Charles James Napier

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Sir Charles James Napier

Sir Charles James Napier (10 August 178229 August 1853) was a British general and Commander-in-Chief in India. The city of Napier, New Zealand, is named after him. He is famous for conquering the Sindh province now in present-day Pakistan.


  • Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.
    • Napier, William. (1851) History Of General Sir Charles Napier's Administration Of Scinde. (P. 35). London: Chapman and Hall [1] at Retrieved 11 October 2013
  • The best way to quiet a country is a good thrashing, followed by great kindness afterwards. Even the wildest chaps are thus tamed.
    • Farwell, Byron: Queen Victoria's Little Wars, p. 27-31
  • The human mind is never better disposed to gratitude and attachment than when softened by fear.
    • Farwell, Byron: Queen Victoria's Little Wars, p. 27-31


  • Peccavi
    • Latin for "I have sinned", a pun on "I have (captured) Scinde".
    • Brilliant as the victories had been, Napier had to face criticism from enemies and friends alike. The new English humor magazine, Punch, barely a year old, published a cartoon of Napier striding through the carnage of the battlefield with the caption "Peccavi" — "I have sinned", as indeed he had. [2]

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