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Posted on Jul 29, 2005 in Armchair Reading, Front Page Features

Lecture: Assassination of Napoleon, by Dr. Ben Weider

Jim H. Moreno

The Comte de Montholon was a very strong royalist. Consider the following facts:

1. His stepfather, the Comte de Simonville, was a close friend of Louis XVIII and the Comte d’Artois.

2. Comte Charles-Louis de Simonville was known as a very crafty individual who continued to serve successive French regimes from Louis XIV to Louis-Philippe. This was indeed a great accomplishment in those days. The Comte de Simonville was known to be an agent of the Arch-Bourbon, the Comte d’Artois, brother to King Louis XVIII.

3. For services rendered to the House of Bourbon, the King made Simonville a peer in the new French House of Lords. Therefore he occupied one of the highest offices of state.

Comte de Montholon was raised bearing the name Montholon-Simonville. However, when he left to go to St. Helena, he very cleverly dropped the Simonville part of his name and went as simply Comte de Montholon. Montholon was also known as a playboy, he was always in debt, and enjoyed the fast life.


Why would a man with that background want to spend at least 20 years of his life serving Napoleon on St. Helena unless he had specific orders to prevent Napoleon from returning to France by poisoning him?

Consider that the Comte de Montholon was the sommelier, and had exclusive access to Napoleon’s wine. It was through the wine that Napoleon was poisoned. Arsenic powder is neutral – it has no taste – and could be put into wine whenever Montholon wanted to.

In fact, Baron Gourgaud, in his memoirs, records that he warned Napoleon that he might be poisoned through the wine. However, Napoleon did not take this warning seriously.

Consider also that Montholon was a major beneficiary of Napoleon’s will, and was appointed one of the three executors. Montholon was alone with Napoleon when he prepared his last will and added codicils.

Montholon actually was left over 2,200,000 francs, a huge amount of money in those days, and yet he was bankrupt and had to flee to Belgium to escape his creditors in 1829.

During his stay at the defence establishment in 1814, while Napoleon was at the Elba in exile, Montholon had appropriated to himself some military funds amounting to 6,000 francs. Yet he was never punished for this crime, thanks to the intervention of the Comte d’Artois who later became Charles X, King of France.

Consider that it was Louis XVIII who appointed the Comte de Montholon a General in the French army during the period of Napoleon’s exile on the Elba. All historians, even those who don’t agree that Napoleon was poisoned, agree that Montholon was a very scheming and unscrupulous man who lied on a regular basis.

My colleague, Sten Forshufvud, and I believe that he was an agent of the Bourbons, and the facts point to this. As such, he would have pursued the King’s wishes against the man who was categorized at the time as an outlaw and an enemy of peace in Europe.

Consider this: Each of the companions who shared the exile with Napoleon wrote a book or kept memoirs. They all reported more or less the same symptoms that Napoleon suffered from, except the Comte de Montholon.

Ben Weider and his sons in 1975, seated on the steps of the entrance of Longwood House in St. Helena. Louis – on the top right, Eric – on the bottom left and Mark – on the bottom right. Note the small tree that they planted near the Tomb. Today it must be a large tree.

One example is that Montholon reported that Napoleon was emaciated when he died, yet all the others, including the British doctors who were present at the post mortem, said that Napoleon was excessively fat.

In order to confirm the cancer report, he had to claim that Napoleon died in an emaciated condition. Gaining weight is a symptom of chronic arsenical intoxication. Louis Marchand was the only companion of the exile still alive when Montholon’s book was published in 1848. emaciated He said that Montholon was either a liar or his memory had failed him. Substantial parts of Montholon’s memoirs were totally different from those of his companions.

It is our view, Sten and I, that the Comte de Montholon was sent to Ste. Helena by the Comte d’Artois (later to become Charles X, King of France) to ensure that Napoleon would never return to France as he did following his first exile to the Elba.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have found the method used in the assassination of Napoleon, and by looking at the opportunity and motive, we have found the murderer.
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