April 11 1816: Napoleon as Prisoner of War

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On April 11 1816, the British Parliament passes an act authorizing government to detain Napoleon Bonaparte as a “prisoner of war”.  The act also provides:”Persons attempting his rescue or escape, to be adjudged guilty of felony, and suffer death without benefit of clergy. Persons guilty of offences against this act, may be tried in any part of England.” The other main aspect of the legislation was that it provided indemnification in relation to any action taken to detain Napoleon. There had been some doubt as to the legality of holding Napoleon as a prisoner of war given the fact that the war had ended when he was captured.

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