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The Peninsular War 1808-1814


        1807     The French invade Portugal & capture Lisbon.

        1808     The French occupy Spain
                              Peninsular War until 1814
                   Battle of Vimeiro.

        1809     Battle of Corunna; British defeated

        1810     British troops in Portugal hold lines of Torres Vedras against the
                    French (until 1811)

        1811     French driven out of Portugal.

        1812     March/April  Siege of Badajoz
                    Battle of Salamanca  (British victory)
                    Napoleon invades Russia - Battle of Borodino; 
                    The French occupy Moscow.

        1813     Battle of Vittoria; French entirely driven out of Spain by Wellington

        1814     Treaty of Paris ends Napoleonic Wars

        1815     Napoleon escapes from Elba
                     Battle of Waterloo; Napoleon exiled to St. Helena

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THE NORTHAMPTONSHIRE REGIMENT (48TH/58TH FOOT) The Northamptonshire Regiment was raised in 1741. It too took part in the Great Siege of GIBRALTAR from 1779-83 and was awarded the Castle and Key emblem. Whilst its principal battle honour, TALAVERA, from 1809 during the Peninsular War, is shared with a number of regiments, the Duke of Wellington awarded the 48th Foot the signal honour of being the only regiment allowed to use the word 'TALAVERA' on their badges, buttons and insignia, in recognition of their crucial role in the victory. At the same time they earned the nickname 'The Steelbacks' for their ability to remain silent when being flogged with the cat-o'-nine tails, then a normal method of administering punishments in the Army even for very minor crime.
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My Gt Gt Gt Grandfather, Stephen PALMER from Burwell in Cambridgeshire was a Colour Sergeant in the 48th Foot. He served with them from 23 April 1805 until his Discharge on 31 August 1814. [He was previously in the Cambridge Light Dragoons from January 1799 to February 1801.] His Discharge document of which I have a copy states: "These are to certify that Colour Sergeant Stephen Palmer in Captain Thwaite's Company in the aforesaid; born in the Parish of Burwell in, or near the Town of Cambridge in the County of Cambridge was enlisted at the age of 22 years; and hath served in the said Regiment for the space of Nine years and unspecified Days, as well as in other Corps, after the Age of Eighteen, according to the following Statement, but in consequence of severe wound in right arm & left thigh at Siera 20 Nov 1813 & loss of left testicle from a fall at the storming of Badajoz on 6 April 1812 is rendered unfit for further service and is hereby discharged, having first received all just Demands of Pay, Clothing, &c. from his Entry into the said Regiment to the Date of this Discharge, as appears by the Receipt on the Back hereof. And to prevent any improper Use being made of this Discharge, by its falling into other Hands, the following is a Description of the said Stephen Palmer. He is about 32 Years of Age, is 5 Feet 7 Inches in height, Brown Hair, Black Eyes, Dark Complexion, by Trade a Labourer." "I Stephen Palmer do acknowledge that I have received all my Clothing, Pay, Arrears of Pay, and all just Demands whatsoever, from the time of my enlisting in the Regiment mentioned on the other Side, to this Day of my Discharge. As witness my Hand this 31 Day of Augt 1814 Stephen Palmer (x) his mark [signature of] James Erskine Lt Colonel 48th Commanding"
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I have also come across the following reference for the 48th Foot Regiment:

The Sherwood Slip Index- Sherwood also compiled his own research index to persons and subjects in selected English records. This Slip Index is not an index to his case files. It indexes a series of research sources seldom, if ever, consulted by American genealogists. The Slip Index contains more than 2 million 2 inch x 4 inch slips: **Source: Muster Rolls for 48th Foot Regiment in Papers of Lord Pelham.** Location: British Museum, Additional Manuscripts, #323,465 One to follow up.

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The Peninsular War / Siege of Badajoz / The Northamptonshire Regiment [48th Foot] The Spanish Bride - The novel by Georgette Heyer that really kindled my interest in my Gt Gt Gt Grandfather and his Portuguese bride, Maria DeSilva. The novel is based on the life of Sir Harry Smith from Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire and his Spanish bride, Juanita. It begins with the Storming of Badajoz in April 1812. Sir Harry Smith's story Stephen and Maria PALMER Home Page Site Home Page & Index Contact Details - if you think you have any information that will help me with my research and these webpages.
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This page created 29 August 2001 and amended/updated 14:34 03/11/2013