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View Tree for Joseph WoodroffeJoseph Woodroffe (b. 1770, d. 29 Dec 1805)

Joseph Woodroffe was born 1770 in approx, and died 29 Dec 1805 in Bohrholtz. He married Janet Paterson on 20 Nov 1803 in Stirling, daughter of James Paterson and Janet Graham.

 Includes NotesNotes for Joseph Woodroffe:
Joseph was born at some stage towards the end of the Eighteenth Century,
but it is not yet known where and when, though it may have been in
Stirlingshire, Scotland. From his daughter Joan's wedding entry in the
OPR in 1834, Joseph was described as 'the late Joseph Woodriff, gardener
in Stirling'. If accurate, this must describes Joseph's work before he
enlisted in the army, at some stage be fore 1799. It cannot be a
description of his life after the army - as will plainly be seen...!
Alternatively, the first military record to mention Joseph is in the year
1799, and it lists him as having completed a march from Hull, in
Yorkshire. This may also be a place of origin for him. Joseph was a
soldier who started his career in the Second Battalion of the 15th
Regiment of Foot, otherwise known as the Duke of York's Own. The records
from the regiment are held at the Public Records Office in Kew, London.
The Second Battalion was formed in 1799, and the earliest surviving
record of the regiment is a muster roll held in the Public Records Office
in Kew, London, for the end of November 1799. Unfortunately, this roll
already has Joseph listed as a member of the battalion - the key
information on his enlistment to the battalion in an earlier muster roll
no longer seems to exist, which means I cannot find a place of enlistment
for him, and hence I have no idea whether he was from Yorkshire,
Scotland, or wherever. Between 25th November and 24th December 1799,
Private Joseph Woodroof (sic) is listed as being a member of Captain
Ainsworth's company. He is described as having just completed a march
from Hull to Sunderland in England in this period, and was paid a sum of
1, 10 shillings, 9 1/3 pence (PRO: WO 12/3294). On Christmas Day, 1799,
Joseph was promoted to corporal in Sunderland, and transferred to Captain
James Robinson's Light Infantry company. His new salary was 1, 16
shillings, and 9 and 3/4 pence, of which 30 pence was in lieu o f beer.
Rather oddly, Joseph is listed as 'Corporal Thos. Woodridge', but this is
almost certainly him - no Private Joseph Woodroof is listed, and the
promotion to corporal is confirmed when he reappears under his proper
name on 25th February 1800 as 'Cpl. Jos. Woodroof'. The person
transcribing the names of the soldiers obviously made a mistake. In
January 1800, Joseph was sent to Ireland with his regiment, initially to
Athlone, and then on to Dublin, where his unit was based until March
1802. His arrival took place only a year after the United Irishmen
rebellion, and m ore significantly, in the month in which Ireland
formally became part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Between September 1st 1800 and November 30th 1800, Joseph is listed as
having been sick in the Royal Infirmary in Dublin, but no indication is
given as to what the illness was that he was suffering from. He recovered
by November 1800, and three months later, in February, he is listed in
the adjutant's book as being in England, attempting to secure new recuits
with his fellow corporals, in an area called Marke, whilst the majority
of the regiment remain ed behind in Dublin. He was in England for two
months, but by April 1801 he is listed as being back in Dublin. It appear
that in May or June 1801, Joseph's captain, James Robinson, died. He was
temporarily replaced by Captain Jonathan Gilbert, but in July 1801, we
learn that Joseph was by now serving under Captain George Noble in the
Lig ht Infantry. From 25th October 1801 to 19th December 1801, Joseph is
listed as being on 'furlough', ie leave. Upon his return to duty, he
remained with the regiment until March 31st 1802, where we discover he
was discharged, and that he subseqeuntly volunteered to join the 26th
Regiment of Foot. In April, Joseph made his way to Plymouth Dock, in
Devonshire, England, where he joined the First Battalion of the 26th
Regiment of Foot, which had just returned from Egypt, where it had
battled the French and Italians and won. Joseph initially served as a
private in Captain Chris Davidson's company, earning a monthly salary of
1 and 11 shillings, the first record of his membership being the
adjutant's roll from 25th May 1802 to 24th June 1802, where he is listed
as 'Private Joseph Woodroffe'. On 15th August 1802, Joseph was promoted
back to the rank of corporal and transferred to the company of Captain
William Garstin. The regiment remained in Plymouth until November 1st,
when it then set sail for Scotland aboard two frigates, arriving at
Leith on the 13th. From there Joseph marched to Stirling Castle. Joseph
remained at Stirling until Christmas 1802, after which he is next found
stationed at Kirkcaldy in Fife on 24th January 1803, where we learn he
was 'com at Kirkcaldy', the majority of the regiment remaining at
Stirling until February 1803. At the beginning of February Joseph's
company went on a 21 day march to Fort George, near Inverness, in search
of new recr uits, but ended up back at Kirkcaldy by the 24th, with few
Scottish additions, the number of the regiment being mainly swelled by
Irish recruits. Between March and May 1803 it is unclear from the
