Samuel Madder 1775 – 1809 (OM005)
In 1793 the French Republic declared war on Great Britain. As many regiments had been disbanded a few years before, recruitment to regular regiments was increased and a number of Fencible regiments were established. These were to defend the country when the regular army was abroad; one of them was the Norfolk Fencibles who served in Carlisle and Scotland.
Samuel Madder signed up to the Norfolk Fencibles on 10th July 1798, at a time when invasion was widely expected. However Napoleon decided to invade Egypt instead where his fleet was defeated, by Nelson, at the Battle of the Nile. So Samuel saw no action. Perhaps this was why, when the Fencibles were disbanded in 1800, he joined the regular army – the 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards (now known as the Scots Guards).
If he was looking for adventure, for some time he was unsuccessful, as peace was declared in 1802 (and the regiment remained in Britain?). At some point Samuel married Charlotte (or Catherine – both names appear). The wedding might have taken place on 18th August 1803 at St Marylebone, Westminster in London, where there is a record of a marriage between Samuel Madders and Charlotte Cook. This would agree with a baptism in Chelmsford, Essex on 15th June 1804 of Samuel Taylor Madder son of Samuel and Catherine.
A second child, Mary Ann was baptised at Brisley on 30th March 1806.
In 1809 the Regiment was part of the Army that landed in Portugal, under the command of Lieutenant-General Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington). In late July the 3rd Foot Guards took part in the Battle of Talavera, one of the bloodiest engagements during the war. The British won the Battle with over 5,000 men being killed or wounded.
Corporal Samuel Madder is listed in the Casualty Returns as having died between October 1809 and January 1810. He probably died of wounds from the battle or the harsh winter conditions.
His son, Samuel, entered the school at the Royal Military Asylum at Chelsea (Chelsea Hospital), in May 1809. He was four years old. Nine-year-old Mary Ann perhaps entered the school in 1814. It is not known what happened to their mother Charlotte.