King's Own Royal Regiment Museum


Museum & Collections
Contact Us

17th Century
18th Century
19th Century
20th Century
First World War
Second World War
Actions & Movements
Battle Honours

Further Reading


Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 64

Dated: 1st February 1811. C.B. Torres Vedras Addressed to Mrs C Bevan, Money Hill, Rickmansworth, Herts

My dearest Mary, I have had the pleasure to receive from Ceuta all the letters you directed thither. They of course gave me no recent information as Paterson had written me very good accounts of all my friends at Money Hill. I have at last got into a tolerable good quarter which had been previously occupied by General Dunlop, but who quitted it in consequence of it being flooded whenever the Rain sets in which is just now the case – I have one half of the house and a Colonel McMahon the other. We are not acquainted – The General had built a fire place which I find a source of delectable hear in this very damp weather. We are very well off for things to eat & for those who have plenty of money. There is no scarcity of Port wine to drink but it is as dear as it is in England; it will not therefore suit my finances at present; When I was obliged to draw on Hoare for the 10£ I was quite ignorant that the 400 had been removed from his hands. However I wrote to you on the subject sometime previous to my leaving, I rely on your punctuality that nothing unpleasant occurs. As I also took the presumption of writing to them at the same time. The Bill is drawn at thirty days – I do not know whether I informed you of usual good fortune the very first day my mules came here, my horse thought it proper to kick one even to death – and I am obliged to purchase another – I hope we shall stay here long enough to bring me round for I am almost afraid to look towards England. But seriously I do not imagine that this state of inaction can continue many months – one or the other of the two armies must leave the Country & it will be a great tragedy to its inhabitants. I am (hole near seal) scenes that are described in Goldsmith’s Deserted Village are here every December in reality under your eyes and one cannot behold entire families of all ages and sexes unmoved helpless and almost naked to the mercy of the winter wind, without almost becoming a philosopher and shuddering at the horror of it all.

In addition to the many comforts of Torres Vedras we were last night blessed with a slight touch of an Earthquake. I was awakened by the shaking of our house but in half a minute or less every thing near me was perfectly quiet. I concluded it was one of my dreams and I fell asleep again – The inhabitants of the place were nicely alarmed. I have not yet heard whether this was felt at Lisbon. The people here are much afraid it has done mischief – it was only just before I went to bed that I had been reading an account of Portugal in which there is an account of the very famous Earthquake some years ago; and this it was perhaps that induced me to imagine my dreams and so from the paper on my mind. I only mention this for fear you should hear other accounts and be unnecessarily alarmed. The Regt I am grieved to say has since the return of the bad weather relapsed into sickness but I hope when the fine weather does get in here we shall get rid of all complaints. I had much pleasure in reading your account of my poor little Boys anxiety and fears putting on the Manly habit – I have the most perfect remembrance of my own feelings over that embarrassing occasion as with myself. The telling of a most tremendous lie which delayed the accomplishment of my wishes for three days. I hope one day or other I may be permitted to share with you the happiness of these moments. But in the absence of all such pleasure I must consider myself on the reflection that I am doing my utmost to place myself in a situation hereafter to bring reason to my children. And to you.

God Bless you, my best friend and kiss our dear little girl for me – I believe the General goes in a hurry – Remember me to all your Family

Yours C.B. I hope your Mother well

February 1 1811


i) Ceuta – CB had arrived from Ceuta via Gibraltar
ii) Paterson – CB’s old friend in 28th Ft, recently married to Mary’s sister Eleanor now also living at the Mother’s house Money Hill
iii) General Dunlop – First put in command of the Brigade in Nov 1810 (with 2/30th and 2/44th both arrived from Cadiz. The other English Brigade was under Hay. The third Brigade was Spry’s Portugese plus 2 companies of Brunswick Oels)
iv) Col McMahon – not identified
v) Goldsmith – Oliver Goldsmith published his poem ‘The Deserted Village’ in 1770 – a study of the village Auburn


Only a proportion of our collections are on display at anyone time.  Certain items are on loan for display in other institutions.  An appointment is required to consult any of our collections which are held in store.

© 2014 Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum