The original News page

small image of an old, yellowed newspaper with close print and tatty edges

click the thumbnail above for a 600px by 916px 532kB image


We have this week, in our second page, continued the narrative of circumstances attending the arrival of BONAPARTE at Plymouth, which we commenced in our last Number, and we purpose to continue it until his departure from the British shores.- The Northumberland man of war which is to convey him to St. Helena, sailed from Portsmouth on Thursday, and was expected to reach Plymouth on Friday last. Immediately on her arrival it is said he was to depart, but of his actual departure we have as yet no account. We are sorry to hear that three of the principal of his suite, amongst whom is the faithful BERTRAND, have been separated from him and sent back to France. This must have been done more for the purpose of wounding a fallen man's feelings, than in apprehension of any dangers which could result from their continuance with him. We understand that it was with some difficulty he was induced to believe that his companions were torn from him- his constant assertion being that the English Government never would treat him so. He little knew when he surrendered the dispositions of some of the Members of the English Government towards a conquered foe- and how little of grand or generous sentiments their narrow minds are capable of entertaining.

Sir HENRY BUNBURY, one of the Under Secretaries of State, had the task of announcing to NAPOLEON that St. Helena was the place of his future imprisonment, and this task he performed on Tuesday last. The following extract from a letter, dated Plymouth, Thursday, gives an account of the manner in which he received the intelligence:-

"Sir H. BUNBURY went on board the Bellerophon Tuesday morning, to announce to BONAPARTE the determination of Government as to his future destination. When St. Helena was mentioned, he exclaimed, that he could not believe that the report which he had heard of such a determination would have been officially confirmed; that no power on earth should force him to leave the Bellerophon on such a voyage; that he would not go alive out of the Sound; and that if his purpose was prevented, he hoped that he could rely on his Officers to put an end to his existence. When he appeared, as usual, in the evening, before the multitudes afloat, he looked extremely dejected and unwell.

"Such are the reports circulated since the visit of Sir H. BUNBURY, and which continued to circulate at Plymouth and at Plymouth Dock uncontradicted. In the mean time, the Northumberland, &c. are hourly expected in the Sound, and some dreadful event is looked for.

"Shortly after Sir H. BUNBURY had quitted the ship, an order was issued to keep all boats in future a cable's length from her. It was found impossible, however, to carry the order into effect on that day; and on Wednesday evening the difficulty was nearly as great as on Tuesday.- The press of boats is overwhelming, and amongst such multitudes of persons as are collected, any other measure than that of using guard-boats would be attended with most disastrous consequences."

We copy the following affecting letter from The Courier of last night. Our readers may be convinced of the authenticity of its contents from the source from whence we take it, and if Britons, or blessed with the feelings of Britons, they must blush for the stigma which posterity will affix on the British name for the exercise of such cool-blooded severity towards a prostrate foe:-

"Bellerophon, Plymouth, August 2.

"It was on Sunday the papers announced the determination of sending BONAPARTE to St. Helena, and as he regularly enquires for them, perusing with the assistance of Madame BERTRAND almost every item, that part did not long escape his notice. Indeed it was now publicly spoken of by every person. Before this I had heard it was his determination never to quit the ship alive if to be sent to St. Helena; and Madame BERTRAND informed me on reading the above, he had again positively asserted they should first take his life.

"On Sunday evening he had the marks of much agitation in his countenance. On the Monday, when he officially learnt his destination, he remained on deck but a short time, and appeared as pale as death. Yesterday he was something better. I fear, on the arrival of the Northumberland, we shall witness some tragical scene. You know we are not the ship destined to convey him to St. Helena.

"A circumstance occurred last Sunday night which seemed to be very near being a beginning to the scene I mentioned above. About nine o'clock Marshal and Madame BERTRAND were walking on the opposite side of the deck to where I was, in earnest conversation- suddenly Madame rushed into the Emperor's cabin, threw herself at his feet for about half a minute, then flying below to her own cabin, threw herself nearly out of the stern-window, when she was fortunately caught by the leg by General MOUTHOLON. She continued delirious the whole night. To-day she is better.- [This agitation, we suppose, resulted from the unmanly determination of Ministers to send her husband back to France.]

"On the following morning Lord KEITH and Major-General Sir H. BUNBURY waited upon him, informing him that it was the determination of the Allied Sovereigns to send him to the above place, and granting permission to take with him part of his suite, with the exception of those proscribed, SAVARY, LALLEMAND, and BERTRAND. I understand he sent for Captain MAITLAND, and again assured the Admiral and General, it was his fixed resolution never to quit this ship alive.

