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Henry Partridge                                             -1768
  The Great Western Road between London and Bath was a well-traveled highway in the 18th century, with coaches thundering up and down it through day and night, horsemen at full gallop, and people just walking from one place to another. Only the better-off folks could afford to spend the night at a hostelry, and there were many inns and taverns along the Great Western Road.
  One such public house, the Pack Horse, at Turnham Green, in the parish of Chiswick, was the first the gentry would stay at after they left London. Today Chiswick is a suburb of London, but back in the 1740s it was a good ride out from town. On the other hand, the Pack Horse was the last stop before London if you were coming in from the West Country. So it was a roaring establishment, and you were lucky to get in.
    Mr. Terry and his wife Ann ran the Pack Horse. Then Mr. Terry died, and Ann ran it herself. She needed help (and consolation) after the death of he husband, and who better to give it than the fearless coachman Henry Partridge.
  Henry Partridge was a Bath man (this refers to his place of residence; not necessarily his sanitation habits), with a house in the parish of St James's of that town. He plied up and down the Great Western Road atop his coach, always on the move, never settling, never marrying, until the day the landlord of the Pack Horse died.
  Henry Partridge and Ann Terry married and Henry became a publican. His switch from coachman to hotel keeper was a smooth one, with the exception of Ann dying only 11 months after the marriage. But he carried on, and two years later married Henrietta Rose, of Acton.

Ann Terry                                                     -1747       (1st Wife)
Ann and her husband ran a public house, the Pack Horse, at Turnham Green, in the parish of Chiswick. Upon his death, she married Henry Partridge. Unfortunately, for her, she died 11 months later.
There were no children.
Birth of Parents
Henry Partridge No Date        

Ann Terry No Date        

10 Aug 1746
Henry Partridge
Ann Terry
St James's, Westminster
By License
A Widow

Ann (Terry) Partridge Died 1747  
Burial 19 July 1747, St Nicholas, Chiswick

Henrietta Rose                                             -1791             (2nd Wife)
Henrietta Rose, daughter of George Rose and Henrietta Wargent of St Margaret's, Westminster.
  The new Mrs. Partridge was born to be a hostess. It wasn't long before gentry and nobility were stopping at the Pack Horse just to be in her company. She became very well-known, not for her improprieties, but for her wit and conversation, looks and charm. One of many, many quotes from the press and literature of her time, says that she was a "very genteel and well behaved person, and was acclaimed the most accomplished woman of her profession in the country" [Gentleman's Magazine, Dec. 1791]. The assembly rooms at the Pack Horse were usually full, and business was good.
    She and Henry had seven children and then in 1764 decided to up and move farther west along the great highway, to the Castle Inn, at Salt Hill, on the south side of the Bath Road, and west of the junction with Farnham Road [i.e. Farnham Royal], near Slough, in Buckinghamshire. Eton, just around the corner, was another source of big business. Ben Tebbs took over the Pack Horse.
  The Castle Inn, which took its name from the delightful view of Windsor Castle, was a handsome red-brick building with a central window projecting in a semi-circular wall. The large garden at the back of the hotel also commanded an extensive view of the surrounding countryside.
I have identified the following children.

  Mary Born 26 May 1750   Turnham Green  
Henry Born 11 May 1751   Turnham Green  
Henrietta Born 25 May 1754   Turnham Green  
Margaret Born 28 May 1756   Turnham Green  
John Born 4 Mar 1758   Turnham Green  
George Born 14 Dec 1760   Turnham Green Died May 1761, Age 5 Mos.
Anne Born 30 Dec 1762   Turnham Green Married Rev. Joseph Dixon

