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 34

Dated: 20th April 1810 from CB Ceuta
Addressed to Mrs C Bevan, Money Hill, Rickmansworth, Herts

My Dearest Mary I am still without letters which we have been expecting for the last fortnight and before, luckily however offers by a friend of Col Benson who is going immediately to England and I wish to win this chance to send you a few words. No one thing has occurred since my last but that the party under Browne at Tarifa has had an affair with a French reconnoitring party which came from Cadiz. The English repulsed them with the loss of one Artillery man; the French carried off their killed if they had any – We are at present very quiet here but the Spaniards seem to lock (?) us away and as the condition of our being here is that only until they can get more troops, I suppose they will exert themselves to procure a few number of men to bring here. What our government will then do I cannot of course --? But I am sure that firmness and not finesse is the way to get things from the Spaniard – An Englishman is a bad politician where much duplicity is required whereas this is the best efficacy of the other. If the politicians of this place be an object to England, now is the time to secure it. If we do not, Bonaparte will – Having mentioned Col Belson, it is necessary to say he is here to see the place, he dines with us today. Yesterday I dined in company with him at the Spanish General’s and in the Evening we paid some visits to the parties. – I have not made ma(word torn out) – angle at --- indeed the only family I can ge--- is the Minister’s who I mentioned as they lack epistles ?? I believe I shall give up the idea of learning Spanish and hope soon to hear something of or see Paterson. Belson tells me he concludes he will join the 2nd Battalion.

I hope Mrs Paterson is quite well, so I hope are all your family – I am indeed very anxious to hear how you are and our Boys – Though I have no doubts that they are well – God will I have good accounts of you too. I am pretty well and have not yet found any ill effects from the heat but this is only April. I hope some lucky chance may abridge my exile here – Our men are not healthy but on the whole I think we have no reason to suppose that they get worse here – and I hope that in the course of a month or two we shall become too effective a Battalion to be kept idle here – We have some strange reports about Sir Francis Burdett but have not seen any particular accounts. I suppose had we in (sic) England we should have been of the party to London – I hope however things are not so bad as represented. – I have written to my Mother about the thousand pounds & ?Howard is now making enquiries at Gibraltar about Money – I shall hope to send you some immediately on his return here. I hope our Cousin, our good cousin Shaw has received my letter – I am now going to write to Caroline. Pray make my best love to all your family – I hope James is well and happy wherever he is – God Bless you, my best friend, I am ever yours

Ceuta April 20th 1810


i) Belson had been, possibly still, C.O. 1st Bn 28th Ft
ii) Browne - Senior Major 1st 28th - i/c detachment at Tarifa
iii) Visiting only one family – elsewhere CB said he had only one Spanish friend in Ceuta – the “Minister” ?Political or ?church
iv) 2nd Bn here refers to 2nd 28th
v) Mrs Paterson – arch reference to Eleanor , Mary’s sister, recently married to his close friend Paterson of 28th Foot
vi) Burdett – Sir Francis Burdett 1770-1844, a politician. House of Commons 1796, opposed war with France, advocated liberal reforms in Parliament, Catholic emancipation etc. 1810 published allegations of illegality by House of Commons in suppressing a radical agitator. The Speaker had him arrested on a Speaker’s Warrant & put in the Tower. Barricaded house for 2 days against Army (1 killed). 1820 3 months for agitation after Peterloo Massacre. Married daughter of Coutts the Banker and progeny were Burdett-Coutts.


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