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Re: New member

Postby Deb.R » 02 Jun 2017 15:38

jf42 wrote:Deb, greetings.

I am afraid I cant help you with your specific query re. your forbear's employmenyt after discharge, but if you go to the Board Index on the forum home page you will see in the fourth panel down Researching Individual Soldiers & Sailors. That will be the best place to start. There are forum members who are familiar with conditions of service, etc. and possibly practice in the KRRC as well, and someone should be able to help.

Good luck.

I'm so sorry I seemed to have missed this post ... so a belated thank you for your advice :-)
Blessings
Deb
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Re: New member

Postby Frogsmile » 02 Jun 2017 16:12

Deb.R wrote:I can't thank you enough for all the information you have given me and I shall look forward to once again re reading it with my morning cuppa. I've wondered what their uniforms may have looked like!

Frederick was indeed in India at that time ... the museum people confirmed he was awarded the South African medal, the Indian mutiny medal and the China medal and I have those documents from find my past and ancestry.

And you've triggered a memory which I will also check ... I think Frederick's sons were with the East Surrey regiment so what you've said makes sense.

Something else has popped up ... one of Joseph's daughters Selina Matilda Wade ... this was a story with a plot twist that I hadn't picked up on until recently ... as I didn't know she existed as the Irish record for her baptism was mistranscribed ... but she married a man called Francis Edwin who happens to be Frederick's wife's brother ... Francis remarries at some point and is listed as widowed ... however Selina isn't dead she's alive and well as Selina Matilda Dunbar ... although I can't not find a marriage for her to Alexander Dunbar so I suspect they didn't legally marry. But I note on her marriage to Francis she lists her fathers occupation as school master which I thought rather odd ... but now with th information you've given perhaps at some point during Jospehs time at the barracks in Dublin he may have taught school?

You've given me much food for thought.

Your time is greatly appreciated
Blessings
Deb


I will post some more pictures and details regarding the 2/60th during the Indian Mutiny, where Frederick must have experienced tough fighting, next week. In the meantime, here is a contemporary written record of the 60th that is directly relevant to your family, as this regiment was for a long time their home: https://archive.org/stream/aregimentalc ... 4/mode/1up

If you can obtain copies of Frederick's sons marriage certificates, it should state Frederick's precise function at Kingston barracks.

With regard to Selina, it is quite feasible that Joseph was employed as a schoolmaster, rather than warder, at the prison. As a former colour sergeant it is likely that he would have possessed an Army Certificate of Education (eventually of 3-classes, or levels) that was sufficient to qualify him to teach elementary standards of literacy and numeracy. At that time even children of primary age could be (and were) imprisoned for short sentences.

Given how many of your family grew up within the Army, I am sure that you will find this link of great interest too: http://www.archhistory.co.uk
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Re: New member

Postby Deb.R » 03 Jun 2017 03:13

Wonderful! Thank you again for sharing your knowledge ... I've downloaded the book to my kindle. And look forward to anything more you are happy to share when time permits.
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Re: New member

Postby Deb.R » 23 Jun 2017 00:58

Well frogsmile

It seems you were spot on with this information

"Given that Joseph seems to have enlisted very young, my guess is that he had perhaps been a 'parish waif' who had been taken in by the Parish Workhouse. At the time of Joseph's childhood, the workhouse at St George-the-Martyr (opened in 1729) seems to have been a good one (although not so in 1865), where there was a distinct effort to teach children to read, write and numerate. You can read about it here: http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Southwark/
I think that he might have been there, as it would explain his literacy and because it was common for workhouse boys to be encouraged into the army as 'band boys', 'boy buglers' and later, other trades too. They generally made good soldiers, having become inured to relative hardship and used to institutionalised, ordered lives. There is more about the parish here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_George ... _Southwark"

I received my letter from the very helpful researcher this week ...I'm still absorbing it all but Jospeh Wade who enlisted in Nov 1820 in London was the son of Jospeh and Elizabeth Wade born in 1803 and baptised in St George the Martyr in 1804. We then find him getting married in 1820 just a few months before his enlistment. He was underage so his father gave consent the young girl he married was also underage and had consent of her friends as her parents are deceased. Jospeh junior did sign his own name so what you suggested about education through the workhouse must be correct. Although no records were found of Jospeh senior being in the workhouse it appears his parents may have been along with several possible siblings.

What's a mystery is Jospeh junior who married Sarah Maclean he then signs up a few months later ... what happened after this ... did Jospeh get sent away to train ... would he have been nearby? Sarah is later seen in the workhouse herself in 1823 with two children another Jospeh who would have been born probably in jan 1822 (although there is no baptisim for him so far) and George born in 1823 (there is a baptisim for George son of Jospeh and Sarah Wade) the question is are both these boys his? And why if he's a soldier is she in the workhouse? She also puts Jospehs occupation as slate maker, which could suggest she didn't know he was a soldier? Later we find a marriage for the young Jospeh and he states his father as Joseph Wade slate maker. Then quite some years later Sarah is back in the workhouse with another child called Mary base child of Sarah, then again later she's back in and she lists that she is a widow to Jospeh Wade a soldier.

So all very odd and it seems the 17 year old Jospeh married and then left ... was he the father of the two boys? If I can figure out where his regiment was during 1821 and 1822 I could at least see if it was possible. So when he then married Martha Grubb in Newbury in 1831 he states he is a widower when in fact Sarah is still alive. So that's a bit disappointing but then I have to remind myself he was just 17 ... why did he marry so young? Maybe she told him she was pregnant? Perhaps she wasn't or lost the baby and so he took off as a way of escaping a life of poverty. He obviously did well in the army rising to rank of colour Sargent .... just sad though for those two boys if they were his. I did always think it a bit strange that he didn't name his first son to Martha after himself ... maybe this is why?

I think I found the two boys later in cencus records as mariners and fishmongers. Still requires further searching to be sure.

Blessings
Deb
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Re: New member

Postby Frogsmile » 25 Jun 2017 15:48

Deb.R wrote:Well frogsmile

It seems you were spot on with this information

"Given that Joseph seems to have enlisted very young, my guess is that he had perhaps been a 'parish waif' who had been taken in by the Parish Workhouse. At the time of Joseph's childhood, the workhouse at St George-the-Martyr (opened in 1729) seems to have been a good one (although not so in 1865), where there was a distinct effort to teach children to read, write and numerate. You can read about it here: http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Southwark/
I think that he might have been there, as it would explain his literacy and because it was common for workhouse boys to be encouraged into the army as 'band boys', 'boy buglers' and later, other trades too. They generally made good soldiers, having become inured to relative hardship and used to institutionalised, ordered lives. There is more about the parish here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_George ... _Southwark"

I received my letter from the very helpful researcher this week ...I'm still absorbing it all but Jospeh Wade who enlisted in Nov 1820 in London was the son of Jospeh and Elizabeth Wade born in 1803 and baptised in St George the Martyr in 1804. We then find him getting married in 1820 just a few months before his enlistment. He was underage so his father gave consent the young girl he married was also underage and had consent of her friends as her parents are deceased. Jospeh junior did sign his own name so what you suggested about education through the workhouse must be correct. Although no records were found of Jospeh senior being in the workhouse it appears his parents may have been along with several possible siblings.

What's a mystery is Jospeh junior who married Sarah Maclean he then signs up a few months later ... what happened after this ... did Jospeh get sent away to train ... would he have been nearby? Sarah is later seen in the workhouse herself in 1823 with two children another Jospeh who would have been born probably in jan 1822 (although there is no baptisim for him so far) and George born in 1823 (there is a baptisim for George son of Jospeh and Sarah Wade) the question is are both these boys his? And why if he's a soldier is she in the workhouse? She also puts Jospehs occupation as slate maker, which could suggest she didn't know he was a soldier? Later we find a marriage for the young Jospeh and he states his father as Joseph Wade slate maker. Then quite some years later Sarah is back in the workhouse with another child called Mary base child of Sarah, then again later she's back in and she lists that she is a widow to Jospeh Wade a soldier.

