There have been a lot of things said about the well known historical figure Napoleon Bonaparte. He was a military and political leader that led during the last part of the French Revolution. His marriage to his beloved Josephine is often told as a timeless love story. At times, the man was victorious and respected, but Napoleon became a victim of politics. In this article, you will learn details regarding his death and final wishes.
It was in the South Atlantic that Napoleon breathed his last breath. He was 51 years old when he died in exile. He no longer owned any of his luxurious possessions, had any power, or owned any of the wealth that he had when he was the emperor of France. All of this did not deter Napoleon and he went about writing out a will that matched his former emperorship. He bequeathed six million francs to family and friends although he did not have the money.
He specifically left 10,000 franc to the French officer named Cantillon, who made an effort to assassinate the duke of Wellington, who was behind Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. It was the duke that had Napoleon confined to St. Helena. Many people are under the suspicion that the former emperor had been poisoned, but it was a stomach ailment, such as a lingering ulcer or cancer that did him in. He showed the first signs when he coughed up blood that looked like coffee grounds.
In 1821, Napoleon was confined to the bed and in March, he dictated his will. The opening of his last wishes started with “I wish my ashes to rest on the bank of the Seine, in the midst of the French people, whom I have loved so well.” Although he died in 1821, Napoleon’s ashes were not brought to Paris until 1840. His fame had grown and he was now too famous to have his ashes scattered, so they were placed in an urn that stayed underneath the dome of Les Invalides.
When Napoleon was on St. Helena, he was depressed because he could not receive any communications from his wife, Mary-Louise and his son. No one is sure if he had caught wind that his wife was having an affair with the Austrian officer appointed as her guardian. Marie-Louise married the man in secret before Napoleon died. He was probably unaware of the whereabouts of his son, the former king of Rome, who was safe in Vienna as duke of Reichstadt.
In the second part of the article titled “Famous Last Wishes: Napoleon,” you will learn some of the interesting details of his death, as well as some of the theories related to his end. Was he poisoned by the British? Did his doctors play a role in his death? You will also encounter the final wishes of the former emperor.