An international scholarly online history journal on First and Second Empire subjects: articles, bibliographies, book reviews, in english and in french


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The house of Archibald Arnott, one of Napoleon's last doctors

Just north of Gretna Green in Scotland is the ancestral home of the Arnott family, Kirkconnel Hall. It was here that one of Napoleon's last doctors, Archibald Arnott (1771-1855) returned from Saint Helena and, thanks to the windfall inheritance which he received in Napoleon's will, added a long-desired conservatory. Also in the house gardens is a willow grown from a cutting taken from the willow tree which stood over Napoleon's grave on Saint Helena. The web site also has a short video clip showing the willow and the locals' attachment to it. Although the people from the area seen in the video mention Napoleon's affection for Arnott (indeed Bertrand records an apparently amiable conversation) and despite the fact that the emperor supposedly gave Arnott a snuff boxed with an 'N' scratched into it and left him 12.000 Francs, Arnott was not however specifically named in Napoleon's will, nor does Bertrand mention the snuff box incident. The source for his bequest would appear to be the 'gratifications' to the sum of 50,000 Francs, given 'aux médecins anglais', recorded in 'un codicil second' dated 16 April 1821.For the house's web site,


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