On This Day in Napoleonic History – 23 July 1815

23Napoleon leaves France never to see it again

Napoleon saw the shores of his beloved country that he made so great for the last time before he sailed to Saint Helena. A day later, HMS Bellerophon with Napoleon on board anchored at the English coast and the deposed Emperor immediately became an object of curiosity. People from all over England traveled to catch a glimpse of Napoleon, who enjoyed his popularity, appearing on deck often and waving to the public. Captain Maitland reported that whenever Napoleon noticed a well-dressed woman, he would pull his hat off and bow. It had been estimated that as many as 1000 pleasure boats had once assembled around the ship, averaging 8 people each.

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