High Court of Admiralty HCA32/1205 case 5811
The following letter of marque, an English translation follows it, was
found onboard the Danish privateer Tordenskiold captured by the British
Sloop of War Ringdove,[ Men 121, Guns 2x6lbs 16x32lbs carronades]
2nd. April 1808.
Click to enlarge.
The Tordenskiold, captain
Michael Greff, was taken four Danish miles from the river of
Bergen and carried into Leith, Scotland.
The capture had been made without resistance.
Tordenskiold, which usually carried a crew of 76 had only 62 on
board when taken, the rest were looking after captured prizes.
During two cruises in 1807 the Tordenskiold, captain David Naling,
During the third cruise which had
started on the 8th March 1808 she captured;
- English brig Nestor of North Shields, John Oliver, bound from Archangel
to London with a cargo of pitch and tar.
- Swedish vessel Wandering Maiden bound from Stockholm to
- The Hope of Leith, Daniel Clark, from Gotland to Leith with a
cargo of Hides etc.,
- American vessel, Grand Turk, Daniel Staples, with a cargo of
iron, glass, canvas, bound from Gottenburgh.
- Swedish brigantine, Minerva, Schuts, with rum and coffee bound
from Bristol to Uddewalla in Sweden.
The translation which follows is the one used at the trial.
I've tried to make the transcription match the original, however there are some lines, towards the end, where it was not possible to accurately determine where the line terminated.
The concluding section which appears on the original but does not appear to have been translated - I would be interested to know what it says.
Hans Jacob Henning von Hesselberg,
Commander in chief of the district of Bergen, Lieutenant General of Infantry, Colonel of the regiment of Infantry of Bergenhus and Commander of the Castle of Bergenhus,
Johan Randulff Bull
Governor of the town and district of Bergen in Norway.
By His Royal Majesty's most gracious command Be it hereby made known to all to whom these presents shall come.
That Messrs Lauritz Hallager, Holger Envoldfen and cointerested, owners of the ship Tordenfkiold, of the burthen of 43 commercial Lasts,
have in conformity to the most Gracious Royal Ordinance of the 14 September 1807 obtained permission to fit out their aforesaid ship commanded by by captain
Michael Greff against the enemies of the state and to arm her with 16 guns for the purpose of capturing, and when necessary destroying
ships and vessels belonging to the crown of Great Britain or to the subjects thereof as also to bring into port for adjudication such ships
as shall be suspected of belonging to the said hostile powers or being in connection with the same The owners have duly given the bond prescribed by the said ordinance and the commander of the ship by the oath taken by him has engaged most humbly to conform himself to the said ordinance and the maritime articles of war as far as they concern him
Given at the fortress of Bergen the 25 February 1808.