Robert Cornelis Napier, 1st Baron Napier of Magdala (1810-1890),
was the son of Major Charles Frederick Napier, who was wounded at
the storming of Meester Corneis (August 26, 1810) in Java and died
some months later.
Robert was born in Ceylon on December 6, 1810. He joined the Bengal
Engineers at the age of 18 and served with distinction throughout the
Sikh Wars. He later served in the North West Frontier District and
saw action in Peshawar and Afghanistan. He served during the Indian
Mutiny, helping to mop up the final resistance before commanding a
division during the war with China.
His achieved his greatest fame as Field Marshal, leading a punitive
expedition in 1867 to Magdala, the capital of Abyssinia, which rescued
several captured British diplomats and roundly defeated the
Abyssinian forces. He received a parliamentary pension, was made
Grand Commander of the Order of the Bath, a freeman of the City of
London and given a peerage, Baron Napier of Magdala.
He later became Commander-in-Chief in India .
Lord Napier of Magdala died on January 14, 1890.