I've been trying to find the names of some of those who were with Murat when he was captured at Pizzo in 1815. Among those who were with him were soldiers and servants. Of the servants there were two valets. One was Armand Blanchard. The other was Charles "premier valet de chambre du roi". I don't know if anyone can help, but how can I find the surname of this valet Charles?
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I suspect we may be friends on Facebook. But if not, through my website? www.jpnorth.co.uk I'm working on a book about Murat's attempted return to Naples.
Many thanks, Maggie! Really useful. Do thank your friend, and for her work on this interesting character.
I have read many of the secondary accounts and they always just say Armand and Charles, but just the surname of the secretary (so perhaps valets were only ever referred to by their first name). I also have Charles's account from the French Archives that you mention, plus that of Armand. Both are very interesting but both just give first names. From the Neapolitan police archives I have a second account, but this is the interrogation of Armand and, for that, he signs himself with his full name.
So I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to find Charles's surname. Sigh.
By the way, if your friend wants to see those archival accounts I'm happy to pass them on if they want to contact me. I'm transliterating them at the moment.
I asked a good friend whose amazingly thorough blog, Project Murat, contains all sorts of detailed and rigorously sourced information about the flamboyant Murat. Here's what she told me when I asked about the valet, Charles: "I haven’t been able to find a scrap about Charles, other than his (first) name being listed along with all the other men who accompanied Murat on his final enterprise, and that he remained sick on the boat rather than disembarking at Pizzo. I’ll include the list below in case the person on that forum is still looking for all the names; it comes from Franceschetti’s Mémoires sur les événements qui ont précédé la mort de Joachim Ier, Roi de Naples.
As far as Armand, apparently he left an actual account of what happened at Pizzo—but, alas, it is tucked away in the private Archives Murat in the French National Archives. Cole references it a couple times in his endnotes, which is the only reason I’m even aware of it."
So perhaps you might pursue the lead into the Archives Murat? Happy hunting.