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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 8

Dated: 16 September 1804 from CB at Sellinge Lees. Addressed to: Miss Dacres (no address given)

I have nothing further to communicate to you, my ever dearest Mary, on the principal subject of my last letter, but that I have received an epistle from Groves, not differing in one point as to matter from his first, but couched in somewhat a different style – he says he is anxious to get this business concluded, as his return to Ireland will be attended with great trouble and considerable expense – Surely this ought to be an additional incitement to him to agree to my terms; neither the inconvenience nor the cost attending this journey can possibly affect me; he further adds that he wishes three thousand guineas to be paid to him, as he hates to be hampered with the sale of commissions – in this instance we happen to hate alike, and as the right is on my side I shall not yield “the tithe part of a hair”. He told General Paget he is about purchasing a situation under government – Poor man! I really pity his miserable destiny – “Dear Alithea is so fallen off that nobody would know her” and this he actually attributes to grief occasioned by his slowness. I have written to him my final determination in regard to purchase, civilly requesting that he will not think of selling until I shall have been gazetted in the place of Gough, as this request which he is bound to comply with will force him to Ireland, his leave being very short, almost immediately, I shall not be mightily astonished if he becomes more reasonable – He is now with his father at Tunbridge, I believe his wife is at Mitcham in Surrey on a visit to his brother and whither he is going – if I do enter into any engagement with Groves, it will be necessary for me to go to Bedington, which is not more than two miles from Mitcham, therefore we could settle all things charmingly – and perhaps they might be prevailed on to dine with my mother; I should certainly ask them, as my sisters have a great curiosity to see this pair – I am sure he will be pleasant – though I would not so readily answer for the lady – I also have very considerable ambition to see the produce. The weather here is now and has been for some days so extremely warm that it is difficult to do anything – the Genl has just bought a large supply of very excellent books, time is consequently a little lighter, but still the hours appear very long – How differently did the moments pass at Wearde! And how differently would they pass anywhere with you – You, my Mary, will very easily imagine that among the desirable events accompanying this promotion, that of visiting Cornwall is not one of the least, and this expectation renders me very anxious, equally so as Groves, to conclude the business – I expect to hear from Gough by every post – but have some fear that the papers etc must be sent to Ireland before the promotion can be in the Gazette. Colonel Thomas is very anxious to sell out and I thought it not quite impossible that if Paterson could prevail on his father to give a good price for my Majority (if I succeed to it) that someway or other I could have through Gen Paget’s interest been able to obtain his Lieut Colonelcy. This would have Paterson and myself the two Field Officers of the 2nd Batalion (sic) – but all this is impossible if Groves will not sell, as Capt Nixon, who is older than P. will give the regulation and no more. You see, Mary, I have not left off building, nor have I told you the whole of the plan, I reserve that against we meet.

You did not tell me whether Barrington is likely to be employed in a short time, or if he is to go out to the Admiral. The naval officers in this part of the coast I believe find their situation pleasant – Lord Keith lives on shore and is generally at Ramsgate or Margate – Lord Melville has been a cruise on board the Monarch, of course a very short one. It is very strange that your letters from Fermoy have not yet reached me, I however write again to the Postmaster at Ipswich, by this day’s post and hope to receive them – Pray give my best love to all your family. I shall very shortly write to Barrington or I fear he will be very angry with me –

God bless you my
Dear dear Mary,
I am ever yours
Chas Bevan
Sellinge Lees Sept 1804


i) Groves – Major 28th Ft from whom CB bought his Majority
ii) A good deal of corroboration of Paget’s influence in CB’s promotion
iii) Gough Captain in 28th from 1795 in 1800
iv) Bedington – CB’s mother’s residence at this time
v) Weard – the Dacres residence
vi) Thomas – C.O. 1st/28th
vii) Paterson – Capt Charles Paterson 28th married Eleanor Dacres – killed in action Pyrenees 1812 as Brevet Lieut Col.
viii) Lord Keith – Admiral who commanded the fleet at the Cadiz Bay landing in 1800 and at Alexandria 1801
ix) Lord Melville 1804 1st Lord of the Admiralty
x) Monarch 74 gun ship (also, less likely an Indiaman)


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