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 Sujet du message : Le major Gorrequer
Message Publié : 09 Sep 2018 11:41 
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Le major Gorrequer avait des origines françaises, ses ancêtres étaient des Bretons qui s'étaient installés à Jersey.... Voilà pourquoi cette lettre a été reproduite en intégralité dans le Bulletin de la Société Jersiaise en 1907

(je pense que certains extraits de cette lettre datée du 6 Mai 1821 ont été reproduits ici en Français.... Gorrequer ayant par ailleurs laissé des Cahiers publiés en Anglais, et semble t'il également une correspondance secrète avec Lowe)

cette lettre contient des détails intéressants sur la mort et l'inhumation de l'Empereur :4:


The following interesting letter, which details the circumstances
attending the death of Napoleon, appeared in “Cornhill Magazine ”,
a few years ago, in the course of an article entitled, “ More Light
on St. Helena. ” * It is reprinted here by the kind permission of
Messrs. Smith, Elder, & Co., the publishers of the Magazine in ques¬tion :

From Colonel Gorrequer to Sir George Bingham, St. Helena, May 6, 1821.

Bonaparte expired yesterday evening at ten minutes before six.
Just at the very instant the sun sank below the horizon, he breathed his last sigh.
He had died in a manly, proper manner; no complaint, no murmur,
no invective, no lamentation or remorse. Extreme unction was given
to him before his death; and from six in the morning yesterday, till six
at night, the whole of his attendants, from the highest to the lowest, sur¬
rounded his bed in deep silence. . . till the moment of his dissolution.
Some sketches were afterwards taken, but they are quite below the original.
I never saw his face so handsome (and really you may use the term) as at that moment;
. . . all the superfluous flesh and sallowness had disappeared,
and left a well-proportioned countenance,
such as he might have had some twelve or fourteen years ago. A
dozen of those who saw him concurred in saying that he did not look
at the utmost more than forty, and he certainly did not—even less,
I think. His hair retained its natural dark brown, and not a wrinkle
or the slightest contortion was on the face.
He is to be buried to-morrow with military honours, as a general
of the highest rank, by the side of the spring near Torbett’s house,
below Mr. Ibbetson's at Hutt’s Gate, under the shade of a cluster of
weeping willows, which we have been looking at this forenoon; and
I do not think a more appropriate spot could have been selected. He
had fixed upon it himself in the event of being buried here. Montholon
has requested the spot may be consecrated by our clergyman, and
afterwards by their own priest, Vignali.
The night preceding his death, an old favourite gum-wood tree
opposite Montholon’s quarters fell down, broken from the roots. The
store-ship Waterloo arrived two days previous; and just before he
expired his favourite little horse got the head-stall off, ran out of the
stable, and was for a long time galloping about the house. These
circumstances will by some be considered as presages of his fate.
Montholon has applied for his heart; it is not, however, to be
given up now, but most probably will be enclosed in a leaden case and
buried with the body. If Government should approve, it will later on
be delivered up to his friends.
He has left a will, but the question is whether it is to be opened yet
or not; his followers desire it.
At half past five o’clock yesterday morning he was speaking of his
son, and knew every one about him. In his usual way the day before,
he ‘ tutoyed ’ the servants, and spoke French to some, Italian to others.
He has been long sinking, depend upon it; he has frequently said
for some months past, “il n’y a plus d’huile dans la lampe”, meaning he
was wasting fast. The new house was just ready for him, and it was
agreed to take down the railing round part of the lawn, of which he
complained, calling it a cage.. . .
After the dissection had taken place, his attendants dressed him
out in a new plain uniform of a colonel of Chasseurs, of the late
Imperial Guards; sword buckled on, cocked hat, booted and spurred,
&c., and a cape richly embroidered in silver spread under his body.
This was the same that he wore at the battle of Marengo, and took with
him in all his subsequent campaigns, though apparently little worn.
In this state all the officers, respectable inhabitants, and a great
part of the men of the 20th were admitted to see him. Almost everybody
who chose had in fact access to the room, both before and after the
body was placed in the coffin. His followers appeared pleased at the
concourse of persons that came there.
Some attempts at likenesses were made before and after he was
dressed out; I have not seen any, however, really like. A cast of plaster
of Paris was also taken of him, and a bust made from it, which is now
in the possession of Madame Bertrand.
He had conceived, very justly, that the original instruction for the
conveyance of his remains to Europe might be counter-ordered; and
therefore selected that pretty spot I mentioned in my last letter, close to
a fountain near Torbett’s cottage, below Ibbetson’s, under two weeping
willows, in the event of his being interred at St. Helena; at the same
time desiring his heart should be sent to his wife. His wishes on this
point, however, it has not been thought proper to accede to, but the
heart has nevertheless been enclosed in a small silver vase, preserved
in spirits of wine, and soldered up.. . . and deposited in the coffin
along with the body, so that the heart may still be got at, should the
widow on deliberation at home be allowed to become the possessor of it
On the 7th the body, in full uniform as above described, was put
into a wooden coffin lined with tin, which was then placed in a leaden
one, and then into a third made of mahogany. Within the interior shell
were deposited along with the body twelve coins of the French Empire
aud Kingdom of Italy (eight gold and four silver), a silver plate, a silver-
handled knife and fork, a silver ewer instead of a lamp, and a silver cup
or small vase.
The 9th having been fixed upon for his burial with the honours due
to a full general, all the troops in the island, marines from the flagship,
St. Helena Volunteers. &c., assembled, and formed a line reaching from
the crest of the bill above the road leading to Hutt’s Gate, to the
guardhouse at Longwood, close to which the right of the line extended.
A funeral car bad been made from his old sociable or barouche, and
was drawn up, with bis four carriage-horses harnessed to it, at the foot
of the garden in front of what was formerly the billiard-room in the old
house. The coffin was then carried by a party of the grenadiers of the
20th from the room he died in (the drawing room) and placed upon the car.
The procession was then formed as follows: —Priest Vignali led
the van on foot, dressed in rich golden-embroidered canonicals with a
