We may infer therefore that as early as 1594 Napier had communicated to some one, probably John Craig, his hope of being able to effect a simplification in the processes of arithmetic. Everything tends to show that the invention of logarithms 2 See Mark Napier's Memoirs of John Napier of Merchiston (1834), p. 362.
It has been usually supposed that John Napier was buried in St Giles's church, Edinburgh, which was certainly the burialplace of some of the family, but Mark Napier (Memoirs, p. 426) quotes Professor William Wallace, who, writing in 1832, gives strong reasons for believing that he was buried in the old church of St Cuthbert.
In 1549 Archibald Napier, at the early age of about fifteen, married Janet, daughter of Francis Bothwell, and in the following year John Napier was born.
About 1565 he was knighted at the same time as James Stirling, his colleague, whose daughter John Napier subsequently married.
For more detailed information relating to Napier, Briggs and Vlacq, and the invention of logarithms, the reader is referred to the life of Briggs in Ward's Lives of the Professors of Gresham College (London, 1740); Thomas Smith's Vitae quorundam eruditissimorum et illustrium virorum (Vita Henrici Briggii) (London, 1707); Mark Napier's Memoirs of John Napier already referred to, and the same author's Naperi libri qui supersunt (1839); Hutton's History; de Morgan's article already referred to; Delambre's Histoire de l'Astronomie moderne; the report on mathematical tables in the Report of the British Association for 1873; and the Philosophical Magazine for October and December 1872 and May 1873.
Between John Craig and John Napier a friendship sprang up which may have been due to their common taste for mathematics.
The point separating the integers from the decimal fractions seems to be the invention of Bartholomaeus Pitiscus, in whose trigonometrical tables (1612) it occurs and it was accepted by John Napier in his logarithmic papers (1614 and 1619).
On one occasion when Colonel Napier was called from home on foreign service, these papers, together with a portrait of John Napier and a Bible with his autograph, were deposited for safety in a room of the house at Milliken, in Renfrewshire.
Set foorth by John Napier L.
As already stated, John Napier was born in 1550, the year in which the Reformation in Scotland may be said to have commenced.