Arrival of the defeated
After a two-month long sea voyage, Napoleon arrived in St Helena on 15 October 1815. His arrival disrupted island life, now under siege. A curfew for inhabitants was introduced on Tuesday 17 October, at six thirty in the evening. The island was ready to receive Napoleon, who, in order to avoid the crowds, disembarked at nightfall.
Napoleon Musing At St Helena, print by Benjamin Haydon
He notified the council that he had chosen Lieutenant Governor Skelton’s country house for the prisoner’s residence. He thus needed to be provided with a new residence. He was asked to please choose it himself, specifying the amount of land he deemed useful to requisition to be able to meet his own needs, those of his servants and those of his horses. The costs would be entirely born by the East India Company, which would itself be reimbursed by His Gracious Majesty.
Admiral Sir George Cockburn, by Jerome Ambrosini
The week of 16 to 21 October 1815
St Helena sequestrated
In addition to this curfew, the Council deemed it necessary to place all vessels or boats moored on St Helena under the direct control of Admiral Sir George Cockburn. Boat owners were thus asked to give a very precise description of their vessels, failing which their assets would be seized.
Vue de l’île de Sainte-Hélène, estampe
The captive general