Sir George Thomas Napier, Governor at the Cape

Sir George Thomas Napier, Governor at the CapeLieutenant-General Sir George Thomas Napier KCB (30 June 1784 – 16 September 1855) entered the British army in 1800, and served with distinction under Sir John Moore and the Duke Wellington in the Peninsula--and lost his right arm at the storming of Ciudad Rodrigo, where, as a Major in the 52nd Foot, he led the Light Division's storming party.

He became major-general in 1837, KCB in 1838 and lieutenant-general in 1846. He was governor and Commander-In-Chief of the army in the Cape Colony from 1839 to 1843, during which time the abolition of slavery and the expulsion of the Boers from Natal were the chief events. He was offered, but declined, the chief command in India after Chillianwalla, and also that of the Sardinian army in 1849. He became full general in 1854. He died at Geneva, Switzerland on 16 September 1855, aged 71.

His autobiography, Passages in the Early Military Life of General Sir G.T. Napier, was published by his surviving son, General William Craig Emilius Napier (the author of an important work on outpost duty) in 1885.

The town of Napier, Western Cape, is named for Sir George Thomas Napier as is Napier House at Fairbairn College, Goodwood, Cape Town.

(information derived from


sir george thomas napier, governor at the cape

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