Birth of New Wife
Henrietta Rose No Date        

26 Jun 1746
Henry Partridge
Henrietta Rose
St Margaret's, Westminster

Mary Partridge b: 26 May 1750  c: 28 May 1750             St Nicholas, Chiswick, London
daughter of Henry Partridge and Henrietta Rose
Henry Partridge b: 11 May 1751  c: 27 May 1751             St Nicholas, Chiswick, London
son of Henry Partridge and Henrietta Rose
Henrietta Partridge b: 25 May 1754  c: 27 Jun 1754             St Nicholas, Chiswick, London
daughter of Henry Partridge and Henrietta Rose
Margaret Partridge b: 28 May 1756  c: 1 Jul 1756             St Nicholas, Chiswick, London
daughter of Henry Partridge and Henrietta Rose
John Partridge b: 4 Mar 1750  c: 31 Mar 1758             St Nicholas, Chiswick, London
son of Henry Partridge and Henrietta Rose
George Partridge b: 14 Dec 1760  c: 13 Jan 1761             St Nicholas, Chiswick, London
son of Henry Partridge and Henrietta Rose         Died May 1761, Age 5 Mos.
Anne Partridge b: 30 Dec 1762  c: 25 Jan 1763             St Nicholas, Chiswick, London
daughter of Henry Partridge and Henrietta Rose

  Under Mr. and Mrs. (especially Mrs.) Partridge the inn became famous and prospered. Samuel Foote, the actor, was one of legions of famous visitors to the Castle Inn. There is an anecdote about Foote (there are many anecdotes about Foote, the "English Aristophanes") that tells of his visit to the inn. Foote was horrified at the cost of the fare that night and called over the landlord, asking him his name. "Partridge, and please you?", replied the host. "Partridge!", exclaimed Foote, "It should be Woodcock, by the length of your bill". This story circulated for years, and was in all the joke books from the 1770s through the first decade of the 1800s.     The local bigwigs would hold their meetings in the assembly rooms of those inns big enough for such functions. The Castle Inn hosted these meetings on a rotating basis with other big inns of the area, such as the Windmill. Functions, travelers, the Eton students (and masters), and the enormous reputation of Mrs. Partridge ensured that it was good life at Salt Hill.
  But it couldn't last. Henry died in 1768, leaving Mrs. Partridge and her young son Henry to run the inn. Then came the fateful night of March 29, 1773, when 19 men died at the Castle Inn.

Henry Partridge Died 1768  Salt Hill, Buckinghamshire
Burial 4 Oct 1768, Farnham Royal, Buckinghamshire

  The basis of the story about what happened that night can best be summed up by quoting the report given in the Gentleman's Magazine: "On March 29, 1773 the Colnbrook Turnpike met at the Castle Inn for dinner, which consisted of turtle soup, jack, perch, and eel pitch cockt fowls, bacon and greens, veal cutlets, ragout of pigs' ears, chine of mutton and salad, course of lamb and cucumbers, crawfish, pastry and jellies. The wine Madeira and Port, of the very best quality. The company ate and drank moderately. No excess in any respect appeared. Before dinner several paupers were examined, and among them one miserable object that was remarkable. In about ten or eleven days after every one of the company except Mr. Pote Sr, who walked in the garden during the examination of the paupers, were taken ill, and Capt. Needham, Mr. Eyre, Mr. Isherwood and Mr. Benwell, soon died. Mr. Burcombe languished a short time and then died. The others were in danger for some time. They thought, from every circumstance that could be collected, that some infection from the paupers must have occasioned the fatal catastrophe, as Mr. Pote, who was absent at their examination, was the only person who escaped unaffected,   though he ate and drank in exactly the same manner as the rest".
  At first, though, it was thought to be the food or drink that had somehow been poisoned. But Mrs. Partridge willingly submitted her kitchen furniture, cellar and every article representing the food and liquor to the inspection of the gentlemen. When everything seemed fine there, suspicion naturally fell upon the paupers.
  Charlotte Louise Papendick, wife of Christopher Papendick, the Princess Royal's page, writing some years afterwards [Court and Private Life in the Time of Queen Charlotte; Being the Journals of Mrs. Papendick, Assistant Keeper of the Wardrobe and Reader to Her Majesty; edited by her granddaughter, Mrs. Vernon Delves Broughton; London: 1887, R. Bentley & Sons] gives a few more details, and the eventual solution [edited here]: "I also heard from Miss Delavaux the particulars of a terrible poisoning catastrophe that had occurred several years before, by which Mr. Cheshire almost lost his life. At a country meeting held at the Castle Inn, he was one of the 23 saved from the poison taken at the dinner which was always given on that occasion.

