1801 - Armistice with Denmark


Next Page

Previous Page
Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1801 British and Danish Fleets 68

rebuoy the outer channel, a narrow passage lying between the island of Saltholm and the Middle Ground. This was a very difficult, as well as a very fatiguing duty, and the vice-admiral rejoiced greatly when he had accomplished it. An attack from the northward was at first meditated : but a second examination of the Danish position on the 31st, and a favourable change of wind determined the vice-admiral to commence his operations from the southward.

On the morning of the 1st of April the British fleet weighed, and shortly afterwards reanchored off the north-western extremity of the Middle Ground, a shoal which extends along the whole sea-front of the city of Copenhagen, leaving an intervening channel of deep water, called the Konig-Stiefe, or King's Channel, about three quarters of a mile wide; and in which channel, close to the town, the Danes had moored their blockships, radeaus, prames, and gun-vessels. The distance of the anchorage from the city of Copenhagen was about six miles. In the course of the forenoon, Lord Nelson, embarking on board the Amazon with some chosen friends, reconnoitred for the last time, the position he was about to attack; and soon after his return at 1 P.M., the signal to weigh appeared at the Elephant's masthead : a signal, which was received by the different ships' companies with a shout that must leave been heard at a considerable distance. Immediately afterwards the vice-admiral's squadron, amounting in the whole to 36 sail of square-rigged vessels got under way and set sail, in two divisions, with a light but favourable wind; leaving Admiral Parker at anchor with the

Gun ship    
98 London Admiral (b.) Sir Hyde Parker.
Captain William Domett
Captain Robert Waller Otway
98 St George Captain Thos. Masterman Hardy
74 Warrior Captain Charles Tyler
74 Defence Captain Lord Henry Paulet
74 Saturn Captain Robert Lambert
74 Ramillies Captain Jas. William Taylor Dixon
64 Raisonable Captain John Dilkes
64 Veteran Captain Arch. Collingw. Dickson

The ships of Lord Nelson's detachment, preceded by the Amazon, entered the Upper Channel; coasting along the edge of the right-hand shoal or Middle Ground, until they had reached and partly rounded its southern extremity. Here, off Draco point, at about 8 P.M., just as it grew dark; the detachment anchored; the north-westernmost British ship being then distant about two miles from the southernmost ship of the Danish line.

The same north-westerly wind, which had blown so fair passing along the outer channel, was now as foul for advancing by the inner one. This, however, occasioned no delay; for in so difficult a navigation, daylight was as fully indispensable as a

^ back to top ^