Monday, 29 February 2016

S.S.Mendi

SS Mendi Casualties to be remembered


To mark the anniversary of the loss of the SS Mendi, the European Outpost of the UK Branch of the South African Legion/South African Branch of the Royal British Legion will be hosting a wreath-laying ceremony at 10h30 on Saturday 27 February 2016 at the Algemene Begraafplaats in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.




In the annals of South Africa’s military history, 21 February 1917 is a dark day. It marks the sinking of the troopship SS Mendi after it was rammed off the Isle of Wight, with the loss of 616 South African servicemen, 607 of them members of the South African Native Labour Corps: Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana; the names on the SS Mendi Roll of Honour reflect every corner of Southern African society, then or since.

Today, the anniversary of the SS Mendi disaster is aptly the day on which South Africa remembers her fallen soldiers. Across the country, parades and ceremonies will be held to commemorate those South Africans who paid the ultimate price in wars across the globe.

Only a fraction of the bodies of the SS Mendi casualties were ever found. Of those, 13 lie in the UK. One, Private Beleza Myengwa, was originally buried near Le Havre in France, but in July 2014, was ceremoniously re-interred at the South African National War Memorial at Delville Wood, in the presence of South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

He was carried to his grave by serving South African soldiers, sailors, medics and airmen, past an honour guard of South African and French military veterans.

But another five SS Mendi casualties, Private A. Leboche, Private Arosi Zendile, Private Sitebe Molide, Private Natal Kazimula and Private Sikaniso Mtolo, lie in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission section of the General Cemetery of Noordwijk, just north of The Hague in the Netherlands.
Though neutral during the First World War, the Netherlands was not spared from hosting the casualties of a war that was fought within earshot.

It is our fervent hope that you (or your representative) will be able to join us in this unique tribute.


The sinking of the SS Mendi was one of South Africa's worst tragedies of the First World War, second perhaps only to the Battle of Delville Wood (Image: South African Navy)One of South Africa's worst military disasters is to be taught in British schools to highlight the role of black soldiers in World War I, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission announced on Monday.

A total of 616 South Africans, including 607 black troops serving in the South African Native Labour Contingent, died when the steamship SS Mendi sank in the English Channel on the way to France on 21 February 1917.

Let Us Die Like Brothers, a 20-minute film exploring the Mendi disaster and black South Africans' involvement in the European war, is to be distributed to more than 5 000 British schools. It was commissioned by the CWGC and produced at no cost by the History Channel.

The film's release marks Black History Month, held in October in the UK. It will be launched in South Africa in February 2007, the 90th anniversary of the Mendi tragedy.

The title Let Us Die Like Brothers comes from a prayer said to the men by ship's chaplain Isaac Wauchope Dyobha as the SS Mendi went down.


In icy watersOn 16 January 1917 the Mendi troopship sailed from Cape Town en route to La Havre in France, carrying the Fifth Battalion of the South African Native Labour Contingent. On board were 805 black privates, 22 white officers and 33 crew.

On the morning of 21 February 1917, just south of the Isle of Wight, the 4 000-ton steamship was rammed and almost cut in half by a 11 000-ton liner, the SS Darro. The Mendi sank in 20 minutes, and 607 black troops, nine white officers and all 33 crewmembers died in the icy waters of the English Channel.

The captain of the Darro, HW Stump, was later disciplined for travelling at speed through fog without sounding a warning horn. It was also said that he took no steps to save the drowning, merely floating his ship nearby while lifeboats from the SS Mendi's escorting destroyer, HMS Brisk, rowed among survivors, trying to rescue them.


Legends of braveryThere are many legends of the troops' bravery as the ship sank. One is that of the Reverend Isaac Wauchope Dyobha, who is said to have calmed the panicked men by crying out this prayer:

"Be quiet and calm, my countrymen. What is happening now is what you came to do ... you are going to die, but that is what you came to do ... I, a Xhosa, say you are my brothers ... Swazis, Pondos, Basotho ... so let us die like brothers. We are the sons of Africa ..."

Another legend is that of the "death dance", as the men of the labour contingent performed one last, barefooted, dance on the tilting deck of the Mendi before she plunged beneath the ocean.

Then there was Joseph Tshite, a schoolmaster from near Pretoria, who encouraged the drowning men in the waters around him with hymns and prayers until he, too, succumbed. A white sergeant is said to have been supported by two black compatriots, who swam with him and found place for him on a piece of flotsam.

The Mendi disaster was one of South Africa's worst tragedies of World War I, second perhaps only to the Battle of Delville Wood.

Among the South Africans lost were some prominent men such as the Pondoland chiefs Henry Bokleni, Dokoda Richard Ndamase, Mxonywa Bangani and the Reverend Isaac Wauchope Dyobha.

When the news of the tragedy was announced to Parliament on 9 March 1917, all the members of the South African House of Assembly, led by celebrated Boer War hero and Prime Minister Louis Botha, rose in their seats as a token of respect.


The SA Native Labour ContingentSome 21 000 black South Africans - all volunteers - served in France with the South African Native Labour Contingent between 1916 and 1918. They joined a labour force made up of French, British, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Egyptian and Canadian labourers, as well as German prisoners of war.

By the time the unit was disbanded in 1918, the SANLC had dug quarries, laid and repaired roads and railway lines, and cut tons of timber. But most of the men were employed in the French harbours of Le Havre, Rouen and Dieppe, where they unloaded supply ships and loaded trains with supplies for the battlefront.

Three hundred and thirty-three of these men gave their lives in France during World War I. Most are buried at the British military cemetery at Arques-la-Bataille, while those who died on the Mendi are remembered at the Hollybrook Memorial in Southhampton, England. A plaque at the Delville Wood Museum in France, a little known memorial in Port Elizabeth and the new Mendi memorial at Avalon cemetery in Soweto - unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II in 1995 - also commemorate the disaster.

The SS Mendi is also honoured by the modern South African Navy, which has among its fleet the SAS Isaac Dyobha, a Warrior-class fast attack craft - and probably one of the few naval warships in the world named after a cleric - and the SAS Mendi, a Valour-class frigate.

In 23 August 2004 a wreath-laying ceremony was held when the SAS Mendi and the British Navy's HMS Nottingham met at the site where the SS Mendi sank.

The Mendi has also given its name to South Africa's highest award for courage, the Order of the Mendi Decoration for Bravery, bestowed by the President on South African citizens who have performed extraordinary acts of bravery.

Today, the SS Mendi lies on the ocean floor some 11 miles south of the Isle of Wight.

Read more: http://www.southafrica.info/about/history/mendi.htm#.VtSgyn3hBH0#ixzz41aXWcVsE



During the First World War, a ship sank off the Isle of Wight, killing more than 600 South African passengers. The sinking of the SS Mendi is one of the worst maritime disasters in UK waters of the 20th century, yet few in the UK have heard of it. This Black History Month, Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey reminds us that this tragedy needs to be brought from the realm of hidden history to that of official history.

There are always many different perspectives on a historical event

History is a curious subject. There it is, with all its authority, apparently telling us what we need to know about a particular time, an individual or a group of people, a continent, or an event. And yet history is inevitably incomplete and partial. We have internalised its inadequacies, accepted the gaps and absences because — well, what else is there to do? We have to recognise that a history of everything is impossible, an indigestible concoction of the epoch-defining, the trivial and the irrelevant. Too much detail can become detritus and not much use to us at all.

Not everyone who died in the First World War was killed in battle

As we commemorate the First World War, I want to draw attention to a tragic incident. It involved the loss of human life without a shot being fired or a bayonet drawn, alongside great dignity and heroism. Some may consider it a mere detail or a footnote. It is though, in effect, a story that reflects many of the themes of that conflict, demonstrating as it does how the official, grand narratives of history can sometimes gloss over events that resonate with some of us more than others.

In South Africa, the SS Mendi evokes a mixture of grief and pride. Yet in Britain, few are familiar with the ship or the fate of those who sailed in it.

What happened to the SS Mendi?

The bald facts are that on 21 February 1917, the SS Mendi was struck by another ship not far from the Isle of Wight and badly damaged. It sank. More than 600 South African men died.

How did it come about that hundreds of South African men — predominantly black, but some white — were sailing from Cape Town to Le Havre, France? Like many thousands of others from across the British Empire, they were travelling to support the war effort. Put simply, Britain and her allies were running out of people and supplies.

This was a time during which the prevalent view in Britain was an absolute belief in the superiority of the white man. So although it was deemed necessary to conscript and recruit from the Caribbean, Africa and India, there was uneasiness at the prospect of putting weapons into the hands of colonial subjects. In the end, battalions of armed Caribbean and African men were deployed to fight, but always under the command of white men. As well as troops, labourers were also conscripted and recruited to serve in the war effort. The latter were known as the Foreign Labour Corps.

There were about 70,000 men working in the South African Native Labour Corps. These were the passengers on board the SS Mendi, which left Cape Town towards the end of January 1917. It was carrying 823 men from the 5th Battalion South African Native Labour Corps when the fatal blow was struck. Travelling at some speed in foggy, dangerous waters 20 kilometres from the Isle of Wight, the Darro, a mail ship twice the size of the Mendi, crashed into the smaller boat.

The larger ship initially did not stop to help the SS Mendi and its beleaguered, drowning passengers and crew. It took less than half an hour for the stricken vessel to sink.

The story of the SS Mendi was saved by oral history — but what of official history and remembrance in the UK?

Some 200 men survived the disaster. These survivors were able to tell their lost comrades’ stories, making sure that those who died would not become yet another historical absence, an unknown group of mainly black men at the bottom of the sea.

The story of the Reverend Dyobha was especially compelling. In his final address on board the Mendi, as it went down, the Reverend led those who could not make it into a life boat in a death dance, telling them:

‘You are going to die, but that is what you came to do… let us die like warriors. We are the sons of Africa. Raise your war cries, my brothers, for though they made us leave our assegais [spears] back in the kraals [villages], our voices are left with our bodies.’

After the tragedy, white South African parliamentarians paid their respects to those who died, though their deference did not stretch to awarding medals to any of the black servicemen — living or dead — from the South African Native Labour Force. Such honours were reserved for white officers only.

Initially disregarded by the official histories of the First World War, the story of the SS Mendi lives on because it has been passed down orally. It is only since the ending of apartheid in South Africa that the events of that night in February 1917 have been integrated into the mainstream historical narratives of the period, and remembered through ceremonies and memorials in various parts of the country.

In the summer of 2015, there will be a permanent exhibition commissioned by English Heritage, ‘We Die Like Brothers’ at the South African National Memorial, Delville Wood, on the Somme in France, which will include web content and education packs to help teachers tell the story.

Here in the UK, the Hollybrook memorial in Southampton is inscribed with the names of those who died, but it is a sad fact that it is only relatively recently that the significance of the wreck lying on the sea floor has been recognised in Britain. In addition to the Southampton memorial, it would seem most appropriate here in the UK to create a permanent monument on the Isle of Wight, which would point to the location where those men lost their lives.

We sometimes need to go beyond what official history selects to focus on

When whole swathes of peoples’ experiences are overlooked by studies of the past, they are sometimes referred to as ‘hidden histories’. Often, they are hidden in plain sight. These stories are there if you have the time, energy and knowledge required to seek out the clues, or if someone points them out for you. Thankfully, there is a growing number of researchers looking for the global historical jigsaw puzzle’s missing pieces. We need to familiarise ourselves with these brief but telling moments, that are such an important part of our interconnected histories.

In its recent report, Remember the World as well as the War, and in the context of Black History Month, the British Council has been aiming to draw attention to some of the ‘hidden histories’ of the First World War.

more about victims buried in Noordwijk

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Thomas Debnam.

Leydse Courant | 1 juni 1803

After a lot of research we have to admit this is all we can find about Captain Thomas Debnam.
We read the English and Dutch and German newpapers  .
We searched on the internet.
We looked in the Army registration of the English Russian army.

The siege of Hamburg
Extract of the Journal of the ship Liberator under the command of Thomas Debnam in Hamburg 1813.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Camille Henrot

From old to new.
Today we received a letter on behalfe of Camille Henrot who found a photograph on this site and would like to use it .
Unfortunateley we only found the photographs on the internet to illustrate the journey of Charles James Vlieland and his family on the `crossing the line `event on the Oruba and they are not ours.






Saturday, 20 February 2016

Gervase Petter

Gervase Petter (1819–1900)
Gervase Petter, the father of FrederickCharles Petter, was the son of Thomas Petter (1783–1863), a brickmaker and sheep farmer, the tenant of 12 acres and a farmhouse (Hambledon House) in Fyning, near Rogate, West Sussex. 
He and his wife, Sarah Tipper (1791–1864), had at least 11 children after their marriage in Rogate in 1811 – one child every two years between 1812 (Thomas) and 1834 (Carolina), with a gap between 1829 and 1832 when a child or children may have died. 
All were boys (Thomas, George, Charles, Edward, Gervase, Jarvis, Henry and Lewis) except the last three (Mary, Elizabeth and Carolina). 
By 1861, only Edward and Carolina and their parents were still at the farm; Thomas died of ‘decay of nature’ (what we would now call dementia) in 1863, and Gervase was there when he died. 
Sarah may be been turned out of her home; she died a year later in the tiny nearby hamlet of Terwick Common (called ‘Trerwick’ in the contemporary parish records), which may be where one of her children lived or farmed.
Gervase was the fifth child, still living at the farm aged 22 in 1841 but in Tottenham, northeast London, by 1851. A year later, the year before his marriage to Eliza Sarah Forster (1826–1906, also from Tottenham but perhaps with family in Shoreditch, where they were married), he was lodging with James Cornell in Castle Place (a road/alley that no longer exists) near the Tottenham High Road and White Hart Lane, and involved in a case at the Central Criminal Court. Gervase, true to his farming background, kept rabbits in a shed at his lodgings; when one was stolen, he testified in court on 2 February 1852: there was a guilty verdict and the thief was sent to prison for 6 months.
In 1851, Tottenham, originally a low-lying area of fields and marsh bordering the River Lea to the east and Edmonton to the north and a settlement since the Domesday Book, was in James Thorne’s words* ‘a long straggling hamlet’, still essentially rural, a place of general gentility and health, with small farms, brewers, paper mills and brick- and lace-making. 
The farms provided food and fodder for horses in London and the market gardens salad crops for the city. 
There were a few big houses and Bruce Castle, a former manor house, and some low-level industrial development along the Tottenham High Road and White Hart Lane, the two main through roads. 
Tile works and The Kilns (later Williamson’s) brickfield and pottery workshops might have been a source of employment for Gervase, given his father’s trade, but we do not as yet know how he was employed, nor where in Tottenham he raised his family of five. In the 1860s, Tottenham began its decline to the overcrowded and impoverished suburb it became towards the end of the century: the population grew by 10,000 in the decade and there were frequent crises over sewage disposal and clean water supplies. 
By the 1870s such enterprises as Dickinson’s paper mills and Nathan’s furniture workshops provided a larger source of employment and with the coming of the railway (see below) a tide of lower-paid workmen flooded into the new stock brick terraces, crammed in 40 to an acre with minimal front or back gardens, overcrowding and urbanizing the whole area. 
Tottenham had had one of the earliest London railway lines, opened by the Northern and Eastern Railway (NER) in 1840 for trains along the Lea Valley with stations at Ferry Lane and Marsh Lane (later Northumberland Park). 
In 1872 the Great Eastern Railway (GER) opened a line from Bethnal Green to Edmonton, with stations at Seven Sisters, Bruce Grove and White Hart Lane, providing cheap early morning workmens’ tickets into the city.
All Gervase’s children were born in Tottenham but his grandson Archibald Graham said his family came from Edmonton, and Eliza, Gervase’s wife, died there in 1906, so it looks as if at least some of the children made the move north to the slightly more salubrious area. 
Gervase himself died in Wandsworth, possibly at the home of one of his children.
*James Thorne, Rambles by the Lea (London: Charles London Knight, 1844).

Thanks Barbara !



Thursday, 18 February 2016

A London commercial traveller in the 1880s and 1890s

A London commercial traveller in the 1880s and 1890s

Commercial travellers, like Frederick Charles Petter, had an ambiguous social standing. They were below-average earners in a peripatetic and insecure profession, but often aspired to be lower middle class in their lifestyle and the education of their children. By 1881, Charles Frederick was living with his wife and eldest two children in the recently built suburb of Brockley in Kent, just outside the London metropolitan boundary and several rungs up from the more urban Tottenham where he had been born, and was able to employ two domestic servants. By 1891, with at least nine family mouths to feed, he seems to have moved closer to the inner city, to Denmark Hill in Camberwell, another newbuild area but probably cheaper than Brockley and involving less expense in train travel if he needed to go into central London: there were cheap workmen’s tickets for regular working travellers. However, by this time he was able to afford only one person to help in the house.

