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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 59

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

I am now, My dearest Mary, waiting for an Easterly wind to proceed to Lisbon in company with some others of our officers who have been ordered to join the first Battalion – I have not yet been able to precisely know for certain whether or not Col Wynch is on the Staff or whether he commands the Regt a few days with me – beside this point – and if I have nothing to do in Portugal I shall soon be in England - but in that case but for a short time, as I must return to Ceuta, which I do most sincerely hope may not be my destiny – You shall however hear from me the moment I arrive in Portugal – I am very anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Packet which is almost hourly expected in – God grant that I may receive especially favourable accounts from you about the ?girl? I send home by this Packet a --- for you all – I wish it was five times as much – But, patience – I shall of course see Paterson; the division, to which the Regiment is attached, has been very --tonly employed (holes in paper) and ? is known as the April Bank of Mr Taylor, at least so we heard – we have had a report here of the King’s illness and of the death of the Princess Amelia. However all these things are to me of a minor interest: the poor old King has arranged a short period of hp. (or hf.) when dissolution is to be expected. He (can?) go to his grave whenever that event happens with the regret of all good men –

After this fitful season I can not sleep well. I think it best to endure this a bit longer as the correct way to relly – without ?show.

This house on a height is ?drawn among the most respectable in Gibraltar and I am ass –(hole near seal) erally good on a governmental Bill. (Hole near seal) .... Bankers will negotiate it for you and I daresay James now and then goes to London. I hope this letter (hole) you and our dear children and (holes remove about 5/6 words) .. your family .. (more holes). My most affectionate remembrances. I hope soon to embrace you and to see them, but I must not be too sanguine.

We have got a passage from hence on a Portugese ship, a most filthy concern but I believe it is the quickest way of proceeding and that must be looked to in the first place. I ---- you very caring (?message?) for me to our wonderful good friend Mrs Shaw; I – something from the City where I shall be able to collect something to make a letter acceptable.

The life I have been lately leading afforded me scope for assessing countless (/) ----

I am in great hopes that the Packet will come before we sail as the wind is now blowing from the Westward.

The is died –

Give my best love to my Mother and sisters and tell them (which – holes, but perhaps- .. is true) that I am so hustled and bothered that I have no time to turn my eyes. I have a bed in the house of a most excellent and hospitable man Colonel Ruther (or?Ruthven or ?Ratner) - ?Jones who is the Civil Secretary of this place – I wish we had such a house in England (more holes) .. my little Eleanor for me – I hope she ... (yet more holes) ... in her Mother’s and then I shall be satisfied – Tell Eleanor that if I come to England I shall take charge of her letters & then certainly make a point of seeing Paterson wherever he may be.

The 4th are --- in Major Gen Hill’s division

God Bless you my good friend. I am always your affect C.B.

I am afraid you will be alarmed about the health in this place – I hear is now no such thing existing – the precautions used at first have spread the alarm


i) This letter is particularly badly torn round the seal and along the folds – one half page almost severed
ii) 1st Bn – 1st/4th had now arrived in Portugal and by now was in the lines of Torres Vedras
iii) Wynch – about this time appointed to staff leaving vacancy for CB as C.O. 1st/4th
iv) Paterson now Major – CB’s old friend in 28th Ft, married to Mary’s sister Eleanor
v) April Bank and Mr Taylor – cannot elucidate
vi) King – George III was passing into serious stage of his insanity – change of Government was becoming likely – and the Regency. Princess Amelia died on 2 Nov 1810
vii) James – Capt James Dacres RN had been & still was at home hoping for a ship
viii) ‘The is died’ – seems to be an afterthought – perhaps intended ‘Now the WIND is died’
ix) The Colonel who was Civil Sec Gibraltar has not been identified
x) 4th were in 5th Division which had the ill-luck to have a succession of commanders before falling into the incompetent hands of Erskine. Major Gen Rowland Hill sadly fell ill at the end of 1810 – he returned to duty in 1811 and advanced to Command 1st Allied Corps at Waterloo – C in C in England 1825-29 and ended as Viscount Gen Sir Rowland



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