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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 40

Dated: 13th June 1810 from CB Ceuta
Addressed to Mrs C Bevan, Money Hill, Rickmansworth, Herts

My Dearest Mary, I have just had the happiness to receive your letters, among them one of so late a date as 24th May. I have felt much in reading your account of poor little Tom’s accident but more for you than him. I pray to God that you will not suffer any consequences from the shock – I shall not hear until I have another letter from you – I have this morning heard of an excellent opportunity of sending a letter to England. The Woolwich store ship is waiting for a wind only, and sails direct having Lord Bute on board. I am therefore in hope that this letter will reach you very shortly. By what consequences my last went I am ignorant but I know there were three on board the Hibernia which I thought had been in England months ago – We have no established communications yet between this place and Gibraltar and until some Depots are appointed for that special purpose the fate of our letters must be very uncertain. We are obliged to send them sometimes by Spanish boats the people of which probably never caring themselves which ---? and directed. But you are well assured that I write regularly and therefore am so far easy, but much annoyed that you do not receive my letters more particularly. I am very much concerned to hear of your Mother’s illness but have great faith in Cheltenham. I know she likes it and trust her authority (?) state has confined weight. There is no one thing that would give me so much satisfaction as your having an ----- with your Mother, and paying your share of the housekeeping – This was far too great a liberty for me to take to ask such a thing, I mean only during my absence – for when I come home we could either manage to get a cottage in the neighbourhood or a house with the Regt as circumstances might render more convenient. I only mean by this that your Mother need not be afraid that I should consider her house as my home – I do not say this from any ill motive or from any thought that I should be an unwelcome visitor but I know I am not always the most agreeable person in the world and I cannot make myself otherwise.

Your society would be a pleasure to her – and I cannot help thinking that your Mother will wish to leave Money Hill – Perhaps for some more --- Part of England at least further from London – I am most particularly obliged to family for his (sic) kind and good natured attention in sending me the Books (particularly hard to read) – I am also obliged to all my friends for their letters which I will most fully answer, but by this opportunity I have not time, wishing you to get this letter as soon as possible – I shall write to you again more at length – Pray do not regard Lady D ----Sic---‘s table I think whisperings May Excuse (very unclear) our Cause – And these!! I think Mrs T will take your letter as it ought to be taken. – If we cannot help it – I hope you will take very great care of yourself. You do now know how anxious I am to hear that you are quite well. I wrote to my Mother about the thousand pounds – in case anything should happen to me it was as well to have at your own disposal during your lifetime – I am sure in such an event you would find a Mother in our good good Friend. But I do not intend to set you at liberty yet. I am very well for me – I have received a letter from Henrietta very affectionate but written in very low spirits. Poor thing, I know by my own situation how to feel for hers – and it is a bitter reflection to feel that one’s own impression derived (?) has been the occasion of one’s own Misery – I do not mean that I am now miserable – But I have not forgotten the last of it. God Bless you my Beloved Mary – you must be happy if goodness is rewarded as it deserves

Ever, ever Yours C.B. God Bless you 13th June


i) Tom – CB’s youngest boy
ii) Woolwich – 40 guns
iii) Lord Bute – Marquis, probably Naval son of the sometime Prime Minister who died 1792
iv) Hibernia – 110 guns – 1812 flagship of Adml Sir Sidney Smith in Mediterranean – Ship of the Line she had been involved at Cadiz. Had been Cotton’s flagship at Lisbon 1808.
v) Not most agreeable – CB seems to have been intensely introspective and had fits of melancholia
vi) Money Hill – the Dacres house near Rickmansworth of which CB seems to have disapproved (It was near the Uxbridge Road, probably now under the M25)
vii) The Books – writing and cross writing here specially difficult – CB perhaps intended to thank Mary’s “Father” rather than “Family”
viii) Lady D’s table – not identified unless it may have been Lady Dalrymple – James Dacres having recently married a Miss Dalrymple. The slightly obscure sententious thoughts are also very hard to decipher
ix) Henrietta – CB’s niece? Daughter of his Indian Service brother – but there was also a Henrietta in the Moore family who were connections


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