The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Napoléon III

Napoléon III

A carte-de-visite portrait of Napoléon III.

The former Emperor of the French died in exile at Camden Place in Kent at 10:45 am on Thursday 9 January 1873. His death, which was due to heart failure, occurred after he had endured a third operation to crush the kidney stones which for several years had caused him so much pain. The Empress Eugénie had been about to leave for Woolwich to see her son at the military college where the Prince Imperial was studying but had been warned that there was ‘a small crisis’ and that it would be better if she waited. An aide was sent to Woolwich to fetch the Prince. As the Empress approached her husband’s room, Baron Convisart, one of the Emperor’s general practitioners, appeared calling for the priest, Father Goddard, who immediately administered the Last Sacrament. A few minutes later, Napoleon died on the simple iron bedstead that had been brought into his room to act as an operating table. His body remained there for two days, watched day and night by members of the household and two nuns.

Photographed by William and Daniel Downey of London and Newcastle.


Code: 125920
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