Samuel Thomas Partridge M.D. [Aberdeen, 1820], M.R.C.S. [1818] (1797 – 14 March 1870) was a British orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy. He practiced at 2 York Place, Portman Square, became Physician to the Marylebone Homeopathic Dispensary in 1840 and Physician Accoucheur of the London Homeopathic Hospital. He was also a council member and and Fellow of the British Homeopathic Society.

Samuel Thomas Partridge was born in Barbados in 1797, the son and grandson of physicians who had practiced on the island. He studied in England at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals and was admitted to the Royal College of Surgeons in 1818. He then entered Edinburgh University to complete his medical education but, owing to the death of his father, was called back to Barbados. In the interim, Partridge graduated with his M.D. from Marischal College, Aberdeen in 1820.

In October 1821 Partridge married Martha Mary Cromartie (1797 – 1828). They had four daughters: Martha, Eliza, Charlotte, Ellen. Partridge’s wife Martha died in 1828. In 1831, he married Elizabeth Moore (1805 – 1888) and they had four children: Elizabeth, Fanny, Theodore, Mathilda.

The early part of his medical career was spent in Barbados where Partridge met and became lifelong friends with Dr Chapman. In 1833 he returned to England where he was introduced to homeopathy by Harris Dunsford who treated two of Partridge’s four children who were suffering whooping cough while Partridge treated the other two allopathically. Dunsford’s striking success led Partridge to resolve to study homeopathy, doing so under Paul Francois Curie at the London Homoeopathic Hospital from 1839.

Partridge was active in the foundation of the new London Homoeopathic Hospital and Dispensary in Golden Square that opened in 1850 and was a subscriber to the hospital fund. He was also among the first group of medical officers at the Hospital.

Partridge was a colleague of Frederick Hervey Foster Quin, the first President of the British Homeopathic Society, and Marmaduke Blake Sampson, the Chairman of the British Homeopathic Association, and many other homeopaths.

Samuel Thomas Partridge was also a colleague of William Edward Ayerst, Hugh Cameron, John Chapman, Matthew James Chapman, Edward Charles Chepmell, William Vallancy Drury, Robert Ellis Dudgeon, George Napoleon Epps, James Epps, John Epps, Joseph Gilioli, James Manby Gully, Edward Hamilton, Richard Hughes, Joseph Kidd, Thomas Robinson Leadam, Victor MassolJames Bell Metcalfe, Henry Reynolds, John Rutherford Russell, David Wilson, Stephen Yeldham and many others, and he frequently wrote articles for the British Homeopathic Journal.

Samuel Thomas Partridge worked alongside Frederick Hervey Foster Quin at the St. James’s Homeopathic Dispensary.

Beginning in 1847 symptoms of a slow paralysis began to appear that by 1863 had taken its toll. In 1850 due to his worsening health Partridge had been obliged to resign from his role as Physician-Accoucheur at the London Homeopathic Hospital. By 1867 Partridge was unable to leave his room, although his mind remained sharp until his death in March 1870.

Of interest:

From Peter Morrell, British homeopathy during two centuries. Samuel Thomas Partridge is almost certainly a close relation [probably a brother] of Richard Partridge F.R.C.S. (1805 -73) surgeon, held all the chief posts at the Royal College of Surgeons; surgeon at Kings College Hospital, London 1840-70′ and also John Partridge 1790 – 1872, portrait painter who settled in London 1827; became, under the patronage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, a fashionable portrait painter’.

The hope for him to become a doctor haunted Francis Galton‘s early manhood. After a year on the wards in Birmingham, he was enrolled in King’s College Medical School in London in 1839. Here he became one of several student lodgers at the home of the humorous, shrewd and kindly Professor of Anatomy, Richard “Dickey” Partridge, then in the early stages of a brilliant career in surgery….

Francis Galton seems to have settled in quickly. Richard Partridge, who had been a friend of Charles Lamb, had some fascinating dinner guests, including his colleague at King’s, Charles Wheatstone.

Not yet married, Richard Partridge gave the students the run of his drawing room, providing them with a complete jointed skeleton for their studies…

Francis Galton was far from uncritical when he looked back on his student days. For example, he was quite negative about Richard Partridge as a lecturer (too narrow, too dry and so on), even though he evidently liked him as a person. So this is praise indeed.

Francis Galton explains:

After a brief vacation I was sent, again through Mr. Hodgson’s ever active interest, for a year to King’s College and to live as an inmate of the house of Professor Richard Partridge (1805-1873), together with four or five other pupils. His house was in New Street, Spring Gardens, now demolished through the extension of the Admiralty Buildings and the newly constructed entrance from Charing Cross into St. James’s Park.

My social surroundings were of a far higher order than those at Birmingham, and I rejoiced in them. Professor Partridge was, at that time, a brilliant man of about thirty four years of age, yellow haired, full of humour and of quips, as well as of shrewdness and kindliness; his intimate friends were all growing into distinction.

He had known Charles Lamb well, and the genius of Elia seemed to haunt the house, though Charles Lamb had died four or five years before. I listened with admiration to the brilliant talk and repartees when Partridge had his bachelor dinners with fellow cronies as guests. They included George Webbe Dasent, later Sir George, the author and Civil Service Commissioner; Professor Charles Wheatstone, later Sir Charles, who conjointly with Cooke was the introducer of the electric telegraph; A. Smee the electrician, subsequently an authority on gardening, and others.

Professor Richard Partridge, F.R.S., familiarly called ” Dickey,” was brother to John Partridge, R.A., and Professor of Anatomy. It was commonly said that the brothers had each followed the occupation best fitted to the other. Certainly Richard Partridge was an admirable draughtsman, but was not, so far as I was then capable of judging, a man who really loved and revelled in science.

He delighted in minute points of human anatomy and did not generalise, consequently the information given in his lectures seemed to me as dry as the geography of Pinnock’s Catechism. For all that, they were enlivened by his never failing humour. His instruction seemed to me deficient in the why and the wherefore. A human hand was just a human hand to him; its analogies with paws, hoofs, wings, claws, and fins were never alluded to. I spent a happy time under his roof…

Robert Frere, one of my fellow-pupils when with Professor Partridge, became through marriage in later years a managing partner in a very old and eminent firm of wine merchants. They had supplied George IV. with his brandy and the like. He told me that the books of the firm showed that every class of wine had in its turn been favoured by the doctors… So I at last landed, and, feeling little the worse after a short rest, cabbed home to Mr. Partridge’s house.