Genetic testing has never been carried out, but there are two historical facts in its favour.
Firstly, that Napoleon’s head was shorn in the moments after his death and locks were distributed.
Secondly, that a man mentioned in a letter that accompanied the lock, Captain William Crockat, was at the deathbed of the deposed emperor, and therefore would have had an opportunity to take a lock or two for himself.
The letter, from a Scotsman named Ned Todd, states he was given the hair by a woman:
“If I mistake not she said that her brother [Major Crockat] had himself cut the lock from the head of the illustrious dead.”
Ms Betteridge said she looked forward to the task ahead of discovering exactly how it found its way to Sydney.
“I don’t want it to be a fait accompli,” she said. “It’s nice to have a story that unfolds.”