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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 32

Dated: 8 April 1810 from CB Ceuta
Addressed to Mrs C Bevan, Money Hill, Rickmansworth, Herts

My dearest Mary, will by this time have received all or most of my letters. I have just been writing one to our good cousin in which I have inclosed word to account for the apparent negligence in my correspondence, but I am really just now very innocent in this -?-, I have more employment than I have time, and I cannot sit down to write letters and be bustling about in the Barracks, hospital etc, at the same time; I intend with regard to your letters, to keep a sort of Journal; and I wish if you would tell me how to direct under cover to Mr Adams for I am ignorant. If I could but persuade myself that you was comfortable I should now perhaps get on pretty well. I wish my Mother would go a good way into the country and take a house large enough for you, you paying so much towards the expense. I do not think she will stay long in Montague Square. Pray do not think I forget about Money indeed I do not, nor about any other thing.

I would to God my means were equal to my wishes, as too many of my friends say. I wish James knew a little more about the wants of a family before he feels them – He is I suppose to live at Money Hill or do you mean that he is to reside at Hatley.

Pray how does little Charles get on in reading and speaking; I hope you will get the better of that terrible drawl, which is all habit, and a very bad habit. Believe me for once it is to be conquered. Have you had any invitations to Montague Square or is it confined to good wishes. These last certainly are less expensive than hospitality. I should wish you if possible to see the best friend we have in the world – I mean Mrs Shaw. Does your Mother continue to like Money Hill? Or do you think it probable the will was more into Devonshire or near Bath – I hope old Mrs Dacres of Marlborough Buildings approves of James matrimonial speculation as this may be a good thing to him in times to come – The vessel that takes this letter is immediately going to Gibraltar I hope she will find an opportunity for easy winds. I shall enclose it to one of Gen Campbell’s A.D.C.s who will take care of it. I fancy Paterson will go to Portugal to join the 2nd Battalion but I am not sure how this will be. Anywhere is better than the Rock. Even poor Mrs Mullins most bitterly regrets she did not remain in England – and you know she has no friends in that country – I dare say she will shortly return to Clifford (Clifton?). I wish I was on my way to England – I have had quite enough of Ceuta – It is however in my opinion a paradise to Gib I believe some of our young men do not think so. God bless you – best of all good f--? I am always ever your own C.B.
I shall write as often as I can to every body who writes to me.
[cross written – but does not seem to follow on?]
Is Shean going to sell out immediately so much for matrimony in a hurry I expect to see Noven (Name) every hour – He is going on the Undaunted with Capt Maling to Cadiz, he calls here on his way – And I fear with a large party of Ladies from Gibraltar to see this place – Thank God the hill is pretty high – If we are to see ladies I had much rather entertain the Spanish females some of whom are nice looking and pretty but these are few – But God knows at present we are not in a state to entertain any body – It is as much as we can do to entertain ourselves – I believe I told you that a smart lady came over here on the Hydra (Munndy?) We gave them some salt ham I I do not think the account of their reception will induce any more to venture – If Mrs Bowes comes She must command all in my powers from the regard I have for Johnson. But independent of this, she is a very pleasant and a very nice woman. The General is now at Cadiz – My best love to your family I hope this will find them all well and you quite light and quite convinced of your mistake about the little cousin


i) Usually the cross writing precedes CB’s signature and date – here it is as a Postscript
ii) Cousin – Mrs Shaw – She was the female cousin from whom CB evidently hoped to inherit – she had a substantial Berkshire estate which was eventually bequeathed to the children
iii) Mr Adams – not identified but mentions in other letters suggest a connection of the Dacres and with advantages for safe correspondence – possibly Private Secretary to Pitt
iv) Montague Square – it seems likely that CB’s Mother leased a house there from time to time
v) James – Mary’s brother Capt James Dacres RN later Admiral, about to marry Miss Dalrymple
vi) Hatley – not identified – perhaps the Dalrymple seat
vii) Old Mrs Dacres/Marlborough – No information – possible grandmother of Mary
viii) Gen Campbell – Probably Major Gen Alexander Campbell, who later commanded 6th Division at Fuentes D’Onoro and Almeida
ix) Paterson – CB’s old friend in 28th Foot who married Mary’s sister Eleanor – both Bns of 28th were in the Peninsular
x) Mrs Mullins – wife of 28th officer who had accompanied her husband to Gibraltar. Clifford is not identified
xi) Shean probably a jokey reference to James Dacres
xii) Undaunted – 40 gun Frigate. Capt Maling not identified, also Novein – illeg
xiii) Hydra prob ship name – Munndy probably her Captain, difficult to read
xiv) Mrs Bowes – presumably wife of Major Gen Bowes who was at Cadiz


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