Family tree of John NAPIER

Physicist, Mathématician, Astronomer, Geographer

ScottishBorn John NAPIER

Scottish landowner known as a mathematician, physicist, and astronomer

Born on 1550 in Edinburgh, Scotland , United Kingdom

Died on April 3, 1617 in Edinburgh, Scotland , United Kingdom

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Napier's father was Sir Archibald Napier of Merchiston Castle, and his mother was Janet Bothwell, daughter of the politician and judge Francis Bothwell, Lord of Session, and a sister of Adam Bothwell who became the Bishop of Orkney. Archibald Napier was 16 years old when John Napier was born.

Merchiston Castle from an 1834 woodcut

As was the common practice for members of the nobility at that time, he was privately tutored and did not have formal education until he was 13, when he was sent to St Salvator's College, St Andrews.

He did not stay in college very long. It is believed that he dropped out of school in Scotland and perhaps travelled in mainland Europe to better continue his studies. Little is known about those years, where, when, or with whom he might have studied, although his uncle Adam Bothwell wrote a letter to John's father on 5 December 1560, saying "I pray you, sir, to send John to the schools either to France or Flanders, for he can learn no good at home", and it is believed that this advice was followed.

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Geographical origins

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