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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 47

Dated: 8th August 1810 from CB Ceuta
Addressed to Mrs C Bevan, Money Hill, Rickmansworth, Herts

My dearest Mary

I was at Gibraltar when the Packet arrived bring three letters from your dear self, which I thank God also being of your self and of our little men much excellent accounts - It is indeed necessary that I should have some good tidings to counter balance that part of your letter which relates to my unfortunate Sister – Good God! Am I for ever destined to meet with such cruel strokes. Cruel I call them because after this most change and unaccountable conduct how can I with sincerity look on her, who ought to be one of my nearest and best friends in any light but in that of aversion –Oh! My dear Mary, God Grant that you may never experience the sort of feeling I do at this moment – I cannot help it, it is my nature – I had been a happier man was I born without warm feelings. I possess – I mean, I hardly know what I mean – For I am so annoyed that my family is quite in a whirl, -- How is all this to End? A pretty tale it will be to be published all over the neighbourhood of Rickmansworth. I could not have well believed that one person however a stranger to me, could have been so utterly destitute of all honourable feeling, of all consideration for their family & after all that has happened before!!! My Mother should have spoken out at least to her -- Had I been in England I should have immediately have (sic) so done. But at this distance I ask what is left for me, but to lament the disgrace that must fall not only where it should fall, but on all those connected with the party.

It is a sad reflection to me that I hardly dare to open a letter for fear of learning some news of her, Oh – These letters which I always see ever with pleasure, always look forward to with comfort, are to be connected with a source the bitterest uneasiness – The longer I live the more thankful I must be to providence for having given me one friend on whose affection I can rely – one who I hope may live to be surrounded by her children – I shall most anxiously await the next letter from home – I cannot tell what to think about this casual affair; nor do I how it is to terminate – I hope not in the way the Lady wills it – that in my opinion would be worse than any accident whatever –

My head is so full of one subject that I had nearly forgotten to mention how sincerely I feel for poor Capt Dacres. I had heard of the melancholy end of poor John from Capt. Chamberlayne of the Navy, - Shall write to you again in a day or two if an opportunity affords. God Bless you & our dear children, my dearest Mary – Yours Always Your C.B.

Ceuta 8th August 1810


i) Most of this letter is taken up with news of CB’s sister Julia who had run off with a Mr Nevitt – an ACTOR – she had evidently returned to his mother without Nevitt but heavily pregnant, and UNMARRIED to boot. Disgrace and who was to raise the infant – or support Julia the fallen woman. Hard to remain totally sympathetic to CB when there is no syntilla of sympathy for Julia or his Mother – nothing but self-pity because of all the worry he had to bear. Not a letter to be proud of
ii) Capt Dacres – this sudden pompousness where he usually spoke of ‘James’ presumably is still for his brother-in-law who has presumably lost a baby
iii) Capt Chamberlayne – presumably Capt Edwin Chamberlayne of ‘Unite’, 36 guns, which participated with Alceste and Active in a distinguished action against a French squadron in the Adriatic in November 1811 – a cargo of 200 guns for Trieste was cap


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