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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 3

Dated 27 May 1804. Addressed to Miss Dacres

I received your letter, my dearest Mary, with an enclosure from your Brother, the morning after I had dispatched one for Wearde containing something very like a complaint against those provoking circumstances whatever they might have been that occasioned its delay. I was quite rejoiced to hear of the agreeable and unexpected arrival of the two officers of the Culloden, and very glad to learn they are perfectly free from illness. Barrington’s wishes for my presence in your neighbourhood quite accord with my own, but we differ a little in regard to the perambulation of that delightful Fore Street, I think there is a person at Wearde whose society would be almost as fascinating as any of the certainly all powerful attractions of Dock (?legibility?) – your opinion of course must coincide with that of your Brother, therefore, my Mary, whenever this walk is to be accomplished I have no other way of avoiding all disputes on the subject than by the addition of Miss Dacres to the party. I cannot help very much enjoying your anecdote of the Parlby, it is excellent and I conclude she will again accommodate Ld Graves in Dartford Street, and if she does, most sincerely hope, she will again experience the same unaccountable treatment – but perhaps it is not true – The Loire has very lately arrived from Plymouth, she brought an officer of the 28th from thence, who has given much Stonehouse information. I have not seen her Captain, but understand he has taken a house near Cove, where his wife resides during his absences, which although not very long are pretty frequent; report calls the lady a pretty little woman with four or five thousand pounds: the ship belongs to the Squadron under Lord Gardner, and I imagine Maitland now would not wish to change his station even for the West Indies – The retirement of Fermoy has been interrupted for two days by the presence of Sir Eyre Coote and Lord Cock and their staff; the former came to make the half-yearly inspection of the troops, and I assure you that the first Batalion (sic) of the 28th made a very respectable appearance t – The Review was honoured with the attendance of most of the ladies in the neighbourhood and who very much to my satisfaction, I do not know whether it was to theirs also, were extremely well soaked by a repetition of particularly heavy showers, which I have but little doubt saved the washerwomen an infinity of trouble – for these ladies do not appear to consider cleanliness at all necessary to add to the lustre of their charms.

We are all in great expectation of something more enlivening from the new administration, than the soporifick measures of the departed had allowed us to hope for – The papers mention the appointment of Mr Adams as private secretary to Mr Pitt – I hope it is your relation that fills this important and desirable situation, the idea of a Spanish War also seems to gain ground. I feel anxious for the truth of this on more accounts than one – there are many places on the Spanish coast very nicely situated for expeditions – and some success of this nature is always necessary to occupy the mind of Mr Bull – and I believe that in general the French take very good care to sufficiently fortify all their possessions that are accessible to attack, as to render it much more than probable that the assailants would meet with repulse. I have given up all hope of seeing you, my Mary, before the arrival of your expected visitors, for to confess the truth, I have been foolish enough to indulge this idea for some little time back - the dear hope however of shortly being able to visit you I shall not easily resign – I am very anxious to compare your picture with yourself, as on a more intimate acquaintance with it I begin to fancy it very like – my dearest love! I have a thousand things to say to you and plans to propose – which if realized!! But it is impossible to write on these subjects as I fear my imagination, perhaps too ardent, may lead me to hope what, for your dear sake must not be - I need hardly tell you what this is – Now, how can I ever again part with you, indeed I did not want the reality of absence, to convince me how painfully it is to be endured, God bless you, dear, dear, Mary. I remain for ever only yours

Chas Bevan

My best love and wishes attend all your family –

May 27th 1804


i) Culloden – HMS 74 guns
ii) Barrington – Mary’s brother serving in RN
iii) Parlby – pres HMS
iv) Graves – 2 admirals of this name
v) Dartford St – legibility dubious as is meaning
vi) Lord Gardner – 2 Admirals Alan at this time
vii) Gen Eyre Coote was later at Walcheren
viii) Adams – mentioned in letter from Queluz in 1808
ix) Loire – 40 gun Frigate taken from the French


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