At the age of twelve years William was sent up to London to enter the mercantile house of his uncle, Mr. Rodwell, who was engaged in the East India trade. Shortly after joining this house, however, his uncle gave up the business, and William was thrown upon his own resources.
Deciding on entering the army, he enlisted in the Royal York Rangers, and was sent to the West Indies to join his regiment. He participated in the taking of Martinique and Guadaloupe. He was afterwards engaged in a small schooner in carrying despatches from one island to another, during which time he contracted the yellow fever and was laid up for some time at Barbadoes in the Government hospital. When he had slightly recovered from the fever he was ordered home to England to recruit his health, and he was yet less than twenty-one years of age when he arrived at his father’s house in Scole. On the passage home, no less than eighty-four passengers died, and were consigned to a watery grave.
In about six months time he again reported himself fit for active duty, and was ordered to the Isle of Wight to join his regiment. Soon afterwards, being again ordered to the West Indies, and feeling that his health would not permit of a second attack of the yellow fever, he succeeded in making an exchange, and in being appointed to a staff which was being formed to find recruits for the army. While acting in that capacity he made considerable progress when the staff was broken up, and he returned to the paternal mansion, possessed of a considerate income. Shortly afterwards, his father died, and he took control of the farm, and continued working it until 1832.”
1802 William Gooderham’s Early Years in England
William's youth until emigrating from England. Describes his army career with the Royal York Rangers including his work as a remittance man, apparently the source of his wealth.
|Owner of original
|29 Oct 2018
|Scole, Norfolk, England; England; William Gooderham