Charles Pardey was born in Lymington c.1801, son of William and Bridget Pardey, who separated by mutual consent seven years later (Salisbury Journal, 25 July 1808). William was by now in Southampton, recorded as a carpenter in the Southampton pollbook of October/November 1806. He later became a builder, a trade also followed by his son Charles. Both were Whigs in politics. In December 1825 Charles married, at St Giles in the Fields, Caroline Evamy, youngest daughter of Richard Evamy. It was an alliance of families at the forefront of property speculation in Southampton. Richard Evamy had property interests in the prime development land between Above Bar Street and Southampton Water (see forthcoming article in Journal of the Southampton Local History Forum). William Pardey had a more diverse portfolio. His will (dated 29 March 1833) refers to dwelling houses in Spa Road, Town Ditches, Trafalgar Place and South Front (both in Kingsland Place), Brunswick Place, College Street, Waterloo Place, Castle Hill, Playhouse Yard (or Pardey’s Buildings) in French Street and Bridge Street (Hampshire Archives and Local Studies 1840 B71). Charles’s elder sister Sarah married Richard Hopkins Perkins (1794-1881), chairmaker of Lymington, at All Saints Church, Southampton on 4 December 1820. A cabinet maker, upholsterer and auctioneer in his formative years in Southampton, Hopkins was for over half a century one of the principal auctioneers in the town. Richard Evamy’s most prestigious and innovative building speculation – the development of Portland Street and adjoining parts of Portland Terrace – was first advertised less than three months after Pardy’s marriage to his youngest daughter. It was essentially a family project. Charles Pardey and brother-in-law R H Perkins together took leases on seven building lots (numbers 1 to 7) on the northern side of Portland Street, abutting Above Bar - and four lots (numbers 26, 27, 30 and 31) on the opposite side of the street. William Pardey acquired 30 Portland Street in November 1828. At the time of his bankruptcy a few years later, Evamy was heavily dependent on his relatives. He was now living in one of William Pardey’s freehold dwelling houses in Spa Road and his son-in-law Charles claimed absolute ownership of all the household furniture and effects in his possession (Hampshire Advertiser, 14 November 1835).

Charles Pardey became proprietor of the Regent Baths in Above Bar (opposite Pound Tree) in spring 1834. After extensive rebuilding, they were re-opened on 26 May 1834 (Hampshire Advertiser, 21 June 1834). Comprising about 20 rooms, with stable, offices and – under the same roof – a 7-bedroomed house, the facilities included warm, cold, shower, vapour, sulphur and medicinal baths. He may have been inspired by Henry Coward, brother-in-law of his wife Caroline, who two years earlier had become proprietor of the Royal Victoria Spa and Assembly Rooms, built by Richard Evamy in 1830. Financial pressures led to a double mortgage of the baths in September 1837, for £3,000 (to Herbert, Henry and Selwood Riddle of Bristol) and £600 (to the Southampton chemist Edward Palk and his wife Ann). Charles Pardey died of consumption in December 1837, at the untimely age of 36. He predeceased his father who died in February 1840, aged 77. His widow Caroline took over the proprietorship of the baths, aided by an additional mortgage – of £400 – taken by R H Perkins in June 1843. She continued as sole proprietor until April 1852. Her decision to relinquish ownership may perhaps be due in part to her deafness.

Five children are known to have been born to Charles and Caroline Pardey. The eldest son Charles was baptised in St Mary’s Church on 4 April 1827. His father is recorded in the registers, a trifle pretentiously perhaps, as architect. The succeeding four baptisms were in Above Bar Congregational Chapel, suggesting that Charles was a recent convert from the established church: William (born 12 July, baptized 6 August 1829), Caroline (born 21 February, baptized 24 March 1831), Philip (born 18 March, baptized 8 April 1833, died within the month) and Bridgett (born 6 March, baptized 13 June 1834, died aged 3 months). Above Bar Chapel was at the heart of the town’s social pretensions. The eldest son (see entry below) became a doctor, his promising career tragically ended at the age of 36 (the same age of his father on his death) by the family scourge of consumption. He married – at St Mary’s Church on 28 December 1852 - Kate Perkins, second daughter of R H Perkins. The eldest daughter married – at All Saints Church on 12 August 1852 - William Heny Lukis (1825-86), draper’s tailor and son of a surgeon (William Lukis). He was in the early 1860s to publish the radical, nonconformist Southampton Times. One of their sons, Charles Pardey Lukis (1857-1917), was Director General of the Indian Medical Service, honorary surgeon to George V and knighted. It is with the Lukis family that Charles’s widow lived until her death, aged 88, in November 1894. She is identified in her death notice in The Standard, 29 November 1894 simply as the widow of the late Charles Pardey. It is an interesting reflection that the Regent Street Baths, with their strong medical connections, may have influenced the career choices of the two nephews.

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