Field Marshal Robert Cornelis Napier, born 1810 in Colombo, British Ceylon and died 1890 in London, was a very distinguished British Indian Army office.
He fought in the First and Second Anglo-Sikh Wars, was the chief engineer during the second relief of Lucknow during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, was a commander during the Second Opium War and achieved his greatest fame when he led an expedition to Abyssinia in July 1867 with the aim of rescuing hostages.
Robert Napier was governor of Gibraltar from 1876 to 1883 and was Commander-in-Chief, India from 1870 to 1876. After Robert’s successful rescue mission to Abyssinia, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Freeman of the City of London and, in 1868, Baron Napier of Magdala.
In 1868 Robert Napier visited West Shandon:
GLASGOW HERALD WEDNESDAY 23 SEPTEMBER 1868
LORD NAPIER OF MAGDALA AT WEST SHANDON, GARELOCH
Yesterday evening Lord and Lady Napier arrived at Helensburgh Station, from Glasgow, where they were met by Mr Napier, of the firm of Messrs Robert Napier & Sons, the eminent Glasgow shipbuilder, and from thence conveyed to Mr Napier’s beautiful residence at West Shandon, on Gareloch.
The circumstances of the visit of the Abyssinian hero to this district having been made known, a considerable number of ladies and gentlemen assembled at the station to witness his Lordship’s arrival. To give eclat to the occasion, flags and other insignia were displayed at the Helensburgh harbour, railway station and other adjoining buildings.
The distinguished General was expected to arrive by the quarter to four train from Glasgow but that train failed to bring him. The anxious assemblage were, however, only kept for a very little time in suspense, as only a quarter of an hour separated the train by which he was expected to arrive and the one by which he did arrive.
On being recognised on the platform he was greeted by a lusty cheer and outside the station frequent manifestations of ? [illegible] kind were made, all of which Lord Napier cordially acknowledged.
Last evening a distinguished party were invited to meet Lord Napier, including Sir James Colquhoun of Luss, Rev Dr Norman MacLeod, Glasgow; Rev Dr Duff, etc. His Lordship’s stay at West Shandon will extend over today.