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ture of british

of the British, three 80-gun ships,* fourteen 74s, 1807. one 64, two 40, six 46, and two 32, gun frigates, the Sept. names of which will appear in the list of danish captures at the end of the volume. The remaining vessels were the two 20-gun ships Fylla and LittleBelt, the two 16-gun ship-sloops Elven and Eyderen, the seven 16-gun brig-sloops Allart, Delphinen, Glommen, Gluckstadt, Mercurius, Ned-Elvin, and Sarpen, the two 14-gun brigs Brevdrageren and Flewende-Fisk, and the 12-gun schooner Ornen. There were also 25 gun-boats.

On the 20th of October, by which time all the Deparships and small-craft were out of Copenhagen harbour, the last division of the british army reembarked, fleet with the utmost quietness and without a casualty ; army. and on the 21st, in the morning, the british fleet, with the prizes and transports, sailed from Copenhagen road, in three divisions, the first under admiral Gambier in the Prince-of-Wales, the second under rear-admiral Essington in the Minotaur, and the third under rear-admiral sir Samuel Hoodt in the Centaur.

In going down the Sound, the prize 80-gun ship Loss of Neptunos grounded on a sandbank, about six miles Neptufrom Copenhagen and near to the island of Huen. Notwithstanding every exertion, the ship could not be got off, and was ultimately destroyed. According to a previous understanding, the castle of Cronberg abstained from hostilities, and allowed the fleet, which, indeed, kept as much as possible on the swedish side of the Channel, to pass in safety. On Arrival entering the Cattegat, the weather became bois- of brit. terous, and led to the destruction of all the danish in the gun-boats but three. After this, the feet proceeded


* In the list at the foot of admiral, Gambier's letter, the Christian VII. is stated to be of “96 guns ;” but, in reality, she was pierced for no more than 84 guns, namely, 30 on the first deck, 32 on the second, and 22 on the quarterdeck and forecastle.

+ This distinguished officer had hoisted his flag on the 18th, as had also, on the same day, rear-admiral Keats.


1807, without further accident, and, at the close of the Oct. month, reached in safety Yarmouth and the Downs.

Many, who could not be persuaded either of the marks legality, or the expediency, of the attack upon Copenattack. hagen, most readily admitted, that the conductors of

the enterprise had performed their task with ability, promptitude, and, in this special case an important requisite, with moderation. Still the affair was not one from which much glory could be reaped. The attacking force, in each branch of it, was greatly superior; and the army alone, with a slight exception, (the advanced squadron and the danish batteries and gun-boats,) had any contest to maintain: nor did that contest consist of a general action, but simply of a few partial skirmishes. The bombardment could scarcely be called an engagement, as all the loss, and that was most severe, fell upon the besieged; not a man, as it appears, having been hurt on the side of the British, during the three nights and one day that the bombardment lasted.

Nevertheless, the successful result of the Copento the hagen

hagen expedition gained, for the army and navy employed in it, the same honorary rewards usually bestowed upon the achievers of the most brilliant victory, the thanks of the british parliament; but not with the unanimity common on such occasions. Admiral Gambier was raised to the peerage, lieutenant-general lord Cathcart promoted from a scotch to an english peer, vice-admiral Stanhope, lieutenantgeneral Burrard, and major-general Bloomfield made baronets, and captain George Ralph Collier of the Surveillante frigate, the bearer of the despatches, a knight.

Although it is true, that the fleet in Copenhagen

road had little else to do than to look on, the squamod. dron under commodore Keats in the Great Belt had

an arduous duty to perform ; and that it was well performed may be inferred from the fact, that the island of Zealand is 230 miles in circuit, the channel between it and Holstein, where the main danish army



Squadron of com



ment ap


was encamped, extremely narrow, and its navigation, 1807, especially to line-of-battle ships, some of which touched the ground several times, extremely difficult; and yet, during the five or six weeks that the squadron lay in the Belt, no reinforcement was enabled to get across. None, at least, of any consequence; but some of the danish papers stated, that three regiments, consisting of the 1st and 3d Jutland infantry and of Horzen's dragoons, had landed in Zealand during the siege.

