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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 29

Dated: 16 March 1810 from CB Ceuta
Addressed to Mrs C Bevan, Money Hill, Rickmansworth, Herts

My dearest Mary, I am at length fortunate enough to receive letters from you, they have been a good while feeling their way here but have now made their appearance in large numbers – I was most truly sorry to hear of your Mother’s ?? – I most sincerely hope she is now quite recovered – Equally as do I hope for the happiness of Eleanor. Paterson is an excellent Hearted young man – With regard to myself I literally have not one moment to myself – My Quartermaster prisoner, my Adjutant sick in bed, my Paymaster at Gibraltar & a very young Regiment to command – you must at present therefore excuse me, and I know you will, if my letters are not quite so full of all sorts of news as I intended they should be: but I am putting all my shoulders (sic) to the wheel and I hope to get the better of all difficulties. It will take some time however to do this – I am very glad to hear you are so well and that our dear Boys are equally so. You have not told me a word about the Fisherman’s cottage I therefore fear some ?? amiss has arisen to your entering your plans in execution twice ?? at least. I wish to God my Mother had a home to accommodate you & the Children. I never regretted Bedington till now. Oh! What a charming cottage would that have been for us – But I have seen - ? – of better times at least for those most dear to me – My lot is cast and the rest of my life must be full of anxiety for you and for our children. –

We are situated here in the citadel which is on the Top of a mountain and intercourse with the inhabitants is therefore little or none. I have been nowhere since the first landing. We were at the Governor’s party & afterwards I gave you a description in a former letter – No -? of the officers have been more gallant than Major (word obliterated). The castle is not very tempted to take them down the hill after dinner as it is quite dark at seven o’clock – As an opportunity of conveying letters are not much to be depended on or – one is obliged to trust to Gun Boats & etc & etc to take them to Gibraltar from whence they are conveyed to England as chance offers. This is a far preferable place in point of climate to Gibraltar and when it has been in the hands of the English I hope it will have some comforts at present the Officers of the 4th are living Three to a Room – I have a Quarter but am on sufferance in the Summer house of a Which Man here & when I entered to stay whilst they got -- --- sort of habitation. These are very scarce as people are continually coming when f== racing Cadiz we hear is likely to hold out for some time – if not altogether, against the French. – We hear many reports of Generals coming from England both to Gibraltar and to Cadiz – But for reasons are particularly interested (?). We did also daily expectation of another packet from England – I have had very kind letters from brother James with news -- for which North looking – and can only opportunity offer my very best thanks

Pray give my best love to your family & believe me my dearest Mary, always your


Ceuta March 16th 1810


i) CB arrived with 2nd Bn 4th Ft to which Regt he had transferred on promotion to Lieut Col. En route some part of the Regiment were shipwrecked in Biscay and captured. CB had evidently been promised that in the summer the CO 1st/4th would be promoted and CB would then take command of 1st/4th in Portugal
ii) Bedington – a house CB’s Mother took one summer
iii) James – Capt James Dacres RN – Mary’s brother who had been waiting for a ship was given the Frigate Gueriere about this time – in 1812 she was taken by USS Constitution.



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