I have the honour to acquaint you, for the information of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that the whole of the Danish fleet being equipped, (except two unserviceable ships of the line and two frigates, which have been destroyed), and the arsenal cleared of the stores, the army has been re-embarked; and that I shall proceed with the first favourable wind to carry into execution the instructions I have received from the Lord Viscount Castlereagh.
Having so far accomplished the service on which I have been employed, I feel it my duty to state the great activity, energy, and zeal which have been shewn by Vice-Admiral Stanhope and Rear Admiral Sir Samuel Hood, in superintending the equipment of the Danish ships and the embarkation of the stores from the arsenal; nor has the same spirit been less manifest in the captains, officers, seamen, and mariners, who have all executed their respective parts in the general exertion with a promptitude and alacrity, which has not only entitled them to my warmest thanks and praise, but will, I doubt not, when the aggregate result of their labour is considered, obtain for them the approbation of their sovereign, and the applause of the nation.
In the space of six weeks, sixteen sail of the line, nine frigates, fourteen sloops of war and smaller vessels, besides gun-boats, have been fitted for sea, and all the large ships laden with masts, spars, timber, and other stores, from the arsenal; from whence also ninety-two cargoes have been shipped on board transports, and other vessels chartered for the purpose, the sum of whose burthen exceeds twenty thousand tons. A considerable number of masts and spars have been put on board the Leyden and Inflexible, which were well adapted for this purpose, and some valuable stores on board his Majesty's ships; nor can I forbear to remark, that such was the emulation among the several ships of the fleet to which the Danish ships were respectively attached for equipment, that within nine days fourteen sail of the line were brought out of the harbour, although several of them underwent, in our hands, considerable repairs. Of the three ships on the stocks two have been taken to pieces, and the useful part of their timbers brought away; and the third, being in a considerable state of forwardness, was sawed in various parts and suffered to fall over.
On a review of the whole, I think it may be asserted, without derogating from the merit of any former service, that characteristic activity of British officers, seamen, and mariners, was never more sealously exerted than on this occasion; but I must not omit, at the same time, to inform their lordships, that a very considerable proportion of the labour of the arsenal has been performed, with equal zeal and energy, by large working parties from the army, whose exertions entitle them to the same praise.
I beg leave to express the great satisfaction I have felt from the zealous and attentive services of Rear-Admiral Essington to whom the general superintendence of the numerous transports, and the re-embarkation of the army, with all its artillery and stores, has been committed.
I embrace this opportunity to make a particular acknowledgement of the very able and judicious dispositions which Rear-Admiral Keates has made from time to time of the force under his command, for guarding the Belt; and the vigilant attention which his whole squadron have paid to this important branch of the service.
Sir Home Popham has not ceased to manifest his usual zeal and ability in the assistance he has rendered me in the various services of the fleet; and I should not do justice to the diligent attention and arduous endeavours of Captain Mackenzie to fulfil the civil duties of the arsenal, which were committed to his management and superintendence, if I did not, on this occasion, express my warm approbation of his exertions, and I beg leave to recommend him to their lordships' favourable notice.
I have the honour to transmit herewith a list of the Danish ships and vessels which have been brought away, and of those destroyed. The account of the stores shipped from the arsenal shall also be sent as soon as the several returns can be collected and arranged.
I have the honor to be, &c.
(Signed) J. GAMBIER.
N.B. The list of the Danish ships found at Copenhagen has already been published. [See page 252 of this volume] -- Two ships of the line and two frigates having been destroyed.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius
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Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.