Sunday, 8 January 2017

The Partridge Inheritance

When John Partridge was about 56 years old, in 1769, he inherited a manor house from his cousin Joseph.  Earlier in his life, John wouldn’t have expected this inheritance as he had various uncles and male cousins who should have inherited the property, and passed it onto their heirs, had they had any that survived long enough.

John Partridge was born in Miserden, Gloucestershire, around 1713 and baptised in Miserden parish church on 18 November 1713.  Miserden is a small picturesque village in the Cotswolds. At the time in that parish, the Rector only recorded the bare minimum amount of information, a name and a date, so John’s parents were not named.  However, based on a process of elimination using various Partridge family wills and a 1714 electoral roll, John’s father must have been Nathaniel Partridge and, therefore, his mother was Nathaniel’s wife, Ann Burrows. 

Nathaniel Partridge was the sixth son of Henry Partridge of Wishanger, so seemingly unlikely to inherit the family estate.  However, three of the older brothers, Henry, Robert and John, died without having children of their own.  Thomas Partridge, the brother who inherited Wishanger from father Henry, had one son who seems not to have survived childhood, so the property was left to his brother Henry’s oldest son, Freeman.  And yes, there were two (half) brothers both named Henry.  The two Henry’s can be clearly distinguished in their father’s will.   Freeman Partridge died relatively young and without having a son, so Wishanger went to his younger brother Joseph.  Their two other brothers, Thomas and John, must have died young as they were not mentioned in Freeman’s will.  Joseph did not marry, so Wishanger ultimately passed onto his cousin John, my ancestor.  Joseph Partridge left his other property to his sister’s son, Partridge Smith who married Freeman’s daughter Susanna.  Fortunately the family wills explain the various relationships in some detail.   As Joseph Partridge was only five years older than John, even when John because Joseph’s heir, John may have expected his son’s to inherit, rather than himself.

John Partridge had at least one sister, Rebecca, born about 1700; both are mentioned in their Uncle Thomas’ will of 1752 as siblings.  John Partridge lost his father in 1717 when he was about 4 years old.  Nathaniel died intestate (without a will), so there is no will to conveniently list family members. John’s mother, Ann, seems to have re-married in 1719 to Andrew Soul.  There may have been some half siblings but without parent’s names in the Miserden parish register, I can’t be sure.  Andrew Soul died in 1726, so John lost his stepfather, as well as his father, while still a child.

On 19 February 1734/5*, John Partridge married Ann Moss (or Morse) in Pitchcombe, Gloucestershire.  John and Ann had five children, Harry, Thomas (my ancestor), Ann, Sarah and John, all baptised in Miserden parish church.  Ann died in 1768.  John married his second wife, Sarah Herberts, at Stonehouse on 25 May 1771.

In additional the manor of Wishanger, John owned other land in the area around Miserden that he left to his children in his will.  He died in February 1785, having enjoyed his inheritance for nearly twenty years.

Wishanger is now a B&B and some pictures can be found here (I couldn’t find any that I was sure were public domain to include in this post).  It belonged to the Partridge family from the 1560’s until the early 1800s.

Notes on Lineage: Me > Dad > Helen Francis Ruth Akeroyd > Florence Ruth Kirby > Harriet Partridge > Thomas Partridge > Nathaniel Partridge > Thomas Partridge > John Partridge

*Prior to 1752 in England, New Year's day was 25 March so it is conventional to write dates from 1 Jan to 24 Mar like this.