From Torbay to Plymouth in unseasonal weather

PlymouthAt three in the morning of the 26th of July 1815 Captain Maitland of the Bellerophon received his orders. He was to leave Torbay for Plymouth Sound. They left immediately. It was not a pleasant journey on another windy day in that cold, wet summer. They passed Berry Head and headed south-west passing the estuary of the River Dart and the wide sweep of Slapton Sands towards Start Point and once around the inhospitable southern coast of Devon faced into a strong northerly wind. Despite the weather, Napoleon spent much of the time on deck, observing the country that he knew was to become his home. As they passed the Plymouth Breakwater, at that time still under construction, Maitland reported that Napoleon expressed admiration at the men who could approve and finance such an undertaking.
Those who did not know Napoleon’s plans believed that this move from Torbay to Plymouth, a port more remote from London, meant that the newspaper reports of exile to St Helena were accurate and were dismayed.
Those who did know his plans knew the true reasons for this move to Plymouth.
In the shallow waters of Torbay there had been no way to prevent the masses of sight seers’ boats from crowding The Bellerophon. Under those circumstances it had proved impossible for Bernard Lacey to come and go as he needed to. It was believed that in the deep water harbour of Plymouth it would be possible to keep the ship secure from unwanted attention. This, however, proved impossible and for the twelve days it took for the politicians to confirm what was to be done with Bonaparte, and for Lacey’s plan to be agreed upon, the Bellerophon was the subject of intense interest to men, and especially women, from all levels of society.
Lacey, however, was an ingenious man and found a way to, eventually, make the switch successfully and the government cover up detailed in A Set of Lies could begin.

 

Fact and Alternate Fact

TorbayEarly in the morning of Monday 24th July 1815 HMS Bellerophon anchored in Torbay with Napoleon Bonaparte on board. Captain Maitland immediately received orders from Admiral Viscount Keith to the effect that he was to await further instructions (Prime Minister Liverpool had yet to decide on the next course of action) but under no circumstances was Maitland to allow any person to board the ship nor was any person whatsoever to be allowed to leave.
That did not stop the news of who was on board the recently arrived ship from circulating in the area and before long the Bellerophon was surrounded by an armada of over-crowded boats of all descriptions.
Napoleon, under instructions from Bernard Lacey, made frequent appearances on deck so that as many as possible could see him and he spent much of that day and the next allowing himself to be an object of curiosity.
Lacey had assured him that he could then use the extreme and unruly interest shown in him as an excuse to withdraw to his cabin, out of the sight of not only the tourists but also of the crew of the Bellerophon.
Napoleon co-operated with Lacey’s demands as he now knew that whatever the rumours on board may have been saying about exile to St Helena, it would not be he who made that journey.
He knew by then that within the next few days a doppelganger would be substituted and his new life, as a Jerseyman, and his new career, as Informant, would begin.