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The first edition 1815 map of St Helena shown in ATG No 2367.

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The most notable thing about this 1815 map is that it shows Plantation House, the mansion of the governor of the island, as the residence of Napoleon.

This shows the perception in England that Napoleon would be housed and treated on the island in a manner befitting his position. After all, there was no legal precedent in English law that allowed the indefinite detention of a person without trial.

The later editions of this map show the reality of the situation. The Briars is noted as Napoleon’s first home and the converted cowshed now optimistically called Longwood house as the residence of the emperor.

Graham Bowers

Newport, Isle of Wight

Note: the map sold for £280 hammer at the Historical & Collectable auction on November 17 against an estimate of £200-400.