vrijdag 7 maart 2014

Napoleon in South-Africa (2)

The second place I visited was 200 km away from Outshoorn.  It is named Beaufort-West. A small town most famous because of Christian Barnard, the first doktor who transferred a human heart
(see the map).


32.21.01.70 S
22.34.57.70 E

There is a very interessting little Museum, which has some objects about Napoleon.
Read the following article:


Links with South Africa’s Past.

Souvenirs of Napoleon.

       
As one passes through the sleepy Karoo town of Beaufort West there is little to bring to mind the self-made Emperor and conqueror of Europe, Napoleon the Great, but in the town hall stands a collection of items which once served the daily needs of that great general.

The articles: two silver salvers; a silver wine-cooler; three glass decanters; a dinner plate; a silver butter-knife; a silver spoon and two salt-cellars engraved with the East India Company’s coat of arms, were requested by Napoleon.

His quarters on St. Helena were found to insufficiently stocked with cutlery and crockery and the necessary additions were supplied from the officers’ mess by Col. Henry Hugh Pritchard to whom had fallen a share of the task of guarding Napoleon at Longwood.

During the years of exile, Napoleon and Col. Pritchard became firm friends and on some of his frequent visits to the Emperor the Colonel took along his youngest son, the Honourable Charles Pritchard, who was my great-great-grandfather.

Napoleon who had recently been separated from his own small son, the King of Rome, would delight in dancing little Charles up and down upon his knee.

After Napoleon’s death in 1821, Col. Pritchard bought the collection of domestic trifles and Charles, who later moved to Beaufort West where he soon became a prominent citizen, took with him the St. Helena relics. After his death in 1910 the collection was bequeathed to the municipality by his son, Benjamin, as a memento. Another son, William, drove in the pegs to mark Pritchard Street in Johannesburg.

But to South African Charles Pritchard alone can fall the curious distinction of an affectionate friendship formed on Napoleon’s knee.
 

Posted 10th January 2012 by Daphne Beames

Here are some pictures of the museum itself.

 


 



All the Napoleon-objects were placed in the empty corner at the entrance. But..... no objects to see!
I was very disappointed of course! I ask the manager and she told me that five days ago all objects were put in the safe! A museumcontroller had disapproved this corner. The objects were too valueable to expose in this simple way.  A better place and style shall now be chozen.

The very gentle manager, called Vuyiseka Myakala, promised me to send me pictures of all objects as soon as they are replaced! I am thankful to her!
So my 200 km (400 in total!) were not spoiled and after all I had a nice day!

 


 

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