Jorgen Jorgenson, a Danish adventurer, born in Copenhagen in 1779, died in New South Wales about 1830. He belonged to the celebrated family of watchmakers named Jur-gensen, was apprenticed at 14 years of age to the.master of an English collier, and subsequently, it is said, served in the British navy as a midshipman, and Anglicized his name into Jorgenson. In 1807 he sailed from Copenhagen in command of a privateer, and was captured and taken to England, where he was put upon his parole. He succeeded in inducing a London merchant named Phelps to freight a vessel for the purpose of opening a trade with Iceland. Jorgenson arrived at Reykiavik in January, 1809, but was forbidden to land his cargo. He then seized a Danish brig, which had arrived with needed provisions, and the alarmed authorities permitted him to land his goods, but forbade trade with him. Restoring the captured brig, and leaving his supercargo with his goods, he returned to England, but came back with Phelps in June. Five days before his arrival the governor, Count Trampe, had agreed with the captain of the British sloop of war Rover to allow trade with British subjects during the war; but this agreement not being carried out, Phelps imprisoned the governor on his ship, making a prize of his brig the Orion; and the next day Jorgenson assumed the government of Iceland, declaring its independence of Denmark, and seized the public money chest, containing 2,700 rix dollars.
On July 11 he proclaimed himself protector of Iceland, appointed a new flag, and repealed all restrictions upon trade. His authority was acknowledged by an ecclesiastical synod, and by the people generally. He equipped an army of eight men, confiscated all Danish property on the island, established a battery to defend Reykiavik, and seized a Danish vessel which came into the harbor. But in August the British sloop of war Talbot arrived at the island, and, upon the representations of the Danish merchants and Count Trampe, her captain sent both Jorgenson and Trampe to England. The former opened a correspondence with the admiralty, but it having transpired that he was a prisoner of war who had broken his parole, he was confined for a time in Tothill Fields prison. In 1811 he published a work entitled "State of Christianity in Otaheite, and a Defence of the Gospel against Modern Antichrists." Upon the conclusion of the Napoleonic wars he travelled on the continent, and in 1817 published "Travels in France and Germany in 1815-17." He subsequently fell into bad habits, was convicted of theft, and sentenced to transportation for life, and in 1825 was sent to New South Wales. Previous to his departure from England he published " The Religion of Christ is the Religion of Nature; written in the condemned cells of Newgate, by Jorgen Jorgenson, late Governor of Iceland" (8vo, London, 1827).