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Archive of the Napier Family


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Napier family papers, consisting of:

  1. Papers of Sir William Napier and his wife Caroline, 1801-1861, including correspondence, papers relating to Sir William's History of the war in the Peninsula, and papers relating to other works
  2. Correspondence of H.E. Fox and H.S. Fox, 1786-1842
  3. Papers of Col. George and Lady Sarah Napier, 1780-1874, including correspondnece, the will and probate of Colonel George, and a notebook containing lists of the correspondence of Colonel George and Lady Sarah Napier
  4. Papers of Sir Charles James Napier, 1800-1853, including correspondence and a notebook containing drawings and water-colours
  5. Papers of other members of the Napier family, 1788-1933, including miscellaneous family correspondence and papers


  • Creation: 1780-1933


6.66 Linear metres (80 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English
  • French

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Eng. lett. c. 234, fols. 1-2].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Eng. lett. c. 234-254, d. 230-247, d. 296-297, d. 299, e. 101-103; Eng. hist. c. 488, d. 306; Eng. misc. b. 96-99, b. 104, c. 471-480, c. 485, c. 505, e. 603-607, f. 399-402; French c. 37-38, d. 32; Ch. London and Middlesex 514, Ireland 18

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 13889


Archive of the Napier Family

Biographical / Historical

The Napier family includes Sir William Francis Patrick Napier (1785-1860), general and historian; his wife Caroline Amelia (d 1860); his parents, Colonel George Napier (1751-1804) and Lady Sarah Napier (d 1826); and his brother, Sir Charles James Napier (1782-1853), general and colonial governor. Also represented in this collection are Caroline Napier's father and brother, Henry Edward Fox (1755-1811), general and colonial governor, and Henry Stephen Fox (1791-1846), diplomat. Details, for all except Caroline Napier and Lady Sarah Napier, are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Other Finding Aids

M. Clapinson and T.D. Rogers, Summary Catalogue of Post-Medieval Western Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford. Acquisitions 1916-1975. (Oxford, 1991), vol. I, nos. 41203-80.

A detailed catalogue of the collection is available in the Library (X.Cat. 11/Napier) and at the National Register of Archives.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was given to the Library in three parts in 1962-1963.

Related Materials

Other Napier family papers are held by the British Library (Add. MSS. 49086-49172).


  • A number of the papers are printed in W.F.P. Napier, History of the war in the Peninsula (London, 1828-1840), H.A. Bruce, Life of General Sir William Napier (London, 1864), and W.N. Bruce, Life of General Sir Charles Napier (Edinburgh, 1885).
Catalogue of the archive of the Napier Family
Collection Level Description by Emily Tarrant; EAD version 2019 by Alice Whichelow
EAD version 2019
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom