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 33

Dated: 15th April 1810 from CB Ceuta
Addressed to Mrs C Bevan, Money Hill, Rickmansworth, Herts

I begin, my dearest Mary, to grow very impatient for the arrival of letters from England; I fear you are also equally disappointed about hearing from this part of the world, for I observe that the Undaunted Frigate, which left Ceuta nearly a fortnight ago for Cadiz with our letters etc had by some means got to the Eastward of the Rock and is now at anchor off Tetuan waiting for a wind – I thought that by this time they must have been in England. I hope that this letter will have better luck as there is a Cutter there waiting also a wind, which will sail more directly for England – She brought out a paper of the 25 March but I cannot find any news -?- and no letters. Firm news there is no news. We are quite out of the way even of hearing the Fabrications of the Rock. The Lavinia is expected here any day on her way home. That will be a good opportunity. I wish to God I was coming home in her. But I must not grumble. I suppose we shall shortly hear or see Paterson in these parts. I wish the 28th were going home and also the 2nd, 4th or that they may go on some more active service than being stuck on the top of a Rock. We are being anxious to hear the result of Gen Campbell’s despatch as we are in hopes it may be the means of introducing more English Troops to this place and eventually of setting us at liberty. The weather here has for some time past been very Equinoctial I imagine we shall very soon have nothing but Sun, Sun, Sun – our men are not very healthy nor very otherwise; but I am much afraid it will be long before the effects of Walcheren cease to be felt. I have given up all hopes of our people being exchanged, and in addition to the loss of the Q master – the Adjutant is constantly laid up with ague and fever! – I am in a neat (?) way – but True Friend I only mention a little Castle to yourself and I wish you would keep this to yourself only – I hope you have seen our cousin, I wrote a long letter to her but I fear it is in the Undaunted, She not however will know – I wish she would ask you to go and be in her neighbourhood: but that is a foolish wish because I know it is impossible. Alas! when shall I have done wishing? We do not make much progress in our acquaintance with the Spaniards – I have only one friend who is the Minister here, he speaks French very well, he has two sons, fine young men, and one daughter who is pretty enough – His wife and another daughter have taken themselves to Gibraltar, and whether they are coming back I cannot find out. It is certainly not the fault of the people that we do not partake more of their society – but it is very stupid merely to be seated with any people to whom you cannot speak, and as to dinner or supper that is quite out of the question –

I only regret it on one account and that is the learning this language and while we stay in the Citadel t—t—can come so far. Most of the inhabitants never have been in it – it is too far for these wretches! I wish they would all go to Spain and fight the battles of their country – We may then steal Ceuta – It would be a great pity were we to give it up to them again – I hope we shall not do so foolish a thing – A detachment of the 28th has been sent to Tarifa under Browne. I wish they would send us there too.

I long when, whether there is any talk of peace or war, with Britain & France for we hear many reports of that here –

There is a large convoy coming down the Mediterranean under RA (A (?) Paulet in the Terrible, they have been detained God knows how long for want of winds – I hope now we shall have letters before this Cutter sails – Then I may tell you how glad I am to hear that you and our Boys are quite well – God Bless you my dearest Mary, with best love to your family – forever your C.B.
Ceuta April 15th


i) Undaunted – 40 gun frigate
ii) Lavinia – Frigate 44/50 x 18 pdrs – She trooped CB with Bn HQ and Light Coy of 28th to Walcheren in 1809. Her Captain then was Lord William Stewart
iii) Paterson – CB’s close friend in 28th who married Eleanor Dacres
iv) Gen Campbell’s despatch – not identified – Presumable Maj Gen Alexander Campbell who commanded 6th Division at Fuentes D’Onoro in 1811
v) Exchange our people – CB presumably refers to the officers captured in the Biscay shipwreck – including the Quartermaster
vi) Little Castle – CB may be talking of one of his fantasises or “castles in Spain”
vii) Our cousin – a frequent reference CB makes to his cousin Mrs Shaw from whom he hoped for an inheritance – which seems to have taken the place of thoughts of military advancement
viii) Detachment of 28th – Browne was the Senior Major in 28th when CB last served with them (and eventually commanded them)
ix) Terrible 74 gun Ship
x) Paulet or Powlett – presumable Rear Admiral Lord Henry – The symbol before his name in the letter is like 2/LtA pres = Rear Ad


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