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Napoleon & Empire

Napoleonic Timeline: 1808

Chronology of the Napoleonic era: [Chrono-gallery] [1769-1788] [1789-1793] [1794-1795] [1796] [1797] [1798] [1799] [1800] [1801] [1802] [1803] [1804] [1805] [1806] [1807] [1808] [1809] [1810] [1811] [1812] [1813] [1814] [1815] [1816-1821] [1840]
Napoleon Bonaparte in 1808
Napoleon Bonaparte in 1808
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1st January – Napoleon I returns to Paris. – 4 January – He visits the studio of First Imperial painter Jacques-Louis David along with Josephine; both can admire the painting of the coronation. – 16 January – The final status of the Bank of France are set by decree. – 21 January – The 80,000 men of class 1809 are called early. – 22 January – The towns of Kehl, Cassel, Wesel and Flushing (Vlissingen) are annexed to the Empire. – 28 January – French troops receive an order from Napoleon to enter in Catalonia.

1st February – A council of government is held in Lisbon by General Junot, who becomes Governor General of the kingdom of Portugal. – 2nd February – French troops enter Rome. They occupate the Castle of Sant'Angelo. A proposal is done by Napoleon to the Emperor of Russia Alexander I to send a Franco-Russian army into Asia "to kneel England". – 4 February – French troops enter Spain. – 15 February – The citadel of Pamplona is taken. – 16 February – Barcelona is taken at its turn. – 20 February – Joachim Murat becomes "Lieutenant of the Emperor" in Spain.

1st March – A new nobility is established in the French Empire. – 17 March – The University of France replaces the General Directorate of Public Instruction; it is headed by a Grand Master. The Jewish worship is regulated by decree. – 18 March – Uprising of the Spanish people, at the instigation of the Crown Prince Ferdinand. Abdication of King Charles IV and fall of Manuel Godoy ministry. Prince Ferdinand is proclaimed King. – 23 March – The French reach Madrid. – 27 March – The provinces of Urbino, Macerata, Ancona and Camerino, possessions of the Holy See, are united in the Kingdom of Italy. Napoleon is excommunicated by Pope Pius VII. – 29 March – The Spanish people is called to arms by the junta of Seville.

2nd April – Napoleon I moves to Bayonne (French Basque country), on the pretext of visiting the southern departments. He indeed awaits the arrival of the King of Spain. – 3nd April – The Pope's legate, Cardinal Caprara, leaves Paris. – 7 April – A French detachment penetrates the papal palace in Rome and disarms the Swiss Guards. – 14 April – Arrival of Napoleon at Bayonne. – 20 April – King Ferdinand VII of Spain arrives at Bayonne and visits Napoleon.

1st May – Arrival of Charles IV at Bayonne, accompanied by his wife. Napoleon receives them for dinner. – 2nd May – Anti-French population riot in Madrid ("Dos de Mayo"). – 5 May – Charles IV puts his crown on Napoleon's disposal by a statement signed by him. – 10 May – Ferdinand and his brothers agree with their father's declaration. – 18 May – The Spanish princes arrive at their residence of Valençay (center of France), established by Napoleon. – 22 May – Pope Pius VII forbids the bishops to obey the French government. – 23 May – The canon Llano Ponte calls the inhabitants of Ovido (Asturias) for uprising against the invaders. – 24 May – Italian duchies of Parma, Piacenza, and Tuscany are united to French Empire; they become departments of Toro, Arno, Mediterranean and Ombrone. – 27 May – Violent anti-French events in Valencia, Spain. – 28 May – Uprising of the people of Cadiz. – 30 May – Massacres in Granada. – 31 May – Valladolid rises up.

2 June – In a proclamation addressed to the Spaniards, Napoleon 1st says: "I want to be your regenerator". – 3 June – Segovia is the scene of violent unrest. – 6 June – Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon's elder brother, is appointed King of Spain. The junta of Seville declares war to France. – 11 June – French army enters Valladolid after the battle of Cabezon. – 12 June – First meeting, in Bayonne, of a francophile "Spanish Junta". – 13 June – The Counselor of the Inquisition of Spain requests the Junta of Bayonne to maintain his institution. – 14 June –French admiral François-Etienne de Rosily Mesros and his squadron surrender to the spanish insurgents outside the harbour of Cadiz. – 16 June – Battle at Zaragoza. – 18 June – Joseph 1, the new King of Spain, is presented to the Junta of Bayonne, which is put in charge of writing a new constitution. – 19 June – The French leave Cordova and retire to Andujar.

1st July – An assault on Saragossa by French troops is repulsed. – 15 July – Joachim Murat becomes King of Naples in place of Joseph Bonaparte. – 20 July – Arrival of Joseph Bonaparte in Madrid. – 21 July – Surrender of Bailen, the first major failure of the Napoleonic armies (20,000 French soldiers, uncercled in Andalusia, are taken prisoners). – 25 July – Joseph Bonaparte is proclaimed King of Spain during a ceremony in Madrid. – 30 July – The new king must leave his capital hastily. English army lands in Portugal.

1st August – Evacuation of Madrid by French troops. English General Arthur Wellesley of Wellington lands in Portugal. – 4 August – The French seize a portion of Zaragoza ... – 14 August – ...before abandoning the siege. – 21 August – General Junot is defeated at Vimiero, by English troops strengthened with Portuguese patriots. – 30 August – Junot signs the Convention of Cintra with the English. The French evacuate Portugal.

