Symonds Street Cemetery: Charles Partington

Charles Partington

-1877 Mill Owner

Charles Frederick Partington was born in Oxfordshire, UK.

In 1847 the newly arrived Charles Partington ventured into partnership with John Bycroft and together they took over the Epsom Mill that stood in St Andrews Road.

The partnership lasted until December 1849 and in May 1850, for £200, Partington purchased land in Symonds Street opposite the Symonds Street Cemetery.

The commanding position on the Karangahape Road ridge guaranteed good wind currents to turn the sails of the mill.

Special wedge shaped bricks were made to construct the conical building, which cost £2000 to build.

In August 1851 the first flour was advertised for sale.

The height, distinctive shape and prominent position made iThe windmill an Auckland landmark and throughout its life it was used as a navigation device by shipping on the Waitamata Harbour.

Partington installed advanced machinery in an adjacent building and was able to turn out large quanities of baked goods comparatively cheaply.

This was called “The Victoria Flour Mill and steam Biscuit Factory.

During the Maori Wars of 1861-1866, Partington managed to secure a lucrative contract to supply the Army troops with flour, crushed corn and biscuits.

The Windmill was demolished in May 1950 amongst considerable controversy. The site remained largely empty until the Sheraton Hotel was constructed in the early 1980s (now the Langham)

Charles Frederick Partington had married Francis Johnston in 1845; they had several children, many of whom are buried with them in the Symonds Street Cemetery:

Three brothers all died within one month of each other in 1854 - William Partington 23-9-54 aged 4 yrs Thomas Partington 15-10-54 aged 1 yr 8mths Henry Partington 22-10-54 aged 3 yrs.

Joseph Partington who took over the business after his father’s death and who died in 1941.

Maria Partington, (d 1938 aged 93) a skilled artist who married a kauri timber merchant David Goldie (three times Mayor of Auckland), their son Charles is the well known painter.

Edward Partington - Died in 1930 aged 74. Manager of the Morrinsville Creamery having previously run a Flour Mill at Te Rore, Piroungia.

William Henry Partington (8th Dec 1854 - 22nd July 1940). Now considered one of New Zealand’s most interesting photographers noted for his images of Maori: His wife Mary Jane Goldie was the sister of David Goldie - she died in 1930 aged 81.

Obituary of Francis Johnston Mrs. Chas. F. Partington 1815-1908

Mrs. Chas. F. Partington, a much respected and very old colonist of nearly seventy years’ standing, whose death was announced yesterday, was born at Belturbet, County Fermanagh, Ireland, in the year 1815 — during the reign of George III - thus having seen five sovereigns on the Throne.

She could bring to memory, and was an eye-witness of many stirring events which took place during the almost revolutionary times in her native country. She well recollected the crowning of Queen Victoria in 1837, and the festivities on that occasion.

She arrived in Sydney about 1840, and after, residing there for a short period came on to Auckland in the brig Surprise, reaching here in 1841.

At that time there were only some four or five European women, in Auckland, and she and others had often to seek shelter from the Maoris during the war-time in one the of the blockhouses, where stood old St. Paul’s Church at the top of Shortland street.

One of her early recollections was the first burial that took place in the Symonds street Cemetery, and also the many events under all the early Governors - Pitt, Fitzroy, Hobson.

She was married in the year 1845 in Auckland by the Rev. Churton, at his residence to the late Chas. F. Partington - who predeceased her 30 years ago, and who about the year 1850 built the old Windmill and Steam Flour Mill and Biscuit Factory, now being carried on by one of his sons.

He manufactured the bricks used in the construction out of the land adjacent, and carried on an extensive business supplying the British troops and Maoris during the war-time with flour and biscuits.

Mrs. Partington leaves a family of eight sons and one daughter three of the sons predeceased her some fifty-four years ago.

The interment which was private, took place on Sunday morning last in the Symonds street Cemetery, where lay her husband and relatives, immediately under the new Grafton Bridge Auckland Star, Volume XXXIX, Issue 72, 24 March 1908, Page 5