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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


Volume 8 Page 567
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 409 believe him guilty of such an absurdity; for, with all his preciseness in matters of duty, and his sensitive notions of etiquette, he entertained a much greater dread of rendering himself unbecomingly conspicuous, than of any ridicule that could possibly arise from an oversight in the punctilio of dress. He was particularly kind and attentive to such young persons as appeared bashful ; and, that they might feel more at ease, lost no opportunity of engaging them in conversation. Lord Napier married Maria-Margaret, eldest daughter of Lieut.-General Sir William Clavering, K.B. By this marriage his lordship had nine children. He died in 1823: and was succeeded by his eldest son, William-John eighth Lord Napierl-a spirited and benevolent nobleman, long eminent in the south of Scotland as an improver in store-farming, and as a benefactor of the Forest. He died in his forty-eighth year, at Macao, in China, October 11, 1834, of a lingering fever, brought on by anxiety in the performance of a high official duty, as Chief Superintendent of British Trade in that empire, and which was increased by the harsh treatment he received from the Chinese government. In company his lordship was far from reserved, The figure to the right of Lord Napier is an excellent likeness of old MAJOR PILMER. He was a native of Fifeshire, and commenced his military life as an ensign in the 21st Regiment of Foot. He had seen a great deal of service, and served along with Lord Napier during the war in America, where he was wounded. He retired from the army on the half-pay of a Captain, and resided in the neighbourhood of Cupar-Fife, where he had at one period a small estate; but which, it is believed, was entirely dissipated while he was abroad, His appointment in the Hopetoun Fencibles, by which his half-pay was relinquished for the full pay of a Major, was obtained through the influence of Lord Napier. There was something rather remarkable in the appearance of Old Pilmer. His regimentals were none of the newest, and his boots-which the artist has hit off with great precision-were of a curious and antique description. They had been so often mended and re-mended, that it is questionable whether, like Sir John Cutler's stockings, any portion of the original remained, While stationed at Aberdeen, along with the Rutland Fencible Cavalry, the officers of that corps used to amuse themselves occasionally at the expense of Major Pilmer and his boots j and Pilmer at last became a standard and expressive appellation amongst them. " You have got your PiZmers on to-day ! " was a common remark to any one whose boots were a little the worse for wear. The Major, who was L worthy old soldier, relished his bottle and a joke at table, and did not feel at all out of humour at the allusions to his Pilrners. The third figure represents MAJOR CLARKSON, another veteran. He at one time possessed the estate of Blackburn, in Linlithgowshire. He entered 1 Captain Charles Napier, R.N., who lately distinguished himself in the service of the Queen of 3 6 Portugal, and the late Lord Napier were cousins.
Volume 8 Page 568
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