So all very odd and it seems the 17 year old Jospeh married and then left ... was he the father of the two boys? If I can figure out where his regiment was during 1821 and 1822 I could at least see if it was possible. So when he then married Martha Grubb in Newbury in 1831 he states he is a widower when in fact Sarah is still alive. So that's a bit disappointing but then I have to remind myself he was just 17 ... why did he marry so young? Maybe she told him she was pregnant? Perhaps she wasn't or lost the baby and so he took off as a way of escaping a life of poverty. He obviously did well in the army rising to rank of colour Sargent .... just sad though for those two boys if they were his. I did always think it a bit strange that he didn't name his first son to Martha after himself ... maybe this is why?

I think I found the two boys later in cencus records as mariners and fishmongers. Still requires further searching to be sure.

Blessings
Deb


Hello again Deb,

Reading your latest discoveries I find a picture beginning to form in my mind, albeit a hazy one based, as it must be, on conjecture, supposition, gut feeling, and some little knowledge of the Army and the times. It is a complex picture because there were/are so many factors to consider, but I will try to keep things as simple as I can.

First you must bear in mind the economic and social state of Great Britain at that time. The following is an extrapolation:

"During the period 1812-22, it could be said that England suffered more, economically, socially and politically, than during the French [Napoleonic] Wars. Consequently there were a number of manifestations of discontent and distress, in the shape of riots and disaffection.

Parliament did not represent the nation, because seat redistribution had not occurred; bribery and corruption were rife; the Eighteenth Century constitution remained intact, despite changes in population shift and redistribution of wealth.

In 1815, the national debt stood at £834 million. Interest on this was a heavy burden to taxpayers. In 1816, Income Tax was repealed, keeping Pitt's promise. This was unfair because the burden shifted to indirect taxation which fell proportionately more heavily on the poor. These taxes were used to pay off the interest on the national debt, effectively going into pockets of the rich who had loaned money to government, and who were not hit now by income tax either. Concurrently, Britain was still off the Gold Standard and a dangerous amount of paper credit existed, causing inflation. The gold standard was restored by parliament, after hearing the findings of the Bullion Committee, on 1 May 1821.

Bad harvests between 1816 and 1819 affected agriculture and industry, prices, wages and markets. The price of manufactured goods began to fall with the ending of the wars because there was no need for war manufactures. The government cancelled its contracts, leaving industry to find its own salvation. In 1814, prices were twice their 1793 level but after 1814 prices fell constantly. By 1816 prices were about 1 1/3 times their 1793 level.

Industry was affected by falling prices and expansion was checked because of the slump in domestic and foreign sales. Paper currency and inflation discouraged borrowing of capital for further expansion. Agriculture also was affected by a collapse in prices once foreign grain could enter Britain. In 1812, wheat cost 126s. 6d. per quarter but this price had fallen to 65s. 6d. in 1815. Marginal land that had been profitable during the war years became unprofitable. During the French Wars, much land had been enclosed at great cost and the number of enclosures had increased dramatically, reflecting the profits that were to be made from farming.

As grain prices fell landowners reduced workers' wages, at a time when unemployment was high and when bread prices increased. Wages also began to fall, but not as fast as prices: some evidence indicates that real wages improved. Falling wages reflected the agricultural and industrial slump. Both domestic and foreign markets shrank because of a lack of money, which caused more unemployment.

During the wars, Britain's export and re-export trade increased: Britain carried the world's trade and also captured French colonies which further increased Britain's trade potential. After 1815 this virtual monopoly ended, and trade declined between 1815 and 1820 because continental markets were impoverished by wars and also manufacturers abroad were re-establishing themselves. The British government's economic policies, for example the Corn Laws, encouraged an adverse balance of trade.

Lord Liverpool's government - and parliament generally - was reactionary, with a heavy agrarian bias. There was a fear of the democratic ideas of the French Revolution spreading. Government justified its policy by the victory at Waterloo. There was a lasting fear of popular movements, which reflected the fear of revolution. There was a determination to protect and defend the landed interest - the basis of the government's political power. There was little appreciation of the needs of industry among MPs, all of whom were landowners. There was a general dislike of an organised police-force, but the consequent heavy reliance on the military meant that in any confrontation, violence was a strong possibility. The country had a very severe penal code, with capital punishment prescribed for over two hundred crimes and transportation or imprisonment for minor crimes. The government kept the Combination Acts on Statute Books until 1824, which suppressed all reform movements. Thus government was by the landed few for the landed few.


