NAPER, James Lenox William (1791-1868), of Loughcrew, co. Meath.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



22 June 1813 - 1818

Family and Education

b. 18 Feb. 1791, o.s. of William Dutton, afterwards Naper of Loughcrew, and Cheltenham, Glos. by Jane, da. of Rev. Ferdinando Tracy Travell of Upper Slaughter, Glos. educ. Eton 1805; Christ Church, Oxf. 1809. m. 3 May 1824, Selina, da. of Sir Grey Skipwith, 8th Bt., of Hovington Hall, Warws., 2s. 2da. suc. fa. 1791.

Offices Held

Cornet, Cirencester yeoman cav. 1811; capt. Demifore inf. 1812; sheriff, co. Meath 1822-3.


Naper featured, under the name of Napier, in the memoirs of the courtesan Harriette Wilson, as a ‘long-backed’ foxhunting dandy worth £20,000 a year, whom she coaxed into a liaison with her unfortunate friend Julia Johnstone. With a fine indifference to what scarcely interested her she reported in 1813,

Napier came sneaking and grinning into the room, and informed us, that either Lord Bath or Lord Bathurst, I forget which, was bringing him into Parliament. ‘More shame for you, you ought not to have given up your independence for millions’, said I. ‘You cannot now vote against the man who give [sic] you a seat.’

In this she was, perhaps, right. Naper, brought in by Lord Bath on a vacancy, gave his first known vote for Catholic relief, 30 May 1815, but revised it on 21 May 1816 and did not vote the following year. He voted with ministers on the Regent’s expenditure, 31 May 1815, but against them, with the majority, on the Duke of Cumberland’s establishment bill, 3 July. He was in the government minority on the property tax, 18 Mar. 1816, and, after a month’s leave from 24 Apr., again sided with them on the public revenue bill, 17 and 20 June. He supported the suspension of habeas corpus and its modus operandi, 23 June 1817, 10 and 11 Feb. 1818. No speech is known and he did not seek re-election until 1831, when he was defeated for Meath. Naper died 2 Sept. 1868.

Harriette Wilson, Mems. (1929), 180, 239.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne