Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Samuel Whitbread - Brewer, Whig Politician, Reformer and Lover of Peace

Samuel Whitbread (1758-1815). Head of the famous brewing family, Whig leader in the House of Commons, a leading advocate of domestic reform and of peace with France and America.
the promoter of every liberal scheme for improving the condition of mankind, the zealous advocate of the oppressed, and the undaunted opposer of every species of corruption and ill-administration. - Sir Samuel Romilly.

The wittiest man who ever sat here said
That half our nation's debt had been incurred
In efforts to suppress the Bourbon power,
The other half in efforts to restore it, (laughter)
And I must deprecate a further plunge
For ends so futile!
- Samuel Whitbread, as represented in Thomas Hardy, The Dynasts, Act Fifth.

Whitbread and Napoleon
Whitbread was not an uncritical observer of Napoleon, and was particularly opposed to his policy in Spain.

Like a number of Whigs however, he was opposed to the way in which Government supporters demonised Napoleon as the "Corsican Ogre", and he continually urged a path of negotiation rather than war.

I would here take leave to observe upon the idle and childish way in which many persons are pleased to indulge when speaking of that person .. Whitbread in 1807

In 1808 he said that Ministers reluctant to negotiate with Napoleon should be forced to do so with a proper consideration for his extraordinary talents: You made it necessary for him to fight these battles. You combined the world against him ..

When Napoleon returned from France to Elba, Whitbread led the opposition to war in the House of Commons. His brother in law, Earl Grey, was a leading anti-war spokesman in the House of Lords.(1)

On the return of the emperor from his exile in the island of Elba, the member for Bedford strongly and emphatically censured the declaration of the allies, more especially that part of it which seemed to recommend the detestable principle of assassination. He also loudly insisted both on the impolicy and injustice of a new war, on the ground that the executive power of the enemy was vested in the hands of any one particular person. But above all things he protested against the forcible restoration of the Bourbons by a foreign force, and the assumed right of dictating a government to France. (2)

One of the best speeches in Parliament was made by the radical, Sir Francis Burdett:

Who ever knew a sole and single man
Invade a nation thirty million strong,

.. No man can doubt that this Napoleon stands
As Emperor of France by Frenchmen's wills.
Let the French settle, then, their own affairs;
I say we shall have nought to apprehend!--
Thomas Hardy, The Dynasts, Act Fifth.

After Waterloo Whitbread joined in a vote of national gratitude to the Duke Of Wellington, for the memorable victory at Waterloo, but he also made clear that events had not altered his sentiments in respect to the pretended justice of the original contest. (3)

A Victim of Waterloo?

A number of British supporters of Napoleon were devastated by Waterloo. Whitbread went further - on July 6th 1815, just a few days after Waterloo, he cut his throat with a razor. There is some doubt whether Waterloo was the cause of his suicide; he had been working too hard for years in the family brewing business; in Parliament he spoke more often than anyone else; he had been heavily involved in the costly restoration of the Drury Lane Theatre. In 1815 he began to show signs of paranoia and depression. Whatever the causes of his ill health, Waterloo could not have helped.

Certainly some contemporaries made the connection: nothing was left but to follow Whitbread's example - was Byron's comment as reported by Hobhouse.

Napoleon took a keen interest in English politics, and he asked Members of Parliament who visited him on board ship in Plymouth about the death of Mr. Whitbread.


Suicide was surprisingly common among members of Parliament at this time. No fewer than 19 committed suicide between 1790 and 1820, and 20 more became insane.

Lord Castlereagh, architect of the continental policy which many Whigs had vigorously opposed and which had led to the final defeat and exile of Napoleon, suffered the same fate as Whitbread. Castlereagh became depressed apparently because of the unpopularity of the repressive measures that the Government introduced after Peterloo, and on 12th August 1822 he cut his throat with a penknife.(4)


1. Earl Grey was later Whig Prime Minister, responsible for the first Reform Bill; the famous tea is named after him.

2. Annual Biography and Obituary for the Year 1817.

3. Annual Biography and Obituary for the Year 1817.

4. On 16th August 1818 a huge meeting in favour of parliamentary reform took place in St Peter's Fields, Manchester. 15 people were killed, and 400-700 were injured as a result of a cavalry charge by the local militia. It was soon given the name the Peterloo Massacre, an ironic reference to Waterloo. In November 1819, Castlereagh introduced the Six Acts, designed to prevent further demonstrations. He and other members of the Government were booed whenever they appeared in public.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Capel Lofft: Napoleon can count on me.

Capel Lofft (1751 – 1824) lawyer, writer, minor poet, amateur astronomer and Suffolk squire. A man of many talents, and a precocious child, by the age of 6 he had read Spenser's "Fairy Queen".

He was generally known as Capel Lofft, of Troston Hall; and was in no respect a common-place man... Mr Lofft was a warm politician in the Whig school .. and in private life an amiable man. (1)

The most noticeable person I had ever been in company with was Capel Lofft — a gentleman of good family and estate — an author on an infinity of subjects; his books were on Law, History, Poetry, Antiquities, Divinity, and Politics. (Henry Crabb Robinson)

.. a man of feeling, .. who loves literature, and liberty, and science. - Lofft's description of Robinson which could also be applied to himself.

The Whig David and the Tory Goliath

Mr. Capel Lofft .. though a most zealous Whig, has a mind so full of learning and knowledge, and so much exercised in various departments, and withal so much liberality, that the stupendous powers of the literary Goliath, though they did not frighten this little David of popular spirit, could not but excite his admiration.
- Boswell, on the young Lofft's lunch wth the eminent Tory Goliath, Dr Johnson.

Boswell's Biblical imagery seems appropriate: a small man with squeaky voice, Lofft was a fearless advocate of liberal principles at a time when the forces of reaction were in the ascendancy in England. (2)

Lofft's radicalism made him enemies in Suffolk, and in 1800 they got their revenge. During that year Lofft became involved in the unsuccessful campaign to gain clemency for Sarah Lloyd, a young servant girl who was sentenced to death for theft. Lofft sat with the girl on the cart to the gallows, sheltered her under his umbrella, and then harangued the crowd gathered to view the execution. Lofft's criticisms of the Home Secretary were duly reported by his enemies who pointed out his "democratic" tendencies to the Government. Lofft was immediately dismissed from the magistracy.(3)

Byron and Lofft: The Maecenas of shoemakers

Lofft's passion, particularly in his later years was for literature; he corresponded with a number of literary figures, and was himself a writer of sonnets.(4) Perhaps his most famous contribution however, was his patronage of Robert Broomfield the artisan author of The Farmer's Boy, for which he was mocked by Byron as:
the Maecenas of shoemakers and preface-writer general to distressed versemen; a kind of gratis accoucheur to those who wish to be delivered of rhyme, but do not know how to bring forth.

Byron and Lofft shared an admiration of Napoleon however, both were linked to Holland House, both were devastated by Waterloo, and both spent their latter years overseas.
After 1816 Lofft left England for the continent, to advance his daughters' education. He died in Italy in 1824, shortly after hearing of the death of Byron.

A memorial to him can be found in Troston Parish Church (click to enlarge).

Capel Lofft and Napoleon

Lofft was impressed by the popular acclaim which the French gave to Napoleon on his return from Elba: most sublime and bloodless of revolutions said Lofft; Napoleon had shown that he possessed a calm and great mind, above all passion and revenge.

Like a number of radicals and literary figures, Lofft saw Waterloo simply as the victory of the forces of reaction both at home and on the continent. Hearing rumours of Napoleon's capture, he wrote the following letter, apparently to a Tory who certainly did not share his sympathies.

...incomparably the first man in the world, who has performed every duty of a sovereign, a general, and a soldier, with the highest ability and most devoted perseverance.

.. He has given to France laws and a constitution of a most transcendent excellence and mildness. He has been the great friend of the arts, and cultivator of the sciences; he has devoted himself to his people as a father for the life and happiness of his children.

I consider the Bourbons, who have endeavoured to overwhelm France with foreigners, as of all beings the most unworthy to reign there.

The papers cannot tell greater lies than they did about the whole progress of the Emperor Napoleon from the Gulph of St. Juan to Paris and the throne. (5)

Capel Lofft and Napoleon's Captivity

Lofft wrote numerous letters to the press complaining at the illegality of Napoleon's detainment by Britain,
The intelligence that the great Napoleon will not be permitted to land, and is perhaps to be sent to St. Helena, is almost overwhelming me, though long accustomed to suffer much, and to expect everything!

and he attempted to serve a writ of habeas corpus whilst Napoleon was in Plymouth harbour. (6) Lord Keith had to play a cat and mouse game to evade this and a subpoena instigated by Anthony Mackenrot, for Napoleon to appear in court as a witness in an obscure case.

As a precaution the Bellerophon was moved out of port to wait for the Northumberland. The latter had to set sail for St. Helena before many of the necessary supplies could be loaded.

Apparently Lofft was in communication with Napoleon whilst he was on the Bellerophon .

The letter above reads, The Count of Milleraye sends his respects to M. Capel Lofft, and is instructed by the greatest of men, as he is rightly titled, to send him the enclosed lock of hair - as a sign of his esteem for his principles and his gratitude for the zeal he has shown for his cause, etc. Plymouth 11th August 1815 (7)

After Napoleon's exile Capel Lofft was in regular contact with Lord Holland, encouraging him in his efforts to get Napoleon removed from St. Helena. He was also involved like a number of other Whigs, in providing support for Bonapartists and Liberals who were at risk because of the triumph of absolutist regimes on the continent. Captain Piontowski entrusted his new bride to Lofft's safe keeping as he left to join Napoleon on St. Helena. Lofft also persuaded Lord Holland to assist Las Cases, who following his deportation from St. Helena had left England and fallen into Prussian hands.

On Napoleon's death Lofft wrote to Lord Holland blaming Napoleon's terminal cancer on the St. Helena climate, the poor diet and the system of jealous and vindictive surveillance which had been inflicted on him.


1. Obituary in New Monthly Magazine, July 1st, 1824.
The earliest recollections of him was in his appearance at the County Meetings held at Stowmarket, during the last 25 years of the late King's reign. His figure was small, upright, and boyish; his dress -- without fit, fashion, or neatness; his speaking -- small-voiced, long sentenced, and involved; his manner -- persevering, but without command. On these occasions, Mr. Lofft invariably opposed the Tory measures which those meetings were intended to sanction; and he was assailed, as invariably, by the rude hootings and hissings of the gentry and the rabble. Undismayed however, by rebuff, he would fearlessly continue to advocate the cause of civil and religious freedom, conscious that though his voice was powerless, his cause was strong ...

2. Lofft supported every radical cause in the late eighteenth century: American Independence, the principles of the French Revolution, opposition to war with America and France; was a proponent of Parliamentary Reform and was involved in the anti-slavery movement; supported religious toleration for dissenters and Catholics. He also supported the rights of labourers to glean the fields after harvest, and was an opponent of hunting.

3. Lofft also addressed a large crowd at her funeral. They dispersed shouting "Lofft is our friend"; had they caused any damage Lofft would have ended in prison. For an account of the case see Sarah Lloyd See also Lofft's Letters on Sarah Lloyd

4. A recent book has been written on this subject: Roger Meyenberg: Capel Lofft and the English Sonnet Tradition 1770-1815.

5.This letter appears to be misdated, it was written not in January, but after Waterloo - for full text see Post Waterloo Letter

6. Habeas corpus Safeguards the right not to be held without trial. The Government got round this by passing an act of Parliament retrospectively legalising Napoleon's detention.

7. Reported in New York Times, July 8th 1896, the letter and first lock sold for £30; the second for £5. Comte Milleraye was presumably Las Cases. It is thought that communication was probably through O'Meara, the ship's surgeon who agreed to accompany Napoleon to St. Helena. Maitland, the captain of the Bellerophon, was criticised for allowing Napoleon's staff to communicate with the outside world. It was one of the things which Hudson Lowe, equally unsuccessfully, tried to prevent on St. Helena.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Stamps / Philately, St. Helena & Napoleon

A short posting from Dubai airport on my way back from KL. Strange that I have been in this airport three times already this year, and have only been into Manchester twice. Anyway, I digress.

Michel has posted on his blog a collection of stamps that have in the past been issued on St. Helena with Napoleon as the subject. The first bears an August 1953 date stamp. It will I am sure interest most philatelists. Some of the stamps are apparently now quite rare.

It appears that Michel had asked the St. Helena Post Office to mount an exhibition to coincide with the 150 years of the French Properties, but he has not even had a reply. Surprising and a little disappointing! Stamps are I understand a good source of revenue for small islands, and I would have expected St. Helena to use every opportunity to market itself as an issuer of stamps. Michel himself has indicated that he has had a large number of emails following his last blog on the stamps he has designed for St. Helena.

Anyway the blog can be found here : St Helena Stamps

Thursday, 10 April 2008

What Language do they Speak on St. Helena - French?

Since my return I have been asked a number of questions about St. Helena. I will now try to put my answers together. Hopefully if I make any mistakes somebody will correct me.

1. What Language do they Speak ?

It is English - in fact it is the oldest variant of English south of the Equator. St Helena was settled in the early days of the Empire, before Australia, New Zealand and the Cape. The form of English spoken is therefore a product of early settlement and interaction with later settlers from other cultures - Africa, the Indian sub-continent and Asia.

2. How many people live there, and where do they come from?

It was settled from England in the seventeenth century - before the union with Scotland. By the nineteenth century there were some 1600 Whites (including about 800 soldiers), 600 Chinese, 500 free blacks and 1500 slaves. A large number of Chinese left by the 1830's, a large number of whites left after 1836 when it became a Crown Colony, and in the period 1870-1875 some 2000 islanders left for the Cape. The island has lost population in recent years following the restoration of the right of Saints to work in the UK. There are now some 3900 living on the island, but many thousands more living overseas. There appears to have been some small scale inward immigration from the 1800's right up to the present day. I would guess that few if any families could trace their origins back to the original settlers.

3. What kind of economy does it have?

It doesn't really have one. It is highly dependent on Government expenditure and remittances from Saints working overseas. For those who are interested in such things, academics now use the following taxonomy when talking about small island economies:

MIRAB : Migration, Remittance, Aid, Bureaucracy - sums St. Helena up to a T.

SITE : Small Island Tourism Economies (Antigua, Bali, Barbados)

PROFIT : People, Resource, Management, Overseas, Engagement, Finance, Transportation (Primary and manufactured exports, offshore finance, diversified economies - Isle of Man, Cayman Islands etc)

Clearly the aim is to try to move St. Helena into the SITE category, principally by building an airport and developing tourism.

4. When will the airport be built?

Now who was it who said that a fool can ask more questions in ten minutes than a wise man can answer in a life-time? The airport has an entry on Wikipedia, which is I suppose some kind of a start St. Helena Airport. Seriously though, it is hoped that it will be ready by 2012 - but there are some concerns that HMG will baulk at the cost estimates (£200,000,000 and rising). Some will be pleased if they do - but it has to be said that nobody has come up with any alternative for development of the island.

5. What currency is used?

St Helena sterling - it has parity with UK sterling. There are no ATM's on the island, and just one bank. Travellers cheques seem the most sensible option.

6. What is public transport like - can I manage without a car?

It is a small island, but very hilly, and it is better to hire a car. There is little public transport, and taxis are expensive. Fuel is more expensive than home, and you will use more, because the mountainous roads mean that you will spend most time using lower gears.

7. What is the cost of living like?

Accommodation is reasonable, but generally things cost more than at home - remember that they mostly come on the same boat as you, and rising oil prices are an added problem.

8. How can you communicate with home ?

Phones are relatively easy to find, and not prohitively expensive unless you insist on long calls. I could find only one computer available for public use; it is possible to take a laptop and get it connected to the internet using dial-up. Broadband is very expensive and not worth paying for a stay of a few days. Don't even think about trying to use a mobile phone.

9. What are the attractions of the island to tourists?

Remoteness, relative peace, spectacular views, friendly people, and, when it is clear, the most spectacular night sky you will ever see. Quite simply it is a unique place, and provides an unforgettable experience.

10. Won't an airport destroy the very things you like about the island?

That is a danger, but it is not the intention to develop mass tourism, and the cost of getting there will hopefully be a disincentive for stag nights and hen parties for all except the rich, and for them there are more suitable places to party! In any case I feel this is a decision for the people who live on the island, not for me.

11. What is the island like for beaches, shopping, fine dining, and night life?

If that is what you want I suggest you try somewhere else.

12. Are there any world class tourist sites on the island?

The three Napoleonic sites fit the bill. In the days when literally hundreds of ships a year visited St. Helena they were a great attraction. More books have been written about Napoleon than anyone else except Jesus, and the interest shows no sign of abating. Longwood and the Briars have now been carefully restored. The Valley of the Tomb is a very special place. Without wishing to make St. Helena a Napoleonic theme park, there are also other sites such as Bertrand's cottage which could also be marketed. If it is serious about tourism, St. Helena would be very foolish not to take advantage of these major assets.

13. What about medical facilities?

There is a hospital on the island. Clearly for certain conditions people need to get to South Africa for treatment - and there is only one way to do that at present. Visitors must have proof of medical insurance.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Holland House and Hudson Lowe: Sir Hudson, may I have the pleasure of introducing you to Lord Byron?

