British Baltic Fleet 1715


Fleet CommanderSir John Norris (1670-1749)TRN3
Fleet Formed1715/05/18TRN3
Fleet Disbanded1716/11/29TRN3

Introduction

Sweden had not yet allied herself with Russia, and was, in fact, still at war with her and with Denmark ; and Swedish privateers had seized many British ships which were alleged to contain arms, ammunition, and -stores, destined, in contravention of treaty, for the service of the Tsar. Eemonstrances had been made by the British minister at Stockholm, but they had produced no results. The Dutch, who had similar causes of complaint against the government of Charles XII., found it equally difficult to obtain either redress or apology ; and it was therefore determined by Great Britain and Holland to despatch a combined fleet to the Baltic in
1715 to intimidate the Swedes, and to convoy, and prevent further undue interference with, the trade.

The British contingent, under Admiral Sir John Norris (B.) and Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Hardy (B.), was made up of twenty ships of the line, besides a few small craft. It sailed from the Nore on May 18th, and, reaching the Sound on June 10th, there joined the Dutch contingent of twelve sail under Kear-Admiral Lucas de Veth.
The merchantmen were escorted to their ports, but nothing of importance happened during the rest of the year. In 1716, Sir John, unwilling to adopt strong measures against Sweden unless he had the gravest reasons for doing so, sent an officer to Stockholm to inquire whether or not the practice of seizing British and Dutch
ships was to be persisted in. A vague and ambiguous reply being returned, it was determined by the allied commanders, in pursuance of orders from home, to make a demonstration of an exceptional nature. A Danish squadron lay at Copenhagen. There also lay a Russian squadron under the Tsar Peter himself. After the necessary negotiations had taken place, it was agreed that, while the Dutch, then under Commodore Hendrik Grave, with five British men-of-war, should convoy to their destinations such merchantmen as had followed the fleets, the British, Russian, and Danish squadrons, forming for the moment a single fleet, should proceed up the Baltic, in order to let it be seen that, rather than permit any further meddling with her trade, Great Britain would take active part against Charles XII. The Tsar Peter became, for the nonce, commander-in-chief; Norris assumed command of the van, and Count Gyldenlove, the Danish admiral, took the rear under his orders.

The confederate fleet assembled in Kjoge Bay, and thence proceeded to Bornholm, where, learning that the Swedes had retired to Karlskrona, unwilling to hazard an action, the Tsar gave directions that the convoys might continue their voyages to their various ports. He then, with his squadron, sailed to the coast of Mecklenburg. Norris and Gyldenlove took measures for collecting the homeward-bound trade, most of which joined them at Bornholm on November 9th, and with them entered the roadstead of Copenhagen on the day following. The remaining merchantmen, chiefly Dutch, anchored there on the 12th. Sir John Norris left behind him in the Baltic Captain William Cleveland, with seven ships, to act, if necessary, in concert with the Danes ; and, with the rest of the fleet, he returned to England. On his voyage he met with terrible weather, and, although he succeeded in preserving his convoy, he had the misfortune to lose the Auguste, 60, and the Garland, '24. The fleet arrived at the Nore on November 29th, 1716.



ShipJoinedLeftCommander
August (60) 1715/05/181716/11/10 
Cumberland (80) 1715/05/181716/11/29William Faulknor (d.1725)
Centurion (54) 1715/05/181716/11/29Charles Smith (d.1749)
Weymouth (50) 1715/05/181716/11/29Robert Studley (d.1717)
Moor (54) 1715/05/181716/11/29William Cawley (d.1740)
Swallow (54) 1715/05/181716/11/29Francis Drake (c.1669-1726)
Advice (54) 1715/05/181716/11/29Thomas Gordon (c.1667-?)
Burlington (54) 1715/05/181716/11/29Jordan Sandys (d.1734)
Garland (32) 1715/05/181716/11/29Edmund Hooke (d.1744/45)
Hampshire (54) 1715/05/181716/11/29John Hager (d.1747/48)
Chatham (54) 1715/05/181716/11/29Robert Harland (d.1751)
Norfolk (80) 1715/05/181716/11/29Thomas Smith (d.1722)
Essex (70) 1715/05/181716/11/29Charles Strickland (d.1724)
Burford (70) 1715/05/181716/11/29Edward Hopson (1671-1728)
Rippon (60) 1715/05/181716/11/29Beaumont Raymond (d.1718)
Dreadnought (60) 1715/05/181716/11/29Richard Canning (d.1726)
Assistance (54) 1715/05/181716/11/29Edward Vernon (1684-1757)
Severn (54) 1715/05/181716/11/29John Shales (d.1720)
Bonaventure (54) 1715/05/181716/11/29Coningsby Norbury (1679-1734)
Plymouth (60) 1715/05/181716/11/29Richard Hughes (1670-1756)

DateEventSource
1715/05/18

Sailed from the Nore

 
1715/06

Joined by a Dutch contingent of 12 sail of the line under Rear-Admiral Lucas de Veth.

 
1715/06/10

Arrived in the Sound

 
1715/07/12Proceeded to Koge Bay together with a Dutch squadron 
1715/07/17Put to sea to perform convoy protection 
1715/08/02The Anglo-Dutch Fleet was at Revel 
1715/08/04The Anglo-Dutch Fleet was joined by a Russian squadron 
1715/08/27The Anglo-Dutch Fleet left Revel 
1715/09/10

The Anglo-Dutch Fleet anchored in Kjoge bay

 
1716/11/10

The August and Garland ran aground, the Garland got off, but the August was wrecked.

 
1716/11/10August (60) left the fleet 
1716/11/29

The fleet arrived at the Nore

 

Sources


IDDescriptionAuthorType
TRN3The Royal Navy : a history from the earliest times to the present Vol IIIWilliam Laid ClowesDigital Book