May 29 1814: Joséphine Dies


On May 29 1814, at about noon, Joséphine, the first wife of the Emperor Napoleon, and herself the first Empress of the French, dies. She dies in the Chateau Malmaison with her children, Hortense and Eugene. She receives the last rites at eleven in the morning. Her son was with her when she died. Some accounts write that she died in his embrace. Her daughter, overcome, had earlier fainted and been carried from her room. Josephine’s last words are variously recorded, and probably involve a degree of alteration, and embellishment. One version of her last words has her saying:

At least,” said Josephine, with dying accent, ” at least I shall carry with me some regrets. I have aimed at the good of the French people ; I have done all in my power to promote it, and I may say with truth to all who attend me in my last moments, that never, no, never…

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