Sir Charles Napier, a British admiral, born at Merchiston hall, Stirlingshire, March 6, 1786, died Nov. 6, 1860. He was a grandson of the fifth Lord Napier and a descendant of the inventor of logarithms. He entered the navy in 1799; in 1805 was appointed lieutenant; in 1808 commanded the brig Recruit of 18 guns; and in April, 1809, for gallant service against the French, was made a post captain. He subsequently served with the army in Portugal; and between November, 1811, and June, 1815, he participated in numerous exploits on the coast of southern Italy and the North American station. After a long period of inactivity he was in 1829 employed in special service on the coast of Portugal, and in 1833 was appointed by Dom Pedro to command the Portuguese fleet destined to operate against Dom Miguel. On July 5, 1833, he gained a signal victory off Cape St. Vincent, and was created Viscount Cape St. Vincent, grand cross of the tower and sword, and a grandee of the first class in Portugal. In 1839 he reentered the English navy, and in 1840 became commodore under Admiral Stopford of the fleet employed on the coast of Syria, where he participated in the storming of Sidon and the capture of Beyrout and Acre. In the same year he was created a K. 0. B., besides receiving several continental decorations; and in 1846 he was appointed rear admiral of the blue, and given command of the channel fleet.

In 1849 he was superseded, but upon the breaking out of war with Russia he was put in command of the fleet destined to act against Cronstadt and other Russian ports in the Baltic, with the rank of vice admiral of the blue. He sailed from Spithead, March 11, 1854, with the most magnificent fleet ever equipped by Great Britain, promising to take Cronstadt in a month. His return to England in December, without having accomplished anything of importance beyond the capture of Bomarsund, subjected him to considerable ridicule, and led to recriminations between himself and the ministry. In 1858 he was made admiral of the blue. He was member of parliament for Marylebone from 1841 to 1847, and after 1855 for Southwark. He published a series of letters on naval reform, and in 1851 "The Navy, its Past and Present State." He also wrote "Account of the War in Portugal" (2 vols., 1836), and "The War in Syria" (2 vols., 1842). A "History of the Baltic Campaign of 1854" was prepared from materials furnished by him (1857). His "Life and Correspondence" was published by Maj. Gen. E. Napier (2 vols., 1862).