A commercial traveller ‘on the road’ took samples, catalogues or pattern books of the products (tobacco, confectionary, linens, ladies’ corsetry) of a firm (such as Coats’ draperies, Wills’ tobacco, Wolsey’s underwear or McVitie’s biscuits) to shopkeepers who might place an order for the branded goods in which he travelled, perhaps making up to 45 calls a week; he (it was a very male profession) often also spent ‘wasted’ non-earning days canvassing for new business in areas off his usual territory. If he travelled in linens and drapery for firms such as Liberty’s, there would be a very busy period in the spring and autumn ahead of the new summer and winter fashions, but then very little work for the rest of the year. Travellers were white-collar workers, either self-employed and dependent on commission or employed directly by a company (a traveller employed by Wills’ could earn up to £400 a year). They defined themselves as professionals within a closed fraternity and needed to be self-confidant in selling both themselves and their goods and resilient, since much of their territory had to be covered on foot, omnibus or train in all weathers. They had a professional body, the United Kingdom Commercial Travellers Association (UKCTA), founded in 1883, which gave insurance cover against damage to goods or incapacity to work and help in legal matters, and a School in Wanstead in east London, to ‘feed clothe and educate the necessitous children of brethren “on the road”’. Travellers might have a local territory so that they came home every night, but could be away from home for a week (sometimes even a month), when they stayed in one of a dedicated network of cheap hotels catering for itinerant guests, some being ‘temperance’ establishments where no alcohol was served. This made domestic life very strained, with the burden of keeping home and raising the children on a fluctuating income falling on Marie Elizabeth and a family that grew by a new child more or less every two years from 1877 to 1890.



Thanks are due to Michael French for some of this information, drawn from his articles ‘Commercials, careers, and cultures: travelling salesmen in Britain 1890s–1920s’, History Review 58 (2), 2005, 352–77 and ‘On the road: travelling salesmen and experiences of mobility in Britain before 1939’, Journal of Transport History 31 (2), 2010, 133–50.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Thomas Petter.

Thomas Petter (1783–1863, father of Gervase) was a brickmaker and farmer who (presumably) was the tenant of 12 acres in Fyning, a hamlet of Rogate near Chichester in West Sussex.

The farmhouse (Hambledon House) still stands and was sold for £995,000 in 2013!

As you may know from WikiTrees, Thomas and Sarah Tipper (1791–1864) had 11 children, of whom Gervase was the fifth; the marriage was in 1811 and there is almost literally one child every two years until 1834, although there is a gap between 1829 and 1832, which may be deaths. Clearly the farm could sustain that many mouths but although Gervase was still there in the 1841 census, aged 22, by 1861 only Edward (the fourth) and Carolina (the eleventh) are still at home.

By 1851, Gervase is in Tottenham, and the next year, the year before his marriage, we can place him in Castle Place (a street that no longer exists), as the lodger of James Cornell in a 'cottage' (probably a small terraced house) off the Tottenham High Road, because he was involved in a case at the Central Criminal Court over the theft of a rabbit! 

Tottenham was then still fairly rural and not yet the slum it became in the 1870s, so this may not be as far down the ladder as it seems. What he was doing, and where he housed Eliza and the five children is still a mystery.

Thanks Barbara

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Valentinesday

Edward Valentine Blomfield
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and other sources 
Edward Valentine Blomfield (February 14, 1788 – October 9, 1816) was an English classical scholar and brother of Bishop CJ Blomfield.

Life

He was born at Bury St Edmunds on 14 Feb. 1788. He was the second son of the six children of Charles Blomfield (1763–1831), a schoolmaster (as was Charles James's grandfather, James Blomfield), JP and chief alderman of Bury St Edmunds, and his wife, Hester (1765–1844), daughter of Edward Pawsey, a Bury grocer.
Edward acquired a high reputation for learning and general accomplishments, being a good modern linguist and draughtsman, as well as a brilliant scholar[1] He was educated under Dr. Becher at the grammar school in Bury St. Edmunds, and thence proceeded to Caius College, Cambridge, in 1807.
In 1811, he took his B.A. degree, being placed thirteenth wrangler. He had, however, obtained such classical distinctions as were then open to competition ; he was Browne's medallist in 1809 and 1810 (in the former year being beaten by one candiaate, but receiving a prize of books from the vice-chancellor, Dr. Barnes), members' prizeman in 1812, and finally first chancellor's classical medallist[1]
The fellowships in his own college being full, he was elected to a classical lectureship and fellowship at Emmanuel College,[2] which he retained till his death in 1816. He died from a fever contracted in a long vacation tour in Switzerland in that year. He managed, after being taken ill at Dover, to reach Cambridge, where he died on 3 Oct., and was buried in Emmanuel College Chapel ; in the cloisters of which is a tablet to his memory, with an inscription by his brother, Charles James.[1]
In 1813, he travelled to Germany and made the acquaintance of some of the great scholars of that country. On his return, he published in the Museum Criticum (No. ii), an interesting paper on "The Present State of Classical Literature in Germany." He died in 1816, his early death depriving Cambridge of one who seemed destined to take a high place amongst her most brilliant classical scholars.[1]

Work

His chief work was a translation of Matthiae's Greek Grammar, a book still unrivalled in its way. He had completed it in the spring of 1816, intending to furnish it with mdexes, &c., in the autumn. It was left for his brother Charles James to edit, who prefixed to it a short essay on the virtues and learning of the translator. Edward had met with this book in tlie course of a tour in Germany, undertaken in 1813, as soon as the events of that year had opened the continent to English travellers. Another fruit of this tour was a paper in the Museum Criticum on "The State of Classical Literature in Germany," a subject which had then become almost unknown in England. Besides a few other papers contributed to the ' Museum ' Blomfield had projected a Greek-English lexicon to take the place of the old Greek-Latin Lexicons of Scapula and Hedericus, which gave needless difficulty to students and were neither full nor accurate. He published a specimen of his Lexicon, which was well received, and his plans seem to have been rational and promismg. [1]

If you want to read everything start here 


by James Henry Monk, "Memoir of Edward Valentine Blomfield," in Museum Criticum, No. vii.
Here the original  book


Bury and Norwich Post - Wednesday 27 June 1810

Bury and Norwich Post - Wednesday 05 October 1831
Belfast Mercury - Wednesday 30 July 1856
Memorial in cloister of St Edmundsbury Cathedrall  
headstone


He was the brother of the bishop of London  and his sister in law was Anna Maria Heath 
Anna Maria´s sister Sarah Heath was married to Jerome Nicholas Vlieland 


Friday, 12 February 2016

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Agnes Peel

Photo below of my Grandmother Dorothy Agnes Hampton in Minbu Burma , her mother was Agnes Peel who's brother was Nathaniel Peel.

Thanks Angela 



name:

Agnes Peel
gender: Female
baptism/christening date: 15 Oct 1870
baptism/christening place: Poona, Bombay, India
birth date: 28 Sep 1870 daughter of Natahaniel Peel 


Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Nathaniel Peel




Photo of Nathaniel Peels stamp or small coin Wallet
more on Nathaniel Peel 

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Nathaniel Peel

This is the mail we received and great pictures as well .

Dear Jerome , attached is a photo of Great Great Grandfather Nathaniel Peel who married Constance Amelia Bird in 1866 in Poona , they had four children one was Agnes Peel my great Grandmother and her brother was Reginald Peel born 1873 who married firstly 1906 Francis Maud Vlieland , they had three children before she died in 1914 .

Thanks Angela

more on Nathaniel Peel 

Monday, 8 February 2016

War and peace

To get the meaning of yesterdays blog we have to explain some things .
Yesterday the last episode of war and peace  was on the BBC and here is the real thing.

Remember we are in 1813 as well and Napoleon is almost defeated .