bénitier of holy water in his hand. Next walked Henry Bertrand with an encensoir.
Then followed the car with the body, and with the
Marengo mantle and sword placed on the coffin, flanked by twelve
grenadiers of the 20th —six ou each side. Immediately behind the car
was his favourite little horse, formerly Miss Charlotte Somerset’s, then
called ' King George, ’ but afterwards named ‘ Scheik ’ by Bonaparte.
Doctors Antommarchi and Arnott followed next. Then succeeded
Madame Bertrand, with her daughter and youngest boy, in a phaeton;
and following them were all the rest of the attendants, with the two
Counts, this group being the chief mourners. Then came the mid¬
shipmen of the men-of-war in harbour on foot, succeeded by a cavalcade
of civil, naval, and military officers, closed by the French Commissioner,
the Admiral, and the Governor.
This cortège proceeded slowly along the front of the line, the whole
resting on their arms reversed, and the bands playing a solemn dirge.
When it reached the left, the troops filed off, joining the rear of the
procession, until they arrived opposite Torbett’s cottage, where the
horsemen dismounted, and the coffin, having been removed from the
car, was borne by detachments of grenadiers of the different corps.
Bertrand and Marchand followed in the same order as before. The body
was then deposited in the grave; the troops having meantime extended
to the right and left of the artillery, which halted opposite to the
burying-place. Three rounds of eleven field-pieces were fired over it,
and the troops were then withdrawn.
The grave was 12 ft. deep, and 5 ft. wide; the sides and bottom of
masonry 2 ft. thick. A kind of sarcophagus, composed of four large
slabs of Portland stone taken from a platform of one of the batteries,
with two smaller ones of the ends, supported by eight squares stones
1 ft. high, placed at the bottom of the grave, finally received the body.
The stones forming the sort of sarcophagus were united together with
Roman cement, and immediately over this were placed two layers
of island freestone, 2 ft. thick, which besides being well cemented
together, were connected with iron cramps. The upper part of the
grave was then filled up with earth; and lastly another large slab of
Portland stone covered the mouth of it, with a border of masonry all
around it. The grave has been enclosed with a railing, and an officer’s
guard mounted on it ever since. There is therefore no chance, as you
may well suppose, that any clandestine removal can take place.
The weather was beautiful the day of the funeral, and the sides of
the hills which surround the ravine being covered with the population
of the island, with the ladies in their best attire, produced, together
with the military ceremony, a very beautiful, imposing, and awful effect.
Extreme unction was administered to Napoleon before his death.
When he expired, a chapelle ardent was fitted up; mass and prayers
were said frequently; everything, from his death to his funeral, was
extremely well conducted, and the most perfect propriety marked the
conduct of all.
Napoleon behaved with princely liberality to Dr. Arnott, who
attended him from April 1 only—having at last admitted an English
medical officer to see him, more however, I believe, to avoid being
constrained to receive the visits of the orderly officer than from any
expectation of being cured of his disease; for’besides a rich gold snuff¬
box, the last he himself used, still half full of snuff, and upon the lid of
which he had with his own hand engraved with a penknife the letter
N., he caused him to be presented with six hundred napoleons; and he
has been given some little remembrance from the Bertrands.
Bonaparte has left to Lady Holland a beautiful gold snuff-box,
with a very valuable antique cameo set in the lid, which had been one
of the most admired in the collection of the Vatican, aud made a present
of to him by the Pope at the Peace of Tolentino in 1797, as a token of
gratitude for some favourable articles introduced by him in the treaty.
Inside the box on a card was written by Napoleon’s own hand, ‘ L'Empereur
Napoléon a Lady Holland : témoignage de satisfaction et d'es¬time’
On April 16 he made a codicil to his will, wholly in his own hand¬
writing, by which he left all he possessed on this island to be equally
divided between Counts Bertrand, Montholon, and Marchand, excepting
only three mahogany boxes, about as large as a common-sized dressing-
case, principally containing snuff-boxes with antique cameos and medals
set in the lids, and some with portraits of sovereigns and members of
his family; others presented to him by crowned heads, cities, states,
&c. These boxes he sealed up himself, and made four of his followers
annex their seals to his own, desiring they should be delivered to his
son when arrived at the age of sixteen.
Two days after the funeral, his rooms in the old house were laid
out exactly as they were during his lifetime; his dressing-table and
apparatus, beds, furniture, apparel, even to the most minute article,
were each exhibited. All the effects he left behind him—plate, the
beautiful set of porcelain presented to him on his marriage with Maria
Louisa; his wardrobe, the coats and hats that he had worn at various
battles; the old straw hat he used to work in in the garden, &c. all
these were laid out very neatly in the billiard-room and drawing-room,
and the whole house thrown open for three days to everybody who
chose to go and look at the display; and I believe everybody went
that could, except the lowest class.
We have many wild reports of the immense sums left by Napoleon
to his followers; as one instance, to Montholon 1, 000, 000 sterling a
year, and so on. We, however, saw nothing but a codicil. Whether
the will itself was at home or concealed we can’t tell; for my part I
am impressed with an idea that all the jewels he has been said to pos¬
sess, and the millions deposited in the various banks in Europe and
America, as well as other immense resources at his disposal, will turn
out in general to be a fallacy; though it is natural to suppose he se¬
cured enough to reward those who came out and stayed with him here.
He had very little plate indeed; and we certainly saw no article of
particular value. The Sèvres china, presented to him by the city of
Paris on his marriage, and the plate were probably the most valuable.
The former only consisted of a few plates, cups and saucers, &c.
We were all surprised at the simplicity and plainness of his ward¬
robe and the few things of value left behind him; not a diamond or
jewel of any kind. What he brought here with him was mostly part of
his camp equipment, which was extremely compact and portable for
the purpose of carrying on mules or bât-horses.
There has been great anxiety among some of the people here to
obtain a little bit of his hair, and some have succeeded as they hoped
through the means of his attendants. I did not try to get any, or I
might have had it; I was satisfied with some of his handwriting. **


