Napoleon Series Discussion Forum

Re: Lord Amherst & Those Damned Blankets

Kevin- . My opinion on British government involvement in cross-channel subversion you already know. When I am able to read Elisabeth Sparrow's book in full, my opinion will be that much more informed, and I trust others might benefit likewise.

Why you choose to repeat yourself while continuing to ignore the reports posted here and elsewhere on the materials you proffered, you will be the best judge. However, I may as well, for the benefit of those on this forum who might possibly be interested, re-post the result of examining Andrew Robert's footnotes to his book 'Napoleon the Great':

"As a final word, for completeness' sake, I had the opportunity to check Andrew Robert's footnotes to his narrative on the subject of Cadoudal, in 'Napoleon The Great' as quoted above.

I can report that for p.333-34, where Roberts states that on 23rd August, 1803 Wright, a ‘Royal Navy Intelligence officer', landed Cadoudal in Normandy, in Note 35. he cites 'Horne, The Age of Napoleon p.55.'

On p.55. of Horne's work there is nothing relating to this subject.

However, leafing back to pp.29-30, Horne does refer, inaccurately, to ‘two further plots'- one associated with Cadoudal, and another with Generals Pichegru and Moreau. On p. 30 he mentions Wright dying in prison. Nowhere in his book, though, does Horne refer to the events of 23 August 1803.

There are, arguably, a number of references Roberts could have cited, but he didn't. Sloppy? Lazy? Token? Worse? How are we to judge?

Roberts goes on to describe the landing of Pichegru by the same route and Wright's return to Walmer Castle "where British naval intelligence was based. [Note]36"

Anyone turning to 'Note 36' for more information about Pichegru or that sinister military installation in Kent will be directed to p.350 of Bingham's Selection of letters of the First Napoleon, Vol I (1884). There they will find an anecdote regarding Bonaparte's's comment to Talleyrand on the reported death of Tsar Paul I, "The English missed me on 3rd Nivose but they did not miss me at St Petersburg." – but leaving us none the wiser as to Pichegru or Walmer Castle.

More oddly still, farther down Roberts refers to a letter from a British agent seeking reimbursement for a plot 'relative to a political intrigue planned by Lord Castlereagh to abduct Bonaparte in 1803.'

Why, in 'Note 38', he should then cite a letter from Napoleon's Correspondence Generale dated to April 1801, is not clear. If somebody would care to root out letter number 6233, p.664, to see if there was some form of Consular prescience at work, that might be interesting.[** SEE BELOW )

I wasn't able to access the book cited in 'Note 37', Haythornthwaite's Final Verdict (1996) for reference to documents that "connect the British government intimately" with the Cadoudal conspiracy, at the highest levels. I feel quite relaxed about that.

STOP PRESS. 'Note 37.' In a passage quoted earlier in this thread, Roberts refers to:
"Other documents, including one from Keith specifying that Wright 'is employed on a secret and delicate service,' connect the British government intimately with the Cadoudal conspiracy, at the highest levels of both. [Note] 37"

'Note 37' refers the reader to 'Napoleon: The Final verdict,' ed. Philip Haythornthwaite, p.294. Turning to p.294 of that book, in an essay by Peter Tsouras entitled ‘Napoleon's Words,' we find dicta on thoroughness, strategy, effective use of time, but no mention of the British government, Admiral Keith, Captain Wright, Georges Cadoudal, or documents of any description. Nor, in the pages dealing with the period England was threatened with invasion (pp.45-57), is there any mention of British government espionage.

On p.194, however (thinking laterally), we do find reference to Admiral Keith, but only as the naval officer into whose custody Napoleon was placed after the Treaty of Paris in 1815.

Nothing about, ‘secret and delicate service,' the British government, or Cadoudal.

The above selection is taken from little more than a single page of Robert's oeuvre. I leave forum members to draw their own conclusions about the quality of this particular author's homework."

**POST SCRIPT: Letter 6233 in Napoleon's correspondence is to Berthier about muskets. ENDS

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