Thanks for the interesting précis of Marcus's career. You've obviously done a lot of work in the last two years. I'm writing a book about George Clout who was my late fiance's great great grandfather. In the course of researching his story I have become very interested in the lives of his fellow troopers. George joined the 4LD in 1829, aged 20 years, at Maidstone. He and his first wife Jane were sent to India in 1831, spending ten years there. They had three sons born in India. Sometime after their return to England George's first wife died and at least one of their sons [James] was sent to the military school [Royal Hibernian Military Asylum] in Dublin, where he acquired the musical training which enabled his latter service in the regiment's band. George married his second wife in Athlone and they had a daughter born in Dublin, and three other children born in Ipswich.
George was discharged from the 4LD on 22 November 1853 after slipping on the icy barrack square in Ipswich and breaking his leg earlier in the year. He left with five good conduct badges and a pension of a shilling a day. He tried to set up as a farrier in Ipswich but it didn't seem to work out, and he then joined the Turkish Contingent in the Crimean War as a Farrier Major. Two of his sons [George and James] also joined the regiment and served in the Crimea. Shortly after returning from the Crimea George was accepted as an assistant warder with the convict establishment in Bermuda and left for the island in 1857. His family remained in Ipswich and George died in poverty in Bermuda in 1869. I have traced the fortunes of five of his children, but have lost trace of the two boys who joined the 4LD. They both got into trouble after the Crimean War, deserting and being courtmartialed a number of times, and were discharged from the regiment in the early 1860s.
But back to Mr. Sparling... I expect you have it already, but I've found details of his marriage to Catherine Conolly. SPARLING, Marcus Marriage Wife: Catherine CONOLLY Marriage Date: 26 Dec 1848 Recorded in: Miscellaneous,Ireland Collection: Civil Registration Husband's Father: John SPARLING Wife's Father: James CONOLLY Source: FHL Film 101296 Dates: 1848 - 1849
Christmas must have been a popular time to marry for the 4LD as George married Margaret Kerwin in Athlone on Christmas Day, and Marcus married Catherine/Cathleen on Boxing Day of the same year. George and Marcus seemed to have a fair bit in common, with Irish wives, children at the military school, and being together in Alex Low's troop for a time. And they were discharged the regiment within about two months of each other. May I mention Marcus's military service, latter career as a photographer, and year of death in my account? It is interesting to find out what became of the dragoons after they left the regiment. I have one who ended up as a farmer in the wilds of Canada and others who transferred regiments and chose to remain in India. Another became a warder in the Tower of London... quite amazing.