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Napoleonic Relics

 Single Item
JL 1005

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  1. Metal box containing repaired Wedgwood creamer jug (handle detached) with reliefs of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, c.1891-1908, and broken pieces of a second Wedgwood creamer jug with relief of Flora with her cornucopia, 19th century. A note inside the box reads 'pieces of Coffee Cup of Wedgwood Ware of the service used by Napoleon at St Helena. The cup was broken when sent to Wedgwoods for their bi-centenary exhibition.'.
  2. One pack of French playing cards tied with string,19th century.
  3. Rectangular metallic box with rounded ends containing a broken glass syringe and two needles, n.d.
  4. Carved ebony box, 19th century, containing two small French flags and an empty envelope on which is written 'This small piece of wood is part of the original outer coffin of Napoleon The Great and the miniature flag is made from the large flag that covered his remains on removal from St Helena to Paris. See The Times 7/12/1916. See City Press 9/12/1916. The coffin was made from the dining table of Capt Jas Bennett HEICS'. The ebony box has a carving of Napoleon's tomb on St Helena in deep relief on the front and of Longwood House on the back.
  5. Bronze medal of Louis Philippe I, King of France, to commemorate the transfer of Napoleon's remains from St Helena to Paris in 1840.
  6. Commemorative bronze medal of Lord George Bentinck (1802-1848), 1848.
  7. Leather season ticket, in paper cover, for the International Inventions Exhibition at South Kensington, London, 1885, signed by H.G. Bennet with leather season ticket for the Colonial and Indian Exhibition 1886 signed by H.G. Bennet.
  8. Two cards, c.1850, showing images of Napoleon in life and in death (photographed by W. Pike, AHC, St Helena) sent to her nephews by Lady Eliza Ross, wife of Major General Sir Patrick Ross (Governor of St Helena, 1846-1851) and great-aunt of Viola Bennet.
  9. Miscellaneous notes and envelopes, circa 1852-1853, with press cuttings about the death in 1916 of Mrs Eleanor Owen, daughter of Captain James Bennett and the last survivor of those present at Napoleon's funeral on St Helena in 1821. Also two photographs of Anna Owen, granddaughter of Captain J.C. Bennett, four photographs of Will and Anna Owen, grandchildren of Captain J.C. Bennett, one photograph of cats and two photographs of the garden of Arlington, 67 Rusholme Road, Putney, London SW15, the home of Harry Graham Bennet, c.1920.
  10. Rectangular mahogany box inlaid with blue velour containing metal drawing instruments, a metal protractor, an ivorine ruler and a wooden ruler, n.d..
  11. Folding telescope in small round, red leather box, 19th century.
  12. Conical glass medicinal measure with base, 19th century.
  13. Small glass medicinal measure in tubular leather case on which is written 'Minim Measure', 19th century.


  • c.1800-1920 and n.d.


1 box

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. JL 1005/1].
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JL 1005

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 20973


Napoleonic Relics

Biographical / Historical

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), French military and political leader, was exiled by the British to the island of St Helena in the South Atlantic following the defeat of the French army at the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815. Napoleon lived in Longwood House until his death on 5 May 1821. He was buried in the Valley of the Willows on St Helena until 1840 when Louis Philippe I arranged for his remains to be returned to France for burial in Paris.

Custodial History

The relics were accumulated by the Bennett family, some having reputedly been purchased by Captain James Bennett at the auction of Napoleon's effects at Longwood House. They were passed down through Captain Bennett's descendants to Miss Viola Bennet.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the Bodleian Library by Miss Viola Bennet in 1982.

Related Materials

Bodleian Library: MS. Eng. misc. b. 441 Letters and papers relating to Captain James Bennet and his family donated by Miss Viola Bennet with the Napoleonic Relics.


  • The Bennett Letters: a 19th century family in St Helena, England and the Cape by Colin Fox (The Choir Press, 2006)
Catalogue of Napoleonic Relics
Finding aid prepared by Lucy McCann
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom