St Helena: ‘Farther away from anywhere than anywhere else in the world’…Can Napoleon be rescued from his Island prison?
Michael’s historical fiction novel re-creates the world of Napoleon’s final years including many real-life figures that bring the story to life.
Amherst, Lord, (1773-1857). Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office. British diplomat in China & Governor-General, India. Ordered troops to invade Burma. Recalled in disgrace to London. Member of the Holland House set of Napoleon’s liberal sympathisers.
Balcombe, William, the East India Company (1779-1829). Father of Betsy Balcombe & Agent of the East India Company on St Helena. Had served In the Royal Navy & was well connected both on and off the Island. Napol0en stayed with William & his family at ‘The Briars’ at his arrival on the St Helena.
Birmingham, Alan, Lieut. 66th Foot garrisoned on St Helena. Dismissed the service in May 1816 and left the Island.
Bunbury, Sir Henry (1778-1860). Son of the well-known caricaturist. Joined the Coldstream Guards & fought in the Mediterranean with Wellington. Afterwards served the Tory Government but was highly critical of its policy at the time of the Peterlee Massacre in 1819 and thereafter. Took the terms of his imprisonment to Napoleon on board HMS Northumberland in Plymouth Sound, August 1815.
Cochrane, Lord Thomas (1775-1860). Rear Admiral, Royal Navy. Known as the ‘Sea Wolf’ and made famous for the cutting out and setting fire to French men of war. The model for Patrick O’Brian’s hero Jack Aubrey. After the end of the Napoleonic wars, he founded the Chilean Navy and drove the Spanish from of the Pacific.
Crauford, Robert, General (1764-1812). Leader of the famous Light Division in the Peninsular. Shot looters after the raising of the siege of Badajoz. Fought at Corunna with Sir John Moore and in the campaigns in South America (1807) and in Washington (1814). Died leading the Forlorn Hope in the Redoubt at Ciuidad Rodrigo.
Dance, Nathaniel (1748-1827). Captain, the East Indiaman Ganges and best- known captain of the East India Marine. Fought in an engagement in 1804 in the Straits of Malacca when a fleet of 27 home-coming British merchantmen held off a superior fleet of French Men of war for three days before driving them off.
Dunne, James, Lieutenant, 44th Foot. Grand Uncle (X 3) of Robin Boon Esq. of Upton Bishop, in the County of Herefordshire. Served in the Regiment in India. Killed at the Battle of Ferozeshah, 1845. The 44th fought in every major British campaign over 350 years and captured an Imperial Eagle at the Battle of Salamanca in 1812.
Plessis, Jan, Secret Agent, Simonstown, South Africa. An invention of the mind.
Fielding, Henry (1707-1754). Author of Tom Jones and West End playwright. Chief Magistrate, Bow Street. Created the first court in the City of London. When Henry died, his blind half-brother, John, took on the role
Fulton, Robert (1765-1815). Born in Pennsylvania. Moved to England and worked for James Watt, engineers. Inventor of the Nautilus submarine.
Goldie, George, Lieutenant, 66th Foot. Arrived on St Helena June 1818. Died 1861.
Goode, Julia, fiancé to Edward Hazell. An invention of the mind.
Hazell, Edward, Assistant-Secretary at the Alien Office. An invention of the mind but bearing the same name of the author’s maternal great-grand mother, whose family seat was at Dalemain on Ullswater, Cumberland.
Holland, Lord Henry Vassell-Fox (1773-1840). Leading Whig and joint founder, with his wife, Elizabeth, of the Holland House Set, attended by his uncle, Charles James Fox. the most famous politician of the age. The Hollands supported liberal ideas and took up the cause of Napoleon’s freedom.
Kennedy, Patrick, Irishman of Ballymullen & Buenos Aires. An invention of the mind.
Lowe, Sir Hudson (1769-1844). Governor of St Helena 1816-1821. Served throughout Europe in the Napoleonic wars. Commissioned into the 50th Regt.; worked as an exploring officer. Commanded the Corsican Rangers. Reconnoitred the sunken road at Mont St Jean before the Battle of Waterloo at the beginning of June 1815. Arrived on St Helena June 1816 and remained until after Napoleon’s death In May 1821. Wellington thought Lowe a ‘stupid man, suspicious and jealous.’
Marryat, Frederick (1792-1848). Captain, RN. Novelist and cartoonist. Author of Children of the New Forest. Commanded HMS Beaver in the St Helena Island Naval Squadron.
Napoleon, Bonaparte, ex-emperor of France
Piontkowski, Captain (1786-1849). Polish Lancer and Aide-de-Camp to Napoleon Bonaparte. Served with Napoleon throughout the campaign in Russia and on the Retreat from Moscow. Exiled himself with Napoleon on St Helena. Was removed from the island by Sir Hudson Lowe for trouble-making.
Reardon, Rodolphus Hobbs (1790-1847). Lieut. 66th Foot. Born in Ireland. Volunteered for the 71st Foot (Fraser’s Highlanders); promoted Ensign 82nd Foot (Prince of Wales’s Volunteers) and again for bravery at Corunna (1810) into the 66th Foot. Arrived on St Helena in 1817 with the 2nd Battalion and dismissed in October 1818 after being caught up in a row between his commanding officer, Lt.-Col. Lascelles and Briary O’Meara, the Naval Surgeon, with the Governor, Sir Hudson Lowe..
Sayer, John, Bow Street runner.
Skinner, John, Prisoner Exchange Agent, Baltimore, USA
Townsend, John, Bow Street runner. Well known for his dapper dress and white top hat and for having saved King George III’s life during an assassination attempt.
More historical pen-portraits can be found in the Notes – History Notes chapter on this website.
More historical pen-portraits can be found in the History Notes chapter.