William John Napier

(9th Lord Napier)

1786 - 1843

Sailor and diplomat. The son of Francis Napier, 8th Lord Napier (1758 - 1823), Napier served aboard HMS Defence as a midshipman during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. He later served under Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald (1775 - 1860). He regained the family estate of Merchiston in Edinburgh in 1818, it having been sold to the Hope family in 1772. He leased the old Merchiston Castle to Charles Chalmers in 1833, who went on to found the noted school there. Napier served as a Scottish Representative Peer (1824-32).

Napier was sent as a Consul and Envoy to China in 1834 with the remit to negotiate a trading agreement with the Cantonese authorities. He died at Macao and was succeeded by Francis, 10th Lord Napier (1819-98), a noted diplomat.

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