In short then, the rich were very rich and the poor were very poor. It is quite enlightening to look through this series of pictures by a contemporary artist to get a feel for the London that Joseph Wade had been born and grown to maturity in:

1. https://www.slideshare.net/legle/life-in-london-1821 (swipe left when open)

2. https://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk/sea ... 8401360892

3. http://search.findmypast.co.uk/results/ ... tname=wade
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Re: New member

Postby Frogsmile » 25 Jun 2017 16:21

Turning now to the Army of the time, it was undergoing a period of retrenchment after years of simultaneous conflict in Europe, the Caribbean, the Americas and India, to name just the more important, all of which had required strong (and expensive) naval and military forces. This retrenchment (i.e.substantial financial cuts) meant ships being paid off and regiments either, disbanded completely, or reduced in strength.

At that time infantry regiments were identified primarily by the sequential number that indicated their seniority (from when they were formed) and when regiments were disbanded it was necessary to tidy the sequence. It was in this way that, less that a decade before Joseph enlisted, the hitherto 62nd (Royal American) Regiment, became the 60th Regiment, because the 50th and 51st regiments were disbanded and all other units moved up two places in seniority. Added to this the regiment's eight battalions had by 1817 become six and by 1819, just two.

To complicate matters further, these two battalions had been renumbered, as the original 1st battalion was disbanded and the 2nd and 3rd battalions moved up one place, thus becoming new, 1st and 2nd battalions of the 60th. In 1819, both those battalions were in the Americas (Canada and environs), the 1st Battalion in Quebec and the 2nd Battalion in Newfoundland.

At the time of Joseph's enlistment, in 1820-21, the 1st Battalion had been for some years in Montreal (and afterwards Kingston - in Upper Canada) and the 2nd Battalion in Bermuda (and then Demerara). The depot companies, who recruited and trained new recruits for the two battalions, were based on the Isle of Wight (where they had been since 1763! - see page 21 of the archived regimental history that I have already linked to you), which thus shows where Joseph first went after leaving Sarah. The key point, therefore, is that young Joseph Wade, after a period on the Isle of Wight (perhaps stretching as long as 2-years, if he was training as a bugler, or clerk - this latter very likely for a well lettered lad), would then have been sent to join either, the 1st or 2nd Battalions, both initially in Canada. For more detail see:

1st Battalion. https://web.archive.org/web/20060104203 ... /060-1.htm
2nd Battalion. https://web.archive.org/web/20060104204 ... /060-2.htm

If he did spend a longer than usual time at the regimental depot on the Isle of Wight before joining his battalion, then it is feasible that he got home at least once and was able to father a second child, although leave of absence was not a right, but a privilege, and usually only offered to those junior in rank under very exceptional circumstances.

It is significant also that the large numbers of foreign soldiers in the 60th (largely German and Swiss Colonists) were discharged between 1817-1819, and consecutive drafts of men from Britain were sent to replace them. This process was completed in 1824, so Joseph was a part of this British-isation of the regiment. At the same time the regiment received its official designation as a wholly, 'rifle regiment' dressed in green, something that it was to be for the rest of its existence. I enclose an image of the uniform of the 60th circa 1826. You can see the famous Baker rifle, with 'sword' (bayonet) fixed, held by a private soldier and a sergeant major's special badge of rank on the hatless figure. The mounted man is an officer. Notice how the shako has a bell shaped top and a falling plume, both features of the more flamboyant, Regency period.

Against this background has to be viewed the likely fate of Joseph's young bride, Sarah (nee McClean), who presumably was either, pregnant, or with a babe in arms. Put simply it seems to me that it is likely that she had been abandoned by Joseph. I imagine that when they met Joseph must have seemed quite a catch. He may have been good looking and perhaps relatively eloquent with his parish work house education (i.e. the gift of the gab) when compared with other lads without those benefits and perhaps Sarah, with no parents to caution her, threw herself into the relationship (she might also have been 'flighty', herself). Whatever the circumstances of their meeting, it seems likely that love's young dream did not last once the reality of their situation set in, with little, or no work for slate making quite probable in the economic slump, and the prospect of more mouths to feed. Throw in maybe a persuasive recruiting sergeant in a Southwark tavern and, as was customary the lure of the 'King's shilling' paid to every recruit (plus the prospect of escape from his responsibilities), and perhaps it was more than Joseph could resist.

