|MARINE ENGINEER (SCOTLAND)|
BORN 29 Oct 1790, Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire - DIED 1869, London: Kensington|
GRAVE LOCATION London: Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, Kensal Green (003/PS (20220))
David Napier was the son of the engineer John Napier (d.1813). David was a cousin of the engineer Robert Napier (1791-1876). He received training at the Dumbarton Works. In 1802 his father relocated to Glasgow. He joined his father's business and was controlling it by 1810. In 1812 he provided a boiler and smokestack for Henry Bell's small steamer for the Clyde. In 1814 he married Marion Smith. They had six sons and nine daughters. In that year he made the boiler for the engine of the PS Comet, that was also built for Henry Bell. In 1815 he started new works at Camlachie to build steam-engines for boats.
In 1816 he completed a marine engine for the Marion and others followed. In 1818 he build his first the streamer, the PS Rob Roy. In 1821 he relocated his growing business to the banks of the Clyde at Lancefield. In 1827 he built a steamer that was meant for the sea, the Aglaia. In 1835 an explosion in the boiler of the Earl Gray killed six people and several further explosions followed, damaging the reputation of his firm. In 1839 he once more relocated to Millwall to experiment with steamers while his sons ran the yard. It closed in 1852 and in 1854 it was sold and the Great Eastern was built there afterwards.