Joseph Napier collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Napier to Jane, Lady Franklin regarding the British Franklin Search Expedition, 1857-1859 (leader Francis McClintock).

Administrative / Biographical History

Joseph Napier was born on 26 December 1804 in Belfast. He was educated at the Belfast Academical Institution and Trinity College, Dublin, graduating with a BA in 1825 and MA in 1828. He studied law at London University and was called to the bar in Ireland in 1831. In 1848, he was elected Member of Parliament for Trinity College, Dublin, and in 1852, was appointed Attorney general for Ireland in the administration of Lord Derby. When Lord Derby formed his second administration in 1858, Napier became Lord Chancellor of Ireland, retiring from this office the following year. On his return from his travels in Europe in 1860, he became involved in evangelical work, later taking an active part in the reconstruction of the Irish Church following its disestablishment. Napier was created a baronet in 1867, the year in which he was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Trinity College, Dublin. Between 1868 and 1881, he served on the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. He retired to St Leonard's-on-Sea where he died on 9 December 1882.


The correspondence is arranged chronologically

Access Information

By appointment.

Some materials deposited at the Institute are NOT owned by the Institute. In such cases the archivist will advise about any requirements imposed by the owner. These may include seeking permission to read, extended closure, or other specific conditions.


Anyone wishing to consult material should ensure they note the entire MS reference and the name of the originator.

The term holograph is used when the item is wholly in the handwriting of the author. The term autograph is used when the author has signed the item.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Arctic, exploration and development c500 BC to 1915, an encyclopaedia by Clive Holland Garland Publishing, London (1994) and Exploring Polar Frontiers, a historical encyclopaedia by William Mills San Diego and Oxford, 2003 and Dictionary of National Biography volume 40, Smith, Elder & Co. London (1894)

Other Finding Aids

Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue, Garland Publishing New York and London (1982) ISBN 0824093941.

Additional finding aids are available at the Institute.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying material by photography, electrostat, or scanning device by readers is prohibited. The Institute may be able to provide copies of some documents on request for lodgement in publicly available repositories. This is subject to conservation requirements, copyright law, and payment of fees.

Copyright restrictions apply to most material. The copyright may lie outside the Institute and, if so, it is necessary for the reader to seek appropriate permission to consult, copy, or publish any such material. (The Institute does not seek this permission on behalf of readers). Written permission to publish material subject to the Institute's copyright must be obtained from the Director. Details of conditions and fees may be had from the Archivist.


Further accessions possible