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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 31

Dated: 4 April 1810 from CB Ceuta
Addressed to Mrs C Bevan, Money Hill, Rickmansworth, Herts

My dearest Mary

The packet has at length arrived and brought me many letters from all my friends and some rather surprising intelligence. In the first place I hope you mistake the cause of your indisposition but if you are right in your conjectures I pray to God you may in safety give to Mrs Shaw another little cousin. But I hope you are mistaken – I will write to our good friend by this opportunity if this vessel waits a sufficient time for me to do so. – God Bless you my poor dear little --??. I suppose you intend to people a colony. We shall be obliged after all to go and live in the Mountains in South Wales. I must however get as much as I can for the Lieut Colonelcy or it will be a bad speculation – I am not in very good spirits today and then you know I am always thinking of, I hope at least of the worst side of the purchase. I am much grieved (?) under it. I am much distressed you find so many difficulties about getting a house to comfort you and our dear Children, yet if I had sold out of the Army our monies would not have been sufficient to live upon, and God knows I wish to do that which may in the end prove both advantageous to our interest and to our comfort. I think you will do me justice on this opinion, and of the opinion of others I care not a straw – so long as I have the approbation the never erring conscience affords. – But I wish you also to feel this as I do. And I wish also to feel that the chief comfort I have is the hope of one day being able to do justice to the virtues and to the inimitable (?) interests of a beloved wife. I hope soon to have an opportunity to remit you some money. I do not exactly know whereabouts this cottage you speak of is situated – but on your account I hope it is not in the Street. Do not let people who are a little wiser tell us that beggars must not be choosers and that (word torn out) … our betters are not – been (?). I know also that last alas! The knowledge of it does not render it less galling. With regard to your Brother’s marriage you already know my fixed opinion, I shall not therefore say one syllable on the occasion, but that I do most fervently hope it will be attended with all the happiness. He is much, much too young – even if all other things were favourable – I am very sorry for this in my opinion, most ill judged: and most imprudent I think – But keep this to yourself, and do not leave this letter about the house, to be inspected by any person who may stumble upon it, a word you know to the wise.

My situation here is point of leisure has not much improved. The weather too has been tempestuous and very windy which makes our Mess Room, which is in the Signal house on the very top of the Mountain, exceedingly disagreeable, especially as we have no windows. I hope Paterson will not bring Eleanor to Gibraltar. They will get no accommodation. Poor - (words crossed out, but next two still legible) Captain of the 4th was crying today – I do not like to mention names but he was sadly distressed for quarters and we ---- But must soon be the case at Gibraltar with all newcomers. The place is so busy, full of Spaniards as well as of Englishmen –

Genl Graham has attacked at Cadiz. Poor Lord Collingwood gone to his long home. Admiral Purvis is gone up to take command – I hear Sir C. Cotton is appointed Chief – I am heartily sick of Ceuta and wish to God they would Wynch a Brigadier and bring me home to you – God bless you and your children

Ever yours

Ceuta April 4th 1810


i) First report of Mary’s last pregnancy
ii) Mrs Shaw – the Cousin from whom C.B. had expectations – she left his children Inglewood Court near Reading
iii) Mountains of South Wales – C.B.’s ancestors went to London from Carmarthen in 17th century
iv) Purchase/Lieut Colonelcy – C.B. had only the previous year purchased his Lieut Colonelcy in 4th Ft
v) Mary’s only surviving brother, Capt James Dacres RN had just obtained a ship. He married a Miss Dalrymple, (possibly related to Gen Sir Huw Dalrymple – of Sintra fame)
vi) Money Hill – the Dacres parents’ house near Rickmansworth, bought on their return from his command at Jamaica
vii) Eleanor – Mary’s younger sister who married Capt Paterson 28th Foot, which Regt had recently gone to Gibraltar, thence to Tarifa and Barossa
viii) Gen Graham – Lieut Gen Thomas Graham 1748-1843 on 5 March 1811 defeated the French under Vilette (the Spanish Gen, La Pena, being nominally in command), Near Cadiz – 28th suffered casualties
ix) Admiral Lord Collingwood, 2nd i.c. to Nelson at Trafalgar, died at sea off Minorca 7th March 1811
x) Vice Admiral J.C. Purvis
xi) Admiral Sir Charles Cotton Bart, C in C HM Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea 1811
xii) Wynch – The C.O. 1st Bn 4th Foot. The plot envisaged his promotion to Brigadier in c July 1811 to be followed by C.B. – but it did not happen until November – and Wynch died then, supposedly of “Walcheren Fever”


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