DESCRIPTION: "Attend, you songs of high renown, To these few lines which I pen down, I was born to wear a stately crown." Napolien beats Bealieu and Wurmser, he wins in Egypt, but his men are lost in Moscow. After Leipzig, he is forced to lament/abdicate
EARLIEST DATE: 1893 (Broadwood)
KEYWORDS: Napoleon battle death royalty
Apr 6, 1814 - Napoleon signs the instrument of abdication
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (1 citation):
BroadwoodCarols, pp. 34-35, "Boney's Lamentation" (1 text, 1 tune, with some historical corrections to the garbled Burstow original)
NOTES: SInce this song makes no mention of Elba, the Hundred Days, Waterloo, or Saint Helena, one must suspect the original was published very soon after his first (1814) abdication.
All data on the contents of the song is based on the relevant entries in Stephen Pope, Dictionary of the Napoleonic Wars, Cassell, 1999 (I use the undated Facts on File hardcover edition).
Beaulieu - Johann Peter Beaulieu (1725-1819). He was one of the first victims of Napoleon's Italian campaign, being beaten at Borghetto and forced to retire.
Wurmser - Dagobert Sigismond Wurmser (1724-1797). Austrian officer who suffered several defeats in the Italian campaign. He died soon after taking his defeated forced to Mantua, where they were besieged and forced to surrender.
"I did pursue the Egyptians sore Till Turks and Arabs lay in gore" - The Ottomans (Turks) had nominally controlled Egypt for more than a millennium, but Egypt was restive and had recently asserted itself. Thus when Napoleon invaded in 1798, he fought both and either and neither. From Egypt, Napoleon invaded Palestine -- unquestionably Turkish. But after the British won the Battle of the Nile and cut off the French forces in the Middle East, Napoleon abandoned his troops there.
"Moscow town was set on fire" - The Invasion of Russia took place in 1812. Moscow was occupied September 14. The fires began September 15 and lasted two days. More than half the city was destroyed. Napoleon abandoned it October 19.
Leipzig - "The Battle of the Nations" took place on October 16-19, 1813. It effectively destroyed Napoleon's power outside France and moved him much closer to his overthrow.
Montmartre - March 30-31, 1814. The last battle in the defense of Paris. The badly outnumbered French could do little. Napoleon abdicated a week later. - RBW
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