights Templar, King James VI of Scotland, the Earl of Gowrie, and many others of that period. The contract still exists and a photograph of it is contained in the book.

The Sword Dance. Lady Sarah Lennox and the Napiers.
Priscilla Napier, Michael Joseph Ltd., London, 1972.
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. This is the first book about the Napier family published by Priscilla Napier, the most prolific writer on the Napier Family. This book tells the story of Lady Sarah, her marriage to Colonel George ("Donny") and their family. Contains simplified family trees (no dates) of the Lennox and Napier families.

A Difficult Country. The Napiers in Scotland.
Priscilla Napier, Michael Joseph Ltd., London 1972.
The second book about the Napier family published by Priscilla Napier. It is divided into five parts: I - The Lennox Fountainhead,; II - Merchiston and the Five King Jameses; III - Logarithms John; IV - Montrose and Two Archies; V - Survivors of the Volcano: Scotland and England. Also contains simplified family trees (no dates) of the Royal Family of Scotland and the United Kingdom, and of the Napier family.

Revolution and the Napier Brothers, 1820 - 1840.
Priscilla Napier, Michael Joseph Ltd., London, 1973.
The third book about the Napier family published by Priscilla Napier. It tells the story of the four Napier brothers, Charles, William, George and Henry, sons of Col. George Napier and Lady Sarah Lennox, during the times of revolution and social upheaval in Europe, and especially in England. Contains an early portrait of Charles plus a family tree of George and Lady Sarah's children and their descendants.

Queen Victoria's Little Wars.
Byron Farwell, first published by Allen Lane, Penguin Books, 1973. This edition published by Wordsworth Editions Limited, Cumberland House, Crib Street, Ware, Hertfordshire, SG12 9ET, 1999. ISBN 1 84022 215 8 (paperback).
A brief history of all the wars in which the British army was involved during the reign of Queen Victoria 1837-1900. Many members of the Napier family are mentioned.

Lauriston Castle.
Text by Ann Martha Rowan, photographs by Bill Banks, ABC Historic Publications, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, 1974.
An illustrated guidebook to the castle with colour photographs, plan of present day house, architectural history, and brief history of the owners (Napiers c1580 to 1622).

Montrose, Cavalier in Mourning.
Ronald Williams, Barrie & Jenkins, Communica - Europa, no date but after 1974.
A modern biography of Montrose with references to Archibald, first Lord Napier, and his son. Useful for a modern view of the subject. Contains photographic reproductions of portraits of the main characters.

The Incumbent.
Pamela Hill, The Book Club, London, 1975. originally published by Stoddart & Houghton, 1974.
Pamela Hill is the great-great-grand-daughter of the Rev. Peter Napier, the brother of Robert Napier of West Shanbdon (The Father of Clyde Shipbuilding). Another Napier descendant in New Zealand claims that although presented as a novel, the story is in fact based very closely on the life of Peter.

© Charlie Napier,
Morningside, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Last modified:
31 October 2015

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