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|The Right Honourable
Sir Evan Nepean
|Born||9 July 1751
St. Stephens, Cornwall, UK
|Died||2 October 1822
|Children||one daughter, four sons|
Nepean entered the Royal Navy on 28 December 1773, serving on HMS Boyne as a clerk to Capt. Hartwell. He was promoted to purser in 1775. During the American Revolutionary War he served as secretary to Admiral Molyneux Shuldham, in Boston in 1776 and again at Plymouth (1777–78). From 1780-1782 he was Purser on HMS Foudroyant for Captain John Jervis (later Lord St. Vincent).
On 3 March 1782 (aged only 29) he was appointed Permanent Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department. He served effectively there until December 1791, when he became Under-Secretary of State for War in 1794, secretary to the Board of Admiralty 1795-1804, Chief Secretary for Ireland 1804-1805, Commissioner of the Admiralty, and then governor of Bombay 1812-1819.
He was Member of Parliament for Queenborough from 1796 till 1802, then moving to Bridport where he remained until 1812. He was made a baronet in 1802 and was admitted to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom in 1804.
The first of the Nepean Baronets, he was the second of three sons of "Nicholas Nepean, Gent" and his wife, Margaret Jones. His father was Cornish and his mother was from South Wales. The name "Nepean" is thought to come from the village of Nanpean (“the head of the valley”), in Cornwall.
Nepean married Margaret Skinner, the only daughter of Capt. William Skinner, on 6 June 1782 at the Garrison Church at Greenwich. They had one daughter and four sons, including Sir Molyneux Hyde Nepean, 2nd Bt. and Maj.-Gen. William Nepean whose daughter Anna Maria Nepean married General Sir William Parke.
Their youngest child, Rev. Canon Evan Nepean, became the Canon of Westminster and a Chaplain In Ordinary to Queen Victoria. His son, Charles was a Middlesex county cricketer who also played football, and was on the winning side in the 1874 FA Cup Final.
Canon Evan Nepean's son, Evan Colville Nepean (1836–1908) had several children, including a daughter, Emily Margaret (1867–1950). She married Felton George Randolph; their daughter, Margaret Isabel (1901–2001) married James Cassilis MacLean and in turn had a daughter, Fynvola Susan (born 1933). Fynvola married James Murray Grant in 1957; their children included Hugh Grant (born 1960), the actor.
A descendant, the sixth and last baronet, Evan Yorke Nepean, was a well known amateur radio operator and Army officer who served on a mission to Tibet in 1936. He also served in the Radio Security Service (RSS), known as MI8, during World War II and was once reported to the police by his suspicious landlady when she found his National HRO receiver, used by RSS operators to monitor radio transmissions for suspected enemy agent transmissions, and thought he might be a German spy.
Places named after Evan Nepean include:
- The former city of Nepean, Ontario, Canada—now a part of the city of Ottawa.
- The Nepean River, Emu Plains and Nepean District Hospital, Penrith, New South Wales, the Nepean Highway from Melbourne to Portsea (and nearby Point Nepean) in the south east of Victoria and Nepean Bay where the South Australia Company came to Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, South Australia.
- The Nepean Road and Nepean Sea Road in Mumbai, India.
- Nepean Island (Norfolk Island), a small uninhabited island in the Southwest Pacific
He was mentioned in the Will (proved 14 October 1814) of Admiral Arthur Phillip an ancestor of the family of Sykes, RN (11 October 1738 – 31 August 1814), see http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,584967.10.html
- Boswell, Edward. The civil division of the county of Dorset. Google Books
- "The Association Challenge Cup" The Times (London). Monday, 16 March 1874. (27951), col E, p. 5.
- Lundy, Darryl (15 July 2007). "Sir Evan Colville Nepean". The Peerage.com. Retrieved 19 February 2011.[unreliable source]
- Lundy, Darryl (15 July 2007). "Emily Margaret Nepean". The Peerage.com. Retrieved 19 February 2011.[unreliable source]
- Lundy, Darryl (12 October 2009). "Margaret Isabel Randolph". The Peerage.com. Retrieved 19 February 2011.[unreliable source]
- Lundy, Darryl (26 January 2006). "Fynvola Susan MacLean". The Peerage.com. Retrieved 19 February 2011.[unreliable source]
- Lt-Col Sir Evan Nepean, Bt