Archibald Napier

1753 - 16th Feb 1822

Claimant or beneficiary


Archibald Napier of Merchiston, Tobago, resident in Tobago in the 1800s but back in Scotland in from 1812. Compensation awarded to his brother-in-law Sir Samuel Stirling (q.v.) as his trustee and executor for Merchiston estate. Sir Samuel Stirling also lodged an unsuccessful counterclaim as Napier's trustee and executor for Kings Bay estate in Tobago, and appears as claimant also for Lucy Vale, an estate which one secondary source shows as purchased by Napier shortly before his death.

  1. Archibald Napier was a member of the Assembly in Tobago in 1810 but by 1812 he had retired to Scotland where he married Ann Stirling, the daughter of Sir John Stirling 5th Bart and his wife Gloria Folsome. They had at least 3 children: Ann (born 03/10/1815 baptised 10/11/1815 Canongate, Edinburgh); Archibald (born 06/06/1814 baptised 27/06/1814 Canongate, Edinburgh); Christian Jane (born 05/01/1818 baptised 13/02/1818 Canongate, Edinburgh).

  2. 16/02/1822: "[Death] At No. 2, Bellevue Crescent, Archibald Napier, Esq., of Merchiston, in the Island of Tobago." His burial record states he was 69 years old when he died. Will of Archibald Napier of Island of Tobago but now of Porto Bello Edinburgh [made in 1817] proved 17/03/1823. Under the will he left his wife Ann an annuity of £500 p.a. over an above the [unstated] provision for her in their marriage settlement of 1813, and legacies of £2000 to each of his younger sons and £3000 to each of his daughters. He confirmed a settlement of 13/04/1813 he had made in favour of his 'late servant' Amaritta now resident on Merchiston estate and his natural children by her, and added £10 p.a. to the £20 p.a. already settled on her. He left a further annuity of £30 p.a. to Harriett Burgan [sp?] one of his natural daughters, and £750 to his second natural daughter Eliza (baptised Christian Amarrita), in both cases in addition to their entitlement under the 1813 settlement. He left £1000 to his mother-in-law Lady Gloriana Stirling, and legacies totalling several hundred pounds to the Foote family and to the daughter of Charles Wightman. He said that he was owed money by the owner of the Telescope estate on Tobago and instructed his executors to pay the amount recovered to Miss Dorothy Lidgerson [sp?]. He left his estates in trust for his first son to attain 21, failing which to his wife and daughters as tenants-in-common, failing whom to Archibald Foote, provided Foote changed his name to Napier. In a codicil, he revoked the legacy of £1000 to Lady Gloriana Stirling and left £5000 each to his two daughters with his wife Ann, named Ann and Christian Jane.

  3. ODNB entry for Charles Ottley Groom, 'impostor', born 14/05/1839 Merchiston, Tobago, posthumous son of Charles Edward Groom and his wife Ann, daughter of Archibald Napier and Ann Napier.


T71/891 Tobago claim nos 58 (Merchiston) and 63 (Kings Bay); Notes on the pedigree of Her Most Serene Higness Ann Groom, Duchess of Mantua and Montferrat in Italy (privately printed, 1879).

  1. K.O. Lawrence, Tobago in Wartime, 1793-1815 (Barbados, University of the West Indies Press, 1995) p. 51. The Scots Magazine and Edinburgh Literary Miscellany, Vol. 75, Part 1, p. 77. batch no. C11999-8.

  2. Blackwood’s Magazine Vol. 11, p. 383. General Register Office for Scotland, OPR Deaths, 685/01 0990 0351. PROB 11/1668/162.

  3. Richard Davenport-Hines, ‘Groom, Charles Ottley (1839–1894), impostor’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004) available at, [accessed 02/07/2012].

Further Information

Ann Stirling
Archibald (1814-), Ann (1815-), Christian Jane (1818-)

Associated Claims (2)

£2,576 12s 7d
Beneficiary deceased
£2,444 7s 0d
Beneficiary unsuccessful

Associated Estates (2)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
- 1823 [EY] → Owner
- 1823 [EY] → Owner

Relationships (2)

Deceased Husband → Widow
Notes →
Sir Samuel Stirling was also trustee of Archibald...

Addresses (1)

2 Bellevue Crescent, Edinburgh, Midlothian (Edinburgh), Central Scotland, Scotland