09:54 GMT21 January 2021
Listen Live
    Society
    Get short URL
    by
    1206
    Subscribe

    French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte famously managed to escape his first exile-prison on the island of Elba in 1815 so that he could march against the Allied forces at the Battle of Waterloo. After his defeat, the military leader was sent to the British island of Saint Helena to spend his final days heavily guarded and alone.

    Napoleon’s last years may not be the most glorious to recall, as the French Emperor was “tormented” with toothache, fever, oppression and anxiety during his exile on St Helena, medical records from 1818 have shown, as cited by the Daily Mail.

    The military leader was placed on the British island in 1815 after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo and spent six years there, before his death on 5 May 1821, which, it is believed, was caused by stomach cancer, although this has remained under dispute.

    According to Irish surgeon Barry O'Meara, who produced a hand-written medical report on the patient’s state, which dates back on 4 June 1818, the emperor suffered from “a crisis of serious natures” at some point in the last years of his life.

    “The patient has been very ill during Wednesday and Thursday nights,” O'Meara wrote in the bulletin that has recently been sold at Heritage Auctions in Texas for £1,500.

    “When called to see him I found him laboring under a considerable degree of fever,” the doctor added.

    According to O’Meara’s note, Napoleon's face was “displaying anxiety and evidently that of a man who was experiencing severe corporeal (body) sufferings, great increase of pain in the right side, rending headache, general anxiety and oppression, skin hot and dry, pulse quickened and everything portending a crisis of a serious natures”.

    The surgeon was forced to remove the patient’s wisdom tooth but this reportedly did not bring the French general much relief.

    Napoleon continued to blame his poor state of health on St Helena’s Governor, Sir Hudson Lowe.

    The Corsican native was exiled to the heavily guarded island to prevent him from fleeing amid a stream of masterminded escape attempts from his passionate supporters, who used yachts and balloons to save their charismatic leader from incarceration.

    Just several years before his last imprisonment, Napoleon was first exiled to Elba in Italy, but he had managed to escape from the island and return back to France to take control of the power one more time.

    At the time of his death, Napoleon was described by observers as being a “physical wreck”.

    Tags:
    Napoleon, United Kingdom, France
    Community standardsDiscussion