Robert Cornelis Napier Napier Of Magdala, baron, a British general, born in Ceylon, Dec. 6, 1810. His father was a major in the royal artillery, and he was educated in the royal military academy at Addiscombe, and in 1820 entered the Bengal engineers. In the Sutlej campaign of 1845-'6, during which he held the rank of brigade major, he served with distinction, and was severely wounded. He was wounded a second time at the siege of Mool-tan, where for some time he acted as chief engineer officer. In 1849 he was made a lieutenant colonel for meritorious conduct at Griizerat. He was engaged in active service throughout the sepoy mutiny, distinguishing himself by the engineering operations which he conducted against Lucknow, and subsequently as a brigade commander, particularly at the siege of Gwalior and the battle of Pow-ree. In 1858 he was made a knight commander of the bath. Two years later he took part in the Anglo-French expedition against China, with the local rank of major general, and achieved special distinction in the operations preceding the capture of Peking. He became a colonel of the royal engineers in 1802; and from 1861 until his appointment to the command of the Bombay army with the local rank of general in 18G5, he was a member of the council of the governor general of India. In October, 1807, having been promoted to the full rank of lieutenant general, he was select-sd by the home government to command the expedition to Abyssinia for the release of the British prisoners held by King Theodore at Magdala. He landed at Annesley bay on Jan. 7, 1868, and in a brief and brilliant campaign defeated the Abyssinian army, and on April 13 assaulted and captured Magdala, the British prisoners having previously been released. (See Abyssinia.) For this achievement Sir Robert Napier received the grand cross of the bath, and was raised to the peerage July 17, 1808. In 1870 he was appointed commander-in-chief of the forces in India, with local rank as general, and in this capacity he is a member of the viceroy's council.
He has a parliamentary annuity of £2,000 voted in 1808, and has thrice received the thanks of parliament: in 1859, for his services during the Indian mutiny; in 1861, for his skill and intrepidity at Peking; and in 18G8, for his conduct of the Abyssinian expedition.