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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 61

Dated: 15th January 1811. C.B. Lisbon Addressed to Mrs C Bevan, Money Hill, Rickmansworth, Herts

My dearest Mary, I have at length been able to get some money and am going this morning to Torres Vedras. I have heard good accounts of you and our dear little ones from Paterson. He also tells me your Mother was quite well. I was very sorry to hear she had been other wise. I hope Rickmansworth is not too damp for I confess I am always fearful on her account during the winter. The weather here still continues very bad; we hear millions of reports of all sorts some good & some bad. I never was in so horrible a place as this Lisbon, it is always filthy but now worse than ever.

Our men are getting better and I hope when we are tolerably strong we may get out of the Brigade was fixed to. I shall be most happy to get some tidings from you, it seems to me an age since I heard from you – the packet is daily expected but I know not whether I can indulge in the hope of hearing, but Paterson certainly will & he will write to me. I am very well but most definitely annoyed at being obliged to draw for money just as I had sent a Bill home but “honor has been my theme and good my study” and “what avails it fate like a mildew plaster the parent I would slap” you will remember our friend Mr Edwd Mortimer and I believe I am something like him ------ out from the herd of men however I will not grumble but only endure. I have written to Mrs Shaw, to you, to my Mother, by Col Campell & I hope you have received the letter. I wish you would tell Mrs Bevan from me that I will write to her, but at this moment I am so hurried and bothered that I have hardly time to write to you: in a few days I shall have more leisure and quiet – but you know it is not pleasant to write in a room where twenty people are talking, swearing and drinking.

There are a great many Navy people here but I do not think any of your friends. Are you acquainted with Mr Thos (possibly Williams but holes near seal) I remember his house at Burlesdon but he was not there then. Adm Berkeley and family are here.

Pray give my best love to your Mother & sisters & to James – I hope soon to embrace you and our children; in the mean while as --- yourself I most affecty & -- Charles Bevan

Lisbon Jany 15 1811


i) Torres Vedras – see notes to Letter 59
ii) The Brigade – CB seems very early to have taken against the Brigade, in which the 1st 4th were brigaded with 2nd 30th and 3rd 44th – perhaps these would have been seen to be likely made up with unseasoned troops. 1st 4th may have provided the stiffening. Certainly the 5th Division was used as the Army Reserve throughout Massena’s retreat and the ensuing actions
iii) Honor – CB tends to use what would now be seen as American spelling. These quotations have not been identified
iv) Mrs Bevan – the previous use of this title & name – not numerous have been assumed to refer to his Mother – this is here clearly not so – perhaps his Father’s mother was alive
v) Admiral Berkeley – in March 1811 Admiral the Hon George Cranfield Berkeley was Admiral of the Blue stationed in Lisbon whence he sent reports to the Admiralty. In 1807 he had been replaced in the West Atlantic following a series of mutinous incidents in ships in American ports
vi) Bursledon – the Dacres had a house (probably a Naval house) at Bursledon, after Plymouth and before the West Indies.


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