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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 50

Dated: 3rd Sept 1810 from CB Ceuta
Addressed to Mrs C Bevan, Money Hill, Rickmansworth, Herts

I have just, my dearest Mary, heard some of the best news that has reached my ears for some time namely that a very large promotion has taken place of Colonels to be Major Generals, in which case Lieut Col Wynch will be appointed as Brigadier and your most obedient humble Servant will come to England. This item is at hand from Henry Parker has not yet made its appearance, posts are one more than ever waited. We have been so constantly expecting it that I have delayed a day or two waiting in hopes that I would have heard from you. This is the second of ---- the last letter I received was dated on the 1st July - & we have had no later paper than the 21st of the same month. At Gibraltar however they must have had later as I understand that this Brevet is on the 30th. Our Communication is so very uncertain with this place that sometimes a fortnight passes without any English Boat either going or coming ... If this news be quite correct which I have reason to believe it is, it is an almighty large Promotion – so much the better for Wynch et par Consequence for me – I am most heartily sick of this place but I have kept up my health better than most people have. I take a great deal of medicine (or elderzine?). My mind is a little employed about my profession, which does not allow me to entertain my friends the Blue Devils – Not indeed that we have had quite cut all connection and acquaintance , but I am certainly not the miserable dog I sometimes used to be. --- Oh! My good friend – you know an other very good reason, indeed the chief cause that my mind is not so constantly oppressed with the cheerless prospect of the Future – May God Bless the person who has contributed to ease my mind of such a load! I now really long to be therewith I shall long to see you and our little men – God send that I may see you all well.

I hope you are not quite so much roasted as we are here – For i take most of my exercise with the hottest part of the day – In defence of the sun (?) I have not say (sic) one word in this letter on a certain subject which would only dampen the letters raise of spirits the news of the Brevet has given to my imagination – I will if possible for the next four hours only think of things agreeable - It is not often that my mind is so long thus pleasantly employed – But this has been my fate all my life, and I suppose my destiny is unchangeable.

I was in hope to have had a letter from Paterson – Now I have heard from other quarters, quite well. But we very rarely hear of Lord Wellington’s Army but through England – I hope my good friend Eleanor is quite well – Your Mother and sisters also and enjoying the delightful entertainment of Money Hill – Pray remember me with most affectionate manner to them all with our little men and yourself I am always your C.B.


i) Promotions – Wynch: Since he obtained his Lt Colonelcy in Nov 1809 and took 2nd Bn 4th Ft, CB had been waiting for this, having been told from the start that Wynch, C.O. 1st Bn, was to be promoted to Brigadier when CB would replace him in 1st Bn which was then in England (he assumes it will remain there and that he will be with his family)
ii) Brevet – evidently ‘Brevet’ known to us only in the context of the Honorary, temporary rank, was used generally about the Report of Promotion, and of course it properly signifies the docket connected with promotion
iii) Medicine – is oddly spelled but is probably what is meant
iv) Blue Devils CB and Mary’s term for his bouts of melancholia – his introspection gets worse. It is as well that CB did not have to complete an Income Tax Return
v) Paterson – Eleanor: CB’s old friend in 28th Ft had married Mary’s sister Eleanor
vi) News of Lord Wellington’s army: it is tempting to wonder whether the dearth of direct news from Portugal might have been because the construction of the Lines or Torres Vedras was under way and the considerable secrecy with which the project was successfully cloaked , led to a clampdown on news to Gibraltar


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