The Capitulation as seen by the French

Cardinal Ruffo’s army entered Naples on 13 June. A week later and the republican garrisons were treating for surrender. A rather generous capitulation was agreed by all parties, and all parties were happy to have the treaty of surrender ratified by the French. The French commandant, Colonel Méjan, then reported to his superior, General Girardon at Capua, that all was well. He made it clear that the republicans would be evacuated to Toulon and that the terms were favourable. This is his report:

“The army of Cardinal Ruffo, consisting of the allies of the king of Sicily, and composed of British, Portuguese, Turks, Russians, those from Sicily and those that were newly raised, had entered Naples and the National Guard had offered little resistance. The royal cockade and flag was seen everywhere and the lazaroni, shouting ‘long live the king’ broke into the houses of the rich and, pretending they were fighting Jacobinism, robbed, killed and committed the most horrific atrocities. The members of the government, with some 1500 patriots, took shelter in the Nuovo, Uovo and Carmine forts but the latter, under a Neapolitan officer, soon surrendered. The other two forts placed themselves under the protection of the French commandant and he therefore hoped that he would be able to conclude a capitulation to the advantage of the patriots. In actual fact, just such a capitulation was agreed between the officers of the royal army and the commanders selected by the patriots. In brief, the garrison of the forts would come out with the honours of war, would stack their weapons on the glacis and would embark and be taken to Toulon.”

Nelson, of course, had a different view. And this treaty between the French and Ruffo and his British and Russian allies would be the one that he broke.