Special People Section - William Downes, father of Arthur Downes

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3rd Generation

 

William Downes  ( 1820 – 1898 )

 

 

2.           WILLIAM DOWNES  was born ca. 1820 in Hutton, Essex.  (Two of the censuses states that he was born in Brentwood, Essex.  A look at the map shows these two places almost next door to each other in Essex).   He was a son of a Richard Downes who was a Laborer.

 

Father:           Richard Downes                             (No.1)

Mother:           ---?---   ---?---

 

 

William Downs (or Downes) arrived in Canewdon, Essex in the late 1830’s or early 1840’s and married a local girl and has children born in Canewdon.

 

In the 1840’s, William Downs was a Ferryman.  According to his son, Arthur Downes, his father kept the ferry that plied between Crick-sea (Creeksea) and Canewdon for many years during the middle of the 19th century.

 

William Downs married  ELIZA HALES on September 7, 1845 at the church in Canewdon, Essex.

From the marriage certificate, we have the following information:

Registration District:  Rochford
1845.  Marriage solemnized in the Parish of Canewdon in the County of Essex

No. 44

When Married.  Sep: 7. 1845


Name and Surname.                               William Downs           Eliza Hales
Age.                                                      of full Age                  of full Age
Condition.                                              Bachelor                    Spinster
Rank or Profession.                                Ferryman                   Servant
Residence at the Time of Marriage.          Canewdon                  Prittlewell
Father’s Name and Surname.                  Richard Downs           William Hales
Rank or Profession of Father.                  Labourer                     Labourer

Married in the Church according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church, of England by me, W. Atkinson - Vicar.

This Marriage was solemnized between us,
                           William Downs X his Mark           Eliza Hales

In the Presence of us,
                           Sarah Ann Whitwell    Geo: Benton

William Downs signed with an “X” and Eliza Hales signs her name.

 

Eliza Hales was born ca. 1826 in Canewdon, Essex.  She was a daughter of William and Charlotte Hales.

 

In the late 1830’s to 1840’s, some stories of Witches in Canewdon came out.  According to William Downes’ son, Arthur Downes, he mentioned:

“…. believed firmly in witches, particularly in their own Canewdon witches.  Oh, yes, they told me, they had often seen them in the '60s and '70s, talking together.  They knew them all right, only they couldn't tell me how they knew or why.  But there had been more than six.  There had been nine actually.  “And many more in silks and satins than in cotton,” muttered the old man.  Parson's wife for instance, had been a witch and when there had been talk of calling them all up (the witches) and making them dance round the churchyard.  Parson had put his foot down.  He didn't want to be ashamed before the parish as his missus would have been there along with the others.”

 

The parson was the Vicar William Atkinson and his second wife was Mary Ann Kersteman.  William Atkinson was a curate for 14 years and then became the Vicar of Canewdon in 1811 until his death.   He died on March 24, 1847, aged 81.  Mary Ann Atkinson was a sister to Jeremiah Kersteman (whose wife was Frances) and also a sister to widow Eliza Lodwick.

 

In 1851, William and Eliza Downs were living near the Loftman’s and Lambourne Hall in Canewdon, Essex.  Since they were living near those farms, it is probable that William Downs was employed by one of them.

 

From the 1851 Census for Canewdon, Essex, we find the following:

William Downs      Head  30 M      Ag Lab              Essex   Hutton
Elizabeth  Do        Wife    M   25 F                                   Do     Canewdon
William     Do        Son            5 M                                  Do        Do
Elizabeth  Do         Daur          2 F                                   Do        Do

 

In the 1851 Census for Canewdon, Essex, we find the following on the same page as the above William Downs’ family:

