Born: Feb­ru­a­ry 12, 1818, Pul­ver­batch, Shrop­shire, Eng­land.

Died: June 8, 1885. Place of death re­port­ed as ei­ther Hop­ton, Suf­folk, Eng­land (per Ju­li­an & The Peer­age) or Thet­ford, Nor­folk, Eng­land (An­ces­try.com).

Buried: Hoxne, Suf­folk, Eng­land.


Henry was the son of John Down­ton and Han­nah King­well, and hus­band of Eliz­a­beth Mc­Kee (mar­ried 1849, Ar­dagh, Coun­ty Long­ford, Ire­land).

He was ed­u­cat­ed at Tri­ni­ty Col­lege, Cam­bridge (BA 1840, MA 1843).

Tak­ing Ho­ly Or­ders in 1843, he served as cur­ate of Bem­bridge, Isle of Wight (1843–44); curate of Ho­ly Tri­ni­ty, Cam­bridge (1847–49); and in­cum­bent of St. John’s, Cha­tham, Kent (1849–57).

In 1857, he went to Ge­ne­va, Swit­zer­land, where he was Eng­lish Chap­lain un­til 1873. Re­turn­ing to Eng­land, he was rec­tor of Hop­ton, Suf­folk (1873–85). He was al­so for some time Do­me­stic Chap­lain to Lord Mon­son.


Downtown’s hymns were main­ly con­tri­but­ed to the Church of Eng­land ma­ga­zine, Ar­thur 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:



Help Needed

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Down­ton (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?