Napier, Robert Cornelis, 1st Baron Napier of Magdala

Napier, Robert Cornelis, 1st Baron Napier of Magdala

(nā`pēr, nəpēr`), 1810–90, British general. In the engineering service in India, he fought in the Sikh WarsSikh Wars
(1845–49), two conflicts preceding the British annexation of the Punjab. By a treaty with the British in 1809, the Sikh ruler of the Punjab, Ranjit Singh, had accepted the Sutlej River as the southern boundary of his domain.
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 (1845–49) and took part in the relief of LucknowLucknow
or Lakhnau
, city (1991 pop. 1,669,204), capital of Uttar Pradesh state, N central India, on the Gomati River. An educational and cultural center, it has varied industries, including food processing, railroad shops, and handicrafts.
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 (1857) during the Indian MutinyIndian Mutiny,
1857–58, revolt that began with Indian soldiers in the Bengal army of the British East India Company but developed into a widespread uprising against British rule in India. It is also known as the Sepoy Rebellion, sepoys being the native soldiers.
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. He was raised (1868) to the peerage following an expedition to Ethiopia in which he captured MagdalaMagdala
, former name of Amba Mariam
, village, Amhara region, central Ethiopia. Emperor Tewodros II (Theodore II) in the mid-19th cent. used Magdala as the base of operations for his conquest of the surrounding Oromo territory.
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 and compelled the release of British captives. He later acted as commander in chief in India (1870–76) and as governor of Gibraltar.

Bibliography

See biography by his son, H. D. Napier (1927), and his letters (ed. by his son, 1936).

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