Notes 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. Type: PHOTOPRIMARY
More About Joseph Woodroffe and Janet Paterson: Marriage: 20 Nov 1803, Stirling.
Children of Joseph Woodroffe and Janet Paterson are:
+Joan Woodroffe, b. 1804, Perthshire, Scotland, d. 09 Aug 1878, Perth, Scotland.