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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 41

Dated: 23rd June 1810 from CB Ceuta
Addressed to Mrs C Bevan, Money Hill, Rickmansworth, Herts

My Dearest Mary,

General Fraser who has been some time absent from us on account of some late domestic arrangements or rather de-rangement returned last night when I fully expected to have received some letters from England – as usual however disappointed - I have also some reports of riots annoying you but I imagine these are merely exaggerated, at all events I think you are safe at Money Hill from whence I hope a very few days will bring me news – Here we get on day by day in the same stupid manner – and when ever the sect...ness of the town tokens a more favourable time, I shall apply for leave of absence and I hope that I shall be able to spend the Winter with you – But God know what may happen between this and then. If the accounts of Massena being ordered into Spain by Bonaparte, be true, I suppose we shall soon have some news from Lord Wellington’s Army. The Spaniards in the vicinity of Gibraltar are affecting to do a great deal but the moment the French show themselves they will be off – At least this is their usual tactick – There are about Five Thousand of them here, and I hear that Gen D (word torn by seal - ?Campbell) is to go with 800 English as an auxiliary Corps. I almost wish we had staid (sic) in Gibraltar and some of us might have been of the party – However something may get –up to send us into a more active time, at least I hope so. I find a great loss in poor Thomas – the man I had as a Bat Man during my time and who began to know my ways a little, has also gone to the hospital, and I have my doubts whether he will return. I have now a man who is of all stupid beings the most stupid – but I believe him honest which is all in all with me.

I hope this letter will find my Mother and sister with you if Mr Davies has not returned from Cheltenham, and perhaps she may be tempted to prolong her stay if she ----- ----- from the waters.

I wish you & I were there also, Our dear little Boys are I conclude well, happy and full of fun – Poor fellows, they do not know what is before them. My best love to them – to your Mother & to my party.

I have heard nothing from Paterson, though I have received the parcel you mentioned he was to take charge of. I know he is not over fond of writing and he has a correspondent now who has a greater claim on his idle hours

God Bless you, Always your C.B.

June 23rd 1810 – Postmarked Portsmouth 3 Aug 1810


i) Fraser – GOC Ceuta whose family were at Gibraltar as he could not obtain a quarter at Ceuta
ii) Riots – Precise reference not identified – CB had been mildly concerned about the eccentric MP Sir F Burdett who resisted the Army for a couple of days – but not near Rickmansworth
iii) Massena had indeed appeared as commander of the French Army of Portugal in April 1810 – his successes against continental armies produced some frissons at first, borne out by a success at Ciudad Rodrigo, and a fortuitous capture of Almeida, but in September 1810 at Bussaco he first encountered Wellington who defeated him there and throughout the rest of his time in the Peninsular (as with the other French generals)
iv) Campbell – Alexander – seems to have been commanding forces at Gibraltar
v) Thomas – first mention of any batman
vi) Mr Davies – not identified
vii) Paterson – CB’s close friend in 28th Ft who had recently married Mary’s sister Eleanor and had joined the 28th who were split between Gibraltar and Tarifa


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