Attention had shifted to Eastern and Northern Continental Europe.
Britain had a particular interest in maintaining trade routes through the
Baltic, if for no other reason than that many of the raw materials required
to maintain her navy came this way.
The politics of the period were very
complex, with a succession of alliances against the French. The position
of Russia, Denmark, Norway and, most of all, Sweden was particularly
precarious. It was Saumarez who was given the task of taking a fleet
to the Baltic and protecting British interests as well as those of her ally,
Sweden. This included going through the motions of a phoney war
when, at least notionally, Sweden was supposed to be at war with
England. Not a shot was fired. His flagship throughout was HMS Victory,
the vessel having undergone extensive repairs after Trafalgar.
The Swedish Admiral and Minister, Baron Platen, wrote to Saumarez
in 1812 at the end of his period of service to say: “You have been
the guardian angel of my country; by your wise, temperate, and
loyal conduct you have been the first cause of the plans which have
been formed against the demon of the Continent”. The demon being
Napoleon, of course. Saumarez was repeatedly honoured by Sweden,
being appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Sword of Sweden.
the conclusion of his service in the Baltic, Saumarez’s active service
essentially came to an end, although he maintained a very active public
life. He was promoted to Admiral in 1814. He was raised to the peerage
and created a Baron in 1831. There was great rejoicing in Guernsey
when the news finally came. The Bailiff, Daniel de Lisle Brock, made the
following announcement: “The elevation of one of our citizens to one
of the highest dignities of the kingdom, cannot fail to inspire us with
the most lively gratification. His Majesty has rewarded, with the most
distinguished honour, the eminent services which he has rendered to
Guernsey, which, besides the public man, recognises in
him all the virtues which adorn a private station, ought, on this happy
occasion, to testify how sincerely she honours his character. To mark
our esteem, the authorities of the Bailiwick, at the head of the whole
population, ought to crowd around him at his return and proffer their
congratulations. I should fail in my duty to the States, were I to neglect
affording them this opportunity”. Which is exactly what they did. The
Island’s assembly marched to de Saumarez’s house where an address
was made by the Bailiff to Saumarez in the presence of his wife and his
family then in the island.
In October 1834 the King of Sweden sent to Saumarez a full length
portrait of himself (i.e. the King) under cover of a letter from the Swedish
Minister for Foreign Affairs which left no doubt as to the sincere feelings
of gratitude of the King and the Swedish people.