There is a commander Thomas Debnam with his ship the Liberator.
He is ordered by Baron von Tettenborn," to arm such of those Vessels, that the French had left sunk in the Port of Hamburg, and that could be got up and made ready with the greatest dispatch".
He recrutes some men and ask for guns at the admiralty.
It is like Dad´s Army .There are only 4 guns and the next day another 8 more for his 4 officers and men.
Two days later the Baron ordered to lift a cutter and 2 sunken brigs to form a squadron.
The ships  were transported to different carpenters," to be put in a state fit for service."
As there was no food or money .Thomas had to victual his officers with his own money.
On 5 th of April Thomas received an order from the Baron, to take a crew for the Liberator Lugger, under his Command "as Chief on the water".
Again he asked for guns and powder but did not get anything.
on the 24 th he asked again but received nothing.The ships were ready by now.
On the 24th he send lieutenant Vlieland to the magistrates " to send all vessels that could swim to Hamburg ".
This Lieutenant Vlieland is Dutch but is also burgher of Prussia and now helping The British under Russian flag fight the French in Germany !
He must have been a great speaker of different languages to negotiate with all those different languages  !
Thomas tells us Upon my arrival ,Mr Vlieland informed me, that two men had landed upon the S.E. extremity of the Island.

Two of my men being on the patrol, on seeing them, made towards them,supposing from their habits, they were farmers.

They advanced within 500 yards of each other, when these two men stood still, and made signs for my two men to advance; but not trusting to the appearences, my men made the best of their way for the Battery; and those following them, threw of their mask and fired at them.

The too great eagerness of Mr Vlieland's persuing, was the means by which they escaped, for they threw their great-coats and muskets into the river; being so unburthen'd, they gained their Boat, and got of.

This goes on untill the 10 th of June.

On the 10th at 2 A. M. an Officer of the Anseatic-Legion arriyed from the Altenwärder, who informed me, that the French were landed upon that Wand.
The Feldwebel of our little detachment came to me to know: what I meant to do?
I answerd him, to defend myself as long as I could.
I immediately dispatch'd my Boatswain Peter Perterson in my Gig, with ammunition and orders for Mr Vlieland at the Battery, to fight as long as he could;and that I would come as soon as possible with the Eaver, and cover his retreat.

At 7 A.M. the Enemy advanced with Drums-beating along the Dyke from the Westward.

I then left the Command of the Eaver to Mr Vlieland and proceeded on board of the Lugger, which for the want of strength and a little more activity had caught the Ground.

The Enemy fired pieces necks of Glass-Bottles, as appeared by the wounds, that my Cook received, for of the neck of a Glass-Bottle severed his thumb from his hand, and a part in
I left Mr Vlieland to execute my Orders, and sailed with my Party for the Catwyke, in order to recover my Guns. 

Upon my landing on the Catwyke, I found, that the French had destroy'd every thing in the house of the man, who had render'd me the greatest of services.
As soon as Mr Vlieland came up with the arm'd Eaver, we went to work to recover our Guns, the which accomplish'd, we set sail, and at 10 A.M. came along side of the Liberator.
At 5 P.M. a party of the Farmers from the Altenwärder came a long side and inform'd me of the barbarity which the French had committed upon the body of one of the Anseatic- Legion, which they had made Prisoner upon that Wand.
Being exasperated at such horrid cruelty, and to convince the Magistrate of Hamburgh, whether the Report was true, I ordered the Farmers to bring me the body before Midnight, for, if they did not, I would repair to the Altenwarder and burn all before me.

At 11 P.M. they brought me the body in a coffin.
After making my report at the HeadQuarters, I made application to Mr Bernitt, the Inspector of the Admirality, to provide me with Sails for the Broom-Stick Eaver.
He gave me for answer: that he had mone. 3’then demanded Canvas and a sailmaker; those could also not be had.
He further said to me: that if I was in such a haste, I should take in requisition the Sails from one of the Milk-Eavers.
Finding, I could obtain, neither the one, nor the other of those Necessaries, I went to a Sailmaker on. the Vorsätzen, and took 20 Ells of Canwas and two balls of twine, and repaird to my station.

After another few days of waiting and lying near Hamburg something happened.
While we were occupied, the Danes came and ordered me to haul down my Colours, for that I should not fire a Gun.
My answer was: that I would not strike my Colours for an inferior force, and so continued our work.
About half an hour afterwards the Danes came in force and desired me to desist.
I answered: that I would not, unless they took me as Prisoner, which they did, and
conducted me and my Lieutnant Vlieland to their commanding-officer in Hamburgh, who told me: that the Danes were not at war with Russia, therefore he could not detain us.
I then, with Lieutnant Vlieland ,returned on board of the Liberator, where I found the greatest Part of my Crew.
After taking some refreshment I ordered my long Boat to be manned and armed, being determin'd, if it was possible, to hinder the French from entering the Town by water, before it was night.
At 8 P.M. I returned on board of the Liberator.
Upon my returning on the shore a certain Gentleman said to me: Debnam there is nothing more to be done upon the water.
My answer was that if they were sold upon the land, I had with my small crew done my best on the water.

Then Thomas Debnam is taken prisoner by the Danes and he tells us the story again in his own words..
The undersigned Commander of the Liberator Lugger Commandant and Chief of his I. R. Majesty's Marine stationed 2#. Elbe by order of his Excellence Count Witgenstein under the order of General Tettenborn, begs 1eave to inform your Excellence of the disloyal behaviour of the Danish Commandant of Altona.
Excellences I am a subject of Great Britain in the Service of Russia.
On the 29 of May as 4 A.M. I received order by an ordinance from the General Tettenborn to place the Guns that were upon the Hambroberg within the Battery and to arrange every thing so as to be in a state of defence.
In compliance with this order as soon as I could muster my little force from among the confusion that then reigned in Hamburg, who were like - sheep that had lost their sheppherd.
I repaird to the Battery and commenced to execute my orders.
On the West side I planted the English and on the East the Russian Colours.
Before I had compleated transporting the Guns, a Danish Corprals Guard arrived and demanded me to strike my Colours, for I should not fire a Gun.
In answer to this demand I told him that as soon as the Danes would plant theirs, I would haul down mine.
Thus things remained in a state of suspence and inactivity untill a Lieutnant arrived with a superior force, I drew up my men in line of defence.
The Danish Officer advanced and I met him halfway between our men.
This Officer received me with every mark of honour although I was in Sailor's habit and politely told me, that he had no Danish Colours at that moment, and as England and Denmark was at war he deem'd it most prudent for me to submit, to which I acceded .
My little force then lay'd down their arms and my Lieutnant presented his upon certain conditions.
For my part I was without one.
Me Sword which this Officer honorably refused to accept.
and my Lieutnant was escorted to Hamburg. After a short intervue with the Danish Commandant, he render'd us our liberty.
I with my Lieutnant repaired onboard of the Lugger under my Command and acted as the Service and my duty required.
On the 30 at 6 A. M. I went on shore in quest of my Crew, but not one of them was to be found.
I therefore resolved to transport my Lugger to Altona, which I accomplished with the assistance of my Cabbin boy.
On the 2d of June at 10 A.M. the Commandant of the Danish Marine sent a boat on board and left three men to guard the Lugger.
I went on shore to Altona to inquire into the cause.
The answer that I received was that Mr Haffner would deliver me and the Lugger into the hands of the French. 

I remained on shore untill the tide of Flood which was about 2 P. M. not expecting to experience such treacherous behaviour.
About 8 P. M. the Danish Guardships Boat arrived with a French Officer and one Marine, to whom my person and the Lugger that I commanded was delivered,
I call upon your own Subjects to witness the fact.

As soon as this french Officer was on board he forgot all decency, he to'd me in the presence of the Danish Boats Crew that General van Dam would shoot me like a dog in twenty four hours.
I submitted patiently to all his abusive language.
In short I am in the hands of the French lock'd up like a Criminal; my fare Bread and Water.

Excellence
Above You have the facts. The part You will take in this affair remains for Your
superior knowledge. I ask no more than Justice, Truth and Loyalty. In the expectation of which I remain with respect.

We do not know what happened to Thomas Debham after all this.

The siege of Hamburg.

The city of Hamburg was one of the most powerful fortresseseast of the Rhine. After being freed from Napoleonic rule by advancing Cossacks and other following Coalition troops it was once more occupied byMarshal Davout's French XIII Corps on 28 May 1813, at the height of the German Campaign during the War of the Sixth Coalition from French rule and occupation. Ordered to hold the city at all costs, Davout launched a characteristically energetic campaign against a similar numbered Army of the North made up of Prussian and other Coalition troops under the command of Count von Wallmoden-Gimborn, winning a number of minor engagements. Neither force was decidedly superior and the war ground to a halt and resulted in a rather stable front line between Lübeck and Lauenburg and further south along the Elbe river, even after the end of the cease-fire of the summer 1813. In October 1813 a French column's movement towards Dannenberg resulted in the only major engagement in the North of Germany, the Battle of the Göhrde. The defeated French troops retreated back to Hamburg.
Despite steadily shrinking manpower, food and ammunition supplies, Davout's forces displayed no signs of abandoning Hamburg. When French armies withdrew west after the lost Battle of Leipzig at the end of the year, and the Allies deployed a large portion of Bernadotte's Army of the North to watch the city during the 1814 campaign for France. Davout was still in control of Hamburg when the War of the Sixth Coalition ended in April, and eventually capitulated to Russian forces under General Bennigsen on 27 May 1814, obeying orders delivered by General Gérard from King Louis XVIII.





More about this all in German

arrival 1 June 1803 Leydse courant.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Extract from the journal of the Liberator. Thomas Debnam, Commander

Extract from the journal of The liberator Thomas Debnam commander.















Read also  Hendrik
de jonge Harting captured by French privateers 
De Jonge Elisabeth captured by ship of war Harpy
Der aufwaerter  captured by ship of war Courier 
Beatrix Elizabeth 







Imperial - Russian-Majesty, stationed in the Elbe. 

On the 27th of March 1813, I received the Order from Baron von Tettenborn, to arm such of those Vessels, that the French had left sunk in the Port of Hamburgh, and that could be got up and made ready with the greatest dispatch. 
I immediately made my application to Mr Bernitt, the Inspector of the Hambro Admiralty, to get an Order for the delivery of the Pennices, which was complyed with.
 I then according with my orders, opened a Rendez-Vous for the purpose of entering Seamen for the Service. 
Having engaged a sufficient number of Officers and men for those Pennices, I repassed to the Inspector of the Admiralty, and demanded the Guns, that were fitted for those Pennices, then laying in the Arsenal; which demand was refused under the pretence, that the Inspector had not received an official order from the Baron. 
I then made my Application to a Gentleman, which No 2 will explain, who repair'd to the head-quarter, to obtain the necessary orders. 
During this interval, I transported the French-Admiral: Yacht to the Carpenter's ways, to be put in a state, fit for the Service. 
At 10 P.M. I received four Guns from the Hambro-Admiralty’s-Yacht, but at that unreasonable hour I could not muster the People sufficient for to man them. 
However the four Officers and the few men, that I had on board of the Liberator, arrang'd the matter as well as they could, to act upon the defensive. 
On the 28th, having received a special order, I went with my awkward Squad= to the Admiralty and took from the Arsenal eight Guns and Carriages for the Lugger; also the Guns and Swivels for the Pennices, which I mounted. 
After returning the Guns, that I had received from the Brig, I order'd the little Squadroon under my Command out of Harbour, to be ready to act, as necessity requir’d it. 
But a certain jealousy reign'd, which may be compared with the fable of the dog in the manger, I could get nothing out of the hands of those in office, but by main force. 
I demanded small arms and ammunition, but mone to be had. I also apply'd