Loftmans

Frances Kersteman     Head    W  49 F  Farmer of 14(0) Acres employs 6 Laborers        Halifax    Nova Scotia
Sarah Brigham             Mother  W  77 F   Widow of an Admiral                                       Dorsets  Poole
John Hales                   Serv     M  53 M   House Servant                                                Essex    Bardfield
Martha  Do                    Do      M  53 F            Do                                                              Do    Southminster
Eliza Pasfield                Do       U  21 F            Do                                                              Do    Colchester
Jessie Million                Serv     U   30 F    House Servant                                                Essex    Southchurch

 

In the 1851 Census for Canewdon, Essex, we find the following on the page after the above two entries:

Lambourne Hall

Eliza Lodwick              Head   W  66 F    Farmer of 500 Acres employ 25 labourers               Essex  Prittlewell
Mary Atkinson             Sister  W  70 F    Annuitant                                                              Do          Do
Mary Bragg                 Serv    U   25 F    House Servant                                                         Do          Do
Eliza Tylor                    Do     U   25 F               Do                                                              Do      Rettenden
Edward Mead                Do    U   23 M               Do                                                              Do      Chipping Ongar
George Love                  Do    M   37 M    Shepherd                                                                Do      Great [Burshen]
Sarah     Do                  Do    M   38 F    House Servant                                                         Do      Runwell

 

In 1851, Frances Kersteman, the widow of Jeremiah, and her mother are at Loftman’s in Canewdon with Frances Kersteman running a farm of 140 acres employing 6 labourers.  And that widow Eliza Lodwick and widow Mary Atkinson (the Vicar, William Atkinson’s widow) are at Lambourne Hall in Canewdon with Eliza Lodewick running a farm of 500 acres employing 25 labourers.

So you can see it was mostly elderly widows living in and managing these big farms.  What did the labourers thought about that?  Did they liked to be ordered around by these old ladies ?  Did the labourers thought of them as Witches?

Even that the claims of these ladies being Witches is not likely to be proven soon, we can see from the above of how the stories were started in the 1830’s to 1840’s and by word of mouth the stories continued on to the next generations into the 20th century.  Arthur Downes recollected these memories when he was interviewed by Bea Howe in 1952.

 

In 1861, the Downs family were living in Loftmans Cottage, Canewdon, Essex.  It would appear that he was employed by Frances Kersteman of Loftman’s who has probably died before 1861.

From the 1861 Census of Canewdon, Essex, we find the following:

Loftmans Cottage

William Downs        Head   Mar  42 M       Ag Lab          Essex    Hutton
Eliza Downs            Wife    Mar   37 F                              Do      Canewdon
Charlotte Downs     Daur            11 F       Serv                  Do           Do
David Downs           Son               7 M                              Do           Do
Arthur Downs          Son               3 mo M                        Do           Do

 

In 1871, the Downs family were living in Paglesham, Essex.   William and Eliza Downs (William’s name mistakenly (?) written as Walter) were at Clements and their son William Downs and his wife were at Clements Gate.

From the 1871 Census of Paglesham, Essex, we find the following:

Clements Gate

William Downs   Head    Mar  27 M     Ag:   Lab:                Essex    Canewdon
Mary       Do       Wife    Mar   21 F                                    Suffolk  Wetherden

Clements

Walter Downs     Head  Mar     50 M    Shepherd              Essex   Brentwood
Eliza       Do        Wife   Mar     40 F                                   Do     Canewdon
Walter     Do       Son    Unm    17 M   Ag:  Lab:                 Do           Do
David      Do       Son               14 M       Do                        Do           Do
Arthur     Do        Son               10 M       Do                        Do           Do
Samuel English  Lodger  Unm  27 M       Do                        Do       Paglesham     Deaf

 

In 1881, the Downs family were living in Hockey, Essex.

From the 1881 Census of Hockley, Essex, we find the following:

Clements Marsh

William Downs    Head               Mar    61 M     Ag. Lab                   Essex   Hutton
Eliza        Do       Wife                Mar   55 F                                        Do     Canewdon
David      Do        Son                Unm  24 M     Ag. Lab                       Do           Do
Arthur      Do       Son                Unm  20 M         Do                          Do           Do
Susannah Do       Grand Daur               14 F                                        Do     Hockley
Joseph Spring      Lodgar           Unm  70 M      Ag Lab                        Do    Stanaway

 

In 1891, William Downes and his wife were living in Paglesham, Essex.  William Downes is a Farm Bailiff.  Their son David Downes with his family lived there too.

