PATRICK NAPIER, COLONIAL SURGEON
Where –– Merrimac Trail, near the Camp Peary exit of Interstate 64.
Big omission –– The cost of Napier’s voyage to Virginia was originally paid for by a Capt. John Underwood, who in turn received a “headright” for his investment. Headrights were granted to anyone who would pay the transportation costs of a laborer or indentured servant to help populate the colony. The Virginia Company allowed a 50-acre grant to the holder of a headright. Underwood transferred Napier’s headright to Peter Ford who, in turn, used Napier’s as one of ten names to secure 500 acres in Gloucester County.
Small omission –– Napier’s father, also named Patrick, was a Burgess of Dumbarton, Scotland and a barber to King Charles I of England, Scotland, and Ireland (Charles I was later beheaded by Parliamentary forces in 1649). The Scots shifted their support to Charles II, which led to the 1650 Battle of Dunbar. The Scots lost. It was sometime after this battle that Patrick the Younger was likely “sold to the plantations in America.”
Update — The Napier family has deep roots in Dumbarton, Scotland. The family lineage contains several top military leaders, “Father of Clyde Shipbuilding” (Scotland was once the world's largest shipbuilder), “Father of Logarithms,” and other notables. –– Jim Davidson
ROADSIDE HISTORY | SEPTEMBER 2010