Lt Col Joseph Wells

M, #10016, b. 19 June 1773, d. 4 July 1853
Father*Joseph Wells (silk merchant)1
Mother*Mary (__________)1
ChartsPedigree - John's father John Barnard Wells
Reference2G Grf, W16
Birth*19 June 1773 Lt Col Joseph Wells was born on 19 June 1773 at Parish of St Martin Ludgate, London, England.1 
Military*between 1798 and 1814 He was in the military between 1798 and 1814 Joseph Wells began his army career in 1798 after serving as a lieutenant with a locally raised unit, the Sheffield Volunteers. In January he purchased an ensigncy and the following May he was promoted lieutenant in the 43rd Foot. Joining a portion of the regiment stationed in Martinique in 1799, he was appointed adjutant in 1800 and purchased a commission as captain in 1804. He was promoted to the rank of major seven years later and to lieutenant-colonel of the 2nd battalion in 1814. With his regiment he took part in some of the hardest fighting of the Napoleonic Wars. After having served in the expedition to Copenhagen in 1807, he was transferred to the Iberian Peninsula and fought under Sir John Moore during the latter’s campaign and retreat of 1808–9. He was the senior surviving officer of the 1st battalion after the storming of Badajoz in April 1812, but was himself so severely wounded that he was unable to take command; he was awarded gold and silver medals for his bravery in this action and silver medals for service in two other battles.1 
Marriage*10 June 1813 He married Harriet Mary King on 10 June 1813 at St Botolph's Church, Aldersgate, England.1 
Immigration*November 1815 Lt Col Joseph Wells immigrated in November 1815 With the return of peace in 1815, and an imminent and large reduction of forces, Wells, like other officers, was faced with the prospect of being placed on half pay. At first he appeared to avoid this fate when he secured an appointment as inspecting field officer of militia in Upper Canada in November 1815 and soon afterward he came out to North America with his wife of some two years and two infant children. “To his great mortification” the position was abolished shortly after his arrival. In 1817 he was placed on half pay, which he retained until 1827 when he sold his commission for £4,000.1 
Will*22 November 1851 He left a will on 22 November 1851 at Davenport, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; "In the name of God, Amen
     I, Joseph Wells, of Davenport, in the Township of York, in the Home District and Province of Canada, Esquire, being of sound mind, memory and understanding, do make, publish and declare this to be my last will and testament.
     First, I nominate, constitute and appoint my dear wife Harriett, and my two sons, George Dupont and Robert, Executrix, Executors and Trustees of this, my last will and testament."
     Summary information: Harriett can live at the farm known as Davenport. Five sons, George Dupont, Robert, Frederick, Arthur, and Clarence Yonge (youngest).
     Codicil dated 22 Nov 1851 because "my dear wife Harriett had departed this life" he appoints George Alexander Phillpotts of Toronto, Barrister-at-Law, as the executor. 
Death*4 July 1853 He died on 4 July 1853 at Toronto, Ontario, Canada, at age 80.1 


Harriet Mary King b. 14 Jul 1794, d. 18 Mar 1851
Last Edited10 Feb 2010


  1. [S246] Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, 1851-1860 (Volume VIII).