Capitulation of Alexandria (1801)

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The Capitulation of Alexandria in August 1801 brought to an end the French expedition to Egypt.

French troops, defeated by British and Ottoman forces, had retreated to Alexandria where they were besieged. On 30 August 1801 the French general Abdullah Jacques-François Menou offered to surrender and proposed terms, which were considered, partly accepted and in many details amended, by the British general John Hely-Hutchinson and admiral Lord Keith. The text of the Capitulation is printed in full in Robert Thomas Wilson's History of the British expedition to Egypt.[1] Each article as proposed by General Menou is followed by a comment: the proposed articles as amended by these comments form the capitulation as it was finally put into effect, bringing the conflict to a formal end on 2 September 1801. The document is signed by General in Chief Menou, Admiral Keith, Lt.-General Hely-Hutchinson, Lt.-Col. James Kempt, and "Hussim, Capitan Pacha", representing Ottoman forces.

Under Article 16 of the capitulation "the Arabian manuscripts, the statues, and the other collections which have been made for the French Republic, shall be considered as public property, and subject to the disposal of the generals of the combined army." This led to the transfer to British possession of the Rosetta Stone and other Egyptian antiquities collected by the French Commission des Sciences et des Arts and the scholars of the Institut d'Egypte.


  1. ^ Wilson, Robert Thomas (1803). History of the British Expedition to Egypt (2nd ed.). London: T. Egerton. pp. 346–353. Retrieved 18 November 2013.