Saw Sir Hudson Lowe to-day in the streets. Micheli and an Italian had stopped me. Micheli's friend had sailed with and knew him. We all walked by, and then turned, and had a d--d good stare. He turned and looked fiercely at us, and gave us a good opportunity by crossing. A meaner face no assassin ever had. He answered Napoleon's description to a T. (Oct 14th 1832) - Memoirs of Benjamin Robert Haydon

Sir Hudson Lowe

Napoleon's gaoler when he first arrived on St. Helena in 1815 was Admiral Cockburn, who had taken charge of him when he was transferred from the Bellerophon to the Northumberland.

The then Governor was Colonel Mark Wilks, an employee of the East India Company, not the Crown. Wilks was due to leave in 1816.(1)

To replace both Wilks and Cockburn the Government selected Sir Hudson Lowe. Lowe was born in Ireland, and had had a successful military career, which included leading a Corsican Regiment. He was a man who could be relied upon to carry out orders to the letter.

The Governorship of St. Helena was the best job he had ever had, but it ruined the rest of his life, and his reputation.

After Napoleon's death, the Government distanced themselves from him, content for him to take the criticism about Napoloeon's treatment. Lord Wellington privately accepted Lowe's unsuitability:
a very bad choice; he was a man wanting in education and judgement. He was a stupid man, he knew nothing at all of the world, and like all men who knew nothing of the world, he was suspicious and jealous. (2)

Napoleon felt that putting such a man in charge was an insult to him.

Count Balmain, the Russian Commissioner captured the situation perfectly:
a man who only knows how to command is at the mercy of one who only knows how to obey .

As soon as it was known that Sir Hudson Lowe was to be the Governor of St. Helena the Hollands began a private campaign to influence him.

The Motives of the Hollands

According to Paul Johnson the aim was to get Hudson Lowe to relax his guard so that Napoleon could escape. I have not seen any evidence of this, and am inclined to doubt it. The Hollands were more sensible than Johnson would like us to believe.(3)

I am also not convinced that Napoleon had any interest in escaping, although his supporters in America did certainly hatch plans to rescue him. When Montholon and Bertrand later visited Holland House, they were asked about this. They said that he could easily have escaped and had many opportunities, but was "a man never to attempt anything where concealment or disguise or bodily exertion were required." They said he would only have gone with his hat on his head and his sword by his side. (4)

A similar impression comes from the report of the Russian Commissioner, Count Balmain (5).

Undoubtedly the Hollands still hoped that the British Government could be persuaded to move Napoleon from St. Helena, and Lord Holland worked behind the scenes to try and achieve this. In the meantime they wished to do all they could to ensure that he was treated with consideration and respect, and Lady Holland tried to tie Lowe down regarding her wish to be free to communicate with Napoleon.The bottom line I suppose was that they wished to try to convert Lowe to their way of thinking. An impossible task!

Sir Hudson Comes to Dinner

It is a strange fact that Hudson Lowe spent more time with Lord and Lady Holland than he was ever to spend with Napoleon.

He went to Holland House about 8 times between August 1815 and his departure for St. Helena early in 1816. He was to meet Napeolon 6 times only.

Although he lacked the qualifications of birth, intellect or talent necessary for admission to Holland House, Lady Howe treated him with the greatest respect, failing to show him her imperious side. In the course of his 8 visits he was introduced to 40 or so of the social and political cream of London society.

Lowe undoubtedly felt honoured to be courted by such distinguished people. It must have confirmed to him what the Colonial Minister, Lord Bathurst, had intimated. Whilst joking about Holland House, Bathurst let him know that his appointment as Governor of St. Helena could be the starting point of an even greater career.

Amongst Lowe's fellow guests at Holland House were a number of Peers of the Realm (including Auckland, Ullswater and Alvanley), the Duke of York ( brother of the Prince Regent and commander in chief of the Armed Forces), Lady Holland's son, Henry Webster, who had fought at Waterloo, Sir Henry Bunbury, a member of the Government, who had informed Napoleon of his fate on the Bellerophon, Captain Hesse (son of the Duke of York by a German Lady), Lord John Russell who had met Napoleon on Elba just before his escape, and a number of Whig stalwarts such as Francis Horner, and a few distinguished foreign guests.

The most interesting fellow guests were Lord Byron and and Captain Frederick Lewis Maitland.

Byron and his wife had to be invited to Holland House for a dress rehearsal to ensure that Byron confined his remarks to his admiration for Napoleon rather than expressing his regret about the outcome of Waterloo! At the dinner, in response to questions by Byron, Lowe made it clear that he was not impressed by Napoleon's military prowess!

