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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 48

Dated: 16th August 1810 from CB Ceuta
Addressed to Mrs C Bevan, Money Hill, Rickmansworth, Herts

I wrote a very hurried and I dare imagine a very confused Epistle to my dearest Mary, a few days ago –I wrote it on almost the first impression made on my mind by the accounts from Rickmansworth – I have read over and over again your letter. There is one thing in one passage of it which makes it appear to me as if all idea of the affair had not been entirely renounced by the Gentleman. I hope however that this is my way of reading, and not the intended sense your letter was to convey – Accustomed as I am to adversity this is a severe addition you the list of them. I bear as if it was not enough to be deprived of the society of all my friends – at least of those with whom I must wish to be. Hardly daring to look forward to the arrival of that period when we may live together without much separation when indeed our circumstances may be such as is akin a hope of happinesss unclouded by the constant apprehension of debt. This is not enough for one man, but I must look forward to a family broken up. I fear, I greatly fear, that most unlucky affair will not terminate in peace – However I must be contented to await the next letters – Anything is better than suspense – I hope this letter will find Mrs Dacres and your sisters returned home in good health – Mrs Paterson must now be an agreeable addition to the lives of all who belong – Pray give my best (love ? word torn out by seal) to her. Remember me most kindly to your brother – I do not think by my writing such a letter as I have on such an occasion will, or could, do good, but perhaps to express those feelings which every hour be a little softened. My regard for him is sincere, and very sincerely do I lament the loss he has sustained. The poor boy promised to be everything his father could have wished. How does Mrs H.D. feel on the occasion?

I have not the courage to write to Caroline but I have thought a good deal on it and I should never forgive myself did any expression I might use escape his will (very obscure writing) any actives that I fear his violent nature may be capable of – Oh! God of whom am I thus writing?

Pray give my love to my Mother & to my sister – I shall write to my Mother, but not directly – I am rather surprised she did not judge it proper to have acquainted me with what has taken place.

I am sorry not to see James among the appointments to Ships – I observe several made by the new Lord

I hope we shall meet soon; I am in daily expectation of 230 men from England – those who were left behind -- -- This may change the dedication of the 4th to more active service – our sick men are recovering fast – God Bless you and our dear little Boys – My best love to all your party – I am ever yours C.B.

Ceuta 16th August 1810


i) The letter is mostly concerned like No 47 with the reappearance of his Julia, now pregnant, after an elopement with a Mr Nevitt. Also towards the end with the death of James Dacres’ baby son
ii) Mrs Paterson – Mary’s sister Eleanor, who evidently rejoined the Dacres Rickmansworth establishment when her husband returned to 28th Ft in Gibraltar, Spain
iii) Mrs H.D. – presumably Mrs James Dacres
iv) Caroline – C.B.’s elder, unmarried sister
v) James .. not appointed: evidently Capt James Dacres RN was still awaiting a ship – he had been on half pay for some time. Later he was to have Gueriere – Frigate
vi) New Lord - presumably a New 1st Sea Lord but not identified
vii) 230 men – ever since his traumatic journey to Ceuta the 2nd Bn 4th Ft had been about half strength, he had only about 300. Apart from this large party which had been left in England shipwrecks in Biscay had resulted in some dead and over a hundred prisoners to the French. Contemporary Infantry Bns were from 6-800


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