After the publication of the Plaine Discovery, Napier seems to have occupied himself with the invention of secret instruments of war, for in the Bacon collection at Lambeth Palace there is a document, dated the 7th of.
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.
It is important to notice that in the Constructio logarithms are called artificial numbers; and Robert Napier states that the work was composed several years (aliquot annos) before Napier had invented the name logarithm.
The only other mathematician besides Napier who grasped the idea on which the use of logarithm depends and applied it to the construction of a table is Justus Byrgius (Jobst Biirgi), whose work Arithmetische and geometrische Progress-Tabulen ...
It now remains to refer in more detail to the invention itself and to examine the claims of Napier and Briggs to the capital improvement involved in the change from Napier's original logarithms to logarithms to the base ro.
Set foorth by John Napier L.
The work left by Napier is, however, rough and unfinished, and it is uncertain whether he knew of the other formulae or not.
This committee consisted of six members, two barons, two ministers and two burgesses - the two barons selected being John Napier of Merchiston and James Maxwell of Calderwood.
The logarithms introduced by Napier in the Descriptio are not the same as those now in common use, nor even the same as those now called Napierian or hyperbolic logarithms. The change from the original logarithms to common or decimal logarithms was made by both Napier and Briggs, and the first tables of decimal logarithms were calculated by Briggs, who published a small table, extending to 1000, in 1617, and a large work, Arithmetica Logarithmica, 1 containing logarithms of numbers to 30,000 and from 90,000 to Ioo,000, in 1624.
His son, John Napier of Rusky, the third of Merchiston, belonged to the royal household in the lifetime of his father.