Friday, June 22, 2012

More Trivia

Excerpted from :

Napoleon's youngest brother had agreed to separate from his American wife, Elizabeth Patterson. Since under French law his marriage to Elizabeth was illegal, no divorce was necessary. He then married Catherine of Württemberg. A kingdom was created for him and in 1807 he became king of what country?

    Westphalia. In 1807 Westphalia was created as a kingdom so that Jerome could have a throne. It consisisted of bits of territory that Prussia, Brunswick Hesse-Kassel and Hanover had been forced to cede. In addition the land of the Abbey of Cerney were taken from the Prince of Orange and the entire duchy of Bruswick-Wolfenbüttel was added since its duke had been killed at Jena. After the fall of Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna awarded most of the kingdom to Prussia. Jerome was a spendthrift and went through the treasury of his kingdom. He even invited his American wife, Elizabeth Patterson to join his current wife at the Wesphalian court. Elizabeth responded, "I have no doubt that Westphalia is a large kingdom but it is not large enough for two Queens."
Only two members of Napoleon's family visited him while he was in exile on the island of Elba. One was his mother Letizia, who was the other?
    Pauline. Pauline was the most loyal of Napoleon's siblings. Lucien had been exiled, Louis had broken with Napoleon as a result of Louis's determination to be an independent king of Holland. Eliza and Caroline had betrayed him in a futile attempt to retain their thrones. Jerome was interested only in himself and Joseph was acting as an intermediary between Napoleon on Elba and the rest of the family.
AFter Waterloo, Joseph also deserted Napoleon and had no further dealings with him.
    f. Joseph, whatever his failings, did attempt to help Napoleon. He offered to masquerade as Napoleon and surrender to the British allowing Napoleon to escape to America. This offer was rejected as was also the offer to accompany Napoleon into exile. Napoleon sent him to the United States where Napoleon felt he would be of more use. While in the United States, he attempted to organize Napoleon's escape but these attempts came to nothing. He also offered to join Napoleon on St Helena. An escape attempt which might have turned out to be successful, was forestalled by Napoleon's death.
Napoleon had three children, two of whom were stepchildren. These were the children of his first wife and her husband. Who was that husband?
    Alexandre de Beauharnais. Josephine was married to Alexandre when she was 16 and he was 19. Their marriage was not a particularly happy one but they were re-united by the revolution. Both were imprisoned but, while he was executed, Josephine survived. She became the mistress of Paul de Barras, one of the leading politicians of the day and a member of the Directorate. After her marriage to Napoleon, while he was away in Italy and later in Egypt, she had a romantic liaison with Hippolyte Charles. Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, born in Pau, was one of Napoleon's marshals and later King of Sweden. He married Napoleon's first love, Desiree Clary. As Swedish Crown Prince he led forces against Napoleon at the the Battle of Leipzig, the so-called Battle of the Nations.
Joseph Fesch, Letizia's half-brother, was a member of the clergy. What was the highest clerical office he held?
    Cardinal. In addition to his clerical duties, Fesch was a financier, money-lender, army contractor and art collector. He was the principal financial advisor to Letizia and assisted her in managing her wealth. He was famous for his collection of Renaissance paintings, a hobby which was assisted by Napoleon's conquests.
Napoleon III was the nephew of Napoleon and the eldest son of his brother Louis and Hortense.
    f. The relationship between Charles Louis Napoleon was an interesting one. On the paternal side he was the nephew of Napoleon on the maternal side his step-grandson. He was the third son of Louis and Hortense. His eldest sibling, Napoleon Charles, died in 1807 causing a temporary reconciliation between his parents which resulted in the birth of Charles Louis Napoleon. His elder brother Napoleon Louis died in 1831. Louis and Hortense seemed to have little imagination when it came to naming their children.
Three of Napoleon's family were with the Grand Army in its invasion of Russia in 1812. Which, if any, of these acquitted himself well in that campaign? In 1812, three of Napoleon's family members had miliary commands in the Grand Armee during the Russian campaign. These were his brother Jerome, his brother-in-law Joachim Murat and his adopted son Eugene. Which, if any, of these demonstrated loyalty and competence.
    Eugene. Jerome failed early in the campaign and his contradictory orders allowed General Bagration to escape. He attempted to give orders to Marshal Davout whereupon Davout presented heretofore secret orders placing King Jerome under his command. Jerome then resigned from command and left the army. Without instructions, his Westphalian troops failed to support Davout when he attacked Mogilev and Davout was unable to gain a crucial victory. Murat was given command of the Grand Army during the retreat from Moscow. Although he had distinguished himself early in the campaign, on January 15, 1813 claiming ill health he handed over the army to Marshal Ney and Eugene and retreated to Italy. He had been in secret negotiations with the Austrians to safeguard his throne in Naples. Eugene, who had distinguished himself during the campaign, was successful in shepherding the shattered remains of the Grand Army back to safety. Some historians feel that the reason that Napoleon did not give the command to Eugene rather than Murat was his concern at Eugene's rising influence and popularity and a perceived potential threat to his son at Napoleon's death.
After Lucien's first wife died, he remarried. This marriage too was against Napoleon's wishes. Napoleon, however, was now First Consul and attempted, unsuccessfully, to have the marriage annulled. One of the reasons Napoleon was so angry was that he had intended to marry off Lucien to another. Who was that woman?
    Queen Mother of Etruria. Lucien had been appointed ambassador to Etruria where he was expected to wed the queen-mother. When advised that he had married Alexandrine Jouberthon, Napoleon taunted him with marrying a widow. Lucien replied, "So did you marry a widow, but mine is not old and smelly." Lucien then went into exile. They had nine children who suvived childhood. Catherine of Wurttenberg was the wife of Jerome Bonaparte. Laure Permon was the daughter of Napoleon's landlady in Paris. Laura married Junot, one of Napoleon's marshals and recalled that Napoleon had once proposed to her mother.
Louis, King of Holland, called into question the legitimacy of each of the children of Queen Hortense and himself.
    t. Louis was something of a paranoid personality. Since Hortense was disliked by the Bonapartes, especially Napoleon's sisters, they encouraged him to doubt the paternity of Louis's children. Louis went so far as to imply that Napoleon was the father of the eldest boy.
After Waterloo, the marriages of several of the Bonapartes was under strain. The King of Württemberg indicated that he was prepared to accept his daughter Catherine back provided that she came without her husband. Did she accept the offer?
    n. Catherine remained loyal to her husband. There is an incident recorded that Jerome and Catherine in 1821 saw Elizabeth Patterson in the Pitti Palace. Although Elizabeth walked by without stopping, Jerome said, "You see that woman, my dear, it is Elizabeth, my American wife." In 1835 Catherine died proclaiming her love for Jerome to the last.
In 1847 Louis Philippe, the Orleans (Bourbon) king allowed Jerome to return to France. When Louis Philippe was ousted and Jerome's nephew, Louis Napoleon, became Prince President, Jerome was given an title, job and salary. What was that job?
    Governor of the Hotel des Invalides. From being almost bankrupt, the new regime was a financial godsend to Jerome. His salary of 45,000 francs as Governor of the Hotel des Invalides was supplemented by a pension of 12,000 as a reinstated general. When he died, he was buried beside his brother at Les Invalides.

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