"Notwithstanding the news has greatly affected him, he continues to shew himself for about twenty minutes every evening, to the really astonishing number of people, which I think daily increases. It is with great difficulty the men of war's boats prevent the crowd approaching too near the ship. He now continues but a short time on the gangway, and is then visible only to the inside boats. There is no truth in the account of his having taken possession in an authoritative manner of Captain MAITLAND's cabin."

"We are so full in the ship, and have all of us given up our cabins and ward-rooms to BONAPARTE's suite, that we have been forced to sleep upon deck.

"We are all anxious to know whether it is intended to give up all the persons proscribed. L'ALLEMAND has written a letter to the PRINCE REGENT, stating the manner in which he treated some English prisoners, whom he afterwards liberated, and to whom he wishes a reference to be made.

"BONAPARTE has also written another letter, from which he seems to have hopes of being permitted to remain in this country."

We received last night French Papers to Wednesday last. The cannon which had been removed by the Allies from the bridges of Notre Dame, the Pont Neuf, and the Pont du Jardin du Roi, where they were placed soon after the capture of Paris, in consequence of the assemblages, on the Place du Chatelet and other parts, of persons who insulted the Prussian troops were replaced on Tuesday last, on account of the renewal of the same scenes. "It is of immediate urgency," says the Journal de Paris, "to take up and punish the agitators and disturbers of the public repose, who render such measures necessary." The Prussian troops intend also to send beyond the Rhine all French soldiers, whatever be their rank, who shall be found at Paris without special authority. The sudden and unexpected arrival of soldiers belonging to the army of the Loire, who might create some uneasiness, is said to have been the cause of this measure. These precautions shew that the perturbed state of things in France is now beginning to be felt, even in the presence of the Allied Armies.

A paragraph in The Journal de Paris mentions a movement of the main body of the French army from the Loire towards the mountains of Auvergne, whither its baggage and cannon had already proceeded. This movement appears obviously to have in view the occupation of a stronger position, and a more formidable attitude of defence.

A conspiracy is said to have been discovered at Poictiers, in the department of Vienne. At Mans, in the department of the Sarthe, there were some disturbances on the 30th ult.

So completely is the press at Paris bound in the fetters of the paternal government of the BOURBONS- that we cease to expect to find in the papers any intelligence of the actual state of the nation. From private sources we however learn, that all is confusion throughout the country. The troops on the Loire and other French corps have all mounted the white cockade, and all profess obedience to the King; but this obedience is evidently only nominal. Such as it is, the King and his Ministers seem satisfied with it. It appears to us, that LOUIS and his army are mutually playing off each other's names for their own advantage, and here we cannot blame them. The army, by surrendering to the KING, covers itself with the sanction of his name, and the KING hopes, by retaining the army to get better terms from the Allies. In the mean time no disposition appears on the part of the latter to abandon France.- On the contrary, the English finding forage scarce near Paris, are about to take up their quarters in Normandy. The Duke of WELLINGTON has offered their assistance towards getting in the harvest, a proof that there is no immediate intention on his part of leaving the kingdom. How long such a state of things can exist, as a Monarch surrounded by Allies, by whom alone he knows he reigns, and yet of whose designs on the integrity of his country he is jealous, and stimulated by that feeling, hesitates at once to issue orders to disband an army, of whose fidelity towards himself he entertains equal suspicion- how long, we say, such a state of things is likely to continue, may be easily guessed.


One of the Ministerial Papers, The Morning Herald of Thursday last, stopped the press at two o'clock in the morning to inform its readers that a dark coloured carriage, with four horses, and attended by an escort of Dragoons, had just passed through the Strand, in the direction of the Tower. The inference to be drawn from this wonderful intelligence was obvious- Bonaparte was in the carriage, or the Princess of Wales, or Lord Grey, or Sir Francis Burdett, or somebody; for it was not likely that such a carriage, so drawn and so escorted, should be without an inmate. In the latter point we agree with this accurate print, but the fact is there was no such carriage passed through the Strand at that time, and therefore all comment on such a circumstance falls to the ground. On Thursday an additional guard of 100 men were marched into the Tower. This was at the moment deemed a confirmation of the silly report in The Herald, but on inquiry we learnt that from the representation of the Civil Magistrates, more soldiers are considered necessary in that part of the town; the numerous bodies of sailors now out of employ very naturally give rise to some apprehensions.

On Monday evening a boat, with two men, one woman, and three children, who were returning from visiting the Bellerophon at Plymouth, was cut into two pieces by a man of war's launch. The whole, however, were saved, with the exception of a stone-mason of his Majesty's Dock-yard, an industrious worthy man; the husband of the woman and father of the children. Two others who were picked up are not expected to live.

© copyright Torbay Library Services

Return to: [ The News 6th August 1815 - Part 5 html ] details