The Tragedy of Marshal Ney, Part II

Harold Kurtz continues the story of France's Napoleonic traitor.

The Trial

Ney’s imprisonment, which was to last for over three months, consisted of two distinct phases: the first takes us up to the beginning of November 1815, when the Marshal made his brief appearance before the Military Court appointed under the Royal Ordonance; and the second starts when the Marshal’s submission that the Military Court was incompetent to try him had been accepted and the Chamber of Peers became his final Tribunal. In contrast to de la Bedoyere’s trial, which took barely three weeks from arrest to execution, Ney’s case, with its constant delays and adjournments, for long occupied the public mind, and inevitably widened the sharp and tragic division of opinion separating Frenchmen from Frenchmen.

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