| || Notes for Sir George Downing:|
Sir George Downing was an ambassor and he graduated from Harvard College in Sep 23 1642.Ambassador to Netherlands from Cromwell and Charles II.;Member of Parliment.Lived at Downing Street in London "A Brief History of Number 10 - The first domestic house known to have been built on the site of Number 10 was a large dwelling leased to Sir Thomas Knyvet, a Parliamentarian and Justice of the Peace. It was Knyvet who arrested Guy Fawkes for the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. After his death the house passed to his niece, Mrs. Hampden, the aunt of Oliver Cromwell. The front part of the house we see today, and the adjoining house at Number Eleven, were built by a Harvard graduate and property speculator called George Downing. He acquired rights to the site during the brief period of Parliamentary rule in the 17th Century. A portrait of the man, who was widely regarded as a profiteering rogue, now hangs in the Entrance Hall. " from the website http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/page41.asp
[George Downing was one of the Four Tellers of the Receipt of the Exchequer, and in his office Samuel Pepys was a clerk.He was the son of Emmanuel Downing of the Inner Temple, afterwards of Salem, Massachusetts, and of Lucy, sister of Governor John Winthrop.He issupposed to have been born in August, 1623.He and his parents went to New England in 1638, and he was the second graduate of Harvard College.He returned to England about 1645, and acted as Colonel Okey's chaplain before he entered into political life.Anthony aWood (who incorrectly describes him as the son of Dr. Calybute Downing, vicar of Hackney) calls Downing a sider with all times andchanges: skilled in the common cant, and a preacher occasionally. He was sent by Cromwell to Holland in 1657, as resident there.At the Restoration, he espoused the King's cause, and was knighted and elected M.P. for Morpeth, in 1661.Afterwards, becoming Secretary to the Treasury and Commissioner of the Customs, he was in 1663 created a Baronet of East Hatley, in Cambridgeshire, and was again sent Ambassador to Holland.His grandson of the same name,who died in 1749, was the founder of Downing College, Cambridge. The title became extinct in 1764, upon the decease of Sir John Gerrard Downing, the last heir-male of the family.Sir George Downing's character will be found in Lord Clarendon's "Life," vol.iii.p. 4.Pepys's opinion seems to be somewhat of a mixed kind. He died in July, 1684.]
from THE DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS M.A.F.R.S.
CLERK OF THE ACTS AND SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY
TRANSCRIBED FROM THE SHORTHAND MANUSCRIPT IN THE PEPYSIAN LIBRARY
MAGDALENE COLLEGE CAMBRIDGE BY THE REV. MYNORS BRIGHT M.A.LATE FELLOW
AND PRESIDENT OF THE COLLEGE
WITH LORD BRAYBROOKE'S NOTES
EDITED WITH ADDITIONS BY
HENRY B. WHEATLEY F.S.A.
DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS.
George Downing was one of the Four Tellers of the Receipt of the Exchequer, and in his office Pepys was a clerk. He was the son of Emmanuel Downing of the Inner Temple, afterwards of Salem, Massachusetts, and of Lucy, sister of Governor John Winthrop. He is supposed to have been born in August, 1623. He and his parents went to New England in 1638, and he was the second graduate of Harvard College. He returned to England about 1645, and acted as Colonel Okey’s chaplain before he entered into political life. Anthony a Wood (who incorrectly describes him as the son of Dr. Calybute Downing, vicar of Hackney) calls Downing a sider with all times and changes: skilled in the common cant, and a preacher occasionally. He was sent by Cromwell to Holland in 1657, as resident there. At the Restoration, he espoused the King’s cause, and was knighted and elected M.P. for Morpeth, in 1661. Afterwards, becoming Secretary to the Treasury and Commissioner of the Customs, he was in 1663 created a Baronet of East Hatley, in Cambridgeshire, and was again sent Ambassador to Holland. His grandson of the same name, who died in 1749, was the founder of Downing College, Cambridge. The title became extinct in 1764, upon the decease of Sir John Gerrard Downing, the last heir-male of the family. Sir George Downing’s character will be found in Lord Clarendon’s “Life,” vol. iii. p. 4. Pepys’s opinion seems to be somewhat of a mixed kind. He died in July, 1684.
"This is the George Downing who built - and after whom is named - Downing Street, home to British prime ministers since 1723."
"Downing’s idealistic youth:
Downing’s ties to the Puritans of the Commonwealth (both Cromwell’s in England and the one in Massachusetts) ran deep. For the Puritans, this likely made the sting more acute when he broke with them and became such an ardent supporter of Charles II.
Downing was the nephew of a famed New England Puritan, Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop (whose sister, Lucy, married Downing’s father, Emanuel). At Winthrop’s suggestion, the Downings moved to the colony in 1638. They settled in Salem.
