Gerard Napier, Bt., MP
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About Gerard Napier, Bt., MP
From Wikipedia, May 2014:
Sir Gerrard Napier, 1st Baronet (19 October 1606 – 14 May 1673), of Middle Marsh and Moor Crichel in Dorset, was an English Member of Parliament (MP) who supported the Royalists during the English Civil War.
Napier was the eldest son of Sir Nathaniel Napier, also an MP, and the grandson of Sir Robert Napier, a judge who had been Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer. He was educated at Trinity College, Oxford. He entered Parliament in 1628 as member for Wareham, and was elected for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis in the Long Parliament.
Napier seemed frequently somewhat equivocal in his loyalties. In 1640, as Deputy Lieutenant of Dorset, he was accused of being insufficiently enthusiastic in pressing men for the King's service, and was summoned for questioning by the House of Lords and Attorney General, but apparently was able to explain himself sufficiently that in the following year, on 25 June 1641, he was created a baronet. On the outbreak of the Civil War, he remained loyal to the Crown, and stopped attending the Commons, yet made a £500 loan to Parliament when ordered to do so.
He joined the Royalist army, being one of the commissioners who demanded the surrender of Dorchester, and in January 1644 was disabled from sitting in the Commons for adhering to the King, and subsequently sat in the King's Oxford Parliament. But in September 1644 he submitted to Parliament, and advanced £500 for the relief of Parliamentary garrisons. He was fined a comparatively small amount,£3,514, although his estates in Dorset and Kent were sequestered and in total is said to have lost more than £10,000. Nevertheless, he managed to gather together a further £500 to contribute to the court in exile of the young Charles II, but the man entrusted with secretly transmitting the money to the King, Sir Gilbert Taylor, kept it for himself. However, the facts were uncovered after the Restoration, and Taylor was arrested. Napier was appointed High Sheriff of Dorset for 1650–51.
In token of his loyalty, the King ordered that Sir Gerrard should be annually sent a number of deer from the New Forest, and in 1662 he was also appointed Commissioner for Crown Lands in Dorset. In 1665, when the court had moved temporarily to Salisbury because of the plague in London, Sir Gerrard had the honour of entertaining the King and Queen at his house at Moor Crichel.
Napier married Margaret Colles, and they had one son and two daughters who survived to adulthood. He died in 1673 and was buried at Minterne Church. He was succeeded by his son, Sir Nathaniel