Saint Helena
Saint Helena is part of a remote British island territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean, which includes Ascension Island and the Tristan da Cunha group; it is characterized by its geographical isolation. Ascension Island is over 1000 km to the north, and Tristan da Cunha lies over 2000 km to the south. Most sources agree that the island was first discovered by a Eurpoean, at least, in 1502 by João da Nova Castella (c.1460–1509), a Portuguese sailor who happened upon it on the feast day of Saint Helena. The East India Company took possession of the island, effectively, on behalf of Britain in 1659 and it became an official crown colony in 1834.1
Access to Saint Helena has not changed much since its heyday as a 19th-century trans-Atlantic waypoint for all manner of sea traffic. Today, the only regular transport to the 75 square km island is by the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) St Helena, the last of the Royal Mail Ships, which visits occasionally with critical cargo and the odd clutch of tourists.2 Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to Saint Helena in 1815, where he died in 1821.3
Mentions of this place in the documents