Tuesday, 3 August 2021

The Downing Baronetcy

The family of DOWNING, as recorded by authentic documents, is of very ancient descent, and was settled, in the time of HENRY VIII, in Essex; the head of the house described then as a person of rank and fortune,

GEOFFREY DOWNYNG, of Belchamp St Paul, in Essex, married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Wingfield, of Dunham Magna, in Norfolk, son of Sir John Wingfield, and grandson of Sir John Wingfield KB, of Letheringham, Suffolk, and had a son,

ARTHUR DOWNYNG, of Lexham, in Norfolk (son of Geoffrey Downing, by Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Wingfield, of Dunham Magna), married Susan, daughter of Thomas Calybute, of Castle Acre, in Norfolk, and had a son,

CALYBUTE DOWNING, of Shenington, in Gloucestershire, who wedded Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Wingfield, of Upton, Northamptonshire, by Elizabeth, his wife, sister of WILLIAM CECIL, 1ST BARON BURGHLEY, Treasurer to ELIZABETH I, and was father of

THE REV DR CALYBUTE DOWNING (1606-43), who became a commoner in Oriel College, Oxford, in 1623, and subsequently entering into holy orders, was made Rector of Hickford, in Buckinghamshire, and of West Ilsley, in Berkshire; which latter he afterwards exchanged for the living of Hackney, in Middlesex.

He espoused Margaret, daughter and co-heir of Robert Brett DD, and dying in 1643, left two sons,
GEORGE, his heir;
Henry Downing's younger son, COLONEL ADAM DOWNING, was a distinguished officer in WILLIAM III's army in Ireland.

His descendant and representative was GEORGE ALEXANDER FULLERTON, of Westwood, Hampshire, and BALLINTOY CASTLE, County Antrim.

The elder son,

GEORGE DOWNING (c1625-c1684), of East Hatley, Cambridgeshire, was created a baronet in 1663, designated of East Hatley.

This distinguished person, who acted a prominent part in the eventful period in which he lived, married a lady greatly acclaimed for beauty, Frances, fourth daughter of Sir William Howard, Knight, of Naworth Castle, in Cumberland, and sister to the 1st Earl of Carlisle, and had issue,
GEORGE, his successor;
Frances; Philadelphia; Mary; Lucy; Anne.
Downing Street in 1963

Sir George, who built Downing Street, off Whitehall, London, was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR GEORGE DOWNING, 2nd Baronet (c1656-1711), of East Hatley, one of the Tellers of the Receipt of the Exchequer during the reign of JAMES II, who wedded the Lady Catherine Cecil, eldest daughter of James, 3rd Earl of Salisbury, and had an only son,

SIR GEORGE DOWNING, 3rd Baronet (1685-1749), KB, of East Hatley, founder of DOWNING COLLEGE, Cambridge.

Sir George wedded Mary, daughter of Sir William Forester, Knight, of Watling Street, Shropshire, and died sp in 1749.

By a will dated 1717, he devised all his property to his cousin and heir, SIR JACOB DOWNING; and in case that gentleman's line failed, he directed the foundation of DOWNING COLLEGE at Cambridge, which latter event, after much litigation, took place in 1800.

His aforesaid cousin and heir,

SIR JACOB GARRARD DOWNING, 4th Baronet (c1717-64), of Putney, Surrey, and Gamlingay Park, Cambridgeshire, espoused Margaret, daughter of the Rev John Price, Curate of Barrington, but died without issue in 1764, when the baronetcy expired.

First published in August, 2019.  Downing arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

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