[Napier of Merchistoun: William John Napier, 9th Lord Napier of Merchistoun.] Long Autograph Letter Signed ‘To Colonel Napier / Royal Artillery’ [Charles Napier?], regarding genealogical matters, and with a Royal Navy reminiscence.

Lord Napier of Merchistoun [William John Napier, 9th Lord Napier (1786-1834), Royal Navy officer and Chief Superintendant of Trade in China [Col. Charles Napier (d.1849), Royal Artillery?]
Publication details: 
‘Thirlestane - Selkirk Decr 19 / 1831’.
SKU: 25579

See his entry in the Oxford DNB. The recipient is presumably the Captain Charles Napier (d.1849) of the Royal Artillery who ‘received eight wounds from the bursting of a shrapnel shell’ at Waterloo (see Dalton’s ‘Waterloo Roll Call’, p.194). 8pp, 4to. Closely and neatly written on two bifoliums. In good condition, lightly aged, but folded three times into a packet, and with some closed tears to the creases. Addressed ‘To Colonel Napier / Royal Artillery’ and with the valediction ‘I will now bid you adieu & subscribe myself / Yr very faithful Kinsman / Napier’. Begins: ‘Sir, / As a Kinsman I should have no difficulty in addressing you - & as little in making your acquaintance if the fortune of Peace ever threw us together. / Happening to be at the Earl Marshalls Office last October in quest of a paper relative to the Descent of the Napiers supplied by the first Lord of that name, I was informed that you had been after a Copy of the same in order to illustrate your descent from the ancient Earls of Levenax with the view of making good your right to the said Title. That is also a subject which has engrossed my attention as well as that of my Father who was a good Genealogist. No doubt we are all descended from a younger Son of one of the old Earls, but I believe Mac Farlane of Mac Farlane who is descended from a Brother of the same, disputes the seniority of the two, and there does not appea to be any document extant to settle the point.’ This does not even take us to the end of the first of the eight pages, and the following seven continue in the same vein, with a mass of information about the conflicting claims of various individuals and branches of the family. Covering one page is a transcript of a letter from ‘Napier of Blackstone, whose descendant was killed commanding a Highland Regt. under Sir J. Moore at Corunna’, dated ‘Blackstone / 24 March 1715.’ He has ‘requested Lord Wharncliffe as Representative of Sir George Mackenzie to [?] his papers if he can find the ryse [sic] of the Napiers in England as before said, - for this document might clear up the difference between Macfarlane & us as to the Seniority of the Brothers. Talking of Brothers I had the pleasure of being acquainted with your poor Brother Andrew - now no more. I was a midn. aboard the Defence in Portsmo’ Harbour in 1804 - & sent with a gang of hands onbd. the Zealous to assist in taking her out to Spithead. At 4 o’clock I went down to the starboard Berth in the Cockpit & among the noisy inmates soon discovered one of my own name. We compared our seals & found we both bore the same crest & of course that made us friends and relatives immediately. I saw him very often onbd. the same ship afterwards, but was not near him when he died.’ The letter ends with a page on the Napier crest.