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Ralph Partridge
Minister to Duxbury, Mass

Detailed Description of the Interior of His Home
His Will
Related Links

Duxbury was a "suburb" of Plymouth. The Duxburyians were tired of having to deal with going to Plymouth for church affairs and asked for a preacher. Rev. Ralph Partridge, from England, was either summoned. An entry in the The Great Migration Begins (Anderson, 1995): "..(Christopher Wadsworth).. possibly returned to England to fetch Mr. (Ralph) Partridge."

This is what the history of Duxbury (Justin Winsor, 1849, p. 171-8) says about Duxbury getting it's new minister:

Pg 171. "The Church of Duxbury was gathered about 1632, though they had not a settled pastor until some years later. Before this period, self preservation dictated the policy which forbade the "erection of cottages remote from prompt protection;" and we find the principal settlers of the suburbs of Duxbury town-dwellers (of Plymouth) in winter, that "they better repair to the worship of God." 

'In the year 1632, a number of the brethren inhabiting on the other side of the bay, at a place since called Duxborough, growing weary of attending the worship of God at such distance, asked and were granted a dismission; and soon after being embodied into a church, they procured the Rev. Mr. Partridge (a gracious man of great abilities) to be their pastor.' Thus Duxbury appears to have been the second church in Plymouth Colony. Previous to the settlement of their pastor, Elder Brewster, of the Plymouth church, who resided in Duxbury, assisted in the services. 

Rev. Ralph Partridge was the first minister, who was settled over the church in Duxbury in 1637. He had previously been a clergyman of the church in England, and had arrived at Boston on the 17th of November, 1636. The vessel in which he came had had a very boisterous passage, and was short of provisions." 

Pg 177: "Mr. Partridge preached in a very small building in the southeastern part of the town, near the water, and tradition now marks its site. This building probably stood for about 70 years, and in it preached the first three pastors of the church. It is a matter of much regret, that we have not the records of the early state of the church, which would no doubt throw much light on the subject, and be of peculiar interest."

His house was described as follows: (History of Duxbury, Mass, Justin Winsor, 1849, p. 171-8.)

(His house) was a two-story gambrel-roofed building, somewhat superior to the common habitations of the settlers. On the lower floor was the parlor, an ordinary room, carpeted however, and furnished in a manner which might be considered luxurious. Here in the centre was a round table; and another, though of less pretensions, was placed against the wall. In the fire-place were the andirons and tongs, and against the wall hung a looking glass. In the corner was his staff and cane. Here was also kept the silver plate, and on the table was placed "his silver beer cup", which was retained in the family of his daughter Mary, as a family heir-loom. Three high chairs, and one wooden one, with two cushions, completed the furniture of the room. 

Adjoining this was his study; in the midst was a small table, and a desk, before which was placed a cushioned stool. Two bookcases were placed against the wall, one called his Latin case, wherein were arranged his library of about four hundred volumes. An old safe stood in the corner, and various kinds of personal apparel were scattered around the room. 

Next to this was another but smaller room, and on this floor was also the kitchen. 

In the cellar below were nine beer casks, affording, no doubt, affording, no doubt, abundance of the beverage to his visiting parishioners. 

In the second story was the parlor chamber, furnished with a valanced bed, and a cupboard of drawers, with a cloth upon it. 

The kitchen chamber had likewise a bed. On each side of these was a small leanto chamber, having in them two beds, and one truckle bed. 

And above all this was the attic. 

Near the house was his orchard, and a cow-house. His stock of cattle was four oxen, one bull, seven cows, two yearlings, two calves, two ewes, and two swine; with also six hens and five chickens; and a cart, plough and so on, constituted his farming implements. 

These items are given to show the state of the earliest inhabitants in their domestic situation. The above was the condition of the estate of Mr. Partridge at his death, as appears from the inventory. He died possessed of about 150 acres of land.

His Will provided as follows: NEHGR Vol 5, p. 387, 1851

"His will was exhibited at Court on the oath of Wm. Collier, May 4, 1658. To his daughter, Elizabeth Thacher all his landed estate in N. E. (New England, I presume), and after her to her second son Ralph Thacher, Excepting one parcel of land "at Hicks his necke, which I bought of Mr. Hicks of Plymouth, and another lot of 10 acres which I give to her eldest daughter Patience Kemp, and to her youngest son Peter Thacher, my part of the lands which were purchased of Ussamequen, called the New Plantation." He names also her eldest son Thomas Thacher. To this daughter he also gave his house in Old England. To his eldest daughter Mary, wife of John Marshall, and her sons Robert and John. (** this isn't a typo, it's an incomplete sentence in the NEHGR **) 

Names his wife Patience who had previously deceased, and his "late deceased attorney Mr. Thomas Cullen, the elder. Bequeaths also to Wm. Brett, to Joseph Prior, his man servant, and Anna Reiner, his maid servant. Names his sister Elizabeth Tidge

Dated: Sep 29, 1655 
Witnessed by: 
 Wm. Collier 
 Robert Husey" 

Note: The History of the Town of Duxbury says it was dated Sep 20, 1655. 

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Related Links:
See mention of Ralph in various histories of Duxbury, Mass.

Return to the Ralph Partridge Index of this site.

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