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Newspaper Accounts of the Trial and Execution of Marshal Michel Ney: The Verdict

By Susan Howard

These articles are taken from the archives of the The Times of London of 1815. They are mainly translations from the French newspapers with some private correspondence and leader articles. The articles were printed uncensored, though possibly shortened. There are places where the translation is clumsy: they were usually translated and printed within 24 hours of the papers being received from France. Some of the print quality is poor and I have had to guess at some words; where I have been unable to do this, I have marked them [illegible]. I have preserved the archaic punctuation and inconsistent spelling but have altered the layout to make it easier to read - the original was compressed into narrow columns. Any notes of mine are in italics in square brackets: all other italics are in the text.

 

At half past eleven o'clock the sitting was made public.

President - Call in, with a loud voice, the defenders of the accused.

The Counsel were absent.

President. - The Chamber having deliberated:

Considering that it results from the process and the pleadings, the Marshal Ney, Prince of the Moskowa, is convicted of having, in the night between the 13th and 14th of March 1815, read, on the Public Place at Lons-le Saulnier, in the department of the Jura, at the head of his army, a Proclamation tending to instigate revolt and defection, - of having immediately issued orders for joining the enemy, - and of having himself, at the head of the troops, effected that junction;

That he is consequently convicted of the crime of high treason and attack on the safety of the State, - an attack the object of which was to change the form of the government, and the legitimate order of succession to the throne;

Declares him guilty of the crimes provided against by articles 77, 87, 88, 102 of the Penal Code - 1 and 5 of Title1st of the law of the 21st Brumaire, year 5, and of Article 1st of Title 3d of the same law: (These Articles were here read;)

Therefore, in application of the said articles, condemns Marshal Ney, Marshal of France, Dukeof Elchingen, Prince of the Moskwa, late Peer of France, to the full punishment of death, and the expenses of the trial;

Orders that the Decree shall be executed conformably to the dispositions of the law of the 12th of May 1797, by the care of the King's Commissioners;

And, conformably to the power granted by the Royal Ordinance of Nov.12, orders that the present decree shall be pronounced out of the presence of the accused, and in presence of his Counsel; or, on their being duly called; and that it shall be read and certified to the condemned by theArchivist-Secretary, performing the office of Clerk, under the direction of the King's Commissioners.

M.Bellart. - The King's Commissioners, employed to prosecute the charge of high treason against Marshal Ney, considering the sentence of death decreed by the Chamber of Peers against the said Marshal, pray, in conformity with article 5 of the Law of the 24th of ventose, year 12, that the Chamber will be pleased to pronounce that the said Marshal Ney has been wanting in honour, and has ceased to be a Member of the Legion.

President. - In the name of the Chamber, I declare, that Marshal Ney, Member of the Legion of Honour, having been wanting in honour, has ceased to form part of the said Legion.

The present decree shall be printed and posted up, according to the direction of the King's Commissioners.

The Sitting rose at a quarter before midnight.

Marshal Ney was not present when his condemnation was pronounced. The secretary was charged to notify it to him.

The Marshal upon returning to his chamber, whilst the Chamber were deliberating upon his fate, pressed his advocate affectionately in his arms, who said to him, "You would have it". "It is all over my dear friend," replied the Marshal, "we shall see each other again in another world."

The sentence is without appeal, and must be executed within the 24 hours.

 


Placed on the Napoleon Series: July 2006

 

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