8 September – French Senate approves a special levy of 160,000 soldiers, bringing together the provided classes from 1807 to 1809 and conscripts of 1810 called in advance. – 17 September – The monopoly of education is granted to the University. – 22 September – Napoleon leaves Saint-Cloud at five o'clock AM. – 27 September – He meets Alexander I, Tsar of Russia, on the day of his arrival in Erfurt.

1st October – Napoleon 1 has his first visit from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. – 2nd October – Another visit from Goethe. – 12 October – Both Emperors of France and Russia sign an agreement renewing their alliance. The "Grand Army of Germany" is abolished by decree; it takes the name "Army of the Rhine" and is reduced to a hundred thousand soldiers. – 14 October – Both sovereigns separate with touching demonstrations of friendship. – 15 October – Nearly simultaneous entry in Spain of an English army and the vanguard of the French army. – 18 October – Return of Napoleon at Saint-Cloud. – 29 October – New leaving of the Emperor, this time it's for Spain.

5 November – The "King Joseph" and his "court", refugees in Vittoria, see the Emperor Napoleon's arrival. – 6 November – Napoleon proclaims that "The Emperor commands his army in person". – 7 November – The evacuation of all hospitals between Tolosa and Vitoria is ordered to make room for future injured soldiers. – 10 November – The Spaniards are beaten at Espinosa. – 13 November – From Napoleon to General Dejean, Director of Administration for War, from Burgos: "I've never seen a country where the army was better and more abundantly fed. But shoes and coats, this is what we missed." – 14 November – From Napoleon to the same Dejean: "I have nothing, I am naked, my army is in need, and your offices make fun of me. Those who are in charge are fools or knaves". – 16 November – To Marshal Soult: "I long to hear that you went to Santander. Try to seize what belongs to the English. Please put the receiver on all wools and the British and colonial goods". Entry of Soult in Santander. – 17 November – Again to General Dejean: "My army lacks everything. I am obliged to use extraordinary means, which always produces a bad effect. Your dress office is composed of idiots." – 19 November – To Emmanuel Crétet, Interior Minister: "The Duke of Infantado and grandees of Spain own half of the kingdom of Naples; evaluate their properties in the kingdom to 200 million Francs is not too much. They also have possessions in Belgium, and Piedmont in Italy, my intention is to sequester". – 22 November – Marshal Ney enters Soria. His troops begin to march towards Madrid. – 23 November – Battle of Tudela. – 28 November – The British troops leave Spain and return to Portugal. – 30 November – Battle of Somo-Sierra.

2nd December – Arrival of French before Madrid. – 4 December – Surrender of Madrid. Order of Napoleon I: "The feudal rights are abolished in Spain and the court of the Inquisition is abolished; the number of existing monasteries will be reduced to third; provincial customs are abolished, the Council of Castile is removed, its members will be arrested". – 5 December – From Napoleon to General Belliard, governor of Madrid: "Billet the officers in the houses of the emigrants, taking care to reserve the best room for a general officer ... Please also prepare stables in convents and houses of emigrants". – 7 December – Proclamation to the Spaniards: "I went to Madrid. The Rights of War authorized me to give a great example and wash in the blood the wrongs made to me and my nation. I've heard that clemency. Some men, perpetrators of all your woes will only be punished". Start of requisitions, under the authority of Anne-Jean-Marie-René Savary, Duke of Rovigo, who has come specially from Paris. – 9 December – The Corregidor of Madrid, received in audience by Napoleon, hears the Emperor declaring to him: "I do not refuse to cede my conquest rights to the King [Joseph Bonaparte] and set Him in Madrid, when the thirty thousand citizens of the capital have expressed their feelings and loyalty." – 10 December – It is ordered that the Gazette of Madrid will appear daily. – 11 December – Reappearance of English troops in Spain. General Savary reports to the Emperor: "The operation of the first seizure in ten large houses designated by Your Majesty is completed. Yesterday the taxman had received five thousand and a few hundred marks of silver and about 600,000 Francs silver coin. There was still something to receive. I do not count some gold jewelry, diamonds and some pearls he received too." – 14 December – The amount of money seized in the treasury of the Inquisition, according Belliard, equals 613,493 Francs in French money. Napoleon decides: "Give the order that the funds be deposited promptly at the taxman's, and research all other funds belonging to the Inquisition." – 15 December – Order is given to proceed with the creation of a Spanish National Guard in Madrid as in provincial towns. – 18 December – From Napoleon to Joseph, King of Spain: "To live in a year, we must live today, live for today, it takes money ... This is already a fortnight ago, and it is the most precious moments, as are those of force. There is no time to lose to get a stock of thirty million rials in cash". From Savary to the Emperor: "Research done at the Dowager Duchess of Osuna had a full success. We just carry on paying in about fifteen or sixteen quintals of silverware, and the accountant of the house gave a statement to nine million reals revenue". – 20 December – The new headquarters are set in Zaragoza. –  21 December – Three hundred quintals of bark of Spain will, by order of Napoleon, be distributed to forty-two cities of the Empire. – 22 December – Napoleon passes the Guadarrama river with part of his guard. He decides to personally take charge of operations against the English army. – 27 December – Concentration of the English army in Benavente. – 29 December – Napoleon defeats the English at Benavente.

Next years: 1809
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