top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon

Napoleon’s final will up at auction

Codicils are valued at up to €120,000 and are the only copies of emperor’s will in private hands

TWO final codicils to Napoleon’s will are to go on sale at auction later this year. Written in his own hand, they are unique documents that he wrote in his last days before dying on St Helena.

One, written on April 16, 1821 - 19 days before he died – contains the famous phrase “I want my ashes to rest on the banks of the Seine among the French people that I loved so much.”

Details of the document are revealed in Le Figaro which says it contains details of bequests he wished to make, with gifts of money, furniture, jewellery, weapons and books. He also specified that his possessions in St Helena were to be given to the supporters who had followed him there and “to my dear mother” – to avoid them being sold off by his British jailers.

Napoleon wrote the codicils over several days and got his aide-de-camp General Montholon to make a copy so that the British could not destroy them after his death. The documents, which were passed through Montholon’s family, are unique as they are the only copies of Napoleon’s will still in private hands.

Going on sale at the Artemesia Drouot auction house on November 6, they have been valued at up to €120,000.

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Income Tax in France 2023 (for 2022 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - but also contains significant general information pertinent to readers of other nationalities - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
Get news, views and information from France