* “ More Light on St. Helena. Communicated by Miss Dorothy Mansel Pleydell,
and edited by the Right Hon. Sir Herbert Maxwell, Bart., M. P. ”
Cornhill Magazine; January and February, 1901.
** Some two months later (August 17th) a lock of Napoleon’s hair, cut off after
death, came into the possession of Colonel Gorrequer. [C G. D.]

 Sujet du message : Re: Le major Gorrequer
Message Publié : 11 Sep 2018 8:45 
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traduction, stp... :salut:

 Sujet du message : Re: Le major Gorrequer
Message Publié : 11 Sep 2018 21:48 
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Inscription : 17 Août 2016 23:01
Message(s) : 1474
Malher a écrit :
traduction, stp... :salut:

Alors là...... Vous m'en demandez trop :4:

Je l'ai survolé en anglais..... Mais il faudrait effectivement une traduction intégrale en français

J'ai lu des petites choses intéressantes..... comme notamment lorsque Gorrequer évoque 3 cercueils : un en bois, un en plomb, et un en acajou...

(mais peut-être estime t-il que le fer-blanc-bois ne font qu'un)

La dernière note en bas de page indique que deux mois après la mort de l'Empereur, Gorrequer obtint une mèche de cheveu impériale

NB : dans son Dictionnaire Historique de Sainte-Hélène, Jacques Macé se borne à mentionner comme bibliographie, le journal de Gorrequer, publié à Londres en 1969, sous le titre St Helena during Napoleon's Exile, Gorrequer's Diary

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