HMS Bellerophon Ships log – 15th July 1815

Location: At anchor off Isle de’Aix
Winds:  Northeasterly fresh, overcast
Water expended 2 ½ tons. Remaining 172tons

5 am observed French Brig Epervier setting sail under flag truce and beating up to windward. At 6 am sent boats to meet the Brig and take on Buonoparte. At 7 am Late Emperor and his suite received on board.

Two strange ships sighted in the offing.

10.30 am HMS Superb bearing flag of Rear Admiral Hotham anchored. I repaired on board the flagship to report.


Note: And so Bellerophon’s great moment in History had arrived, but it so easily might not have been. Right up until the last moment, Napoleon had still been looking to escape to America. However Captain Maitland’s skilful diplomacy in the end convinced Napoleon that there was no chance of escape and that he would be treated fairly by the English justice system. As Epervier beat slowly up towards Bellerophon, Captain Maitland faced a new problem as HMS Superb under the flag of Admiral Hotham was sighted heading towards the Bellerophon. Quickly Maitland ordered his First Lieutenant Mott to row down to the French brig and collect Napoleon before the Admiral could arrive. Lt Mott won the race and HMS Bellerophon her place in history.

Napoleon onboard  HMS Bellerophon
Napoleon onboard HMS Bellerophon