Abendroth the Mayor of Hamburgh, opposed every thing, that was apply'd for
to him. 
He and the Inspector were two sleeves of the same habit.
 However not to retard the Service, I took upon myself to victual my officers and men, at the Rendezvous, and at the risque of my being obliged to pay for them. - On the 30th at 41 A.M. the Baron visited the flying Squadrow under my Command, and gave me orders to lift a Cutter and two of the sunken Brigs, which with the assistance of the Harbour-Master I easely accomplish'd, and transported them to different Carpenters, to be put in a state fit for service. 
But there arising some difference among the Baron's officers with respect to their Pre-money, which the sale of those Vessels would produce, they ordered, that those vessels should again be hauld into the harbour. 
Thus thing remained in a state of inactivity until the 2d of April, when a Captain Miller of Altona received a Commission and full power to dispose over the arsenal and the admiralty's Yacht. 
At 10 A.M. he gave orders for the Squadron to be moored in a line ahead the Admiralty's Yacht, the Van to the Eastward upon the Ebb, the French Admiral's Yacht in the Center, and the Liberator in the Rear; to prepare for a Grand Salute, as the Baron was to pass and view the Squadron on his way to breakfast on board of a Merchant Vessel, called the Carolus. 
His orders being compleated, I made my demand to him for powder.
 His answer was, that he had none.
 I then made my application to the Inspector, who sent me about 20 t. This not being sufficient, I ordered Capt. Guttry, whom I had appointed to the Command of the Yacht, called the Cosaque, to send me a part of his powder, which order was comply'd with. 
At noon the Baron arrived and was saluted from each Vessel as he pass'd by, and also on his return at 5 P.M. On the third I sailed into the Köhlbrand and took that station. 
This Capt. Miller, although better protected then I was, met with no better success. 
He had taken a naturalized Jew for his Secretary. 
His office; was in the same tavern, where this man had been clerk for two or three years; s fellow of a laughly and vindicative spirit, who rather retarded than forwarded the Service. 
April the 5th I received an order from the Baron, to take a crew for the Liberator Lugger, under my Command as Chief on the water, and stationed in the Köhlbrand, the Courier, Captain Wichers, station’d at Harbourgh, and the Cosaque, Captain Bluhm,
station'd at the Zollenspeicher, and to give with each of those Wessels a Pennice, to
orieu two Brigs.
 I immediatly applyd to the Inspector for the Guns and Stores, who told me, that he could do nothing, without the consent of the Mayor. 
However I appointed two Captains and ordered them, to engage their officers and men. 
I then repaired to the Head-Quarter, and complained to the Baron of the disrespect, that was pay’d to his orders. 
The Baron immediately sent for the Mayor; he was at dinner, when I made my Complaint to him. I attended in the dining-room. for the arrival of the Mayor. 
In the interval an officer at the table, sitting on the left of the Baron, asked me: if I was an Englishman?
 My answer was: that I had the honour to be of that Nation.
 He them presented my with a bumper of Wine. 
His questions I answerd in the affirmative. 
Upon the arrival of the Mayor, he spoke something in the ear of the Baron, unintelligible to me. He then began to browbeat me with respect to my Nation.
I answer'd him with as good, as he sent, and in reply to the Baron's discourse, I said: that man is a Frenchman in his heart, and he would find it so, when it was too late. 
The Mayor quitted the room in such a Passion that he forgot his hat. 
After his leaving the room, I desir'd to know: what names should be given to those Brigs. 
The answer I received was: that I could give them, what names I thought proper. 
At 8 P.M. I left the Head-Quarter and went to the Admiralty. 
I found the Inspector a little more compliable. 
We mamed the Brigs, the one the Alexander, Capta Dannenberg; the other the Tettenborn, Capta Dormann. 
At 14 P.M.–I-returned on board of the Liberator. 
On the 24th. I apply'd to Mayor von Pfuhl, for small arms and ammunition; from whom I received an order on the Commission, for every thing, that I required. 
I immediatly went to their office with the order, but could obtain nothing. 
From thence I went to the Inspector of the Admiralty and insisted upon his providing me with powder and balls; who gave me two Quarter-Barrels of Powder. 
Cartridge-Paper I was oblige'd to purchase with my own Money. 
On the 23 the Brigs were compleat for the Service in every thing, but small arms and ammunition. 
On the 24th I dispatch'd Lieutnant Vlieland with orders to the Magistrates of Morburgh, Langbroock and Altenwärder, to send every Vessel that would swim to Hamburgh. 
On this Expedition they retook an Ever, called the Cygne, which five of the french Douamiers had taken, who deserted her upon the aproach of my boat. 
At the same time, that I dispatch'd Lieutnant vlieland, I order'd the Pennice to be mann’d and set sail for Harburgh. 
As soon as I came within the reach of the Guns of the Cutter, they fired point-blank at me, although they could planly see my colours. 
Upon my entering on board of the Cutter, I asked Captn. Wichers, if he had orders from the Mayor to fire upon me, as he well knew, that the Pennice belong'd to me. 
His answer was: that he had orders froh the commanding officer of Harburgh, to fire upon every Vessel and make them assist in transporting the remaining horses from Harburgh over the river to Wilhelmsburgh.
 I left the Cutter and saild with the Pennice into *9 Harburgh. I demanded of the commanding officer of this cavalry, with what I could, or should assist him with? 
His answer was: to assist him in shipping and transporting his men and horses to Wilhelmsburgh. 
During the time, that my People was embarking this cavalry, I had some conversation with Cap'n Wichers, respecting the Defense of the Cutter, in case of an attack, and gave him for my advice, to plant two or three of his Guns behind a little hillock, which is right opposite to the opening of * Harburgh; that in case of necessity would cover his retreat.
 His answer to my council was: that he could do nothing without the orders of the Commandant. I desir'd him to introduce me to this officer which he did.
 I remonstrated with this officer the necessity of such a measure. 
He answer'd me: that he could do nothing, before he had made his report. 
I offered to be the bearer of this report, which offer was rejected.
 I then set sail for Hamburgh, the wind being from the S.S.E. and the latter part of the Ebb, we caught the Ground, between Horishoe and the High Dyke. 
At noon I arrived at Hamburgh and went to the Head-Quarter and made my Report. - 
I again made my application for the small arms and ammunition, that had long been ordered for me, but without Effect. 
At 6 P.M. I departed from Hamburgh, and at half past 7, I arrived along side of the Liberator. After taking a little refreshment, I set off in my Cig arm’d, to go to the Cutter with the nightparol. At 11 I came along side of the Courier Cutter, I found it rather strange, to find so many small Eavers and Boats, moored on each side and a stern of the Cutter. 
I said to Captn Wichers: that I was much surprised, after the orders, that he had received,
he did not send these small Craft to Hamburgh. 
His answer was: that he did not
Knowing the impossibility of navigating with the Liberator between the Köhlbrand and Harburgh, I embarked four of my Guns on board of the Eaver, which we had taken, and transported them to a convenient Place behind the Dyke, on the Island of Catwyk. 
During the time, that we were occupied in this manouvox, I received from the Mër von Pfuhl the Letter No 4. Notwithstanding I follow'd my former Plan, and dispatched Lieutnant Vlieland to the Head-Quarter, to demand english arms, as all the farmers were willing to fight, but had no arms; and those that I had were not to be trusted to, being muskets made for the Slave trade. 
As soon as it was dark, I ordered the two Pennices to be moored in a situation, so as to act in consort with our little Battery, if in case the enemy should attempt to make his escape with the Cutter. 
Things being arranged in the best manner possible, I sent out a pan of my sailors with some of the farmers in company with them to patrole the low part of the Island, facing Harburgh, least the enemy should land, and take us by surprise in the rear. 
At midnight Lieutnant Vlieland returned, but without arms. 
On the 30th at 4 A.M. the Enemy marched out of Harburgh and posted themselves at Morburgh and a party right opposite to the Battery. 
The Distance between us being too great for me, to do them any material injury,
 I judged it most prudeut, not to fire at them, as by finding of our shot, they would know our weakness. 
On the first of May I went to the Head-Quarter and demanded arms, but could obtain nome others, but those Negroe-Muskets and 400 BallCartridges, the balls of which were too large. Upon my making this remark to the officer, that delived them to me, he told me, that I must cut the ball in two. 
Before 1 returned, I went to a plumber and ordered 1500, that would suit the muskets, which I was obliged to pay for before hand. At 2 P.M. I returned to the Battery. 
Upon my arrival Mr Vlieland informed me, that two men had landed upon the S.E. extremity of the Island. 
Two of my men being on the patrol, on seeing them, made towards them,supposing from their habits, they were farmers. 
They advanced within 500 yards of each other, when these two men stood still, and made signs for my two men to advance; but not trusting to the appearences, my men made the best of their way for the Battery; and those following them, threw of their mask and fired at them. 
The too great eagerness of Mr Vlieland's persuing, was the means by which they escaped, for they threw their great-coats and muskets into the river; being so unburthen'd, they gained their Boat, and got of. 
On the 24 of May I received from the Head-quarter the Letter No 5. In compliance to this Letter I set of immediatly for Wilhelmsburgh, but upon my arrival there, the Count Kielmansegge was absent. 
I waited at his Quarters until sun-set, without having the pleasure of seeing him. 
However I communicated the principle part of my mission to the then commanding-officer, and so returned to my post. At 9 P.M.
 I dispatched Mr Vlieland with the Gig arm'd for to execute the orders I had received. 
On my arrival at the Köhlbrand, I was happy to find a Detachment of the Anseatic-Legion and thirty Cosaques, as I had but one man and a boy left on Board of the Lugger, after manning the Battery and the other Boats for the Service; being allow'd no more then thirty three officers, men and boys myself included. 
On the 34 of May, having received Intelligence of the French, being in possesion of a number of boats * different sizes, then laying in a Sluce by Nienfeldt, I proposed to the officers of this Detachment to embark five of my Gums, and land them on the Altenwärder, and from thence transport them by land to the Finkenwärder; it being then half ebb, we could pass without being obliged to discharge our waggons, before we arrived at our place of distination. My council was adhered to, and at 3 P. M. we landed our Guns on the Allenwärder, having taken the precaution to cover them in the Waggons with trusses of straw, to obscure them from the sight of the enemy, as the Waggons were obliged to pass on the out-side of the Dyke. 
At 6 P.M. I arrived with the Waggons behind a th: patch of osiers, which obscured me from the view of the enemy. 
Having planted my Guns, the Infantry drew out over the Dyke, the enemy advanced and attacked our little Detachment. 
I reserved my fire until the ememy made a halt, and the Eavers advanced, it being then the tide of Flood. 
These Eavers had on board a Detachment, of the Meklenburger-Infantry; a smalt fire took place, and as soon as the Enemy found, that we had Artillery, they retreated into the village. 
The result of our Expedition was the taking of the boats. 
The Meklenburgers returned to Hamburg. 
At 8 P.M. I dismounted my Guns and loaded them inthe Waggons; at 2 P.M. I arrived on board of the Liberators forgot the Gan. 
I made my application to the Inspector, who gave me for answer: that the order for the Gun was cóatsemanded, and that he should send for the ammunition. 
I thereupon told him: the shot he might have, but the powder he should not. 
Finding, that I could not obtain, what was necessary for the Pennices,
I thought it most proper, to withdraw them from the Catwyke to the Kahlbrandt, and
to arm the Broom-Stick Eaver, being better adapted to cruize in the shallow waters. 
Having armed the Eaver with four one Pound metal and two # th Iron Swivels,
 I proposed making a diversion along the river from Morburgh to Harburgh. 
On the 6th at 40 P.M., I dispatched Lieutnant Vlieland with eight of my men, and as many milkmen on board the Eaver. 
An other Party of my men with the farmers I ordered along the shore to the Extremity of the Iland. 
At midnight “a brisk fire commenced on both sides, which continued until about half past 1, without any loss on our side, only one man slightly wounded. 
At 2 A.M. M. Vlieland return’d after disturbing the Enemy? from their night-repose. 
On the 7th I got an order for a three Pound-Gun and Slide, which I mounted on board of the Eaver, and made use of her as necessity, or the Service required. 
On the 9th by the desire of Mr Munster, Lieutenant of the Anseatic-Legion, I sent an Indent to Count Kielmansegge for those Stores and Ammunition, that were necessary for the Service of my Station. 
At 7 P.M. I received 450 rounds of Powder and Ball for the Battery and Lugger, but nothing for the Eaver. 
On the 10th at 2 A. M. an Officer of the Anseatic-Legion arriyed from the Altenwärder, who informed me, that the French were landed upon that Wand. 
The Feldwebel of our little detachment came to me to know: what I meant to do? 
I answerd him, to defend myself as long as I could. 
I immediately dispatch'd my Boatswain Peter Perterson in my Gig, with ammunition and orders for Mr Vlieland at the Battery, to fight as long as he could;and that I would come as soon as possible with the Eaver, and cover his retreat.
A few minutes after the departure of my Boat, I set sail for the Altenwarder and 2.
brought from thence the two Guns, that I had lent to the Anseatic-Legion, one Soldier and one Cosaque, with had been left behind. 
After setting those two men on the Kahlbrandt, I returned and moored the Broom-Stick Eaver along side of a wicker jetty, directly opposite to, where the Enemy must pass in full view. 
At 7 A.M. the Enemy advanced with Drums-beating along the Dyke from the W estward. 
As soon as their Center as near as I could judge, had turn'd the Corner, and marched to the Southward, I commenced my fire. 
With what Success I cannot say, but could see those to the Southward dćend behind the Dyke, and those to the Westward before the Dyke amongst the trees, and open'd their Fire upon us; about half an hour after the fire had commenced, six or seven of my Beef-Eaters, who had deserted from the Battery, attempted to pass the Ever. 
I ordered to fire at them, and brought them along side. 
About half an hour afterwards my Lieutenant came a long side with those, that had staid by him, to spike and hide the Guns. 
Having more men, then necessary on board of the Broom-Stick, I sent a part of them on board of the Liberator with orders to the Boatswain, to trip the Anchor, and drop the Liberator so far down, as that the Enemy could not come in our rear. 
About 41 A.M. the Enemy ceased firing.
 I then left the Command of the Eaver to Mr Vlieland and proceeded on board of the Lugger, which for the want of strength and a little more activity had caught the Ground. 
At Noon with the flood, we hove her off. During the time, we were employed, an ordinance eame on board to me with orders from General Tettenborn for me, not to quit my station, and that he would send me assistance.
 In Compliance to his Orders I towed the Lugger again to her station in the Kahlbrandt. 
As soon as the Liberator was moored, I ordered the Gig to be arm'd and mann'd, with such Muskets, as I had. 
I then rowed up to the Eyer and ordered Lieutnant Vlieland to cast off from the jetty and sail up close to the Vland, that my Intention was to dislodge the Enemy from among the trees. 
They let us advance within & Pisol-shot before they commenced their fire, which was brisk, but badly directed.
 It continued about half an hour, for the well directed fire from the three Pounder, that was on board the Eaver, put them to *. and they took shelter behind the Dyke. 
In this scuffel we had three men wounded, and the Sails of the Eaver very much shattered. 
The Enemy fired pieces necks of Glass-Bottles, as appeard by the wounds, that my Cook received, for of the neck of a Glass-Bottle severed his thumb from his hand, and a part * in
Lieutnant Munster, came, to me, and asked me: if I thought it was possible to make
a Coup de main on the yand of Catwyk, and retake our tents. 
My answer was: that it was not impossible, but that we had not strength enough, and that we must be certain, whether the French hat left the Alteuwarder, or not, before we could under-
take such an Enterprise.
At 14 P. M., Mr Vlieland 'gurned with the Broom-Stick Eaver and informed me: that he had been close to the Wand, but the wind blowing fresh from the S.E., a strong Ebb, and the Sails of the Eaver in so shattered a condition, he could not gain the jetty; but that he had fired several times, but did not receive any return. 
However he observed, that upon his firing the French set fire to the tents, they had taken from
us upon the Catwyk.
On the 44th at 4 A.M. I dispatch'd Lieutnant Vlieland in the Broom-Stick Eaver
with orders to land on the Altenwärder, and that, if there were no Frenchmen upon the land, for to arrest the Magistrate, and that I would follow him with an other Eaver, which belong'd to one Meyer.
I thereupon arm'd a party of the farmers belonging to the Catwyke, and the places adjacent, and set sail; finding, that there were no French upon the Altenwärder, I left Mr Vlieland to execute my Orders, and sailed with my Party for the Catwyke, in order to recover my Guns. 
Upon my landing on the Catwyke, I found, that the French had destroy'd every thing in the house
of the man, who had render'd me the greatest of services. 
As soon as Mr Vlieland came up with the arm'd Eaver, we went to work to recover our Guns, the which accomplish'd, we set sail, and at 10 A.M. came along side of the Liberator. 
At 5 P.M. a party of the Farmers from the Altenwärder came a long side and inform'd me of
the barbarity which the French had committed upon je body of one of the Anseatic- Legion, which they had made Prisoner upon that Wand. 
Being exasperated at such horrid cruelty, and to convince the Magistrate of Hamburgh, whether the Report was true, I ordered the Farmers to bring me the body before Midnight, for, if they did
not, I would repair to the Altenwarder and burn all before me. 
At 11 P.M. they brought me the body in a coffin. 
On the 12 at 5 A.M. I gave the liberty to the farmer for one Eaver to each Dorp, where the French were not, with these Instructions: that by day, they should hoist a white Flag, which upon the approach of the Enemy should be hauld down; and that by night, they should set fire to two or three trusses of straw, so as not to be seen by the Enemy. 
After arranging Matters with the Commanding Officer of the Detachment of the Anseatic-Legion, I set sail with the Broom Stick Eaver for Hamburgh, taking along with me the above mentioned dead body. 
At 44 A. M. I arrived in Hamburgh. 
After making my report at the HeadQuarters, I made application to Mr Bernitt, the Inspector of the Admirality, to provide me with Sails for the Broom-Stick Eaver. 
He gave me for answer: that he had none. 3’then demanded Canvas and a sailmaker; those could also not be had. 
He further said to me: that if I was in such a haste, I should take in requisition the Sails from one of the Milk-Eavers. 
Finding, I could obtain, neither the one, mor the other of those Necessaries, I went to a Sailmaker on. the Vorsätzen, and took 20 Ells of Canwas and two balls of twine, and repaird to my station. 
At 7 P.M. 4 Eavers with a Betachment of the Anseatic-Legion arrived at my Station. 
After remaining a short time, they all embarked and return'd to Hamburgh, leaving me and my little force to the mercy of the winds. 
As soon as these troops were gone, I judged it most prudent to send the Penniees and the other small Craft to Hamburgh, as the Lugger and the Eaver was all, that I could properly man. On the 13th at 5 A. M. I received intelligence that the French were on the Altenwärder, Catwyke and Neuhoff.
 I went on shore, and ordered every Boat, that would swim, to be immediatly transported to Hamburgh. 
On entering one of the farmer's houses, I heard the Mistress say: that she must provide bread, against the French came. 
I asked, where she could provide her Bread from ?
 that I would let nothing pass the Liberator? 
She answer'd me: from the Mill right opposite on the other side of the river. 
This miller had long been suspected both by me and the Officers of the Anseatic-Detachment. 
I immediatly sail'd over in a Milk-Eaver, and took all the flour I could find and the Sails of the mill on board of the Liberator. 
On the 14th the Sails of the Broom-Stick were compleated and she again fit for the Service. I sent Mr Vlieland to cruize with her between the Kahlbrandt and the Altenwarder. 
At 7 P.M. it ule branches of the river below my station. 
But by keeping to far to the Eastward the Lugger caught the ground abaft, and swung with her head to the N. N. E.; which in one point of view was an advantage rather, than a disadvantage, for then my broadside commanded the three Branches of the river, that the Enemy could descen'd for to atti: me. 
As soon as the Deck was cleard, I ordered the Eaver to be hauld upon the Starboard Quarter and man'd her, at Midnight. My Boatswain return’d and brought along with him a small Boat, on board of which was a Servant of the Magistrate of Neuhoff, who came express there from to inform me: that the French had embarked onboard of 4 Eavers a Party of Myrines, and that a Party of Douamiers and Marines were upon their march across the Iland, and that he supposed their Iatention was, to attack our little force. I thank'd and desir'd him to row to Altona out of the
way. 
About half an hour after, I could see them advance, although but slowly and
without any noise, until they came to a jetty. 
The contratide there put their Boats in disorder, and I could plainly hear them swear.
 Having rowed to the point, they found their mistake, at not finding the Lugger on her former station.
However they rowed towards us. 
I then ordered a musket to be fir’d at them. 
Finding themselves. discover'd they made all their Efforts to gain the Lugger, but our well directed fire made them turntail and row for the Land. 
Their Party on the Land began to fire at. us, but the distance was to great for them, to do us much Injury.

