Life of Robert Napier of West Shandon Chevalier of the Legion of Honour; Knight
Commander of the Order of Dannebrog; President of the Mechanical
Engineers by James Napier, M.A., F.R.S.E.
It is often said that
the Clyde made Glasgow, and the object of this volume is to relate
in some detail the life of one who, by his energy and perseverance,
caused the Clyde to become the most famous shipbuilding centre in
the world, and thereby contributed most materially to building up
the fabric of what is now called the second city in the Empire.
Chapter I. Early Days
DumbartonParentage BirthSchool-days ApprenticeshipWorks as a
journeymanStarts in GlasgowJoins HammermenMarriage.
Chapter II. David Napier
BirthRemoves to GlasgowThe CometCamlachie FoundryStarts Belfast
tradePurchases Lance-fieldGoes to LondonInventionsLater years.
Chapter III. Camlachie
Leases Camlachie FoundryEngages David ElderOrder for Leveris
engineSuccessBuilds Belfast steamers Meets MaudslayWins Yacht
Club raceAcquires Vulcan Foundry.
Chapter IV. Assheton Smith
Retires from Royal Yacht SquadronSends for Napier Orders MenaiBuilds
Fire KingSpeed of Fire Queen Dislikes screw yacht Intimacy with
Chapter V. Vulcan Foundry
Equips Yulcan FoundryFounds Steam-Packet CompaniesContracts for
Dundee and PerthTheir great successLetter to Mr
DuncanIntroduction to East India CompanyBuilds Berenice Yoyage to
IndiaBeats AtalantaIntimacy with Mr Melvill.
Chapter VI. Admiralty
Introduction to AdmiraltyTender for Vesuvius and StromboliCaptain
Ommanneys reportHostility to Scotch enginesParliamentary
returnResult Letter on Boiler question.
Chapter VII. Lancefield House
Acquisition of LancefieldDefeats Clyde Trustees James NapierJohn
WoodPounding of John Reid & Co. Connection with Muirkirk Iron
WorksLetter from Lord George Bentinck.
Chapter VIII. Atlantic Navigation
Early attemptsLetter to Mr Patrick WallaceProposal falls through
Inception of British and American Company Engines British Queen
ResultsFailure of Company.
Chapter IX. Cunard Company
Cunards early historyConsults Mr MelvillNegotiations with
NapierFirst contract signedCorrespondence with Napier
Difficulties Napier supports enterpriseOffers Burns agencySuccoss
First shareholdersIntimacy with Cunard.
Chapter X. Iron Shipbuilding
Acquires ground at GovanAppointment of William Denny Starts iron
shipbuilding First iron steamer for AdmiraltySimoomIntimacy with
naval officersFamily relationships.
Chapter XI. West Shandon
First cottageEnlargementDisappearancePresent mansionProfessor
Kerrs criticismCollection HospitalityLetter from Marquis of
Dalhousie and othersErection of Row church and statue to Henry
Chapter XII. Robert Napier & Sons
Future plansSantiago difficultyJohn Elders departureNapier and
Elder firmsCrimean War PersiaErebusRetiral of James R. Napier
Western Bank Cathedral University Letter from Melvill.
Chapter XIII. Ironclads
Admiralty orders Black PrinceParkhead ForgeRolf KrakeTurkish
frigatesNeptuneScotia Cape mail - steamersQueen of the Thames
Practical retiralMeasured mileLast public
Chapter XIV. Closing Years
Golden weddingCongratulationsLoss of friendsDeath of Mrs Napier
His illness DeathFuneral.
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