At that time, when a home based regiment was warned for overseas service only six, 'officially recognised' wives (categorised as: 'on the strength') per company could depart with the regiment, along with their children. They were selected via a lottery. The remaining (unsuccessful in the lottery) on the strength wives, together with the great many unofficial wives and children, were left behind, with only the poor laws ('parish relief') to fall back upon. The Army made no provision for them whatsoever.

In Joseph's case, his regiment (both battalions) was already on foreign service and he would have been a part of a draft (group) of barely trained recruits sent out as a reinforcement. Married men were ineligible to enlist as recruits, but they could easily get around this by abandoning their wives, a practice that was connived with by the Army authorities, as an expedient measure to gain recruits on a no-questions-asked basis. In some ways it is rather like more modern examples of young men running away, for whatever reason, by abandoning their commitments and joining the French Foreign Legion. Most shamefully this was condoned by the government of the time by means of their being oblivious (turning a blind eye), with the attitude that it was a matter for local parishes and their arrangements for relief, and therefore something that was beyond the government's concern.

This situation continued through until the 1880s when, after long agitation by philanthropic and socially concerned men and women of status and influence, the War Office was shamed into action. Nevertheless, at the time of Joseph's enlistment that was the system, and it seems to fit with Sarah claiming parish relief by 1823. To make matters worse, poor relief was not automatically granted because there was a concept of 'deserving poor' and 'undeserving poor' and each parish had a panel of worthies who would decide the fate of each applicant. As these applicants (invariably women) became more canny (and desperate) it was common for them to lie about their situation and declare themselves as widows, or state some other falsehood regarding the situation of any father. In the same way, subsequent marriages of impecunious husbands could be bigamous, so long after all track was lost of the abandoned first wife.

There were of course no computers to keep track of the myriad relationships and prolific birth rates of the times, just a harassed army of clerks, confined within their narrow spheres of influence, and without any meaningful communication link with neighbouring areas. If you are interested in learning more about this treatment of women by the Army you can do so via a book written by Myrna Trustram, "Women of the Regiment"(ISBN: 9780521073288). It is a very academic work and you may only want to read the part that relates to your forebears era. If so perhaps you can order the book from a reference library. You can read a review here: http://www.historytoday.com/bruce-colli ... orian-army

There is a useful extract from the book (titled "Introduction" - page 12 onward - you will need to scroll up), which I recommend you read, here: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=iPo ... &q&f=false (chapter 4 on the regulation of marriage is also worth reading)
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Re: New member

Postby Frogsmile » 26 Jun 2017 11:47

As a final point, you might recall that I mentioned in an earlier reply the abject poverty in Southwark during Joseph's and Sarah's time. To get a real feel for what Joseph was leaving and what poor Sarah was left to cope with, I recommend that you read pages 244 to 246 here: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=lDN ... 21&f=false

St George's parish is in the lower half of the map here: http://c8.alamy.com/comp/DDNXWC/map-of- ... DDNXWC.jpg
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Re: New member

Postby Deb.R » 26 Jun 2017 14:34

I'm always just blown away by your knowledge on this subject and how helpful it's been to paint a picture of life for Jospeh and Sarah. Not a pretty one it seems for London during that time frame, sounds to me like you would have had to have been made of strong stuff to survive. Makes me think I should read more of Charles Dickens!

I spent a few days in London 5 years ago on our trip to the UK I'm sure I would look at it in a whole different light now.

Although I can only guess as to why they married so very young but if she was pregnant when they married on the 3rd of July 1820 then there is no record of a baby before jan 1822. And for the birth of Jospeh in 1822 Sarah would have to have fallen pregnant march/April 1821 a few months after Jospehs enlistment. The other curious thing is when young George is born father is listed as a slate maker so it seems Sarah is unaware of Jospeh now being a soldier. It's not until 1859 she is once again in the workhouse with daughter Mary of unknown father that's she's listed as a widow of soldier Joseph Wade. And the Joseph of 1822 it seems married in 1844 to Eliza Jeffs and states his father is a slate maker so even up until then it seems Jospehs military life isn't known.