Captain Maitland was a distant relative of the Hollands, and like the Hollands had been presented to Napoleon in 1802. In accepting Napoleon's surrender on the Bellerophon, Maitland had treated him as a distinguished guest, and Napoleon had made himself very popular with the ship's crew. Maitland was criticised for this by the Admiralty, which made it clear to Admiral Cockburn that Napoleon should be treated very differently on the Northumberland. Lowe asked Maitland a number of questions about this. Clearly Lowe was not going to allow Napoleon to rival his own authority on St. Helena.

From the Hollands' point of view the courting of Sir Hudson Lowe was a total failure.

Before Lowe left for St. Helena he wrote to the Government regarding a Bill to clarify the legal basis on which Napoleon was to be held on St. Helena "to dispel the doubts of factious or opposing individuals regarding him." (6)


Soon after his return to London following Napolon's death, Hudson Lowe called to see Lady Holland without announcement. He was not received. Lady Holland sent him a letter explaining that she had been out
I was in London when you were good enough to call .. but am not sorry at an opportunity of acknowledging your attentions by writing, as I confess I should have some difficulty in conversing with you on subjects connected with them, being one of that numerous class you describe in your letter of 5th March as seeing in the late great man chiefly, if not exclusively,'talents to admire'.

Sir Hudson's call was indeed as crass in its own way as his invitation to "General Bonaparte" to attend a reception at Plantation House, which had been met with a similar rebuff. He was out of his depth. An early example of the Peter Principle perhaps!

1. Col. Mark Wilks(1759-1831) A resident of the Isle of Man, and a member of the House of Keys. Governor of St. Helena 1813-1816. Napoleon liked and respected Wilks.
2. Lord Rosebery, Napoleon: The Last Phase, London 1900, pp.68-69.
3. E. Tangye Lean, The Napoleonists, A Study in Political Disaffection 1760/1960 (Oxford University Press, 1970) p. 199
4. Johnson, in the midst of a tendentious review, notes that British support for Napoleon was surprisingly wide and deep. Johnson The Hollands represented the tip of a surprisingly large iceberg.
5. In 1818 General Gourgaud told Balmain that Napoleon might escape - and that he had had at least ten opportunities. When the sceptical Balmain asked why he hadn't done so already, Gourgaud replied: "We have all given him that advice, but he has always rejected our arguments. However unhappy he is here, he secretly enjoys the sense of importance which is evident in his being guarded so closely and the constant interest which all the European Powers take in him. Several times he has told us: ‘I cannot live as a private personage. I would rather be a prisoner than to be free in the United States.' "
6. Lean, p. 171

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Meanwhile something different - St. Helena April 2008

Glad to see that Michel has resumed his blog.

They have had an unusual amount of rain I believe. I have heard from another source that the heart shaped waterfall is in full flow. It was dry when were there only a couple of months back.

They have also had a lot of power cuts - Michel says that one lasted from 9.00 a.m. until 8.00 p.m. I should know why they are having such problems, but I don't.

Meanwhile, in addition to doing guard duty at Longwood House after the departure of the Chief Secretary and his wife, Michel is finalising preparations for the exhibition celebrating 150 years of the French Properties on St. Helena.

He has announced a list of distinguished French visitors who will be there by the end of April

M. Victor-André Masséna, prince d'Essling
Le comte et la comtesse Walewski
M. Emmanuel Suchet, duc d'Albufera
Mme Annie Meunier
M. Bernard Chevallier
M. Daniel Alcouffe
M. Jean-Claude Le Parco
M. Marcel Guery
M. Pierre-Jean Chalençon
M. Philippe Montanari.

An interesting list which includes as far as I can see one descendant of Napoleon, two descendants of Napoleon's Marshals, a curator of the Louvre and a young passionate collector of Napoleonica who is making I think his third trip to St. Helena.Pierre-Jean Chalencon

I wonder if this is the first time that a descendant of Napoleon has visited St. Helena? The answer is no; Count Walewski has visited before; last time accompanied by his brother.

Finally Michel's blog shows some pictures from his collection by Raoul Serres(1881-1971) and Claude Quiesse(1938-) , who visited St. Helena as part of his world tour in 1966-1968 - I liked his portrayal of Sandy Bay and Lot.

Well worth a look.

Finally,finally, a plug for the St. Helena Independent. Always an interesting read; I usually find the weekly column of Mr Cairns-Wicks, St. Helena's equivalent of "Disgusted of Tonbridge Wells", very entertaining. I doubt if the Governor does.