The spacious Grand Room at the Governor’s House Inn is named for Henrietta Middleton. Its decor and atmosphere are as rich in elegance as its name is in history, making the Middleton Suite exemplify Charleston luxury accommodations at their finest.
It all began with Edward Middleton. He emigrated from England to Barbados before making his way to South Carolina in 1678. Middleton settled a plantation he named The Oaks, after receiving large grants of land on Goose Creek. There, he served as Lords Proprietors Deputy and Assistant Justice. When Edward Middleton died in 1685, his estate was passed on to his son, Arthur.
Arthur Middleton had three sons. His middle son, Henry, wed Mary in 1741, the daughter and heiress of a wealthy landowner, Justice of the Peace and member of the Assembly. Mary Williams’ dowry included the house and lands that became known as Middleton Place, which was owned successively by four generations of Middletons.
Henry Middleton built the gardens and added the unattached wings to the existing house at Middleton Place. He was an influential political leader and served as Speaker of the Commons, Commissioner for Indian Affairs and a member of the Governor’s council, before becoming a leader of the opposition to British policy. Henry Middleton was later chosen to represent South Carolina in the First Continental Congress and was elected its second President. With more than 50,000 acres and at least 800 slaves, he was among the wealthiest landowners in the state.
Henry Middleton remarried twice after the death of his wife Mary Williams in 1761, but only had children with his first wife. Their eldest son was Arthur, who received Middleton Place in 1763, and would also sign the Declaration of Independence. Arthur’s sister was Henrietta Middleton.
Henrietta married in 1774 to a gentleman named Edward Rutledge. They built a home in Charleston across the street from the house of his brothers. Henrietta gave birth to three children, two of whom survived until adulthood. Their names were Henry Middleton Rutledge and Sarah Middleton Rutledge.
Edward Rutledge succeeded in his personal life, both in his law practice with his now brother-in-law Charles C. Pinckney, and by investing in plantations. When President George Washington visited the southern states in the spring of 1791, he was among the dignitaries that escorted him. The Washington administration relied heavily on the Rutledge and Pinckney families when considering office appointments from South Carolina.
On the same day in Charleston, Edward Rutledge lost both his wife Henrietta and his mother. Henrietta Middleton Rutledge was 41-years-old the day she died, but her memory lives on.
Her memory is honored at the Governor’s House Inn in Charleston.
Named in her honor is the Middleton Suite. The Grand Room features Charleston artwork, 12-foot ceilings and hardwood floors, a king 4-poster bed with an arched canopy, wet bar, fireplace and sitting area, whirlpool bath, marble shower, outdoor sitting area and generous second floor verandah. The bedroom area is 498 square feet, with an attached private porch measuring 488 square feet.
The Middleton Suite embodies Charleston luxury accommodations at their finest. If you would like more information or to reserve the Middleton Suite, check here for availability! We would love to have you stay with us and experience the rich history of the Governor’s House Inn and Charleston.