On the 45th at 3 A.M. two Boats from Hamburgerberg came along side; the one with a russian-officer; the other with the Hamburgerbürger-Guard. 
After inquiring into the cause of our firing, they return'd. 
At 4 A.M. it being foggy, I ordered the Gig to be man'd, and after giving the necessary orders to Mr Vlieland, we rowed a small distance from the Liberator, and then laid upon our oars, keeping a great silence. 
A little time after, H heard the elashing of oars in the water in the same direction as the night before, the French had made their attempt. I therefore made the Signal for 14 to fire from the Lugger, in that Direction.
Directly after the report of the Gun, I heard a trumpet. 
By this time the Boat was in view. 
I ordered to row towards them, when upon our approach, one of their Sailors took from around his waist a white shawl, which he made fast to a Boat-hook, and stuck it up in the Bow of the Boat. . 
Upon my laying them along side, the officer asked me for the Commander. 
My answer was: that I was the Person. 
They then threw something over board to Leeward, the which I could not see for the Sail, but from the Number of men, that were in the Eaver, I supposed to be arms. 
I ordered them along side of the Liberator. 
Upon their coming a long side, 
I desir'd the officer to come on board, which he absolutly refused; finding him so obstimate, I told him, that I found it my duty to conduct him to the Head-Quarters 
He remonstrated greatly his being a flag of truce, going to Altona. 
To all of which I answerd: that the number of men, that was in the Eaver, and his obstinacy was the cause, that I should conduct him to Hamburgh; and if the General Tettenborn thought proper to let him pass, that I should do my duty. 
This officer finding me inflexible, took some papers out of his waistcoat-pocket, tore them * into Pieces, and threw them into the River. 
The other threw off the trumpeter's Coat, and prooved to be a Gensd'arme, who pulled out what he had, said: that he would piss upon me.
Captain Croiser of the Ranger of South-Shields, who was on board of the : Liberator at the same time, was an Eyewitness to the fact. 
I took the french Eaver in * tow, and conducted her to Hamburgh, and made her fast to the Piles, outside of the | harbour and made my report to the officer of the Guard, who sent to the General. 
About 7 A.M. General Tettenborn went along side of the Parlementaire; 
I waited his | return. When he came on shore, he in a disdainful manner told me, that I was drunk, and that I fired without reflection, and that the Enemy was four Leagues from me the night before I in reply told him: that he was unacquainted with what pass'd upon the Water. Thereupon he took me by the Collar and ordered me to be arrested, and gave orders to the Inspector, to bring the Liberator into Port. 
On the 16th at Noon'I was liberated and went on board of my Lugger, where I found a Guard from the Hamburgh Admiralty. 
On the 18" I received the following note from the Inspector:
As by order of the Baron General von Tettenborn no more ships are to be.armed for the Service, and those that are arm'd for the Service, to be disarmed, so
On the 20 at 9 P.M. an officer accompanied with/Harbour-Master Meincke, came along side of the Liberator with orders from the Baron von Tettenborn for me, to take my crew and moor three Prams, which were armed each of them with a field piece, and maned with People from the Shore. 
Notwithstanding the dishonourable treatment, that I had received from the Baron and at the same time under a sort of an arrest as the Guard was yet on board, but for the Good of the Service, I comply'd with his orders, and placed them in the most proper Places, so as to annoy the Enemy, in case of an attack.

