- Born: ca. 1770, prob England
- Marriage (1): Ann Mackenzie on 25 Jun 1793 in St Mary Magdalene Parish, Woolwich, Kent, England
- Died: 28 Sep 1812, prob Spain aged about 42
Both Richard and his wife, Ann, were described as "of this Parish" when they married in St Magdalene, Woolwich. Witnesses at their marriage were Peter Smith and Sarah Lawson. They both signed their names.
Some researchers claim that he was the son of John Goldthorp, a nailor (nailmaker), from Mapplewell, Yorkshire. However, that Richard was baptised in 1778 and assuming he was baptised about the time he was born he would be too young at 15 to be getting married in 1793. These same researchers believe he was born 1770, but his death certificate records that he was 69 years old in January 1846 when he died in Mapplewell, Yorkshire, placing his birth year at around 1776 or 1777, which would be more consistent with the baptism in 1778. Also, that Richard, a "nailor" like his father John (and surname spelled GOLDTHORP), married in West Yorkshire to Ann Goldthorp in 1801. So he is a different Richard Gouldthorp.
However, it is almost certain that there are connections to that Yorkshire family. Richard's daughter Eliza NAILOR Gouldthorp was born in Yorkshire in 1805 (father's occupation Veterinary Surgeon). Her middle name is intriguing. It is also interesting that there were GOLDTHORP families in Mapplewell and surrounds all bearing children with similar names, especially "Benjamin" at the same time. Benjamin GOLDTHORP, John GOLDTHORP and Edward GOLDTHORP all had sons named Benjamin baptised in 1810, 1812, and 1810 respectively.
Richard's son Benjamin's shipping record to Australia records that Richard was a Doctor. His daughter Eliza Nailor Gouldthorp's baptism record (1805), son Benjamin's baptism record (1808) and daughter Margaret's second marriage certificate (1845) records that he was a Veterinary Surgeon. He was, in fact, a Veterinary Surgeon with the 11th Regiment of (Light) Dragoons, having joined this regiment on 10 September 1807. He may have been in the army in other units before that time which might explain why the family was a bit nomadic. He was recorded as a Veterinary Surgeon on the baptism Record for his daughter Eliza in November 1805 in Yorkshire.
This of course was the time of the Napoleonic Wars and the 11th Light Dragoons were right in the thick of things. Their movements explain why no more children were born after twins William and Margaret in September of 1811:
After a spell in Ireland the 11th were sent to Spain and Portugal to reinforce Wellington's army. Their strength, normally around 300 in peacetime was raised to 725. They arrived in June 1811 and, as in Egypt, they had a bad start. A dawn attack by the French in woods between Elvas and the Guadiana forced the 11th to retire on to what they thought were friendly Portugese lines. When they realised they were French, their commander Capt Lutyens ordered the charge. The shock tactic worked and they were able to drive their way through, but a second line of enemy troops was able to resist them. They lost 8 killed, 22 wounded and 77 taken prisoner.
The regiment had more success at El Bodon near Cuidad Rodrigo on 25th September. By this time they were commanded by Lt Col Cumming, a brave and efficient cavalry officer. A large force of French cavalry was threatening Allied infantry and artillery on the plain in front of the 11th and a squardon of the King's German Legion who were well placed on high ground. Although they were vastely outnumbered the 11th and KGL charged at the enemy again and again, 20 times in all.
The 11th were part of Wellington's great victory over Marmont at Salamanca on 22nd July 1812 but by 3rd April 1813 they had to give up their horses and embark for England much to the regret of Sir Stapleton Cotton who was in command of the cavalry in the Peninsula. It had been a hard two years for them having lost 417 men and 555 horses.
During their time in the Peninsula many changes had been made to the uniforms of the British Army. The Prince Regent had a keen eye for dress and with his newly acquired position of supreme power was determined to push through his ideas dased on continental military trends. The 11th exchanged it's light dragoon Tarleton helmet for a shako. The new jacket was still dark blue but had a buff plastron covering the chest, and white epaulettes, silver for officers.
Source: The British Empire Website http://www.britishempire.co.uk/forces/armyunits/britishcavalry/11thltdragoons.htm
Sadly, having left his wife at home, heavily pregnant with twins who would never meet their father, Richard Gouldthorp died on 28 September 1812. His cause of death, nor the location are not presently known. However, at this time Wellington was occupying Madrid, after the victory over Marmont at Salamanca, and it is possible the 11th Light Dragoons were in this area. Richard had been involved in the Peninsular campaign from the outset in June 1811 until his death.
Noted events in his life were:
• He worked as a Veterinary Surgeon at the time of Eliza's baptism on 4 Feb 1806 in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England.
• He worked as a Veterinary Surgeon at the time of Benjamin's birth on 30 Jan 1808 in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England.
• He worked as a Veterinary Surgeon according to daughter Margaret's marriage certificate on 17 Mar 1845 in Woolwich, Kent, England.
• He worked as a Doctor of Medicine according to his son Benjamin's Death Certificate.
Richard married Ann Mackenzie on 25 Jun 1793 in St Mary Magdalene Parish, Woolwich, Kent, England. (Ann Mackenzie was born about 1773 in Kent, England, died on 28 Jul 1843 in Greenwich, Kent, England and was buried on 2 Aug 1843 in St Alphage, Greenwich, Kent, England.)