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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 1

Dated 28 April 1804, Fermoy. Addressed to Miss Dacres – no address

If experience, my ever dearest Mary, had not already perfectly convinced me how unavailing and fruitless is complaint, I should here certainly entertain you with a violent philippick against this South West Wind the prevalence of which so disappointingly retards the arrival not only of the dear dear picture but also of some letters equally dear and as anxiously looked for – I am quite lost in conjecturing where you now are; and as if to relieve the uncertainty of my imagination on this point, a very few minutes ago your friend Major Groves, with a countenance most profoundly sagacious, informed me that you were all at Bath; he concluded with an account of poor Jemima’s health which, thank God! I know to be equally true with many communications he obtains from the same authentic source.

This house is at present in a state very similar to that to describe on the eve of your departure from Bath – The entire establishment of the Erskine party arrived here yesterday on their way to England – The size of the mansion is not quite adapted to a party so considerable; and to improve all this, the Genl had rather unfortunately engaged the officers belonging to a division of the 17th Regt to dinner this day, not expecting his sister so soon – Col Thomas however is to be of the party and as he possesses most admirable talents for keeping up a conversation, I hope we shall get through it tolerably – for it is certainly a prodigious bore. This Regt is on its march to Cork to embark for Plymouth, how I envy them!!! and from thence for the East Indies, at which period I would be very happy to leave them to proceed on their voyage, and to find an asylum at Wearde – would you not take compassion on so forlorn a person? Oh! my beloved Mary, I do indeed entertain a hope that it may soon be in my power to put you to the trial – I can at present only say it is a hope, how fervent you well know! And perhaps feel. You must forgive me Mary, I am fully convinced you do feel equally with myself all these hopes and fears. When, when will they have an end? I have as usual not one word of news to send, except indeed that Mrs Geddes (?illeg) is to be here in July, she ventures under convoy of her husband’s brother who is a Major in one of the Regts in this country – as I hope never again to see this woman, I shall no longer dignify her with the appellation of your friend – unless you positively insist on a continuance of this affectionate remembrance – I have not very lately heard from either my Mother or Sisters – but as I know they are well and have no cause to be otherwise then happy, do not feel any uneasiness at any moderate chasm in our correspondence, which however in general is pretty regular and the contrary sometimes my fault. Paterson begs to be remembered – his family with the exception of his youngest sister who has been left at a boarding school at Wanstead, have returned to Scotland. I cannot help imagining from your description that she will not sink under the terrors of such a novel mode of life, his brother writes him word that some change in regard to the destination of his ship has taken place; he sails directly for Madras. The Johnsons are all well, I say all for he has obtained commissions in the 28th for two brothers, both very young men – Poor Mrs J. is sufficiently tired of this country, from which however (word illeg) not much probability of an escape for the Regt but to some foreign station. Mrs Dewes and her children are well – the boy is reported to be a fine child – I am sure it ought to be a large one if it bears any resemblance to either of its parents.

I hope to hear from you to morrow and very good accounts of our Jemima – to her and all your family I beg my most affectionate remembrances – and to Barrington when you write – tell him that if ever fortune should place me in a more active situation he shall receive details of all that may occur, - God bless dear, dear Mary, I write in a hurry but am for ever and forever your’s

Cha Bevan


i) Fermoy – at the house of Edward Paget Brigade Commander to whom CB was Brigade Major
ii) Genl – presumable Paget
iii) 17th – Leicestershire Regt
iv) Col Thomas – 28th Regt
v) Wearde – the Dacres House near Plymouth
vi) Major Groves – 28th Regt from whom CB eventually bought his Majority
vii) Jemima – Mary’s sister
viii) Erskine: presumably Paget’s sister Louisa married (1st) Fir. J. Erskine d 1825 – not id with CB’s later Divisional Commander William Erskine
ix) Johnsons – Lieut Col Johnson was later CO 28th Ft
x) Mrs Geddes ?
xi) Mrs Dewes – wife of Paymaster 28th Foot
xii) Paterson Charles alias Jim then Capt 28th Ft – later married Mary’s sister Eleanor, and as Brevet Lieut Col commanded 28th in action in Pyrenees before being killed in 1812. References in Keep and in Blakeney. Cleared up CB’s effects after his death
xiii) Barrington – Mary’s brother Lieut R.N. died of fever early


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