February 12, 1818, Pulverbatch, Shropshire, England.

June 8, 1885, Hopton, Suffolk, England.

Hoxne, Suffolk, England.

Downton was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1840, MA 1843). Taking Holy Orders in 1843, he became Curate of Bembridge, Isle of Wight (1843), and of Holy Trinity, Cambridge (1847). In 1849, he became the incumbent at St. John’s in Chatham. He went to Geneva, Switzerland, as English Chaplain in 1847, and was appointed Rector of Hopton in 1873. He was also for some time Domestic Chaplain to Lord Monson.

Downtown’s hymns were mainly contributed to the Church of England magazine, A. T. Russell’s Psalms and Hymns (1851), Barry’s Psalms and Hymns (1862), and the Sunday Magazine. In 1873, he collected these and published them as Hymns and Verses; his translations from the French of Alexandre Vinet are also in the volume. His other works include:

  1. Another Year, Another Year
  2. For Thy Mercy and Thy Grace
  3. Forward! Soldiers, Bold and Fearless
  4. Harp, Awake, Tell Out the Story
  5. Lord, Her Watch Thy Church Is Keeping
  6. My God, Though Cleaving to the Dust
  7. My Song Shall Be of Mercy
  8. Sing We, Brethren Faithful
  9. When from Far Thy Towers Shall Shine

where to get Downton’s photo