Briggs’ motion commemorates 400th anniversary of the death of John Napier of Merchiston.

Lothian Tory MSP Miles Briggs has today tabled a motion commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of the 16th century Edinburgh mathematician John Napier of Merchiston after whom the city’s Napier University is named. The anniversary falls on Tuesday 4th April and will be marked with a public memorial service at St Cuthbert’s in Lothian Road, Edinburgh, at 1.30pm.

Speaking today Miles said:

“ John Napier- or “Marvellous Merchiston”- was one of the greatest brains Scotland has ever produced and his pioneering mathematical discoveries are still hugely influential today.

“ I welcome the fact that Edinburgh Napier University and the Clan Napier Society have organised a Memorial Service and that Alexander McCall Smith has composed a poetic tribute to John Napier.”


* Please see below Miles’ motion as tabled today.

Motion Number: S5M-05007
Lodged By: Miles Briggs
Date Lodged: 31/03/2017

Title: 400th Anniversary of the Death of John Napier

Motion Text:

That the Parliament notes that 4 April 2017 marks the 400th anniversary of the death of the mathematics genius, physicist and astronomer, John Napier from Merchiston, who discovered logarithms, invented Napier's bones and made common the use of the decimal point in arithmetic and mathematics; understands that, as part of a number of commemorative events, a public memorial service will be held at 1.30pm on April 4 at St Cuthbert’s on Lothian Road, Edinburgh; notes that this has been organised jointly by Edinburgh Napier University and the Clan Napier Society; understands that the novelist, Alexander McCall Smith, has composed a new poem, A Cosmos of Numbers, which will be read out at the service; welcomes the commemorations that are being held; wishes all involved in organising these well, and appreciates that Napier’s brilliance, innovation and influence continues to be important, not least through the success of what it believes is the world-class Edinburgh Napier University.

Miles Briggs