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Stephen and Maria

        Just imagine - it is  1808; a war is raging in your country; the French army has
        swept over the Spanish border and the English army has come to your country's defence.

        An English regiment is based in your village to help fight off the French .........................
        This is how we think Stephen PALMER met Maria De Silva in Portugal during the
        Peninsular War. 

        Maria was born abt 1794 in a village close to the Portuguese/Spanish border,
        possibly Elvas or Evera, about 6 miles from Badajoz just over the border into
        Stephen & Maria must have married in about 1811 as their first child, Stephen, 
        was born in abt 1812 when Maria was just 17 or 18 years old.
         [Source - 1851 UK Census - Stephen PALMER, bn Portugal is living in Ramsey, Hunts
          with his wife, Elizabeth & family.  He is a Millwright.]

        Stephen was discharged from the army in August 1814; by that time he and Maria
        were back in Burwell - and despite his war injuries, managed to father 9 more children!    
Stephen baptised April 27th 1815 - born abt 1812 in Portugal .
Henry baptised April 27th 1815 - born in Burwell .
Mary baptised May 25th 1817 .
Honor baptised September 13th 1818 Buried March 5th 1819 @ Burwell
Emmanuel** baptised June 4th 1820 .
Honor baptised March 24th 1822 .
William baptised May 2th 1824 Buried January 25th 1825 @ Burwell
William baptised January 8th 1826 .
Louis born abt 1828 .
Phylldelfina baptised 23 May 1831 died 1838 of Scarlett Fever - Buried 23 Aug 1838
All baptism dates from the Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Burwell, Cambs.
In the 1839 Pigot's Directory of Cambridgeshire Under "CARRIERS" in 1839 we find: To CAMBRIDGE, Stephen PALMER, from Burwell every Wednesday & Saturday. This is my Gt Gt Gt Grandfather! the Peninsular War veteran. He would have been living on North Street, as that is where I found him and his family on the 1841 & 1861 U.K. Census [courtesey of the CFHS census transcriptions.]
Both Stephen & Maria died in 1865; their headstone is next to the path leading to the main door of St Mary's, Burwell. The inscription reads:
"Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of Life" [This is around a cross at the top of the headstone] To the memory of STEPHEN PALMER Who departed this life February 18 1865 Aged 83 years Also of MAREAR DE SILVA his wife a Native of Portugal Who died April 13 1865 Aged 71 years "The Holy Church throughout all the world Doth in knowledge lie"
Stephen was buried on 22 February & Maria/Marear was buried on 17 April, 1865. Unfortunately the headstone is covered with lichen and in poor condition - as you can see from my photograph taken 29 June 2001.

Stephen & Maria's Headstone

To see more detail from Stephen & Maria's headstone, go here

More will be added to this page as time permits! Stephen's brother - Neal PALMER Stephen & Maria's children: Stephen Henry Mary Emmanuel** & Susannah Honor William & Burwell PALMERs in Lancashire Louis Phylldelfina 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.
And please, don't forget to sign my Guest Book before you leave!
This page created 29 August 2001 & amended/updated 19:04 30/01/2005