From what I understand from Danish sites about the situation, the Danes had actually refrained from fitting out their ships. They weren't sea-worthy, most were apparently de-masted at the time of the British attack. After their defeat of the Danes the British actually had to wait for the Danes to put the ships in sufficient shape to take to sea before they could make off with them. (This was also paid for by the Danes, as stipulated by the terms set by the British.) The reason given for the Danes to take this precaution of rendering their ships temporarily inoperable, was to argue to the British that their navy was at least no immediate threat to them.I can't pretend to know much about this (just school memories from long ago), so thank you for the information. If a convention was signed, I think the Danes could have had good expectation that their ships would be returned to them. Was there any claim that the Danes were actually intending to attack, rather than that they might be pressured into doing so? I have always felt uncomfortable about this episode, largely on the perhaps unsatisfactory ground that Denamrk doesn't seem a natural enemy to Brtain, but was this anything unusually nasty by the standards of a war that brought suffering and often devastation to just about every part of Europe that armies passed through? Somehow I do think that it is bombardment by a fleet (rather than an attack by an army) that makes it seem so nasty.