George DOWNING

Male 1556 - Aft 1610


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  • Name  George DOWNING 
    Born  1556  Beccles, Suffold, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  Aft 17 Jan 1610  Ipswich, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • Will: 17 Jan 1610, Suffolk, England

      THE EMERGENCE OF DOWNING STREET IN LONDON
      LINK: https://www.gov.uk/government/history/10-downing-street

      George Downing gave his name to the most famous street in the world. It is unfortunate that he was such an unpleasant man. Able as a diplomat and a government administrator, he was miserly and at times brutal.

      However, George Downing was responsible for the street, its name and the building we know today. A former diplomat at The Hague serving the Commonwealth, he changed allegiance with finesse. He traded enough secrets to gain a royal pardon in March 1660 and, by the Restoration in May 1660, to be rewarded with a knighthood.

      Interested in power and money, he saw an opportunity to make his fortune in property. He had already gained the Crown interest in the land around Hampden House, but could not take possession as it was under lease to Knyvet's descendants. In 1682 he secured the leases to the property and employed Sir Christopher Wren to design the houses.

      Between 1682 and 1684, existing properties were pulled down and in their place a cul-de-sac of 15 to 20 terraced houses was built along the north side of the new street, Downing Street. In order to maximise profit, the houses were cheaply built, with poor foundations for the boggy ground. Instead of neat brick fašades, they had mortar lines drawn on to give the appearance of evenly spaced bricks. In the 20th Century, Prime Minister Winston Churchill wrote that Number 10 was:

      Shaky and lightly built by the profiteering contractor whose name they bear.

      A rather important neighbour complained, however. The new houses were built directly behind a large and impressive house overlooking Horse Guards. Its occupier, the Countess of Lichfield, daughter of Charles II, was less than pleased with the emergence of the unwelcome terrace behind. She complained to her father, who wrote back with advice:

      I think that it is a very reasonable thing that other houses should not look into your house without your permission, and this note will be sufficient for Mr Surveyor to build up your wall as high as you please.

      The original numbering of the Downing Street houses was completely different from what we see today. The sequence of numbers was haphazard, and the houses tended to be known by the name or title of their occupants. The current Number 10 started out life as Number 5, and was not renumbered until 1779.

      The Downing Street house had several distinguished residents. The Countess of Yarmouth lived at Number 10 between 1688 and 1689, and was followed by Lord Lansdowne from 1692 to 1696 and the Earl of Grantham from 1699 to 1703. The last private resident of Downing's terrace was one Mr Chicken. Little is known about him except that he moved out in the early 1730s.
    Person ID  I2275  Jacobson/Dickson
    Last Modified  19 Aug 2007 

    Father  George DOWNING,   b. Abt 1520, Beccles, Suffold, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 26 Jun 1564, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Cicely Wife of George DOWNING 
    Married  Abt 1544  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F1008  Group Sheet

    Family  Dorcas BELLAMY,   b. Abt 1556, Ipswich, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 21 Dec 1610, Ipswich, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  Abt 1576  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Susanna DOWNING
     2. Nahomie DOWNING
     3. Joseph DOWNING
     4. Nathaniel DOWNING
     5. Abigail DOWNING
     6. Benjamin DOWNING
     7. Joshua DOWNING
     8. Anne DOWNING
     9. Elnathan DOWNING
    >10. Hon. Emanuel DOWNING,   b. 12 Aug 1585, St. Lawrence, Ipswich, Suffolk, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Jul 1658, Salem, Essex Co, MA Find all individuals with events at this location
    Family ID  F1007  Group Sheet

  • Histories
    History of George Downing-born in 1556
    History of George Downing-born in 1556