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54

WELLINGTON'S CELEBRATED CHARGER.

[A.D.

cumvallation of the island having been rendered complete, the Admiral declared it in a state of blockade. The last division of troops, under Lord Roslyn, now also arrived and disembarked. To defend the left of the army from the Danish gun-boats, a battery of 13 guns had been commenced at a spot called Svane-Mæke; but on the 22nd, 3 Danish praams and 3 gun-boats had so placed themselves as to interrupt its construction and that of others. To oppose these, a squadron of 7 British bombs and gun-boats now took up a station, under the command of Captain Puget, and were attacked on the 23rd by the Danes, assisted by the fire of the Trekonen and the floating batteries; and, though this fire was returned with spirit by the British, it was found so severe that the bombs and gun-boats arew off, with the loss of a lieutenant and 3 seamen killed, and an officer and about 12 men wounded. On the 25th, a division of Danish gun-boats cannonaded the right of the British line where the Guards were stationed, and much annoyed them; but, on the following day, the small battery caused one of them, called the “ Stube-Kiæbing,” to blow up, and damaged others so badly, that, on the 27th, the besiegers were enabled to open a new battery of four 24-pounders, which made these gun-boats keep their distance. Nevertheless, on the 31st, they again made an attack upon the British shore batteries, but with little success. On the 1st of September, there being already mounted in battery 48 mortars and howitzers, and 20 24-pounders ready to open upon the city, Major-General Peymann was summoned, but returned a direct negative. There was now no further alternative, and, in consequence, the British batteries opened on the 2nd, and the town was set on fire by the first flight of Congreve rockets, which were here employed for the first time. The inhabitants sustained with heroic resolution the fiery tempest, and all classes were indefatigable in their endeavours to carry water to the quarters where the city was in flames. The fire was returned upon the British batteries from the Danish gun-boats and from the works and outposts with cannon and musketry, and some men of MajorGeneral Grosvenor's * brigade were struck down. On the night of the 3rd the fire slackened a little, to allow General Peymann an opportunity to capitulate, but the Danish Governor remaining obsti

* Among the chargers brought over by General Grosvenor was a mare, which proved to be in foal, and, after her safe return to England, produced a colt, which was named “ Copenhagen.” This horse being afterwards sold to Major-General Sir Charles Stewart was taken by him to the Peninsula, and when that officer quitted the army in 1813, on the death of his, first wife, it was sold and became the property of the Duke. At Vittoria and other battles his Grace used no other charger, and it became a great favourite with him. That horse also carried the Duke of Wellington throughout the glorious day of Waterloo, when it is said he bore him for eighteen hours on his back, and when at length released at its close, gave no sign of fatigue. He was of a full rich chestnut colour, with a strong dash of the Arab in his appearance, and showed at all times an endurance of work that was very remarkable. He died in 1835 at the age of twenty-seven. and was buried at Strathfieldsaye with military honours. His mane and tail furnished a great many rings, brooches, and bracelets, which were presented by the great commander to enthusiastic ladies; so that this celebrated charger obtained a renown which will probably long continue, for these memorials will not cease to be regarded as the heir-looms of many a noble family. “ Copenhagen" was modelled for the horse of the Wellington statne upon the arch in London.

1807.1

OBJECT OF THE EXPEDITION REALISED.

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nate, the bombardment recommenced in all its fury. In a short time, the wood in the great-timber yard was set on firew by red-hot shot, and the steeple of the Fruekirche caught the flames and fell on the 4th. The fiery elements now spread in every direction, and the engines, which, at first, had rendered some good service, were now all destroyed, and the firemen killed or wounded. Before the third night 1800 houses were consumed, and 1500 of the inhabitants had lost their lives, when the conflagration threatened to extend itself over the entire city. At length on the forenoon of the 5th a flag of truce appeared at the outposts of the British army, to ask an armistice of 24 hours to treat for a capitulation. Lord Cathcart replied that none could be granted, unless accompanied by the surrender of the whole Danish fleet. Major-General Peymann having consented to the unconditional surrender of ships, guns, and naval stores, Sir Arthur Wellesley, Sir Home Popham, and Lieut.-Colonel George Murray, were sent in to settle the terms of capitulation, which were drawn up on the night of the 6th-7th, and the citadel was given up on the 8th to the British troops. The loss of the British was — 56 killed, and about 200 wounded; that of the Danes about 255 rank and file killed and wounded, besides prisoners. It has been stated by the Danes that the Crown Prince sent Lieutenant Von Sleffen to General Peymann, from Kiel, with orders to burn the fleet in case of his being compelled to a surrender, and that the Lieutenant destroyed his despatches on being taken prisoner by some of the patroles of the British army.

The object of the expedition having been attained, everything of a tendency to wound the feelings of the Danes, as a nation, was avoided. The havoc that had been made by the bombardment was the consequence of what they thought due to their honour; but not a shot was fired, or a hostile act perpetrated, after the flag of truce had been displayed.

