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Plymouth commemorates the death of Napoleon Bonaparte

05 May 2021

On Wednesday 5 May, the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Councillor Chris Mavin and French Consul, Stephanie d’Haussy laid wreaths at the Napoleon Monument on Madeira Road to commemorate the bicentenary of Napoleon Bonaparte’s death on 5 May 1821.

Plymouth is proud of its unique connection to the history of Napoleon, and in 2015 the Napoleon Monument which marked the 10 days Napoleon Bonaparte spent captive in Plymouth Sound in 1815 was unveiled at an event with representatives from Plymouth City Council, Mr Alain Sibril, Honorary French consul, and his wife Monique, St. Helena, Brittany Ferries, HMS Northumberland and officers from the French Navy.

Napoleon Bonaparte was held as a prisoner at Plymouth Sound onboard HMS Bellerophon from 26 July to 4 August 1815 following his defeat at Waterloo while the British Government decided his fate. He was later sent into exile on the South Atlantic Island of St Helena. Napoleon Bonaparte and the Bellerophon left Plymouth Sound and he was transferred to HMS Northumberland for the long voyage south. He died in exile, on St Helena.

To commemorate the two-hundred year anniversary of the death of Napoleon Bonaparte, Destination Plymouth has created a dedicated online resource called ‘Napoleon 200’ to be enjoyed by locals and visitors with support from The Box and the University of Plymouth. The new resources will be included in a cross European programme to commemorate Napoleon’s death led by the Federation of Napoleonic Cities of which Plymouth is the only one in the UK.

The online resources include detailed information on various Napoleonic experiences; activities and places to visit - incorporating walking tours and cycling routes.

Additionally, when The Box, Plymouth's major new museum, art gallery and archive, reopens on Tuesday 18 May, visitors will be able to enjoy a portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte created by John Harris the Younger. Despite the subject being a prisoner at the time, Napoleon is shown posing in all his finery.

Other highlights on display include detailed bone models made by the prisoners of war from the Napoleonic era, these can be viewed in the gallery. The models were created with handmade tools and represent high-quality examples from the period.

For more information on Napoleon 200 please visit

French Consul, Stephanie D’Haussey laid wreaths at the Napoleon Monument