Which as you've suggested shouldn't be surprising with the lack of communication and if the family left behind didn't read then letters would not have been sent. And as we know even when Jospeh's life in the military ends in Corfu in 1840 he doesn't stay back in England for long but heads of to Jersey and then Dublin where he lives until his death.

So we may never know the truth as to if the boys were his or not but it certainly appears he did desert his young wife.

As for the recruiters well Jospeh too spends some time recruiting in Reading, Wokingham and Nottingham at different time periods according to the muster rolls. Which must be how he met Martha from Newbury in 1831 ... got her pregnant too it seems and married her before Frederick was born so as you have suggested must have had a way with the ladies!

You've certainly given me a lot to think about and the links you've sent will be helpful I'm sure.

Gosh I never knew the wives that were left behind were not helped at all! Seems Martha was at least fortunate enough to go with Jospeh as was Frederick's wife as 3 of their children were born in India.

It seems Jospeh seniors father George died in the workhouse ... made me feel quite sad to have your life end in such a way which was I think 1817 he was 72 years old. Still making my way around all the new information.

I'm sure I will have more question and appreciate the time you've taken to answe them it's most appreciated.

Blessings
Deb
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Re: New member

Postby Frogsmile » 27 Jun 2017 13:57

Deb.R wrote:I'm always just blown away by your knowledge on this subject and how helpful it's been to paint a picture of life for Jospeh and Sarah. Not a pretty one it seems for London during that time frame, sounds to me like you would have had to have been made of strong stuff to survive. Makes me think I should read more of Charles Dickens!

I spent a few days in London 5 years ago on our trip to the UK I'm sure I would look at it in a whole different light now.

Although I can only guess as to why they married so very young but if she was pregnant when they married on the 3rd of July 1820 then there is no record of a baby before jan 1822. And for the birth of Jospeh in 1822 Sarah would have to have fallen pregnant march/April 1821 a few months after Jospehs enlistment. The other curious thing is when young George is born father is listed as a slate maker so it seems Sarah is unaware of Jospeh now being a soldier. It's not until 1859 she is once again in the workhouse with daughter Mary of unknown father that's she's listed as a widow of soldier Joseph Wade. And the Joseph of 1822 it seems married in 1844 to Eliza Jeffs and states his father is a slate maker so even up until then it seems Jospehs military life isn't known.

Which as you've suggested shouldn't be surprising with the lack of communication and if the family left behind didn't read then letters would not have been sent. And as we know even when Jospeh's life in the military ends in Corfu in 1840 he doesn't stay back in England for long but heads of to Jersey and then Dublin where he lives until his death.

So we may never know the truth as to if the boys were his or not but it certainly appears he did desert his young wife.

As for the recruiters well Jospeh too spends some time recruiting in Reading, Wokingham and Nottingham at different time periods according to the muster rolls. Which must be how he met Martha from Newbury in 1831 ... got her pregnant too it seems and married her before Frederick was born so as you have suggested must have had a way with the ladies!

You've certainly given me a lot to think about and the links you've sent will be helpful I'm sure.

Gosh I never knew the wives that were left behind were not helped at all! Seems Martha was at least fortunate enough to go with Jospeh as was Frederick's wife as 3 of their children were born in India.

It seems Jospeh seniors father George died in the workhouse ... made me feel quite sad to have your life end in such a way which was I think 1817 he was 72 years old. Still making my way around all the new information.

I'm sure I will have more question and appreciate the time you've taken to answe them it's most appreciated.

Blessings
Deb


I am glad to help Deb. Your family history is very interesting, spanning as it does the post-Napoleonic, Regency period and well into the Victorian age.

Although we can never know for sure, my gut feeling is that Joseph was probably picked up by a recruiting party either, on the street, or in a tavern. He would have been taken away on foot with a party of other young men who had been inveigled, and woken up in a barrack room with a sore head. He would then have been sworn in (attested) by a magistrate and, after being read the 'articles of war', made the following, 'oath of allegiance':

"I Joseph Wade, swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King George IV, his heirs and successors and that I will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully defend His Majesty, his heirs and successors in person, crown and dignity against all enemies and will observe and obey all orders of His Majesty, his heirs and successors and of the generals and officers set over me."

