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Last Updated: Friday, 7 October 2005, 08:55 GMT 09:55 UK
Napoleon 'not killed', paper says
Napoleon Bonaparte
The paper seems to confirm the official theory on Napoleon's death
A manuscript believed to have been written by a doctor who examined Napoleon Bonaparte's body could put an end to the theory he was murdered.

Many historians have claimed the French Emperor was poisoned with arsenic, although the official cause of his death in 1821 was stomach cancer.

Now a document found in a Scottish cottage seems to confirm the official theory of his death while in exile.

It will be auctioned by Thomson Roddick & Medcalf of Carlisle on Friday.

Steve Lee, military auctioneer at the firm, said he was convinced the document is genuine.
The disease must have caused great pain and appeared to be of considerable standing
Doctor's verdict on Napoleon's cancer

He said: "We believe it is an extremely significant document which puts an end to the theories that Napoleon was murdered.

"Unfortunately the author did not sign his report, but he describes Napoleon's insides in great detail and the cancer.

"We honestly don't know what it will go for, it may fetch just a few hundred pounds and be of limited interest, or it could go for five figures to a specialist collector."

The paper is believed to have been written the day after Napoleon's death on May 5, 1821.

Army doctors

It was found hidden among a pile of belongings given to the auction house by a private seller from the south of Scotland.

Napoleon was imprisoned and then exiled on St Helena in the south Atlantic after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.

It is known six unnamed British army doctors attended his autopsy and it is believed the document's author was one of the six, although it is unsigned.

It says: "The disease must have caused great pain and appeared to be of considerable standing."


SEE ALSO:
British 'cleared' of Napoleon's murder
29 Oct 02 |  Science/Nature


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