On This Day in Napoleonic History – 7 August 1815

7Napoleon is transferred aboard the HMS Northumberland

Despite another letter to Prince Regent that read: ‘I’m not a prisoner, I am a guest of England,’ HMS Northumberland, commanded by rear-admiral Sir George Cockburn, was to carry Napoleon to the island of Saint Helena, located in the middle of the South Atlantic.

‘True heroism consists of being superior to the ills of life, in whatever shape they may challenge to the combat,’ Napoleon once said. And he was about to experience the ills of life like never before. He was not alone on his journey, however. He had an entourage of 26 people willing to accompany him to the other end of the earth. Several more, including his sister Pauline and his private secretary Claude François de Meneval, also wished to travel with him but were stopped from doing so by the British authorities.

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