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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 15

Dated: 28 Sept 1808 from CB at Queluz, near Lisbon (address not stated) Addressed to: Mrs Impudence

The Pallas Frigate yesterday, my dearest Mary, brought your letter of the 11th inst. by which I have the happiness of learning that you and our dear little Boys are quite well – I also had the very great satisfaction to receive a letter from my sister Caroline, the date much older than yours – I thank God for this happy and I confess to me unexpected news, - I hope they will now be happy and comfortable together – I am glad to hear your Father is so much better and shall be more so to hear he has left London for Cheltenham, you know I have great confidence in these waters. I should not have the least objection to be there with you and our little men, had we the wherewithal – Your opportunity of forwarding your letter was a most excellent one – Kennedy was the Chief Commissary to our Army, I mean by that Sir John Moore’s; and a most excellent man. I hear the Pallas is to return to England immediately and I shall take care that this letter is on board in a few hours. As to a Lt. Colcy I have given up all hopes and shall shortly give up all wishes for if I do not get it speedily the rank will be of no use to me and I had better remain a Major – This is hard but I am pretty well accustomed to disappointments, and what is more there is no relief. We find by the last papers that you are all very much dissatisfied at home with the conduct of our Commander-in-Chief Sir H. Dalrymple – I have not however seen any of them and only hear this by report the only paper I saw was a gazette with three Lt.Colcys given away (by purchase) and some of the Majors this year younger than myself – Have you lately heard from Mrs Shaw or have you written to her for she is very particular – I will write to her the moment we get into cover but at present in the continual bustle of Browne and all other people my head is hardly my own. Col Belson arrived here two days ago – Gen Paget has gone with the Corps under his command to the Frontier – we expect to go into Spain after the wet season- I hope Sir J. Moore will be at the head of the British Army – on all accounts – The present system is not a liberal one – Sir A. Wellesley is by this time at home and will if his character is attacked no doubt speak plainly. We have many sad stories in loud circulation here – For their truth we do not answer – since as we were denied all participation in the glory it is but just that we be exonerated from all share of censure – my wes allude to our Army, which is explained Oh! My dear Mary I long to embrace you very very much – but I do not wish to come home without a Lt Colcy. for we shall then be more settled at least comparatively speaking – I fear when it does arrive it will be in some dreadful Corps – but Rank is the thing.

I did not understand until your last letter who was with you at Bognor – I am delighted you have with you companions so dear to you – My best love to all, and pray when you write to London say everything for me to your Father and Mother & to Jemima and James of course – God protect my dear Mary and her children

Always yours

I wish you would forward the enclosed with a line from yourself


i) Kennedy – Robert Kennedy was the highly valued Chief Commissary whose departure was seen as a loss by Wellington who said his wife had lured him back to England
ii) Moore – Sir John Moore took over when Wellesley was recalled with Dalrymple and Burnand to face enquiry into the unpopular Sintra Convention. Moore rightly enjoyed a high reputation and was popular with the Army.
iii) Col Belson arrived to take over command of 1st Bn 28th. Major J F Browne, evidently unpopular with CB was a year senior to CB and had commanded the Regiment since Johnson retired sick from Sweden in June 1808. Browne commanded a Bn of Flank Companies at Barrosa and was commended. He was promoted from Brevet Lt Col to return to command 1/28th in 1816
iv) James – Mary’s elder brother then reaching command of a Frigate – in 1812 his Guerriere was famously captured by US Frigate Constitution. However he survived to reach Admiral in due course

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