King's Own Royal Regiment Museum


Museum & Collections
Contact Us

17th Century
18th Century
19th Century
20th Century
First World War
Second World War
Actions & Movements
Battle Honours

Further Reading


Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 17

Dated: 11th October 1808 from CB at Queluz, near Lisbon. Addressed to: Mrs C. Bevan

I find, my ever dearest Mary, that Genl Spencer has not yet sailed so that I have today an opportunity of sending into Lisbon I seize the chance to tell you that tomorrow we march from hence on our route into Spain, in the first instance we proceed to Abrantes, a place that gave Junot his title of Duke, it is about 60 miles from hence, - There is a rumour that we are to halt in and about that place until the bad weather is over but of this we know nothing, I have at length been fortunate to procure a very good mule, but was obliged to pay for it. It is absolutely necessary in marching through so miserable a country as this to carry some necessaries both for the outside as well as inside – I am rejoicing at the approaching cool weather as though I am not ill I find the extreme heat of our present situation very uncomfortable – If we stay the six weeks at Abrantes I shall use the time in endeavouring to make myself master of Spanish which will be a pleasant as well as a very useful acquirement. I was a few days ago present at a Grand Ball given by the English Army to the Portugese Nobility etc. It was as stupid as needs be, I did not stay there long but poor little Dewes who could not resist the temptations of a very elegant supper, has been ill ever since – You must not say a word about this but I thought it would amuse you. I do not know what we are to pay for this Ball, but I fear much more than I think any Ball can be worth. I much wished to have sent home by Genl Spencer some little trinkets for you which here are very pretty – but I really am not able to get a single dollar – Dewes not having any money – I hope I shall meet with something in Spain that will be acceptable to you – Halford who is going to England on his promotion, takes this letter for me; and should Genl Spencer be gone, he will take it himself.

I hope to hear from you soon. It is now a very long time since I had a letter – I hope you have been more fortunate with mine. I have written to the Admiral by Genl S. supposing him at Cheltenham – I wish I was there also. I hope we shall rejoin Lord Wm Bentinck as I shall then hope to get letters by Mr W Adams. I hear from an Officer just come from India that Col. Adams is to be married immediately or rather was to have been so when he left the country – God Bless you and our dear Children, my Mary

I am always
Your own C.B.

Camp near Queluz


i) Major General Brent Spencer commanded a brigade at Copenhagen and until 1808 in the Peninsula. He returned before Barrosa
ii) Queluz which Wellington (and Moore) made their HQ was the seat of the Royal “Pink” Palace, which survives (as a Pousada) and would have been the scene of the Ball
iii) Junot – the French General defeated by Wellesley at Vimiero, was sent back to France under the terms of the Sintra Convention
iv) Dewes – Lieutenant Paymaster of 1st/28th
v) Halford – Lieutenant G. Halford is listed in the 1806 list of 28th Officers
vi) Lord Wm Bentinck a former Governor of Madras had a Brigade under Moore. Later became Governor of Bengal and 1st Gov General of India
vii) Elsewhere a Wm Adams, some relation of the Dacres became Private Sec to Pitt (about 1804)


Only a proportion of our collections are on display at anyone time.  Certain items are on loan for display in other institutions.  An appointment is required to consult any of our collections which are held in store.

© 2013 Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum