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appears upon her tomb at Mintern-Magna. Their second son, Robert, became possessed of, and established at, Puncknoll in Dorsetshire, which, as mentioned in the Merchiston certificate, had in 1625 belonged to an elder branch of the family. This Robert was master of the Hanaper office in the reigns of Charles I. and II., and enjoyed many employments at court, the family being of unshaken and devoted loyalty. His son and heir, Robert, was in his father's lifetime master of the Hanaper office; and King Charles II. sent for him to court, knighted him, and appointed him high-sheriff of Dorsetshire. Soon afterwards, in 1681, the same monarch created him a baronet. He served in the Convention Parliament, and other succeeding Parliaments, for the boroughs of Weymouth, Melcomb-Regis, and Dorchester, and died in 1700. The male line of this branch became extinct before the close of that century. Their shield displayed argent a saltier engrailed cantoned with four roses gules. From the fourth son (James) of Sir Nathaniel Napier and Elizabeth Gerard, descended Nathaniel Napier of Loghrewin the county of Meath, Ireland,—General Napier, and others. This latter was Lieutenant-General and Commander-in-chief of the Forces in Ireland, and died in 1739. Of this Irish branch James Lenoa, Napier became Lord Sherbourn; one of whose daughters married Viscount Andover, son and heir of Charles Earl of Suffolk, and his son married the daughter of Lord Stawel; another of his daughters married Prince Bariatinsky of the Russian Empire. This branch, too, not only carried the Lennox arms of Merchiston, but sometimes gave the name of Lennox to their children. The branch of Tintinhull, elder than the Morecritchill branch, is represented to this day in lineal male de
scent by a Napier, and I believe is the only branch of all the English cadences from Merchiston of which that can be said. The manor of Tintinhull in Somersetshire, or as it is called in Domesday book " Tintehalle," was possessed by Nicholas Napier in 1625, and his lineal male descendants kept possession until very lately. The present representative is Colonel Charles George Napier, formerly of the Royal Artillery. Through the late Lord Napier I obtained from this gallant officer another copy of the certificate of cadency by Sir Archibald Napier, which precisely agrees with the copy in the Merchiston charter-chest. This family never entertained a doubt of their cadency from Merchiston, and have constantly carried argent, a saltier engrailed, cantoned with four roses gules. Unfortunately the estate of Tintinhull was very hastily sold in the minority of the present representative.*
Such is a meager account of that other distinguished and populous cadency from Merchiston, which the learned author of the Tracts must either hold to be a race of phantoms or of puppets. If his theory be that the first Lord Napier dictated them from his own imagination, of course he considers them phantoms. But if he mean that his Lordship, from some unaccountable whim, or all to aggrandize the " Turkey merchant," seized upon certain distinguished families in England,—haply
* This is the only Colonel Napier (in life,) of the many so distinguished in the battles of their country, who is not in lineal male descent a Scott of Thirlestane. The gallant seaman, too, who in piping times of peace took a fleet for pastime, is a Scott of Thirlestane. Napier of Tintinhull, as a British officer, has also added lustre to the Napiers of Merchiston, having fourteen wounds, and two limbs disabled.
