Portrait of Sir John Napier 1550-1617. The inventor of logarithms. Click for larger image.

Sir John Napier of Merchiston
The Inventor of Logarithms

Sir John 
  Napier  1550-1617.  The inventor of logarithms. Click for larger image.

Born: 1550 and died 3 or 4 April 1617.
Son of: Archibald Napier and Janet Napier (nee Bothwell, died 1563).
John married: Agnes Napier (nee Chisholm) and then Elizabeth Napier (nee Stirling).
John and Agnes had issue:
1. Helen Brisbane (nee Napier, 15??-1675?) who married Rev Matthew Brisbane (1594?-1650?).
2. Possibly others.
John and Elizabeth had issue:
1. Robert Napier.
2. Possibly others.

Sir John Napier: An Overview 

A great deal has been recorded about the life of Sir John Napier in the following two books:
1. Memoirs of John Napier of Merchiston his Lineage, Life, and Times with a History of the Invention of Logarithms.  Written by Mark Napier Esq.  Published by William Blackwood, Edinburgh; and Thomas Cadell, London, 1834.  A very big book with 534 pages.  This gives an extremely in depth history of not only Sir John Napier but also all his ancestors going back to Duncan VIII Earl of Levenax (who was beheaded in 1425).
2. John Napier. Edited by Cargill Gilston Knott. Napier Tercentenary Memorial Volume. Published by Longmans, Green, London for the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1915.

Having now read the Memoirs of John Napier, I hope to put some information here sometime in the future.  In the meantime a good site to look at is the website for Napier University in Scotland.  This gives a very good one page overview.

I understand that the Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, has a fine three quarter length portrait of John Napier of Merchiston.

If you have any information to add to what is listed please contact me on jj@jjhc.info
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