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"Prisoners from Napoleon: All Men Are Brethren book preview" Topic

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©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP29 Jul 2020 10:29 p.m. PST

"ONE Sunday in 1812, a 12-year-old boy stood at the edge of St Mungo's parish churchyard in Penicuik, Midlothian.

Amid the doldrums of a 19th-century Scottish Sabbath, he gazed, astonished, at the pallisaded yards and buildings in the dell below him. Two ranks of men danced to the music of a fiddler perched on a barrel, others were fencing with sticks, pots were bubbling over open fires, and a nearby ramshackle booth bore the sign "Caf de Paris", with a Tricolour flag fluttering defiantly above it.

William Chambers, who would grow up to establish with his brother Robert the eponymous publishing empire and become twice Lord Provost of Edinburgh, was looking at Valleyfield Depot, a prisoner-of-war camp holding French and other soldiers and sailors captured in the Napoleonic Wars raging at the time and the place was going like a fair. "The shops in the village were shut," he would write 60-odd years later. "From the church was heard the voice of the preacher. Looking down on this hive of living beings, there was not among them a vestige of the ordinary calm of Sunday only Dimanche!…"
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Ammianus30 Jul 2020 1:43 p.m. PST

If you wonder what all those POWs were doing, here's a fascinating art book:

The Arts and Crafts of Napoleonic and American Prisoners of War 1756-1816

ISBN: 1851495290


Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP31 Jul 2020 12:48 p.m. PST



La Belle Ruffian01 Aug 2020 6:01 p.m. PST

Portchester Castle also has a display on French prisoners, who were kept in the keep.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP01 Aug 2020 9:52 p.m. PST

Thanks also!.


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