At midnight the Enemy with one Pemnice and six Eavers attacked and carried the Admiralty's Yacht. 
During the fray I was haild from the Shore to give fire from the Liberators I in answer told them: that they must first send me arms. 
Then my Guard left me.
On the 2í my Crew's time was expired, according to their agreement. I there fore paid them off, and demanded my Dimission and a Passport for to return to England. 
Which was not comply'd with for what reasons I cannot say.

On the 29 at 4 A.M. an officer of the Hamburgerbürger - Guard came with a
verbal order for me, to take the Sailors from the Prams, and go to the Hamburgerberg,
and place the Guns, that I should find there within the Battery. 
As soon as I collegted the People from among the confusion, as I can equal it to nothing but that of a flock of sheep, who upon the approach of the wolves the shepherd had left his flock, I repaird to execute the order; planting the English Colours on the West, and the russian on the
East Extremity of the Battery. 
While we were occupied, the Dames came and ordered me to haul down my Colours, for that I should not fire a Gun. 
My answer was: that I would not strike my Colours for an inferior force, and so continued our work.
About half an hour afterwards the Dames came in force and desired me to desist. 
I answered: that I would not, unless they took me as Prisoner, which they did, and
conducted me and my Lieutnant Vlieland to their commanding-officer in Hamburgh, who told me: that the Danes were not at war with Russia, therefore he could not detain us. 
I then with Lieutnant Vlieland returned on board of the Liberator, where I found the greatest Part of my Crew.
 After taking some refreshment I ordered my long Boat to be manned and armed, being determin'd, if it was possible, to hinder the French from entering the Town by water, before it was night. 
At 8 P.M. I returned on board of the Liberator. 
Upon my returning on the shore a certain Gentleman said to me: Debnam there is nothing more to be done upon the water. 
My answer was that if they were sold upon the land, I had with my small crew done my best on the water. 
At 9 P.M. their first Beat entered the Port. 
On the 30th at 9 A.M. I dropt the Liberator down with the tide to the western Gate. 
At 11 A.M. having only my Cabbin boy on board, I set a Jury fore sail and cast off from the Piles. 
On passing the Hamburger Pickeroon-Yacht, they haild me, and ordered me to come te," Anchor: but I paid mo respect to their orders, and so proceeded to Altona. 
At noon I came to an Anchor astern of the Danish Watch-Ship. 
On the 24 of June the Danes sent a Guard onboard of the Liberator under the Pretence of protecting me from the French. 
At 3 P.M. the danish Guard-Ships Boat came along side with a french Officer and marines, into whose hands they delivered me and the Lugger, who transported her and me to Hamburgh.
How I there have been treated is well known to every Good Hamburger.

General Count Schulenburg.



The undersigned Commander of the Liberator Lugger Commandant and Chief of his I. R. Majesty's Marine stationed 2#. Elbe by order of his Excellence Count Witgenstein under the order of General Tettenborn, begs 1eave to inform your Excellence of the disloyal behaviour of the Danish Commandant of Altona. -
Excellences I am a subject of Great Britain in the Service of Russia. 
On the 29 of May as 4 A.M. I received order by an ordinance from the General Tettenborn to place the Guns that were upon the Hambroberg within the Battery and to arrange every thing so as to be in a state of defence. 
In compliance with this order as soon as I could muster my little force from among the confusion that then reigned in Hamburg, who were like - sheep that had lost their sheepherd.
I repaird to the Battery and commenced to execute my orders. 
On the West side I planted the English and on the East the Russian Colours.
 Before I had compleated transporting the Guns, a Danish Corprals Guard arrived and demanded me to strike my Colours, for I should not fire a Gun. 
In answer to this demand I told him that as soon as the Danes would plant theirs, I would haul down mine. 
Thus things remained in a state of suspence and inactivity untill a Lieutnant arrived with a superior force, I drew up my men in line of defence. 
The Danish Officer advanced and I met him halfway between our men. 
This Officer received me with every mark of honour altho
I was in Sailor's habit and politely told me, that he had no Danish Colours at that moment, and as England and Denmark was at war he deem'd it most prudent for me to submit, to which I acceded
My little force then lay'd down their arms and my Lieutnant presented his upon certain conditions.
For my part I was without one. 
Me Sword which this Officer honorably refused to accept.
and my Lieutnant was escorted to Hamburg. After a short intervue with the Danish Commandant, he render'd us our liberty.
 I with my Lieutnant repaired onboard of the Lugger under my Command and acted as the Service and my duty required.
 On the 30 at 6 A. M. I went on shore in quest of my Crew, but not one of them was to be found.
 I therefore resolved to transport my Lugger to  Altona, which I accomplished with the assistance of my Cabbin boy. 
On the 2d of June at 10 A.M. the Commandant of the Danish Marine sent a boat on board and left three men to guard the Lugger.
I went on shore to Altona to inquire into the cause. 
The answer that I received was that Mr Haffner would deliver me and the Lugger into the hands of the French. I remained on shore untill the tide of Flood which was about 2 P. M. not expecting to experience such treacherous behaviour. 
About 8 P. M. the Danish Guardships Boat arrived with a French Officer and one Marine, to whom my person and the Lugger that I commanded was delivered, 
I call upon your own Subjects to witness the fact.

As soon £s this french Officer was on board he forgot all decency, he to'd me in the presence of the Danish Boats Crew that General van Dam would shoot me like a dog in twenty four hours.
 I submitted patiently to all his abusive language. 
In short I am in the hands of the French lock'd up like a Criminal; my fare Bread and Water.
Excellence
Above You have the facts. The part You will take in this affair remains for Your
superior knowledge. I ask no more than Justice, Truth and Loyalty. In the expectation of which I remain with respect