Talks

Alberto Bioletti. Soldier of Napoleon and Master Clockmaker of Wincanton
by John Baxter

Date: Tuesday 9 October 2018

The incredible life of the Italian soldier who survived campaigns in Italy, Egypt, Haiti and Russia before settling in Wincanton.
Alberto Bioletti. Soldier of Napoleon and Master Clockmaker of  Wincanton

This talk explores the extraordinary real life story of the Italian soldier of Napoleon, Alberto Bioletti, who returned penniless to Wincanton in 1816 after Bonaparte’s fall. He came with his English wife Mary and three children having married her when a parole prisoner in England while serving the French General Boye. Here he set up first as a barber before establishing himself as a skilled clockmaker and father of a large family.

As a result of extensive research John has uncovered his truly amazing military career in Italy, Egypt, Haiti, England, France, Russia and back to England. The talk explores the dangers and disillusion Bioletti went through as he experienced the dark consequences of Napoleon’s campaigns and celebrates his personal triumph in Wincanton.

John Baxter graduated in History from Rhodes University, South Africa, Theology at Oxford and Philosophy from Bristol. After a teaching career in Religious Studies he qualified and worked as a photographer.  In 2017 he wrote Surviving Napoleon, Bioletti’s life in the form of an historical novel. He is a committee member of Wincanton History Society and Bruton Art Society.

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