William Bonaparte-Wyse

William Bonaparte-Wyse
Born 20 January 1826
Waterford, Ireland
Died 3 December 1892
Cannes, France
Occupation Poet
Title Captain
Spouse(s) Ellen Linzee Prout
Children 4 sons, including Andrew Bonaparte-Wyse
Parent(s) Thomas Wyse
Laetitia Bonaparte
Relatives Lucien Bonaparte (maternal grandfather)

Captain William Charles Bonaparte-Wyse (20 January 1826 – 3 December 1892) was an Irish soldier and poet.

Early life

William Charles Bonaparte-Wyse was born in Waterford, the son of the politician and educational reformer Sir Thomas Wyse, and Laetitia, daughter of Lucien Bonaparte.


Nicknamed lo felibre irlandés,[1] he wrote in Provençal, was a friend of Frédéric Mistral, and became the only foreign member of the consistory of the Félibrige, the Provençal cultural association. His collection Li Parpaioun Blu (The Blue Butterflies) was published in 1868, with a foreword by Mistral. He created the Provençal dish of dried figs poached in whiskey.[2]

Bonaparte-Wyse was appointed High Sheriff of County Waterford for 1855. He was commissioned Captain in the 9th Wiltshire Rifle Volunteer Corps in July 1866. He also served in the Waterford Artillery.

Personal life

He married in 1864, in London, Ellen Linzee Prout (1842–1925) and they had four sons. He was the father of Permanent Secretary Andrew Nicholas Bonaparte-Wyse (1870–1940). His eldest son's godfather was Frédéric Mistral.[3]


He died, aged 66, in 1892, at Cannes, and is buried there in the Cimetière du Grand Jas.


  1. Frederic Mistral, Lou Tresor dóu Felibrige, 1878–1886, Vol. 2 (G-Z), p. 143.
  2. Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, translated by Anthea Bell, A History of Food, (Blackwell, 1992) page 674.
  3. Lloyd James Austin, Poetic Principles and Practice: Occasional Papers on Baudelaire, Mallarmé, and Valéry, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1987, p. 184

Further reading

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