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 67

Dated: 23rd February 1811. C.B. Torres Vedras Addressed to Mrs C Bevan, Money Hill, Rickmansworth, Herts
Stamped on address fold ‘Mr 12 1811’

My dearest Mary will be surprised to hear that we are still without our letters from England. This unaccountable delay is just at this moment most provoking, when I am expecting much very interesting accounts from you – God send they may be favourable ones. With respect to us I cannot conjecture what is to be our destiny, I imagine the arrival of the next packet will give us some --- information on this head; our weather continues very bad; the army however are getting more healthy: as rain unfits from marching and being exposed to bad weather during the nights have had excellent effects among the men. Money is very scarce and provisions in our neighbourhood not as plentiful as was the case some time ago. The difficulty of carriage from Lisbon is the real cause of this, and, not any immediate scarcity in the country, for that part of the Army on either bank of the Tagus where they are stationed within the reach of water convoy were all abundantly supplied. Some people tell us that very strong reinforcements are coming out, but I imagine that if the Regency is by this time established, the new government will not be in so great a hurry to send men out to him as the Marquis Wellesley may. However I should be glad to see Five or Ten Thousand more troops, and then we may bid defiance to any attempts of the Enemy, indeed that we know may do, but we must calculate our weakness ------ which would of course diminish our present strength. We expect one hundred men of the 4th from Colchester.

I wish James would get a Frigate & come out here. Mrs D will not, I dare swear, thank me for the charitable wish. But Ladies & Gentlemen do not always think alike on these subjects; and indeed on some others; the (hole by seal) to say sometimes. As to myself I am (hole) ----- best of the world and that is I was in this country for; but I do not know exactly how long I might continue of that opinion and should one unfortunately change it, I fear those living on the ?fringe retirement would not find me a very pleasant companion. What do you think

I know I am very often most particularly disagreeable. And I am quite aware that unfortunately for me other people know and feel the same thing, but I cannot change my nature – I suppose with me it is constitutional – for I am very often exceedingly otherwise. I am agreeable to myself. I hope your little sons take not much of their Father’s failings

I have not heard lately from Paterson- Nor over likely to see him until we meet in England. I have no horses fit for travelling - In short I am very badly equipped in all ways – and although the distance is not great with the roads still very bad that they might in England clearly travel for five times the journey from Torres Vedras to ?Alverca – I hope my young Edward is now as troublesome as usual, and you have no longer any fear for his health – poor little man & your good Mother I hope continues as well as she describes herself to me. Pray give my best love to her and to all your Party.

God Bless you, my best Friend –
Yours always C.B.

Torres Vedras
23 February 1811


i) Supply – Since Torres Vedras was at the left of the defence Lines, it was the furthest point to be supplied whether along the Lines or from Lisbon direct up the road from Malveira
ii) Regency – The Regent was sworn in on 5 Feb 1811 – though it had been expected for months. It is not clear here whether CB knows this has happened. He, like others expected the Regent to change to a Whig Cabinet and perhaps therefore to a party unwilling to support the war. In fact this did not happen
iii) James – Capt James Dacres RN, Mary’s brother had been awaiting a ship for months (it was soon to happen)
iv) What do you think? – ‘You’ is underlined 4 times
v) Paterson – CB’s old friend in 28th Ft was on the far bank of the Tagus and they were unlikely to meet
vi) Alverca – the word is indecipherable and Alverca is a guess



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