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.