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Naval history of Great Britain - Vol. IV
William James
1807 British and Danish Fleets 288

slight damage in rigging or sails, the Comus, out of her 145 men and boys, had but one man wounded. The Frederickscoarn, on the other hand, suffered considerably in rigging, masts, yards, and hull, and, out of her complement of 226 men and boys, had 12 killed and 20 wounded.

Under almost any other circumstances than those which had led to this battle, the gallantry displayed by the officers and crew of the Comus would have been duly appreciated. As it was, very limited praise fell to the share of the British ; while the Danes were less blamed for the want of prowess they had evinced, than compassionated for the heavy loss in blood, if not in fame, to which an attack so illegal and unexpected had unfortunately subjected them.

On the 14th the state of the weather prevented the British fleet from moving to a position for disembarking the troops : but, early on the 15th, the men of war and transports weighed, and by 5 P.M., worked up to the bay of Wedbeck, a village about midway between Elsineur and Copenhagen. Here the admiral and the bulk of the fleet anchored ; while Rear-admiral Essington, with a small squadron, proceeded to an anchorage higher up the Sound, in order to make a diversion. On the morning of the 16th a part of the troops landed at Wedbeck, without opposition. The fleet then weighed and made sail towards Copenhagen, the two commanders in chief having previously addressed to the Danes, in the German language, a proclamation, explanatory of the object of the expedition, and couched in terms as conciliatory as the peremptory nature of the demand would admit. On the same day the Danish king, at Gluckstadt, and his general, at Copenhagen, issued a proclamation, or edict, directing all English vessels and property to be seized and detained.

On the l7th the Danish gun-boats, stationed off the entrance of Copenhagen harbour, taking advantage of a calm, seized and set fire to an English timber-laden merchant bark, in company with some transports coming from Stralsund : they also attacked, with round and grape, the pickets at the left of the British army, and, after receiving a fire from several British bomb-vessels and gun-brigs, that were towed as near to them as the depth of water would admit, retired into the harbour. On the same evening Admiral Gambier, with 16 sail of the line, besides frigates, anchored in Copenhagen road, about four miles to the north-east of the Trekronen or crown battery ; and, in consequence of the attack made upon the English merchantmen in the morning, issued an order to his cruisers to detain all Danish ships.

Between the 18th and 21st some additional skirmishes took place between the Danish and English gun-vessels, but with little or no effect on either side. On the last-named day, the circumvallation of Zealand by the British ships being complete, Admiral Gambier formally declared the island to be in a state of close blockade. On this day, also, the last division of troops,

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