Nineteen died, many of them even before they could reach their homes, and the cause could not be ascertained. Of course, the house was done for, and the landlord dying soon after, they could scarcely find buyers for his goods, stock, etc. Mrs. Partridge, the widow, and her three daughters, took a house at Hammersmith, on the high road, and opened a school for young ladies, which was very prosperous. The widow, on her death bed, said that as she considered it right to disclose the secret of the poisoning now it could no longer hurt any individual, and was at the time purely accidental, she would confess that it arose from the turtle having been left in the stewpans cold, and then heated afresh for the dinner. The cook, renowned for the dressing of this favorite luxury, came down from London late the evening before, expressly for this purpose. He said that as the turtle was better for long stewing, he should do it through the night, during which time he would be preparing various other dainties. He didn't keep to his word. He slept, let the fire out, and heated the turtle soup up again without removing it from the pan. On the alarm of illness being given, the husband flew to the cellar, the wife to the kitchen, where she at one glance perceived the cause. From the acids used in dressing   the turtle, the pan was covered with verdigris. When she showed it to the cook he said he wasn't aware of harm, so she screened him. One or two other dishes were impregnated with the same deadly gris or poison, but I didn't hear whether the pans were of bell-metal, or of copper tinned and worn. The commissioner, who was supposed not to have eaten in the house, had, Mrs. Partridge acknowledged, dined freely, before he went in with his accounts, upon the dishes as they came out from the dining room".
  Mrs. Papendick's account is substantially correct, although it isn't true that the inn was ruined. As the deaths had been attributed to infection from the paupers, even the Trustees continued to hold their dinners there (the next one after the incident was on July 19, 1773), alternating with the Windmill, as before. No blame was attached to the Partridges. The landlord wasn't in fact the husband, as Mrs. Papendick says, but the son, who had the same name. To the already huge reputation of Mrs. Partridge was now added another dimension, another reason for people to flock to the Castle Inn - notoriety.   In the 1780s Mrs Partridge and her three daughters, Henrietta, Margaret and Anne, moved to Hammersmith and opened a boarding school for girls, near
the workhouse, at Oak House, 63 King Street East (in July 1885 re-numbered as 223 Hammersmith Road, and, in a state of disrepair, eventually torn down).
  Mrs. Partridge died on Dec. 17, 1791, and her daughters continued the school. Anne married Rev. Joe Dixon in 1792, and Henrietta died in 1815. Margaret gave up the school in 1820, and died in 1827

Henrietta (Rose) Partridge Died 17 Dec 1791   Hammersmith, London

  The Britannic Magazine, or Entertaining Repository of Heroic Adventures and Memorable Exploits, was published volume by volume. Volume 12 came out in 1807, and in it an interesting twist on this story is given: "A waiter, who lived at Mrs. Partridge's house, the Windmill, at Salt Hill [already there is confusion - it was, of course, not the Windmill], at the time of the sudden death of several gentlemen who dined there about 30 years since, has recently paid the debt of nature himself. The day preceding his death he sent for the clergyman of the parish and after informing him that he could not die in peace without disclosing what he knew of that calamitous event, made the following recital: That it was not occasioned, as had been generally supposed, by any preparation in the wine, to fine it, but from the circumstance of some carp having been stewed for a family expected the   day before; but from their being prevented coming, the fish was set by in the copper stew pan in which they had been dressed, where, from its long standing, the corrosive acid in the sauce extracted from the stew pan that quantity of copperas which proved destructive to most of the gentlemen who partook of this dish, so fatally served up the next day. The fact (he said), was discovered, and known only by the cook and himself, and on imparting it to their afflicted mistress, she enjoined them to secrecy as long as they lived, but that he now found himself, in his last moments, unable to conceal the mystery any longer. Mrs. Partridge and the cook have been dead many years".
  Whatever the details, the substance is clear. Mrs. Partridge and her son Henry continued to run the Castle Inn for some years, until she decided to make the move to Hammersmith.

SPECIAL THANKS  to John Stewart, a descendant of Capt. William Dixon, R.A, for the details provided above.