A Journal of the Proceedings of the Fleet under the Command of Admiral Gambier from the 17th to the 19th of August 1807.


Monday 17.

Place at noon: Off Torbech Ness

Ordered Captain Puget to take anchorage with the ‘Goliath’, ‘Africain’, ‘Hebe’, ‘Thunder’, ‘Fury’, ‘Safeguard’ and ‘Urgent’ on shore off Charlottenlund, in order to cover the left flank of the army and supply it with provisions, stores and ammunition from the Transports lying there.

…directed Captain Dunbar [at meddele den engelske flåde] that hostilities have commenced with Denmark.

…to detain all Danish ships and vessels.

I am informed by the British Consul, late at Elsinore, that the Commander in Chief of the Danish Army has issued an edict for the sequestration of all British Property in Denmark.


AM Light is inclining to calm. The Transports are assembled at Charlottenlund disembarking the bulk of the army, horses, artillery etc. At 9 observed the Danish Gun Boats in the number of ten, come out of Copenhagen and take possession of an English merchant ship passing that part.

The ‘Cambrian’, lying off the harbour, being becalmed, could render no assistance, made the signal for the boats manned and armed to retrain to the ‘Cambrian’. On the appearance of our boats in force, the Gun Boats set fire to the ship, and retired under the batteries.

The Danish Gun Boats having attempted to annoy the left wing of the army which was near the shore, advanced to within three miles of the walls of Copenhagen, I sent the Bombs and Gun Brigs to check them, and they retired after some resistance in which little damage appears to be done on either side. Ordered two long 18 pounders to be lent from some ships of the Line to several of the Gun Briggs.


Tuesday 18.


Mr. Pole's letter signifying their Lordships directions for me to procure small vessels, if required, to oppose the Gun Boats.

A letter from Capt. Ehing (‘Defence’) enclosing one from Capt. Heywood, stating his having taken possession of the ‘Fredrichsværn’.




Directed Captain Hallett (‘Ganges’)…to appoint competent persons to examine most minutely the south and west of the Isle of Amag, and the passage leading into Copenhagen, as to the facilities these points may afford for landing troops and heavy artillery.

…I am informed by a letter from Lord Cathcart that our army has intercepted 41 wagons loaded with powder going to Copenhagen.



At 9 the Danish Gun Boats came out and began to annoy the army. After having some time opposed a Bomb and several Gun Brigs, which the light winds would scarcely enable to get near them, they were driven back.

A disposition was made of boats near the ‘Zebra’ and ‘Belette’ for cutting off the outer Gun Boat, but no favourable opportunity presented itself for that purpose.

Yesterday and this day I have occasionally corresponded with Lord Cathcart, and have several times sent Sir Home Popham to communicate my sentiments to his Lordship in regard to the co-operation of the naval force and to receive His Lordship’s wishes in regard thereto.

Also the ‘Comus’ and the ‘Fredrichsværn’, a Danish frigate of 36 guns and 227 men, which she had detained in consequence of my order of the 13 th instant after an action of 45 minutes in which the Dane lost 12 men killed and 20 wounded, while the ‘Comus’ had but one man slightly hurt.


Wednesday 19.


Ordered Commodore Sir S. Hood to take an anchorage with the ‘Centaur’, ‘Brunswick’, and ‘Leyden’, on the south end of the Middle Channel out of range of shot from the Floating Batteries to annoy the enemy and protect the British troops on the island of Amag – also to prevent neutral vessels from entering Copenhagen.

Ordered a complete survey to be taken of the whole furniture, stores…of the ‘Fredrichsværn’ from which an appointment may hereafter be made, if required, it being my intention to employ her on the present service.

…Ordered the prisoners taken in the ‘Fredrichsværn’ to be put on board the ‘Inflexible’. Wrote Capt. Heywood [for at takke].



At daylight observed the ‘Surveillante’ aground near the Isle of Saltholm… great exertion is acted to land the heavy artillery and stores from the Transports off Charlottenlund. Some field artillery has been brought near the beach, by which it appears the Gun Boats are in a great measure, prevented from annoying our army.

…respecting the [Danish] defence of the harbour’s mouth, that, in addition to the fortification on the low [water], there are two Floating Batteries between the two Crown batteries, and a Gun Ship and a Frigate (hulks) moved in the fair way, under the effectual cover of the great Crown Battery, while the ships cover the Gun Boats as they advance a considerable distance from the mouth of the harbour, along the shore.

…I have received the Master and part of the Crew of the ship that was burnt by the Gun Boats on the 17 th in exchange for [‘Fredrichsværn’s sårede].

A 3½ PM ‘Surveillante’ was got off without damage. Ships present 14 of the line, 2 armed en flute, 5 frigates, 4 sloops, 8 bombers and fire ships, 6 gun brigs, 1 schooner.


Thursday 20.

Ordered ‘Alfred’ to take an anchorage to the northward of the Transports of Charlottenlund in order to protect them on the side of Elsinore.

Wrote the Right Honourable Viscount Castlereagh an answer to His Lordship’s enquiries in which I have suggested that a further supply of provisions and pronounce on stores should be immediately sent from England for the present service.

Ordered…the lighter [det er skibe] to be fitted with heavy guns to act against the enemy’s Gun Boats.



At daylight observed a warm action take place between the left wing of our army and a considerable force from the town, aided by much artillery as well as by the Gun Boats. Having occasion to communicate with [Cathcart] on certain points relating to the present service upon which Lord Castlereagh has required our joint opinion, I went on shore to Head Quarters for the purpose.

Directed the Transports to complete their water without delay, and for the purpose a large proportion of them have this day moved over to Landscrona.

Underskrevet Gambier