Born in Copenhagen, Jørgen Jørgensen was taken prisoner by the British in 1808. But the next year he managed to travel to Iceland, depositing the Danish governor and declaring himself "Protector" of the island. He organized a small life guard for himself and implemented reforms. But his reign lasted only some two months before the British came and captured him again, reinstalling Danish rule. He spent some years in London and late Napoleonic Europe, before being transported to Australia.