With respect to the merits of the expedition to Copenhagen, morally and politically considered, the british public was for a long time divided in opinion. ParliaAt length, as affairs in the northern part of the continent began to develope themselves, the necessity proves of the measure became generally admitted, and both houses of parliament voted their approbation of the dition, conduct of ministers on the occasion.*

It is not a little singular, too, that the very man, whose designs it was the object of that measure to defeat, has since declared, that the expedition showed great energy on the part of the british government. Napoléon has not, because perhaps the question was not put to him, stated, in a direct manner, that he intended to make use of the danish fleet; but he is reported to have said: “The Danes Napobeing able to join me with 16 sail of the line was of admislittle consequence, &c.”+ as if he really had con- sion. templated some assistance of the kind. In fact, Buonaparte's confidential agent of that time, the celebrated Fouché, has since acknowledged, that one of the secret articles of the treaty of Tilsit

gave him the use of the danish fleet.I Not more, however, than three or four of the ships could have been of use to the french emperor, during the little that remained of the season, as effective sail of the

* House of Lords, March 3, Contents 125, Non-contents 57.

House of Commons, March 21, Ayes 216, Noes 61. + See O'Meara's Napoléon in Exile, vol. i. p. 251. # See Memoirs of Fouché, vol. i. p. 311.


1807. line, although the whole fleet might as transports.

It is true that (and this was a circumstance which doubtless did not escape the proverbial acuteness of Napoléon) all the ships would have passed for what they nominally were, and would have required a corresponding force to be sent against them; por must it be forgotten, that the danish seamen, whom, the french emperor blames the British for having left behind, * were brave, skilful, and, it is believed, tolerably numerous.

Although, as formally announced by admiral Gamutility

bier to the officers and men of his fleet, the result of of da- the siege of Copenhagen “added the navy of DenAleet. mark to that of the United Kingdom," the latter

gained a very slight accession of strength; for, of
the 15 line-of-battle ships that reached an english
port, four only were found to be worth the cost of
repair as cruisers. These were the
80 Christian VII. measuring 2131 tons, and built in 1803.

74 Norge

1637 64 Syeren

1795. The model of the Christian VII. was so much admired, that a ship, in every respect the same, was immediately ordered to be built. That ship was the Cambridge, of 2139 tons, launched in 1581.

The most valuable part of the Copenhagen seizure were the masts, yards, timber, sails, cordage, and other naval stores. The value of these may be partly appreciated when it is known that, exclusive of the stores that were shipped on board the british and laté danish men of war, 92 transports, measuring upwards of 20000 tons, brought away full cargoes. The

, course, on account of the difference in their caliber, were of no value, except perhaps as

metal for recasting. According to a danish newsof ord- paper of the year 1806, the ordnance belonging to

* See O'Meara's Napoléon in Exile, vol. ii. p. 20.


1800, 1805.


Great valueof stores.



mark de

the 20 sail of the line afloat, and to the frigates, 1807. sloops, and gun-vessels, amounted to 2041 long guns, 202 carronades, and 222 mortars. But it is believed that many of the ships did not bring away the whole of their guns. The benefit to England was not what she had acquired, but what Denmark had lost; and it is doubtful whether, all circumstances considered, the destruction of the danish ships at their moorings would not have been quite as profitable to the former, as their capture and conveyance home. The attack upon

the danish city and fleet naturally Denproduced, especially when a formidable french army was near and a russian ally in prospect, a decla- clares ration of war on the part of the crown prince; and war aon the 4th of November the king of England or- Engdered reprisals to be granted against the ships, land. goods, and subjects of Denmark. The winter was not, however, the period for active operations; and the Vanguard 74, with a few frigates and smaller vessels, was all the british force left cruising in the Belt.

On the 30th of August the british 12-pounder Aug. 32-gun frigate Quebec, captain the right honour-Surable lord Falkland, arrived off the danish island of Hile of Heligoland, situated at the mouth of the Elbe, ligoand forming a natural barrier to the shoals of that river, the Weser, the Emms, and the Eyder. Lord Falkland immediately summoned the governor to surrender this small, but in a commercial point of view important, island to the arms of Great Britain. The danish officer refused ; and the Quebec was preparing to use force to compel him, when, at 2 h. 30 m. P. M. on the 4th of September, vice-admiral Thomas Macnamara Russel, with the 74-gun ship Majestic, captain George Hart, arrived and anchored close off the town. At 6 P. M., while making arrangements to storm the place with the marines and seamen of the two ships, the vice-admiral received a flag of truce with an offer to capitulate. On the

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