William Godwin's Diary


France opened peace negotiations with Britain in March 1801 and a preliminary agreement was reached in October. The final draft of the treaty was signed in March by Joseph Bonaparte and the Marquis of Cornwallis and was proclaimed on 29 April with much pomp and celebration, including a Lord Mayor's procession and the illuminations which Godwin took his family to see. The Times described the Mansion House lit up with 'the word "Peace" in large letters' and 'a painting of Britannia, surmounted with the Prince's plume' and the Bank of England as 'beautiful beyond description, having altogether 14,000 lamps displayed with the greatest taste', as well as many other illuminations.

Under the terms of the treaty Britain relinquished its Mediterranean conquests and the Dutch West Indies while France left the Papal States and Naples. Trinidad, Tobago, and Ceylon were ceded to Britain. It was a treaty that was seen on both sides as a victory for the French and contributed to the unpopular opinion of Addington as Prime Minister.

See Franklin L. Ford, A General History of Europe 1780-1830 (London: Longman, 1970), pp. 196-99 and The Times, 30 April 1802.