The alacrity of the British seamen was such, that in nine days' time 14 sail of the Danish men-of-war were safely towed out of the harbour into the roads; and, in the space of six weeks, the three remaining ships, with the entire contents of the arsenal and its storehouses, masts, spars, timber, and other naval materials, were removed, ready for transportation to England; so that on the 26th of October three 80-gun ships, fourteen 74, one 64, two 40, six 46, and two 32-gun frigates, two 20-gun ships, eighteen of 16-guns, and three gun-brigs, with 25 gun-boats, sailed from Copenhagen roads in three divisions; the last division of the British army re-embarked without a casualty on the 20th, and returned to England. The most valuable part of the seizure was the naval stores, which were shipped on board 92 transports, measuring 20,000 tons. The benefit to England was not, however, so much what she acquired, as what the enemy lost. There were only 4 of the line-of-battle ships captured that were found worth the cost of repair ; but the artillery taken away amounted to 3500 pieces. No great loss, perhaps, to Napoleon ; but the destruction of his fleet and arsenal broke the heart of the Danish King, who expired shortly afterwards at his castle of Rendsburg.

56 DIGNIFIED RECEPTION OF NAPOLEON BY THE FRENCH. [ A.D.

The Prince-Royal refused to ratify the capitulation, and declared war against Engtand, asserting, in his idle rage, that he could continue hostilities until he had retaken by arms what had been taken from him by treachery. Napoleon, of course, raised a loud cry against Great Britain for this mighty blow, saying, “ Blood and fire have made the English masters of Copenhagen,” and French and European writers are even yet found to treat it as a “scélératesse” and a “barbarie "- terms which, it must be confessed, are quite applicable to every operation of war, but in no way peculiar to the siege of Copenhagen. The King of Prussia now united with Denmark and Russia in a new Northern Coalition against Great Britain, to which Sweden was constrained to accede, after the Prince of PonteCorvo had made preparations to cross the Baltic to enforce it, and that the Czar had ordered Generai Buxhowden to invade Finland.

19. CAPTURE OF HELIGOLAND. The British frigate“ Quebec," 32, Captain the Lord Falkland, was ordered, at this time, to proceed and obtain possession of the Danish island of Heligoland, situated in the North Sea, and forming a natural defence to the shores of the Elbe, the Weser, the Ems, and the Eyder. The “ Quebec " arrived off the island on the 30th of August, and Lord Falkland forthwith summoned the Danish Commandant and Governor, who at first refused, but, while steps were taken to employ force to compel him, yielded up his trust. The “ Majestic,” 74, Captain Hart, carrying the flag of Vice-Admiral Macnamara Russell, had, in effect, anchored close off the town; and on the 5th the Danish officer, seeing the uselessness of opposition, sent an offer to capitulate, which was accepted ; the flag of England was raised over the little rocky island, where it still flies as a beacon in dangerous waters, a guide to and an asylum for the ships of all nations. 20. NAPOLEON RETURNS TO FRANCE — SENDS AN ARMY INTO

THE PENINSULA. On the morning of the 27th of July, the cannon of the Invalides announced to the citizens that Napoleon, after an absence from Paris of nearly a year, was amongst them once more. He had arrived in the night at St. Cloud, and rejoined his family, who were assembled to meet him at his accustomed summer residence. He was waited upon there by all the great dignitaries and ministers, and immediately announced a Session of the Corps Législatif, which he opened in person on his name day, the 15th of August. It was a glorious day and a grand fête, for he appeared among his people as the greatest conqueror that had ever reigned in France ; and “ Voilà la paix continentale assurée,” he said, “ et quant à la paix maritime nous l'obtiendrons bientôt. Je viendrai à bout de tous les résistances.” In fact, he was at the very summit of his glory. After the most glorious of his famous campaigns, he had no enemy capable of resisting his further progress, except the British nation. The accounts that now arrived of their attempt on Copenhagen only added this little bitterness to his cup, that his enemies

1807.7 NAPOLEON FOMENTS INTRIGUES WITH SPAIN.

57

had learned to become as unscrupulous and as energetic as he would have been himself under similar cricumstances. The success of this affair, however, deranged his bright scheme for bringing to bear the whole maritime power of Europe united against the navy of England. He is described by those who were around him to have openly lost his temper upon this news; but, as is said of him by Thiers, “Sa tête ardente, sans cesse en travail, ne terminait une cuvre que pour en commencer un autre," and the completion of his “ Continental System” now appears to have occupied all his attention.

