1801 - British and Swedish Fleets, Negotiation with Sweden, Anecdote of Lord Nelson, British and Russian Fleets


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1801 Lord Nelson at Copenhagen 81

reason for extending the order to the Zealand, a much larger and finer ship than the Holstein, is not very clear.

On the 9th, after some altercation as to the duration of the armistice, one was agreed upon for 14 weeks; and Denmark engaged to suspend all proceedings under the treaty of armed neutrality, which she had entered into with Sweden and Russia: The prisoners, also, were to be sent on shore, and accounted for in case hostilities should be renewed. Moreover the British fleet had permission to provide itself, at Copenhagen and else where along the coast, with all things requisite for the health and comfort of the seamen.

On the 12th, having despatched home the Holstein, Monarch, and Isis, with the wounded men, Admiral Parker sailed from Copenhagen road with the remainder of the fleet, except the St.-George and one or two frigates, and directed his course along the difficult channel of the Grounds, between the islands of Amag and Saltholm. This was both a tedious and a dangerous navigation, as most of the men of war had to trans-ship their guns into merchant vessels ; and even then, several of the former got on shore. The whole of the ships at length extricated themselves; and, to the astonishment of Danes, Swedes, Russians, and Prussians, entered the Baltic by this route.

The British admiral's first object was to attack the Russian squadron at Revel, before the breaking up of the frost should enable it to effect a junction with the Swedish squadron at Carlscrona; but, in his way thither, hearing that a Swedish squadron, reported at nine sail of the line, was at sea, Sir Hyde steered for the northern extremity of the island of Bornholm. The Swedish admiral, however, whose force consisted of only six sail of the line, conceiving himself no match for a British admiral with 16, sought refuge behind the forts of Carlscrona. Here a negotiation was opened between Sir Hyde Parker, and the Swedish Vice-admiral Cronstadt ; which, on the 22d, ended in an agreement by his Swedish majesty to treat for the accommodation of all existing differences.

By this time Lord Nelson had joined the admiral, and had his flag again flying on board the Elephant. How he had got thither merits to be related. On the 18th the St.-George, having removed her guns to an American vessel, and, by the excellent management of Mr. Briarly, of the Bellona, whose local experience was very great, succeeded in passing the Grounds, was ready to follow Sir Hyde; but a contrary wind detained her. On the following evening Lord Nelson received intelligence from the admiral, of the Swedish fleet's having been seen by one of his look-out frigates. Instantly he quitted the St.-George, and, embarking in a six-oared cutter, with Mr. Briarly, set off to join the admiral, although the latter was at a distance of 24 miles, in the very teeth of the wind and current. "The moment he received the account," says Mr. Briarly, "he ordered a boat to

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