The recruiting party always wore a rosette and ribbons in their hats (as did the recruits once signed up) and the sergeants were often chosen for the duty because of their way with words, so that they would "drum up" recruits (see the drummer and fifer invariably present) by making a plea to patriotic feeling such as this famous speech from the play "the Recruiting Officer" (written by a man who had direct experience):

"If any gentlemen soldiers, or others, have a mind to serve Her Majesty, and pull down the French king; if any prentices have severe masters, any children have unnatural parents; if any servants have too little wages, or any husband too much wife; let them repair to the noble Sergeant Kite, at the Sign of the Raven, in this good town of Shrewsbury, and they shall receive present relief and entertainment. - Gentlemen, I don't beat my drums here to insnare or inveigle any man ; for you must know, gentlemen, that I am a man of honour. Besides, I don't beat up for common soldiers; no, I list only grenadiers, grenadiers, gentlemen. — Pray, gentlemen, observe this cap — This is the cap of honour; it dubs a man a gentleman in the drawing of a tricker: and he that has the good fortune to be born six foot high was born to be a great man. — Sir, will you give me leave to try this cap upon your head?"

One aspect of Joseph puzzles me greatly and that is his declared occupation as a "slate-maker", in that London had no indigenous source of slate and all such material had to come up the River Thames by barge from such places as Wales, Cornwall and East Anglia. I have tried to research the occupation, but found little online other than the fact that the Trades Unions record it as an occupation in relatively modern times of child labour. Given that Joseph was underage when he married and declared his occupation as slate-maker, I wonder if he had been employed in that way since being a child. I have not been able to find out what the situation was vis-a-vis slate-making in Southwark/South of the River at that time and it will probably take a specialist in the history of London to find out more.

If Joseph did enlist in the way that I suggest, then after being sworn in he would have quickly marched away under the sergeant and, along with the rest of the recruits and by overnight stages, travelled on foot all the way to Southampton and then by boat across to the Isle of Wight. Sarah would almost certainly not have known that he had joined up, and it would explain why neither she, nor her sons ever mentioned him being a soldier. According to the societal attitudes of 1820, and for some decades after it was considered shameful to 'go for a soldier', as men who joined up were still largely considered to be the scum of the earth, who enlisted only for beer, the prospect of pillaging, or to escape a strict master, parent, or marital responsibility (including pregnancies). For that reason it might also be that Sarah felt shame and hid the fact that Joseph had 'gone for a soldier', although that seems less likely to me.

N.B. One final and rather unpalatable thought is this: we know that Joseph the soldier's father was also a Joseph. Was he, too, a slate-maker? If he was, it might be that the old boy was the father of Sarah's children after Joseph 'junior' joined up and thus named on the birth certificate accordingly.
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Frogsmile
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Re: New member

Postby Deb.R » 07 Jul 2017 08:51

Fascinating stuff!! Really appreciate your knowledge and helps me so much understand Jospeh's life. I shall look forward once more to re reading this with a nice cuppa.

I do remember doing a search myself on slate makers and one idea popped up from some other person searching and it was suggested that it was making slate boards for children to do their school lessons on.

I must re check but I think Jospeh's father died in 1828 but so far we haven't found a death for his wife Elizabeth. So I guess anything is possible. Jospeh senior wasn't educated as when he witnesses the marriage of Joseph junior to Sarah his father is a witness and makes his mark. I can't recall if it states his occupation I must re check. He had to give permission for his son to marry as he was underage.

So interesting about the recruiters I wonder if he used the same tactics when he was recruiting in 1831?

It was also interesting to read of how women fared when they did join their soldier husbands I just can't imagine what that must have been like. I wonder if this is why he was discharged in 1840 so he could be with his family but still was provided a job. I do find Jospeh as being at the barracks in Dublin but I don't know where his wife Martha is ... although someone told me only the head of the house was recorded in Ireland at that time.

Thanks again for your knowledge I do appreciate your sharing it.

We have a documentary that aired last week called queen Victorian Slums so I'm taping it to watch which I'm sure will also help me understand the early life of Jospeh.

Blessings
Deb
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