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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 39

Dated: 6th June 1810 from CB Ceuta
Addressed to Mrs C Bevan, Money Hill, Rickmansworth, Herts

My Dearest Mary,

Having in my last letter given you an account of the Festivities of Ceuta on the birthday of King Ferdinand, I now shall give you a short description of what took place on a similar occasion in honor of George III. General Fraser, who had no wish to take this concern on himself, had resolved to take himself off to Gibraltar and leave us to entertain the Spaniards. We had accordingly commenced our preparations when on June 3rd arrives an Order, I believe from General Campbell, that our Chief should celebrate the King’s birthday here and that in a manner as handsome as possible. He received the letter just as he was going on board the vessel for Gibraltar, which put him rather in a quandary. However a man of the Hotel undertook to provide a dinner for 95 people, which he did accordingly.

The usual noises and confusion prevailed at this dinner, as at others of the same sort. The Spanish officers got amazingly drunk upon ale and port wine, to which they are but little used. In the evening a very select party of ladies arrived, consisting of Duchesses, Countesses and Marchionesses, such devils! This I hear has given much offence to other families of the place, because they were not also invited. We also had a Bull Fight, salutes from the Batteries and, to crown it all, illumination at night! So much for the 4th of June in Africa! I hope I shall not be very long an inhabitant of this vile place. I look anxiously in the Gazette for the name of Wynch. But hitherto in vain “yet on I toil and groan for an opportunity.” It is very “groanery” weather – the hear begins to be very troublesome and alas! We have just begun June. What will it be in July, August and September. We shall all be negroes. You will be sorry to hear that our friend Mrs Mullins has lost one of her children and she is very apprehensive of poor little Tom. Gibraltar is so crowded with Spaniards that I should not be surprised to hear of another fever there.

This is certainly a more healthy situation but the Walcheren disease is carrying our men to their graves. I hope James is as happy as a Bridegroom ought to be and you, my dearest Mary, as happy as you ought to be, but not so much as I hope one of these days to see you! Kiss our Boys from me and present my remembrances according to their gradation to all my friends

Farewell and God Bless you
Always your C.B. June 6th 1810


i) Gen Campbell – Pres Major Gen Alexander Campbell who commanded 6th Division at Fuentes D’Onoro
ii) Wynch – Lieut Col – C O 1st Bn 4th Ft who was to be promoted and replaced by CB
iii) James – Capt James Dacres RN, Mary’s brother had just married Miss Dalrymple



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