1/12/15

Two Chirugeons..One for King~One for Colony

During the 17th century, 'chirurgeons' were closely related to barbers and other craftsmen who learned their trade through apprenticeships.  So began the appointments of Patrick Napier, Chirugeon to King Charles I and Patrick Napier, Colonial Surgeon in Jamestown, Virginia.

King Charles, the monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1625 until his execution in 1649, was a weak and sickly infant who by the age of three was finally able to walk without assistance.  No doubt, he was well indoctrinated and dependent on the 'Royal Staff of Physicians and Chirurgeons'. 

On Tuesday, January 30, 1649, King Charles put his head on a block and was beheaded with one clean stroke.  A moan rose from the crowd and some of them dipped their handkerchiefs in the king's blood as a memento.

Among the crowd, in all likelihood, was Patrick Napier, the kings surgeon.   He would have served his king in death as he did in life...on the day after the execution, the king's head was sewn back onto his body, which was then embalmed and placed in a lead coffin.  Patrick Napier was my 8x's Great Grandfather, born in 1608 in Edinburgh, Scotland and died at age 51 in London, England in 1659...ten years after the beheading of his King.
Colonial Dr. Patrick Napier was born in Scotland about 1634.   When of age, he was apprenticed to Alexander Pennycuik, chirurgeon.  Pennycuik was surgeon to Sir Alexander Leslie's Scottish Troops who were defeated at the Battle of Dunbar by the army of Oliver Cromwell.  Young Patrick Napier joined with other Scottish Royalists and emigrated to Virginia soon after their defeat in 1650. 

Dr. Patrick Napier, Colonial Royalist to his father's king Charles I, remained loyal to the crown which was eventually restored to Charles' eldest son Charles II in 1660.  That, however, was not the center of his professional or personal life in Colonial America.  His life as a Colonial Surgeon is well documented in Jamestown, Virginia, as seen by the 'Historical Marker' on Merrimac Trail in York County, Virginia.  (link to marker...Marker History.com )
More posts on Napier Blood Line


   

4 comments:

Wendy said...

Now THAT's an interesting ancestor! He must have had some interesting stories to tell. Wouldn't it be fantastic to find his memoirs in some dusty antique shop?

Marie said...

Our ancestors likely knew one another....I'm off to church but have one Daniel O'Rear (O'Riar) in service to Charles II! (I also have a Jamestowne pipemaker, and a later-beheaded leader of Bacon's Rebellion!) Will fill you in later!

Jackie Coleman said...

Hey ~ I come thru this line (Susannah Napier married to Reuben Skelton Brown). Thanks for posting this!! So excited.

Stephanie said...

I came from this line as well. Captain Robert Napier and wife Elizabeth Booth. They are my many great grandparents. There daughter Kathrine Napier married John Adams. That is my lineage to this family.