Early Life of Francis Napier
Francis Napier was born on 15 September 1819 to the parents William John Napier, the 9th Lord Napier of Merchistoun and Elizabeth Cochrane Johnstone at Thirlestane Castle in Selkirkshire. He was the eldest son of the couple. Napier was initially educated by private tutors in his early years. Later he was admitted to the Saxe Meningen and eventually studied at the Trinity College in Cambridge in 1835, but could not manage to complete his graduation. After the death of his father William John Napier on 11 October 1834, Francis Napier was appointed as the 10th Lord Merchistoun.
Career of Francis Napier
Sir Francis Napier, 10th Lord Napier and 1st Baron Ettrick, KT, PC, was appointed as the Governor of Madras Province on 27 March 1866 and was preceded by Sir William Thomas Denison, KCB. The Madras Presidency, also known as the Presidency of Fort St. George and Madras Province, was an administrative sub division of British dominated India. The territory included most of southern India, such as the modern states of Tamil Nadu, the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh, Lakshadweep Islands, the Malabar region of North Kerala, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangapur and Gajapati districts of southern Orissa and the Bellary, Ganjam, Dakshina Kannada, Rayagada and Udupi districts of Karnataka.
During his tenure as the Governor, Napier was faced with a grave famine in the district of Ganjam. Later he attempted many major irrigation schemes during his tenure in office. The Pennar Dam was established under his administration. Moreover, 2 other irrigation projects, namely the Mullaperiyar Dam and the Rushikulya Dam in Ganjam, were conceived under his governance. Sir Francis Napier, 10th Lord Napier served in office until 19 February 1872 and was succeeded by Sir Alexander John Arbuthnot KCSI CIE. After the assassination of the then Viceroy of India, the Earl of Mayo (Lord Mayo) on 8 February 1872 in the Andamans, Napier was designated to serve as the Viceroy of India. He served in office from February 1872 to May 1872. He was succeeded by Lord Northbrook.
Sir Francis Napier, 10th Lord Napier and 1st Baron Ettrick, KT, PC, was made Baron Ettrick of Ettrick in the peerage of the United Kingdom for his services as Governor of Madras. Napier created the Napier Bridge across the Coovum River in Madras (now Chennai) in the year 1869.
Later Life of Francis Napier
After his retirement from the position of the Viceroy of India, Francis Napier returned to the United Kingdom. There he was appointed as the President of the Social Science Association during its meetings at Plymouth and Glasgow in October 1874. He also served in the London School Board.
Personal Life of Francis Napier
Lord Francis Napier was married to Anne Jane Charlotte on 2 September 1845. The couple had 4 sons, namely William Napier, 11th Lord Napier, John Scott, R. N. Basil and Mark Francis. Francis Napier died at the age of 79, on 19 December 1898 in Florence, Italy.