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Scottish Surnames, Nairne to Noble

NAIRNE
Local: from the borough of Nairne in Nairn-shire. The family are descended from Michael de Nairn, 1400.

NAIRN, James McLachlan (1859-1904). Scottish artist in New Zealand.

NAIRN, Kenneth (1898-) of Edinburgh. Air Vice-Marshal, Chartered Accountant, served on Air Council as Air Member, Accounts and Finance (1939-44), then Special Adviser on Finance to Minister for Air.

NAIRNE, (Carolina Oliphant), Baroness (1766-1845) of Gask, Perthshire. Songwriter, wrote 87 songs, at least four of which are immortal: 'Land o' the Leal', 'Caller Herrin', 'The Laird o' Cockpen' and 'The Auld Hoose'.

NAPIER
King David II, in his wars with the English, about the year 1344, convocating his subjects to battle, the Earl of Lennox sent his second son, Donald, with such forces as his duty obliged him; and coming to an engagement where the Scots gave way, this Donald taking his father's standard from the bearer, and valiantly charg-ing the enemy with the Lennox men, the fortune of the battle changed, and the Scots obtained the victory. After the battle, the king declared that they had all done valiantly, but that there was one among them who had na pier, no equal; he then granted to Donald the lands of Gosfield in Fifeshire, and bade him assume the name of Napier.

According to tradition the Napiers were descended from the ancient Earls of Lennox, and John de Napier who held lands in the county of Dunbarton is recorded in a charter of the Earl of Lennox in 1280. He is also recorded in the Ragman Roll of 1296, and he assisted in the defence of Stirling Castle in 1303. A descendant of his, William de Napier, was governor of Edinburgh Castle in 1401. William's son, Alexander, who owned the lands of Merchiston, was provost of Edinburgh in 1437, and his son, Sir Alexander Napier of Merchiston;, was comptroller to James II in 1440, Provost of Edinburgh in 1455, Vice-Admiral of Scotland and Ambassador to England in 1461, and held several other offices.

Archibald Napier of Merchiston obtained Gartness, Rusky, and other lands in 1509. His son; Alexander, was killed at Flodden in 1513, and the latter's son was killed at Pinkie in 1547. John Napier of Merchiston, born in 1550, was the celebrated inventor of logarithms and considered the greatest mathematician of his age. His son, Sir Archibald, was a Lord of Session and was created Baron Napier of Merchiston in 1627. He was a strong supporter of Charles I. Archibald, 3rd Lord Napier, died a bachelor, and the titles passed through the female line to the Scotts of Thirlestane. Francis, 5th Lord Napier, was the father of the Hon. George Napier, of whom it was said, " A better or braver soldier never served his country," and the grandfather of Admiral Sir Charles Napier, one of the most distinguished of British naval commanders. Francis, 9th Lord Napier, entered the Diplomatic Service, and was British Minister at Washington, and at The Hague. He was the chairman of the Crofters' Commission.

Napier, Sir Charles (1786-1860) of Merchiston Hall, nr. Falkirk. Admiral of the Fleet.

Napier, Sir Charles (1786-1860) of Merchiston Hall, nr. Falkirk. Admiral of the Fleet of the Queen of Portugal, defeated the Mignelite fleet and placed Donna Maria on the throne. He also defeated Ibrahim Pasha in Lebanon, attacked Acre and blockaded Alexandria.

Napier, John (1550-1617) of Merchiston Castle, nr. Edinburgh. Mathematician who invented logarithms (1614) and engineering devices.

Napier, Sir Mellis (1882-) of Dunbar. Was Chief Justice of Southern Australia (1942-67).

Napier, Macvey (1776-1846) of Glasgow. Lawyer and editor. Was the first professor of conveyancing in 1824. He edited the supplement to the 5th edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica (1816-24) and the 7th ed. (1830-42).

Napier, Robert (1791-1876) of Dumbarton. Shipbuilder and engineer. Built the first four Cunard steamships and some of the earliest ironclad vessels. It was he that helped to make the Clyde a great shipbuilding centre. In 1840 he produced a Coffee Percolator which was the forerunner of the present day Cona-type Percolator.

NARES, Sir George Strong (1831-1915) of Aberdeen. Vice-Admiral and explorer. Commanded the 'Challanger' (1872-74) and the 'Alert Discovery' expeditions (1875-76).

