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Elizabeth Patterson

Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte (1785-1879), known as "Betsy", was the daughter of a Baltimore, Maryland merchant, and was the first wife of Jerome Bonaparte, and sister-in-law of Emperor Napoleon I of France. Elizabeth's father, William, had been born in Ireland and came to North America prior to the American Revolutionary War. He was a Catholic, and the wealthiest man in Maryland after Charles Carroll of Carrollton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

They were married on December 24, 1803, at a ceremony presided over by the Archbishop of Baltimore.

Jerome's brother Napoleon ordered his brother back to France and had the marriage annulled. Jerome returned to France with Betsy but she was denied landing in continental Europe. She gave birth to a son in 1805, in London. Jerome gave in to his brother, returned to the French Navy and married a German princess.

Betsy returned to Baltimore with her son, Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte. She is buried in the Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland.

An irony: Betsy's brother's widow married the older brother of the Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.



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