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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 9

Dated: 11 Nov 1804 from CB at Sellinge Lees Addressed to: Miss Dacres (no address given)

I had confidently hoped that the post of this day would have enabled me to acquaint my ever dearest Mary, with the final arrangement of my negotiations with Groves, but have been disappointed; and can only say that if these papers must again be sent, and which I fear is most likely to be the case, three weeks must elapse before it will be in my power to set out for Wearde – I shall however in this interval make every preparation for my departure – as I am obliged to go to London to lodge the purchase money in the hands of the Regimental agent – This will also allow me to pay a farewell visit at Bedington, so that when the Gazette sets me at liberty, there will be no delay on this or indeed on any other account.

And now, my beloved Mary, allow me to express to you the hopes that I cherish of very, very soon calling you mine, if they are too presumptuous or if it appears to you that our income will be insufficient to live upon with that degree of comfort, I hope always to see you enjoy – pray put an end to my delightful prospects before we meet. But to candidly acquaint you with my ideas, I think that you will rather encourage me in this charming expectation. I need not say that should you be determined to make me so perfectly happy – that many little arrangements will be requisite previous to our going to Ireland – dear Mary, you must write me a very full and particular detail of all that relates to this – there is I believe also some proceedings but I do not exactly know what with a Clergyman – I trust, my dearest love you will not impute this part of my letter to any cause but to the one which induces me to allude to this circumstance, and which is as follows – I fear that after I shall have been gazetted in the 28th, that the leave of absence I shall be able to obtain will not at farthest exceed one month. If it is possible therefore to manage that no delay shall take place in the performance of that ceremony which I trust will contribute as much to your future happiness as I am most perfectly assured it will to mine, after my arrival at Wearde, do you not think my love it will in all respects be well? If after consulting your dear and excellent Mother on this subject, by whose opinion I wish to be guided and in whose goodness I have the most unlimited confidence, it appears to you and to her as it does to me, among other orders do not forget to enclose the size of your finger by means of a piece of silk or something of that nature, that I may be the happy bearer of the ring which is to make you my prisoner for ever! Dear, dear Mary, I hardly believe you can imagine how altered a being this approach to happiness has made me – I had no other idea but of enjoying a short, very short pleasure in your society and to return to exile for God knows what a period of time! This enchanting transition of our prospect, from gloomy despair to hopes which fill my heart with transport, is almost as unexpected as it is grateful and when that heart teaches me that through the kindness of your mother, I dare aspire to the accomplishment of our marriage! I am quite at a loss how to assure her of my gratitude – she is more to me than a Mother – she is also the Mother of my Mary. I hardly know whether in this letter I have made myself intelligible. But my heart is overflowing with ten thousand feelings, and I cannot with calmness write on such a subject. You will know the nature of these feelings and will pardon the incoherence of my style – If I hear from Groves I will write to you tomorrow. I am indeed most happy to hear so favourable an account of your dear invalids – Pray give my love to all your circle.

Farewell dear, dear Mary,
For ever and for ever yours
Charles Bevan

Sellinge Lees
11 November


i) Groves – Major Groves 28th Ft from whom CB was buying his Majority
ii) Wearde – the Dacres residence near Plymouth
iii) Bedington – CB’s mother’s house in Surrey
iv) Sellinge Lees – a village in Kent North of Hythe – evidently Paget’s command house


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