Having secured, by the Treaty of Tilsit, the concurrence of the whole of the North of Europe in this system, he now had leisure to devise how to carry it out in the southern kingdoms of Europe. No sooner, therefore, was he arrived in Paris than he began to turn his eyes towards the Peninsula. At a reception of the Corps Diplomatique, in the first days of August, Napoleon briskly demanded of the Count de Lima, Portuguese Ambassador at the Tuileries, what had been done by his Government to carry into effect the exclusion of the commerce of Great Britain from the Tagus; and as he had an old score against the wretched favourite who mis-governed Spain, he was now in a condition to settle the quarrel in the way most favourable to his own designs.

The Emperor had previously fomented, through Beauharnais, his ambassador at Madrid, an intrigue calculated to embroil the royal family of Spain in such a manner as that he might be called in to arbitrate between them. These Bourbons were still smarting under the dethronement of the Neapolitan branch of the house; nevertheless, they sent the Duke de Frias to Paris, as an extraordinary ambassador, to congratulate the Emperor on his triumph. At the same time, however, M. Yzquiendo was in that capital as particular agent for the Prince of the Peace, and, with true Spanish ability, was ready to be made available for any intrigues. They soon bore fruit. Godoy, the minion of the Queen, was set against her son, the Prince of Asturias, so that, upon a pretended conspiracy of the heir-apparent against the King, his father, the Prince was arrested and confined in the Escurial Palace. The King was a weak man, and easily influenced by his Queen and her favourite, and permitted, at their instigation, the departure of Romagna's army. A treaty was soon afterwards concluded at Fontainebleau, by which French troops were to be admitted into Spain, to be maintained and subsisted by that state for the ostensible conquest of Portugal, which was to be divided into separate kingdoms, for the benefit of the King of Etruria and the Prince of the Peace; and, with some singularity under the circumstances, or some double purpose, Napoleon named the Prince of Asturias Generalissimo of the combined French and Spanish armies to be sent on this service. He had already formed a camp at Bayonne of 23,000 infantry, 2000 cavalry, and 30 guns, of which he had given the command to General Junot, who was now ordered, without further instructions, to cross the frontier, and direct his march by way of Valladolid, Salamanca,

58

BRITISH AND PORTUGUESE FLEETS AT SEA.

[A.D.

Ciudad Rodrigo, and Alcantara, upon Lisbon. At the same time, he prepared a second army, consisting of 24,000 men, with 40 guns, under General Dupont, the remains of the army of England in the camp at Boulogne, to be ready to follow Junot when required. The united force was short of cavalry, and there was difficulty, from some cause or other, of collecting from the stables at Compiègne, Chartres, Orleans, and Tours, as many as 5000 horses for this expedition.

21. A FRENCH ARMY, UNDER JUNOT, TAKES POSSESSION OF

PORTUGAL - THE ROYAL FAMILY EMIGRATE TO RIO DE JANEIRO.

When the Prince-Regent of Portugal received the despatch from the Count de Lima, detailing the hostile language of Napoleon and the propositions from Paris, he had just lost, by death, his principal Minister, the Count de Villaverde, and was somewhat bewildered as to the course he should pursue by the presence and advice of Lord Strangford, the British Ambassador, and M. de Rayneul, Chargé d'Affaires of France. His first determination was to yield to the Emperor Napoleon's demands, and to exclude the commerce of Great Britain from Portugal, and he actually did this by a proclamation dated the 20th of October, but Lord Strangford demanded his passports in consequence; but when he heard of the assembling of a French army to take the field against him, and reflected how completely his continental possessions in South America lay at the mercy of England, he changed his policy, and determined to abandon his European kingdom, and take refuge in Brazil, with the whole of the Portuguese fleet, according to the proposal of the British Ambassador. This resolve was hastened by the arrival in the Tagus of 9 sail of the line, under the command of Rear-Admiral Sir Sidney Smith, which had been sent from England on the receipt of the Prince Regent's proclamation early in the month, and which squadron now came to anchor on the 17th of November. The British Ambassador forth with repaired on board, and the Tagus was declared in a state of blockade by the British Admiral. Lord Strangford, however, received from England, by extraordinary despatch, the decree issued by Napoleon on the 13th, stating that the House of Bragança had ceased to reign, on which he opened fresh negotiations with the Prince-Regent, who, on the 27th, proclaimed bis intention to retire, with the Queen, his mother, and all the Royal family, to South America, and to establish his court in Rio de Janeiro, appointing a Regency to govern the Kingdom of Portugal in his absence. The bulk of the Portuguese fleet was, fortunately for the Sovereign of Portugal, in readiness to put to sea; and, accordingly, on the 29th, in the morning, Vice-Admiral Don Manuel Sottomayor, having his flag on the “ Principe Reale," 84, with “ Conde Henrique,” 74, “ Medusa,” '74, “ Principe de Brazil,” 74, “Rainha de Portugal,” 74, “ Alfonso, d'Albuquerque,” 74, “Don Juan de Castro,” 74, “ Martino de Freitas,” 74, “ Mineron,” 44, “ Golfinho," 36, “Urania” 36, and

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