[ST HELENA] - A collection of letters and printed items relating to Napoleon and to the condition of the island during his imprisonment there, comprising:
Sir Henry Edward BUNBURY (1778-1860). Manuscript (a contemporary transcript) of his 'Description of the Emperor Napoleon and those who were with him when he went to St Helena', 31 July 1815, on paper watermarked 1808, 2½ pages, folio (lightly browned, endorsement in a different hand on verso of 2nd leaf); Sir Hudson LOWE (1769-1844). Letter signed (as Governor) to Sir Pulteney Malcolm (Commander-in-Chief of the St Helena station), St Helena, 30 November 1816, expressing the Council's preference for cattle from Benguela rather than the Cape, 4 pages, folio; a letter signed by General Alexander Walker (the Governor) to Thomas Henry Brooke (Secretary of the Council), Plantation House, 31 December 1823, encouraging the employment of Chinese, 'Their very presence on the Island would be an excitement to Industry and labour', 1½ pages, 4to; and 3 printed items (including a fictitious report of Napoleon's escape from the island).
Bunbury, the Under Secretary for War appointed to inform Napoleon of the decision of the British government to send him to St Helena, records 'Buonaparte's' appearance and manner: 'His head rather large, it is particularly square & full about the jaw, & he has a good deal of double chin. He is bald about the Temples & the Hair on the upper part of his Head is very thin, but long & ragged looking as if it was seldom combed or brushed ... Buonaparte took snuff frequently ... He spoke in a low soft voice, not at all tremulous, he appeared perfectly calm throughout'. Bunbury's memorandum of the meeting on the Bellerophon is published, with the text of the present manuscript (slightly revised) as an accompanying Note, in the Memoir and Literary Remains edited by his son, Sir Charles Bunbury, in 1868. The manuscript is in several places more flattering to Napoleon than the published account and includes brief sketches of Mesdames Bertrand and Montholon which Sir Charles omitted. In 1826 Bunbury offered his original notes to Sir Walter Scott for his recently announced 'Life' of Napoleon (Memoir, page 74). (6)