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Collections - Letters

Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bevan, 1804-1811.

Letter Number 42

Dated: 25th June 1810 from CB Ceuta
Addressed to Mrs C Bevan, Money Hill, Rickmansworth, Herts

My Dearest Mary,

I am most anxiously awaiting the arrival of our awaited packet which I trust will bring the good news of all those most dear to me but most particularly of my good Mary. Our --? here begins to wear an aspect of a little more activity, at least in our neighbourhood, this not in Ceuta; Genl Fraser is here going immediately on some secret expedition with as many effective men as can be effectively spared from Gibraltar and probably somebody also may soon go on another – Lord Blaney as the other Brigadier – Now we can muster about 300 men fit for any exercise, and I am therefore not without some hope we may be called upon, as this is the way from the fitness of this Regt that they are obliged to collect the force. If they do not choose to employ us, I hope they will choose to give me leave to go to England where I can employ myself much better than here. I know you will be happy to hear that I am very well for me – and grown a little fat. I shall be most truly happy to hear that you are so, and grown a little thin!! God Bless and protect you, my best friend.

I have not heard a word from Paterson, at which I begin to be rather surprised. However I know a man on a Company has but little leisure for writing – the same with a man just married. (Word torn out by seal) beg my kind Countess (?) to the ?ever couple? (difficult writing) – How is our good friend Mrs Shaw – I was really very sorry to hear she had been so unwell but I think as the weather improves she will lose all her complaints – Your good Mother will I hope return with new life from Cheltenham – Oh! When shall we three meet again? I am very tired of this place – What can Col Wynch be doing? Now you will say I am never satisfied – It certainly is a quiet base to be tied by the leg here but how can I help my self? I hear the First Batn are going to Norwich – which is a small capital quarter – and any Place would do for us to live at – Talking of England my poor horse has got almost well and is, a thousand times better for this place than all the fine Horses in the Castle – I shall send this letter to Bundy who will forward it by the first opportunity.

Pray make my best love to all your party and do not let the little men quite forget Papa

God Bless you and know my dearest Mary I am always your own C.B.

Ceuta 25 June 1810


i) Gen Fraser – GOC Ceuta – This proposed expedition is not identified unless it was connected with Tarifa or Barossa
ii) Lord Blaney – not identified
iii) 300 men – The strength of 2nd Bn 4th Foot had not recovered much from its disastrous journey to Ceuta where ship wrecks in Biscay led to losses, to some men returned to England, some taken prisoner on the French shore, a number left for some time in Gibraltar.
iv) Paterson – CB’s old friend in 28th Foot who had recently married Eleanor Dacres, Mary’s sister. Later a Major and Brevet Lt Col he was killed in the Pyrenees in 1812.
v) Countess etc – Badly scrawled remarks difficult to decipher and likely to have been arch endearment
vi) Mrs Shaw – the cousin frequently referred to by CB who evidently hoped for eventual legacy – she left his children a substantial property in Berks.
vii) Mrs Dacres was addicted to the Waters at Cheltenham Spa
viii) Wynch – C.O. 1st Bn 4th Foot – CB was impatiently awaiting the promotion of Wynch to a Brigade – he had been promised succession to the 1st Bn
ix) Norwich – In fact 1st/4th Ft was at Gosport and remained there until Oct 1810 when they moved to Harwich for a month before going to Lisbon in Nov 1810


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