1801 - Recall of Sir Hyde Parker, Lord Nelson at Revel, His departure from the Baltic


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1801 British, Swedish, and Russian Fleets 82

be manned, and, without even waiting for a boat-cloak (though you must suppose the weather pretty sharp here at this season of the year), and having to row about 24 miles with the wind and current against him, jumped into her, and ordered me to go with him, I having been on board that ship (the St.-George) to remain till she had got over the Grounds. All I had ever seen or heard of him could not half so clearly prove to me the singular and unbounded zeal of this truly great man. His anxiety in the boat for nearly six hours, lest the fleet should have sailed before he got on board one of them, and lest we should not catch the Swedish squadron, is beyond all conception. I will quote some expressions in his own words. It was extremely cold, and I wished him to put on a great coat of mine which was in the boat: 'No, I am not cold; my anxiety for my country will keep me warm. Do you think the fleet has sailed?' 'I should suppose not, my lord.' - ' If they have, we will follow them to Carlscrona in the boat, by God!' " The distance to which place, Mr. Briarly goes on to state, was about 50 leagues. At midnight, Lord Nelson reached the Elephant; and Mr. Briarly returned to the St.-George, to conduct her to Kioge bay.

On the 23d a lugger joined the fleet, then not far from Carlscrona on its way to the gulf of Finland, with despatches from Count Van der Paklen, the Russian ambassador at Copenhagen, containing overtures of a pacific nature from Alexander I, who now, by the decease of the Czar Paul, had become invested with the imperial sceptre. This induced Sir Hyde to return with the fleet to Kioge bay; where, on the 5th of May, he was found by a vessel that brought despatches recalling him from the command. Shortly afterwards Admiral Parker sailed for England in the Blanche, leaving the command of the fleet to Vice-admiral Lord Nelson. Almost the first signal made by the new commander-in-chief was, to hoist in all the launches and prepare to weigh. On the 7th the fleet, by the addition of the St.-George now augmented to 17 sail of the line, a 54 and a 50 gun ship, besides a few frigates and smaller vessels, set sail from Kioge bay. On the 8th, after having by a flag of truce informed Vice-admiral Cronstadt, that although Sir Hyde Parker had consented not to interrupt the Swedish navigation, he should act against the Swedish fleet if he found it at sea, Lord Nelson left Captain Murray, with the Edgar, Russel, Saturn, Agamemnon, Ardent, Raisonable, Glatton, and a frigate to cruise off Carlscrona ; while, with the remaining 11 sail of the line, one frigate, and two brig-sloops, the vice-admiral hastened to the gulf of Finland.

On the 14th Lord Nelson anchored in Revel roads; but no Russian squadron was in that quarter. The bay had been clear of firm ice since the 29th of April, at which time Sir Hyde Parker, with the fleet, was lying inactive at Kioge; and the Russians had subsequently sawed through the ice in the mole,

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