1801 - Naval force of Russia &c.


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1801 British and Danish Fleets 64

killed and five wounded, two of the latter badly. The English vessels, accompanied by the Danish frigate and her convoy, then proceeded to, and anchored in, the Downs; where the Freya, by the order of Vice-admiral Skeffington Lutwidge, the commander in chief on that station, still kept flying the Danish ensign and pendant.

As, besides this fracas, a somewhat similar circumstance had occurred in the Mediterranean, the British government lost no time in despatching Lord Whitworth to the court of Denmark, to place the business on an amicable footing. To give additional weight to his lordship's arguments, he was accompanied by a squadron of four sail of the line, (to which six more were afterwards added), three 50-gun ships, and several frigates and smaller vessels, under Vice-admiral Archibald Dickson, in the 74-gun ship Monarch. On the 29th of August Lord Whitworth terminated the negotiation with the Danish minister, Count Bernstorff; and a convention was mutually signed, agreeing that the Freya and convoy should be repaired at English expense, and then released; that the right of the British to search convoys should be discussed at a future day in London; that Danish vessels should only sail under convoy in the Mediterranean, to protect them from the Algerines, and should be searchable as formerly ; and that the convention should be ratified by the two courts in three weeks.

Russia, although the ally of England, took offence at the attack upon the Freya, and particularly at the passage through the Sound of a British squadron. The first overt act of the Emperor Paul's displeasure, was to sequester all British property in his dominions; the next, was to place his army and navy upon a war-establishment. On the 22d of September, however, about three weeks after it had been ordered, the sequestration was taken off. But on the 5th of November, the news of the capture of Malta having excited fresh anger in the breast of the emperor, an embargo was again laid on all the British shipping in the ports of Russia, amounting, at this time, to about 200 sail. This was followed, in December, by a convention between Russia and Sweden, agreeing to the re-establishment of an armed neutrality between those powers. Denmark also, at the instigation of the first of these powers, and of Prussia, was induced to join the confederacy.

The menacing attitude thus assumed by the three principal northern powers requiring to be met in a corresponding way by England, the latter, on the 12th of March, despatched from Yarmouth roads, under the command of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, in the London, 98, with Vice-admiral Lord Nelson in the St.-George 98, as his second, a fleet of 15, afterwards augmented to 18, sail of the line, with as many frigates, sloops, bombs, fire-ships, and smaller vessels, as made the whole amount to about 53 sail : on board a division of which fleet had em-

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