From the 1891 Census of Paglesham, Essex, we find the following:

Part of North House

William Downes     Head  M  71 M   Farm Bailiff                 Employed        Essex   Hutton
Eliza       do           Wife   M  65 F                                                                do     Canewdon

 

Part of North House

David Downes       Head    M  32 M   Agricultural labourer  Employed           Essex Canewdon
Emily     do           Wife    M  26 F                                                              do    Paglesham
Mercy    do           Daur          3 F                                                               do         do
George  do            Son          11 mo M                                                       do         do

 

William Downes died at the age of 78 in 1898.

From the England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes, we find the following Death entry from the Indexes:

Name:      William Downs
Year:        1898
Quarter:   Oct-Nov-Dec  (4th Quarter)
Age:         78
District:    Rochford
County:    Essex
Volume:   4a      Page: 347

 

In 1901, the widow Eliza Downes is living with her son David Downes’ family in Paglesham, Essex.

From the 1901 Census of Paglesham, Essex, we find the following:

4 - Number of Rooms occupied if less than five

David Downes    Head      M    43 M   ordinary agricultural labourer   worker        Essex      Canewdon
Emily J.   Do      Wife      M    35 F                                                                    Do         Paglesham
Mercy      Do      daur             13 F   Nurse - Domestic                                         Do                 Do
George    Do       son               11 M                                                                   Do                 Do
Eliza        Do      Mother Wid.  76 F   Living on own means.                                  Do        Canewdon

 

 

 

CHILDREN OF WILLIAM AND ELIZA (HALES) DOWNES

 

 

3.          WILLIAM DOWNES  was born ca. 1844 in Canewdon, Essex, England.

In 1851, William Downs, age 5, was living with his parents in Canewdon, Essex.  (see above under the parents for census details).

 

 

4.          ELIZABETH DOWNES  was born ca. 1849 in Canewdon, Essex, England.

In 1851, Elizabeth Downs, age 2, was living with her parents in Canewdon, Essex.  (see above under the parents for census details).

 

 

5.          CHARLOTTE DOWNES  was born ca. 1850 in Canewdon, Essex, England.

In 1861, Charlotte Downs, age 11, a servant, was living with her parents in Loftmans Cottage in Canewdon, Essex.  (see above under the parents for census details).

 

 

6.          WALTER DOWNES  was born ca. 1854 in Canewdon, Essex, England.

In 1871, Walter Downs, age 17, an Agricultural Laborer, was living with his parents in Clements in Paglesham, Essex.  (see above under the parents for census details).

 

 

7.          DAVID DOWNES  was born ca. 1857 in Canewdon, Essex, England.

In 1861, David Downs, age 7, was living with his parents in Loftmans Cottage in Canewdon, Essex.  (see above under the parents for census details).

In 1871, David Downs, age 14, an Agricultural Laborer, was living with his parents in Clements in Paglesham, Essex.  (see above under the parents for census details).

In 1881, David Downs, age 24, an Agricultural Laborer, was living with his parents in Clements Marsh in Hockley, Essex.  (see above under the parents for census details).

 

 

8.          ARTHUR DOWNES  was born ca. 1861 in Canewdon, Essex, England.

In 1861, Arthur Downs, age 3 months, was living with his parents in Loftmans Cottage in Canewdon, Essex.  (see above under the parents for census details).

In 1871, Arthur Downs, age 10, an Agricultural Laborer, was living with his parents in Clements in Paglesham, Essex.  (see above under the parents for census details).

In 1881, Arthur Downs, age 20, an Agricultural Laborer, was living with his parents in Clements Marsh in Hockley, Essex.  (see above under the parents for census details).

