Early 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.