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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 4

Dated 17th June 1804 from CB Pres at Fermoy. Addressed to: Miss Dacres (no address given)

I am equally with yourself, my dearest Mary, at a loss to surmise what may be the objections to an immediate application to Lord Melville by your Father’s friends, but will not however draw a similar conclusion, that this delay bodes no good – as it is certainly not a measure of wisdom to encourage an anticipation of unpleasant events, and which will, I most sincerely hope and think, not be the case in the present instance. If I am not much mistaken, Sir John Duckworth is a St Vincent man and surely that is alone sufficient to render him unpopular with the new board of Admiralty. It is not necessary to enter into what this, if true, may probably lead to, and although the removal of the present Commander in Chief may not produce any alteration in retard to prize money, still it will be far more pleasant to your Father and consequently very satisfactory to his friends that he should be Chief - I conclude that Barrington’s new appointment is from the present Lords, and though not exactly what we could wish, is still preferable to the brown coat; at the same time that this additional trouble, I mean of fitting the ?Pique? (Illeg – Such a captured French ship existed) greatly adds to his future claim for a more eligible command. I much wish, my Mary, I could with any degree of certainty acquaint you when we are to meet; but it is very probable no great length of time will intervene – Col. Johnson has received a letter from Gen Prescott, the Colonel of the 28th, wherein he says that rumour places the Regt among those destined for the expedition but when, or what expedition he is totally silent on – an order has also been transmitted from England, to prepare the second Batalion (sic) to receive all the limited service men – our great politician Groves who has been in London does not communicate on this subject, perhaps, indeed for the best of reasons – You will suppose that I cannot but be very anxious on the truth of these reports, as according to circumstances very material and not the most pleasant change may take place in my destination – I will not however believe that any armament of consequence will be formed in which will not have a Brigade, particularly should his old Regiment compose a part, The frequent conferences, the papers mention between the Ministers and the Duke of York, allow us to hope something is on the tapis, the Cape of Good Hope and Batavia is strongly denied by the Sun, which being rather a confidential paper may be supposed to possess accurate information – I cannot quite inform you what inconveniences Mrs Johnson has experienced in Fermoy, but believe that the greatest is want of society, her only female acquaintance being Mrs Dewes, they both now reside in the new Barrack, within one door of each other, as in the Center of this Building there are three very excellent houses, one for the general officer commanding here, and one on each side for the two officers commanding each Batalion, the second B. is at present in the Town, Dewes therefore has taken possession not very wisely in my opinion, as the moment this Regt goes into the Barrack he must resign this comparative palace and return to his own quarters – which you may imagine are not perfectly suited to large a party. He wishes to obtain the paymastership of a district in England where he intends to fix himself – I have no doubt but that General Paget will accomplish this for him: and I suppose that farmer Dewes will be a very happy man – I easily believe Groves is seriously disappointed in not obtaining promotion, tho’ I confess his claims never appeared to me to be so very strong as he taught himself to imagine they actually were – his leave of absence will expire on the seventh of next month; when he left Ireland it certainly was his intention to bring Mrs G. with him in case his expectation of leaving the 28th should be disappointed – which appears by Miss Fanshaw’s intelligence to be the fact – her repugnance to this (word missing) does not by any means surprize me, considering the politiks of the 28th Ladies. Indeed I begin to think with her that England is the only proper residence for women – but knowing that you differ with me on this point, - we will, my Mary, talk this over – if the (1 illeg word) will allow us – how soon I hope to have the opportunity it is needless to ?? – but I can think of nothing else – I hear from my mother that it is their plan to remain this summer in London- it is very strange to me that people who might live in the country with every necessary comfort should prefer a Street – but if they are happy, it is certainly sufficient – Pray give my best love to all your family – Farewell my dearest love

I am for ever only yours

Chas Bevan

Fermoy June 17th 1804


i) Lord Melville – 1st Lord of the Admiralty 1804-05
ii) Sir J Duckworth – Admiral, C in C Jamaica 1803-13
iii) St Vincent – Earl/Admiral 1st Lord 1803-04 C in C Channel 1806-07
iv) Barrington – Mary’s brother – serving in RN
v) ‘Brown coat’ pres - civilian
vi) Pique virtually illegible – pres ship name
vii) Col Johnson – CO 1st Bn 28th Ft
viii) Gen Prescott – Lieut Gen, Colonel of Regt of 28th Ft
ix) Groves – Major Groves 28th Ft, from whom CB bought majority in 1804
x) Our Gen – Edward Paget
xi) Mrs Dewes – wife of Paymaster 28th Ft; Miss Fanshawe?


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