A letter by Captain James Caulfield describing HMS Thunder’s role in protecting a Baltic convoy – £660 at C&T.

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A year earlier, after Napoleon’s defeat of Russia and Prussia, Britain had laid siege to Copenhagen to tackle the Danish navy allied with the French. The Danish fleet surrendered when their capital was captured and more than 60 ships taken.

However, Britain and Denmark remained at war for more than six years and Britain had to convoy and escort its Baltic trade.

The C&T letter, estimated at £200-300, was an account of HMS Thunder’s action against the Danes in June 1808. Launched in 1800, and previously a slave ship, HMS Thunder was purchased by the RN in 1803 and saw plenty of action. On June 9, 1808, she drove off a considerable force of Danish-Norwegian ships and prevented a convoy from being successfully attacked. The three-page letter written by her captain, James Caulfield, describes this successful action in detail.

Also included was the reply from the Admiralty praising his deeds. Caulfield was the recipient of a £100 prize from the merchants at Lloyds involved in the Baltic trade, as a token of appreciation. Typically the prize was a silver vase.

Both letters sold for £660 at the sale ending on December 27.