GAMBIER, James, 1st Baron, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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'We are in possession of the whole Danish Navy'

GAMBIER, James, 1st Baron (1756-1833). Admiral.
Important Autograph Letter Signed to Sir Rupert George, 1 page 4to, aboard the Prince of Wales off Copenhagen, 8 September 1807. Trimphantly reporting the defeat and capture of the Danish fleet, despite being 'overpowered with business and sinking under its load'. smmcDæ
The bombardment of Copenhagen began on 2 September and went on for twenty-four hours, commencing again on the evening of the third and continuing throughout the following day. The new Congreve rockets were used to great effect, causing uncontrollable fires in the city and resulting in the Danish agreeing to hand over the entire fleet. The task of fitting the fleet for sea was, as Gambier says in this letter, an arduous task. It was not until the 21st of October [incidentally the second anniversary of Trafalgar] that the ships were able to sail.
'... we are in possession of the whole Danish Navy at Copenhagen, consisting of 18 sail of the Line, 11 frigates and 11 Sloops and a number of Gunboats, praams etc ... '
The surrender of the Danish took place on 6 September and included, besides the entire fleet, British possession of the citadel and the stores. Upon removal of the stores, the citadel was to be returned and Zeeland evacuated. During this time, hostilities were to cease and prisoners be returned.
Gambier notes that Arthur Hamilton with the Sybille is in the Belt. A blockade of the Danish ports had been in position in the Great Belt since the first of August.
[No: 19910]


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