‘Napoleon is Dead’

Following our article in November about Thomas Cochrane’s plans for chemical warfare, Richard Dale, author of a new book on Cochrane, reveals how the maverick naval hero was disgraced over his association with a stock market scandal.

On a cold night in February 1814, a few weeks before the entry of the Allies into Paris and Napoleon’s exile to Elba, an officer wearing the red uniform of an aide-de-camp knocked on the door of the Ship Inn, Dover. He told the innkeeper he had just been landed by a French boat and that he brought sensational news from the battle front. The Allies had won a crushing victory, Napoleon had been killed by the Cossacks and the white cockade of the Bourbons now reigned supreme in Paris. The messenger, who introduced himself as Colonel du Bourg, asked for pen and ink and immediately wrote a letter to the admiral at Deal which was entrusted to one of the inn’s postboys. Du Bourg then requested a post-chaise to take him to London.

To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive.

Buy Online Access  Buy Print & Archive Subscription

If you have already purchased access, or are a print & archive subscriber, please ensure you are logged in.

Please email digital@historytoday.com if you have any problems.