NASMITH, David (1799-1839) of Glasgow. Philanthropist. Founded the City Missions in various cities in Europe and America.

NASMYTH
A nail maker, they bear two broken hammers in their arms.

Nasmyth, Alexander (1) (1758-1840) of Edinburgh. Portrait and landscape painter. Became known as the 'father of Scottish landscape painting'. Probably best remembered for his small portrait of Robert Burns, the portrait so often reproduced.

Nasmyth, James (2) (1808-90) of Edinburgh. Engineer son of (1). Invented the steam hammer in 1839 and later a pile driver and a dentist's drill.

Nasmyth, Patrick (3) (1787-1831) of Edinburgh. Son of (1). Landscape painter, sometimes called the 'English Hobbema'

NEAGLE, Dame Anna (born Marjorie Robertson, daughter of a Scotsman). Famous actress and dancer, made 36 films. She was the first British actress to be created a Dame of the British Empire.

NEIL
Dark complexion.

NEILL, Alexander Sutherland (1883-1973) of Forfar. Educationist, journalist, child psychologist and author. Produced many publications on child psychology.

NEILSON
The son of Neil.

Neilson, James Beaumont (1792-1865) of Shettleston. Engineer and inventor. In 1828 he patented the technique of preheating the air in blast furnaces known as the hot blast process.

NELSON Sir Hugh Muir (1836-1906) of Kilmarnock. Premier of Queensland, Australia (1893-98).

Nelson, Thomas (1780-1861) of Stirlingshire. Publisher. The firm of Nelson which he founded was a pioneer in the use of the rotary press and of the half-tone blocks.

NESS
A promontory.

NEWTON
Local: From Newton in Haddingtonshire. The family were seated there in 1377; Sir Isaac Newton derived his descent from them.

NICOL
Descended from Mackrycul, Lord of Assint in Sutherlandshire in the twelfth century.

Nicol, John (1) (1833-94) of Glasgow. Writer and poet. Produced books on Byron, Bacon, Burns, American literature (1882), etc.

Nicol, John P (2) (1804-59) of Glasgow, father of (1). Astronomer who became well known for his public lectures.

Nicol, Cameron Macdonald (1891-1965) of Aberdeen. Brigadier in Indian Medical Service. Director of Public Health, Punjab (1936-41).

Nicol, Erskine (1825-1904) of Leith. Artist painter of homely incidents in Irish and Scottish life. NICOL, William (c.1768-1851). Scottish Physicist and inventor of the Nicol Prism which bears his name.

NICHOLL, John (1894-) educ. Stirling and Glasgow. Professor of English language and literature in the Univ. of Birmingham, and visiting Prof. of English, Univ. of Pittsburg, USA (1963-65 and 1967-68).

NICHOLL, Sir William Robertson (1851-1923) of Lumsden. Man of Letters. Editor of The Expositor and the British Weekly (1886). Wrote books on Theory and Literature.

Nicholson. The name arose in the Lowlands, but was found in Skye and Lewis, as a form of MacNicol. The Baronetcy was created 1629. A family is based on Fetlar in Shetland. The Nicholsons of Lasswade, the Lowland line, descend from the Dean of Brechin in Angus.

NICHOLSON, Peter (1765-) of Preston Kirk. Became a distinguished mathematician and architect. Compiled an Architectural dictionary.

NICHOLSON, William (1781-1844). Scottish portrait painter born in Ovingham-on-Tyne. Noted for his portraits of Sir Walter Scott and other famous contemporaries.

NIMMO
Local: from the lands of Nimmo in Stirlingshire.

NINIAN, St Lowland Scots Ringan (c.360-430) from the shores of the Solway Firth. The first known Apostle of Scotland. Made a pilgrimage to Rome and was consecrated Bishop by the Pope.

NISBET
Local: from the lands of Nisbet in Berwickshire. The family are descended from Philip de Nesbyth.

Nisbet, Stanley (1912-). Educated Dunfermline and Edinburgh. Prof. of Education, Univ. of Glasgow (1951-). Research Officer at the Air Ministry (1944-46). Lecturer on Education, Univ. of Manchester (1946) and Prof. of Education, Queen's Univ., Belfast (1946-51).

NIVEN, David (1910-83) of Kirriemuir. Became an actor of world-wide renown.

NOBLE, Sir Peter (1899-) Scottish Principal of King's Coll., University London (1952-68). Sometime Governor of St Thomas's Hospital.

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