Ascension Island’s Issued Stamps on Bicentenary of British Settlement

\"ascensionThis series of postage stamps, consisting of four items, celebrates Ascension Island’s Bicentenary of British Settlement, showing historical scenes, paintings and illustrations from the Napoleonic Years. Stampnews.com found out which images and historical scenes will be depicted on these stamps.

50p shows an engraving of Napoleon Bonaparte, Prime Consul of France putting back his sword in its scabbard after the peace treaty of Amiens 1802. The treaty, signed by Joseph Bonaparte and the Marquess Cornwallis was to be a “Definitive Treaty of Peace” to end hostilities between the French Republic and the United Kingdom. In fact it lasted just one year, but was the only period of peace in the Great French Wars 1793 – 1815. (Photo by APIC/Getty Images).

55p Napoleon I, Emperor of the French in his coronation robes, 1804 by Francoise Gerard (1770-1837). The title was bestowed on Napoleon by the French Senate in May 1804 and he was crowned Emperor of the French on 2nd December 1804 at the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. The title of “Emperor of the French” was to demonstrate that Napoleon’s coronation was not a restoration of the monarchy, but the introduction of a new political system: the Empire of the French (Empire des Français).

60p Rear-Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson (1758 – 1805) by Lemuel Francis Abbott (ca 1760-1802). Nelson was a British flag officer famous for his service in the Royal Navy, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. His inspirational leadership, superb grasp of strategy and unconventional tactics resulted in a number of decisive naval victories. He was wounded several times in combat, losing one arm in the unsuccessful attempt to conquer Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the sight in one eye in Corsica. Of his several victories, the best known and most notable was the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, during which he was shot and killed by a French sniper. The battle was Britain’s greatest naval victory and Nelson’s death and victory at Trafalgar secured his position as one of Britain’s most heroic figures.

£1.60p Napoleon at Wagram, painted by Émile Jean-Horace Vernet (1789 – 1863).The Battle of Wagram (5–6 July 1809) was one of the most important military engagements of the Napoleonic Wars and ended in a decisive victory for Emperor Napoleon I’s French and allied army against the Austrian army under the command of Archduke Charles of Austria-Teschen.

The battle virtually spelled the destruction of the Fifth Coalition, the Austrian and British-led alliance against France. With more than 300,000 combatants, Wagram was the largest battle in European history up to its time. It was also the bloodiest military engagement of the entire Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars thus far. Wagram was the first battle in which Napoleon failed to score an uncontested victory with relatively few casualties. This would be indicative of the gradual decline in the quality of Napoleon’s troops and the increasing experience and competence of his opponents.

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