adjutant's book where Joseph was, but according to The History of the
Cameronians, Vol.1, by S.H.F. Johnson, the regiment was based at Fort
George. At the end of July, the 26th l eft Fort George by sea for Leith,
and returned to Stirling, where a second battalion was drawn up, war
against Napoleon having been declared once again in May 1803. It seems
that Joseph may again have been on leave in August. Up on his return to
the regiment he was transferred to the company of Captain Fountaine Hogg,
where he was temporarily demoted again back to the rank of private. It
was whilst he was based in Stirling that Joseph met the woman who was to
become his future wife, Janet Paterson. On Sunday November 20th 1803 the
couple got married in Stirling, as did many of the soldiers based there -
no less than six marriages from the same regiment took place in the
parish , between October 23rd and December 4th! The actual OPR entry for
the wedding reads: Nov 20: Joseph Woodroff soldier 26th Reg Capt. Hornes
Co. & Jean Paterson in this parish It seems that Janet came from Port of
Menteith (formerly in Perthshire, but now in Stirlingshire), where she
may have been living prior to the wedding, and where she certainly was
based after it. Her honeymoon period with her ne w husband was short, as
in December Joseph was again posted to Ireland, along with the 26th. His
battalion marched to Portpatrick and embarked for Donaghadee, and from
there marched to Armagh. On 26th April 1804, Joseph was prom oted back to
the rank of corporal and transferred to the company of Capt. Gifford.
Although it is not known when Joseph's and Janet's first child, Joan, was
born, it seems likely that it was in mid-1804. In later years, Joan
described her birthplace as being Port of Menteith, but there is no
record of a Joan W oodroffe born in the parish. It seems possible that
Joan was in fact born in Ireland, and that Janet may have accompanied
Joseph to Ireland, but there is no proof of this. In mid-June 1804,
Joseph's new company was sent on a march to Ballinasloe in Dublin, and
then on to the Curragh, which was reached in July, where his company took
part in military manouevres under Lord Cathcart, the Commander-in -Chief
in Ireland. And on 6th August 1804, Joseph was again promoted, this time
to the NCO rank of sergeant, taking his monthly salary up to 2, 8
shillings, 5 and a quarter pence. Between 7th August and 24th August
1804, Joseph served temporarily under Captain Sir James Dalyell, but on
25th August he joined the company of Captain William Walker and posted to
Ballinasloe in Dublin, where he is listed as 'o n command' in the
adjutant's book. The company's captain changed in late October 1804 to
William Fotheringham, and again in late April 1805, to Captain Patrick N.
Savage. In June the company again had a change at the helm, being taken
over by Captain A.W.Wainhouse. In July 1805, the company was mustered at
Athlone, and then after a brief stay at the Curragh again, Joseph was on
command at Bandon in Cork. In November 1805, the 26th Regiment of Foot
was ordered to Hanover, to attack Napoleon's French forces, which had
occupied the land since 1803. They set sail from Monkstown on Tuesday,
November 19th, and made an uncomfortable jo urney to the continent aboard
three ships, the Aurora, the Pelican, and the Maria, under the command of
Lieutenant-Colonel Erskine Hope, arriving at the Downs on December 8th.
They then set sail for Germany on Tuesday, December 10th, but with fierce
storms, the three ships had to return to the Downs on Monday the 16th,
but tragically, the Maria was wrecked off the Haak sands, of the Texel.
Only 17 men survived the Maria. Further tragedy hit when the Au rora was
also grounded, on the Goodwins, with all on board lost. In total, half
the regiment was lost. On Sunday, December 22nd, the fleet once again set
sail, but only two of the ships reached their destinations of Cuxhaven
and the Weser, a third having to return after being driven back. Only
four companies of the 26th made it t o the Continent - and although
having reached this far, Joseph's luck finally ran out... Joseph died on
Sunday, December 29th, 1805. A late entry for December's adjutant's book
records that he 'died 29th - instant Boherholtz', whilst the entry for
January 1806 says he 'died 29th Dec 1805 4 ship station', the muster
being recorded as being taken at Bohrholtz. The remnants of the regiment
were mustered at Bohrholtz on January 1st 1806, and so it is not known
whether Joseph died aboard ship or after having landed, although on board
ship is t he most likely point. Ironically, and quite tragically, the
regiment was pulled out of theatre only six weeks later, as European
alliances suddenly changed and British priorities responded likewise. The
whole expedition turned o ut to have been completely unnecessary, and the
cost turned out to be devastating. It is known though that prior to his
departure for the Continent, Joseph had one final meeting with his wife
Janet - for in July 1806, Janet gave birth in Port of Menteith to their
son, Joseph Woodriff, obviously named in honour of his dead father.

More About Joseph Woodroffe and Janet Paterson:
Marriage: 20 Nov 1803, Stirling.

Children of Joseph Woodroffe and Janet Paterson are:
  1. +Joan Woodroffe, b. 1804, Perthshire, Scotland, d. 09 Aug 1878, Perth, Scotland.
  2. Joseph Woodriff, b. 26 Jul 1806, Perth, Scotland.
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