descended from Manigarus de la Naperie, or the Venator Regis,—to bud them unnaturally upon his tree of Merchiston, then they were his puppets, for they believed him, and, while forming alliances with the best blood of England, planted his Lennox roses about their tombs, and christened their childrens' children Lennox! But the sentence by which Mr Riddell lops off this important branch, and contemptuously rejects the attestation of their chief, combines the close reasoning of a Hume (not David) with the nervous style of a Cobbett. “In the above attestation of the first Lord (hesays) there is a John foisted in at an earlier period, and made the ancestor of other English Napiers; but the fact is quite uninstructed; in other transcripts he is called James,—in short, as has been observed, these garbled statements as to the supposed Scoto-English Napiers,” &c. &c. Let us take a walk in Dorsetshire again, for there is a healthful scope and plentitude of record, about the Hundreds and Liberties of merry England, that serves to invigorate and enlarge the antiquarian mind. James, (it may be John,) grandson of John Napier of Merchiston and Elizabeth Menteith, first planted himself, says Sir Archibald, in Swyre in the county of Dorset. Let us go to Swyre,—situated in the Hundred of Uggescomb, on the British channel, one mile from the sea, cold and bleak, but the air is healthy. Are there any traces to be met with in authentic records of any Napier having settled there at that early period? From such records it appears that the manor of Swyre, once the possession of Margaret Countess of Sarum, was granted by King Henry VIII. to Edward Napper. This manor of Swyre, with 17 messuages 6 cottages and 640 acres of land, he held of the King in chief by fortieth part of a knight's fee; and also the advowson O
of the church. In the 15th of Queen Elizabeth, William, son and heir of Edward Napper, gent. held the premises, the gift of King Henry to his father, val. L. 7, 8s. 3d. Now the pedigree of the family of Morecritchill records this Edward as the eldest son of John Napper of Swyre in the reign of Henry VII., and Anne, daughter of John Russell of Berwick, a marriage of which the Merchiston certificate takes no cognizance, and which, therefore, must have been derived from some other source. Neither does Sir Archibald, while he names the place where this John, or James, first planted himself, take any charge of the place of his burial. But the Morecritchill pedigree says he was buried at Swyre, —so to the church of Swyre let us go. It stands at the south end of the parish, and was dedicated to the Holy Trinity in 1503. It consists of a chancel and body, with a porch on the north and south, and a tower in which are, or were, three bells. The chief monument is on the north wall of the chancel, and is composed of freestone. On the top an urn, between two death's heads, and under it a cherubim; at the base, an armorial shield, being a saltier engrailed cantoned with four roses, and a crescent of difference. Let us read the inscription: “In memory of James Napier, gent. brother of Sir Alexander Napier of Merchiston and Rosky, Kt. who was descended from the ancient family of Lenox, in Scotland, which Earles changed their name of Lenox for Napier, at the command of their King of Scotts, upon the account of a victory obtained against his enemies by Donald, second son of the then Earl of Lenox, commanding his father's men, which Donald was then made the King's servant, who gave him lands, which the Napiers still enjoy by the name of Lenox, alias Napier.
In time,the earldom fell to two daughters; the youngest was married to Allen Stewart, ancestor to King James the First, who commanded* Sir Robert Napier of Lutonhow in Bedfordshire, upon creating him Baronet A. D. 1612, to send for his pedigree out of Scotland, whereby it appears that are descended as aforesaid all the Napiers of England. The said John Napier, who lies here interred, came into England in the reign of H. VII. settled here, and supplied the several adjacent Abbeys with fish; from whom are descended the Napiers of Dorset and Somerset. All this is attested by Sir Archibald Napier, Kt. privy-counsellor, and treasurer to our King James the First, and recorded in the herald's office by Sir William Segar, Kt. garter, September 1st, A. D. 1625. This monument was erected by the Honourable Sir Robert Napier, Kt. A. D. 1692."
In the antiquities of the church it is stated, that "before the above monument was erected, here was a brass plate in memory of this gentleman, now lost." Now though this inscription be but an inaccurate abstract of theMerchiston certificate, with its doubtful tradition, and meager and faulty antiquities, it is excellent evidence of a James (or John) Napier having settled at Swyre, just as Sir Archibald said; for it is not that circumstance, but the Lennox descent which is here recorded solely upon his attestation. Local knowledge, and probably the brass plate had told that Napier of Swyre was buried there, and the personal and particular anecdote
* I had not observed the account of this monument and inscription when compiling the Memoirs of Merchiston. It would appear that it was King James himself who had suggested to the Turkey merchant to apply to Sir Archibald for his pedigree, (which agrees curiously with Lilly's anecdote, see supra, p. 194,) though that had not been done, it would seem, until 1625. There is the discrepancy of James and John in the above, which we leave for Mr Riddell.