 

 

 

Sources:

1.     Witches over the Crouch By Bea Howe.  East Anglian Magazine, November 1952, published by East Anglian Magazine Ltd, Ipswich and printed by The East Anglian Daily Times Co. Ltd., Ipswich.  The article mentioned the “old retired labourer” who is Arthur Downes. February 12, 2009 Thursday 2:51 PM.

2.     The History of Rochford Hundred by Phillip Benton, Googlebooks online.  About William Atkinson, Jeremiah and Frances Kersteman and Eliza Lodwick. December 28, 2008 Sunday 8:32 PM.

3.    Civil Registration Index, Marriage of William Downes and Eliza Hale, 3rd Quarter (Jul-Aug-Sep), Year 1845, District Rochford, County Essex, Volume 12, Page 309.  Searched December 28, 2008 Sunday 8:30 PM.

4.    1845 Marriage Certificate of William Downs and Eliza Hales.  From the General Register Office, Southport, Merseyside, England.  Received May 12, 2009 Tuesday Morning.

5.     1851 Census of England, Essex, Canewdon, District 7, Image No. 30, Ancestry.com. Public Record Office Reference H.O. 107 / 1777, Original Page No. 30, Stamped Page No. 439, No. of Householder’s Schedule 117, Household of William Downs.  December 30, 2008 Tuesday 9:20 PM.

6.     1851 Census of England, Essex, Canewdon, District 7, Image Nos. 30 & 31, Ancestry.com. Public Record Office Reference H.O. 107 / 1777, Original Page Nos. 30 & 31, Stamped Page No. 439, No. of Householder’s Schedule 121, Household of Frances Kersteman.  December 30, 2008 Tuesday 9:20 PM.

7.     1851 Census of England, Essex, Canewdon, District 7, Image No. 31, Ancestry.com. Public Record Office Reference H.O. 107 / 1777, Original Page No. 31, No. of Householder’s Schedule 123, Household of Eliza Lodwick.  December 28, 2008 Sunday 7:47 PM.

8.     1861 Census of England, Essex, Canewdon, District 6, Image No. 25, Ancestry.com. Public Record Office Reference R.G. 9 1085, Original Page No. 25, Stamped Page No. 92, No. of Schedule 121, Household of William Downs.  December 30, 2008 Tuesday 8:54 PM.

9.     1871 Census of England, Essex, Paglesham, District 7, Image No. 10, Ancestry.com. Public Record Office Reference R.G. 10 1669, Original Page No. 10, No. of Schedule 52 & 53, Households of William Downs and Walter Downs.  January 18, 2009 Sunday 7:38 PM.

10.     1881 Census of England, Essex, Hockley, District 8, Image No. 16, Ancestry.com. Public Record Office Reference RG 11 / 1768, Original Page No. 16, No. of Schedule 1, Household of William Downs.  December 28, 2008 Sunday 9:09 PM.

11.     1891 Census of England, Essex, Paglesham, District 7, Image No. 11, Ancestry.com. Public Record Office Reference RG 12 / 1393, Original Page No. 11, Stamped Page No. 85, No. of Schedule 58 & 59, Households of William Downes and David Downes.  December 30, 2008 Tuesday 8:34 PM.

12.    Civil Registration Index, Death of William Downs, age 78, 4th Quarter (Oct-Nov-Dec), Year 1898, District Rochford, County Essex, Volume 4a, Page 347.  Searched January 18, 2009 Sunday 7:15 PM.

13.     1901 Census of England, Essex, Paglesham, District 6, Image No. 13, Ancestry.com. Public Record Office Reference RG 13 / 1684, Original Page No. 13, No. of Schedule 95, Household of David Downes.  January 18, 2009 Sunday 7:52 PM.

 

 

Last updated July 15, 2009  Wednesday 2:19 PM

Researched and Compiled by William Wallworth

 

 


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