In 1642, Downing became the second graduate of the new Harvard College. Winthrop wrote about Downing in his posthumously published “History of New England from 1630 to 1649” in this passage (2:240-3) which makes Downing (then a young preacher) look like one of the shock troops in the vanguard of the Puritan crusade:
“The scarcity of good ministers in England, and want of employment for our new graduates [of Harvard College] here, occasioned some of them to look abroad. Three honest young men, good scholars, and very hopeful, viz. a younger son of Mr. Higginson, to England, and so to Holland, and after to the East Indies, a younger son of Mr. Buckley, a Batchelor of Arts to England, and Mr. George Downing, son of Mr. Emanuel Downing of Salem, Batchelor of Arts also, about twenty years of age, went in a ship to the West Indies to instruct the seamen. He went by Newfoundland and so to Christophers and Barbados and Nevis, and being requested to preach in all these places, he gave such content, as he had large offers to stay with them. But he continued in the ship to England, and being a very able scholar, and of a ready wit and fluent utterance, he was soon taken notice of, and called to be a preacher in Sir Thomas Fairfax his army, to Colonel Okye his regiment.”
Despite his family connections and early history, Downing moved away from hardline Puritanism and republicanism by 1660. In fact, his enthusiasm for the rising star of Charles II left a distaste in the mouths of many observers, including Pepys, who could see the spectacular rewards Downing snagged from the flip. (Pepys, of course, also changed his colors — but who likes to be reminded of that?)"
"Downing apparently was the landlord to John Proctor, the first man accused of witchraft in the Salem witch trials hysteria of 1692.
Anyone who has seen Arthur Miller’s play about the witchcraft hysteria, "The Cruciable," may remember Proctor as a significant character (apparently Miller took some liberties with the facts of Proctor’s life). Proctor was hanged with five others on August 19, 1692. His wife, Elizabeth, was spared because she was pregnant.
Here’s how Downing (who left Massachusetts in the 1640s and may well have never met Proctor) came to have a tenuous connection with the man:
Downing’s father, Emanuel, had bought property in Salem when he and his family (including George) moved there in 1638. Emanuel moved to Scotland in 1656. But before he left he leased his farm outside of Salem to Proctor, who also took over a tavern Downing had operated in what is now Peabody, Mass., just outside of Salem.
Emanuel died in Edinburgh on Sept. 25, 1660. The tavern and other property apparently passed down to George Downing, although Emanuel had other children, some of whom remained in Massachusetts. But eight years after the hysteria, in 1700, it was Charles Downing, the son of Sir George, who sold the farm to Thorndike Proctor, son of the executed John Proctor.
It remained in the Proctor family in 1851, and the Downing/Proctor house still stands at 348 Lowell St., Peabody, Mass.
Most of these details come from a web page devoted to Emanuel Downing, part of a website operated by an organization of Downing family descendents. The society was founded in 1988 at the site of the former Downing home in Salem (NOT the tavern building)."
"A description of Downing from Arthur Bryant’s Pepys bio:
Pepys’ second employer was not an amiable man. A rough, pushing, young careerist, George Downing had been bred in Massachusetts and had taken to the régime of pious aggression now established in the mother-country like a duck to water. After a short period as a preacher in Colonel Okey’s regiment, he had become Scoutmaster General in the Commonwealth army — a post for which his peering habits and quick, decisive, categorical mind admirably fitted him. He had since then been a member of Parliament and English Resident at the Hague. He was a great hand, as befitted one who moved in a world of secrets and intrigue, at ciphers or ‘characters’ as they were called in that age, and Pepys under his direction became a master of the same curious art. He held his post at the Exchequer as a minor employment, more for its emoluments than its importance, and performed it chiefly by deputy.
Pepys was decidedly frightened of his new [in 1658] employer, whom he regarded as a stingy and perfidious rogue but whom he served with trembling and expedition. He was entirely at his beck and call when he was in England (fortunately, Downing spent much of his time in Holland), running messages for him, rising in the midst of his dinner to answer his summonses and even distributing his invitations when he gave a party. When he was remiss, he was soundly chidden by his master, who, as a good Commonwealth man, was not nice about minor courtesies."
John Evelyn’s low opinion of Downing
From his diary (12 July 1666):
“Sir Geo: Downing (one that had been a greate [a blank space here of about seven spaces] against his Majestie but now insinuated into favour, & from a pedagoge & fanatic preach(e)r, not worth a groate, becoming excessive rich) . . . “
— “The Diary of John Evelyn,” edited by E.S. de Beer (Oxford), p. 492. (I suppose the blank was in the diary itself. Perhaps Evelyn was searching for the right word. I found no explanation for it anywhere in the book.)