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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 13

Dated 21 June 1808 from CB at Gothenburg Addressed to Mrs Charles Bevan, 3 Southampton St, Camden Town, postmarked (England) 3 July 1808

Gothenburgh Still Still

I had the pleasure, my ever dearest Mary, to receive your letter of the 14th in very good time, although it came by the common post it came much quicker than any I have yet got. I am very, very sorry for the uneasiness my unlucky illness has caused you. Much more so than any suffering it occasioned me, but I was fearful you would be more anxious from my silence as also that young Dacres might have mentioned it in a casual way and so it would have reached you through that quarter – I know it will give you much pleasure to know I am nearly recovered – so much so that Tomorrow I am going on shore for three days, a little excursion into the country – from the change of air and exercise etc I expect on my return to be quite stout – I am really now well, but not yet very strong - I am going with Marlay, Genl Paget’s A.D. Camp – Gen Paget very kindly got me leave – the object of my journey is as well as the benefit I expect, to see a famous lake and waterfall which is very much talked of – it is about fifty miles in the country – Sir J Moore is not yet returned from Stockholm but expected daily – preparations are now making for our departure, but for what place we still remain in the most profound ignorance – we have heard report that Russia has again broke with France, if there be any truth in this, it will possibly create some change with regard to the operations of this Army – By the papers it appears that Sir Arthur Wellesley is going to Buenos Aires, in which we are somewhat confirmed by the Chief Engineer of this force having been sent for by express to England – he was in the same situation under the unfortunate Genl Whitelocke. His name is Squires , so much for publick news. I am sorry on two accounts for the illness of our poor little Boys & first for your sake, as I well know the trouble as well as anxiety it will cause to you – and then poor little fellows for their own. I hope to have a better account of my little Charles by your next letters – I think he is far more delicate than Tom, who will fight his way – I always think of them playing in the bow window of the room at Colchester – Do you remember how cunningly the little coachman used to employ his whip, and who used to encourage him, & housed to scold – Oh! I wish we were all together again – in some comfortable shop – and so I trust we soon shall be. I am very much gratified to hear you see so much of your own family. I am exceedingly sorry as well as mortified you do not see more of mine – but I cannot help it – it has hurt me very much for I did not believe it would have been the case – Mrs Shaw is very good and I will take an opportunity to write to her and thank her – I am sorry I so wronged her by what I said in a former letter – I wish I could make the same observations elsewhere. I do really think that those important engagements had better give way to family kindness and attention. All this soliloquy arises the inattention to use the mildest word I think you have experienced from my Mother - & I cannot bear it – I hope it will not long continue, for I will be attentive to no person on earth who is otherwise to you – God Bless you.

We have had, I mean my Party some very heartbreaking and bitter lessons – that I should have thought would have taught some persons the value of domestick affection and happiness – Perhaps, my beloved Mary, our Fortune will not always frown – but perhaps is a sad word – for I know but of one quarter from whence a brighter star will shine upon us and that indeed is not at present very clear.

You know what I mean and I know will laugh at my Castles but more extraordinary things have happened in the world – and if it does not we are just where we were before and no harm done.

I have now pretty well vented my humour for the present and so I wish you a good night – and I can only pity those people who are so foolishly led away by the world as to be blind to the value of such a wife, such a mother and such a daughter as my Mary – of whom I have more reason to be proud and more reason to be grateful to than all my relations put together – Again God Bless you & your family I hope continue well – My kindest love to all

Ever and ever yours
Most affecty C.B.
June 21 1808


i) 28th were with a force of about 5 Bns which went to Sweden in May 1808 but the King changing his mind forbade their landing. Moore went to Stockholm for consultations and was detained for some time. Paget was a Brigade Commander – the excursion of CB and the ADC must have been specially authorised but CB avoids giving the reason but it seems odd since CB must have been 2nd in command 28th and not in Paget’s Brigade. When Moore was freed the fleet sailed home but part including 28th were diverted to land in Portugal, over the surf near Vimiero, too late for that battle

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