Bonaparte, Pierre Napoleon

BORN 19 May 1815, Roma, Lazio - DIED 7 Apr 1881, Versailles, Yvelines
GRAVE LOCATION Versailles, Yvelines: Cimetière des Gonards (G - B - 1D - 1)

Son of Lucien Bonaparte, who was a brother of Napoleon I, and his second wife Alexandrine de Bleschamp. When he was fifteen he took part in insurrections in the Romagna in Italy before he joined his uncle Joseph in the USA. He moved on to Columbia in 1832 before he returned to Rome. There he was imprisoned by Pope Gregory XVI from 1835 to 1836. After his release he lived in England and Ireland.

After the revolution of 1848 he was able to return to France and he became a deputy for Corsica in the Constituent Assembly. He was a republican and at first he disapproved of the coup d'état of his cousin Louis Napoleon. After he was reconciled with Louis (who was now Napoleon III) he received the title of Prince.

In 1853 he married Justine Eleanore Ruflin (1831-1905), the daughter of a working man. They had two children. Bonaparte now turned his attention to literature, but his gifts as a poet were limited. In 1870 he became involved in a row about an article in a newspaper and he shot the journalist Victor Noir to death. During the trial it turned out that Noir had assisted left wing writers in beating up oppenents and had struck the prince a heavy blow before the latter fired his gun at him.

But public opinion was against Pierre Bonaparte and his acquittal caused a public outrage. Napoleon III advised him to leave the country for a while and he lived in Brussels until 1877. When he died in 1881 in Versailles he lived in poor circumstances and he was almost forgotten.

Related persons
• killed Noir, Victor

12/6/1848The French government threatens to arrest Louis Napoleon. He was elected into the National Assembly but the government threatened to arrest him if he would come from England to France. The government referred to the banning of the entire Bonaparte familiy, but Jules Favre wondered how this was possible since Prince Napoleon, Pierre Bonaparte and Lucien Murat had been elected before and were admitted. Louis Blanc and Pierre Joseph Proudhon supported Louis Napoleon as well. After a fake story by Lamartine that the Bonapartists had fired at the National Guard the government received more support, but two days later it became clear that Lamartine had lied. [Favre, Jules][Murat, Lucien, 3e Prince Murat][Napoleon III Bonaparte]


The mausoleum of Pierre Bonaparte at the Cimetière des Gonards, Versailles.
Picture by Androom (26 Aug 2001)


• Ridley, Jasper, Napoleon III and Eugénie, Constable, London, 1979
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
Pierre Napoléon Bonaparte - Wikipedia

Boncza, Wanda de

Published: 23 Oct 2009
Last update: 12 Apr 2023