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Tuesday, 07 February 2012 11:19

Downton - OPC Vacancy

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Downton - St. Lawrence Downton - St. Lawrence
Charlton - All Saints Charlton - All Saints
Standlynch - St. Michael Standlynch - St. Michael

Downton Photo Gallery

Contiguous Parishes (our neighbours)

Alderbury - Bramshaw (HAM) - Charford (HAM) - Fordingbridge (HAM) - New Forest (HAM) - Nunton & Bodenham - Landford - Odstock - Whiteparish - Whitsbury



GenUKI - For information relating to Wiltshire and Downton
Downton Village - Includes a variety of useful information past and present
Downton Parish Council - Activities and work of the Parish Council
Downton Families Research Website - Various items of interest
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre - The Wiltshire County Archives for all historical documents and the place to obtain original copies
Wiltshire Community History - Historical information for parishes within the Wiltshire County jurisdiction.


The Parish Church of St. Lawrence

St. Lawrence Gallery

In the south-east of the county near the Hampshire border is the massive town church of the ancient borough of Downton.  Its nave is 12th century which has been enlarged eastwards on several occasions, firstly by extending the nave itself and during 13th century by setting up a new east end with a sturdy central tower raised on a pleasantly designed crossing and a stately chancel later lightened by tall 14th century windows.  This fine church has benefited greatly from the patronage of the Bishops of Winchester, one of whom laid out the town in about 1205 as a model borough.

Protestation Return 1641-1642

Parish Register Transcripts


1599-1624          1625-1649          1650-1674            1675-1699           1700-1724          1725-1749           1750-1774          1775-1799          1800-1824          1825-1849


1654-1699 (with gaps)           1750-1774 (with gaps)


1602-1624           1625-1649           1650-1674        

Parish Registers Held at WSHC

Baptisms 1602-1980
Marriages 1601-1970
Burials 1602-1943  


Parish History

This parish also includes the areas known as Morgan's Vale with the church of St. Birinus and the hamlet of Redlynch. Also includes Charlton All Saints.

In February 1832 cholera hit the village; a temporary hospital was set up in the Borough and various provisions were made:-   Help with food, bedding, fuel and clothes   The cottages surrounding the hospital were white washed to help reduce further infections.  Inhabitants were to 'remove from their dwellings filth of every description, particularly dung and ashes; to cleanse their drains and to burn all decayed items such as rags, papers and old clothes.'  If it was not done a team of men would do it anyway.

1890 - Street lighting (oil lamps) was provided in the village, paid for by subscription payments.

1916 - Downton started a trend - it claims to be the birthplace of the first Wiltshire Women's Institute.

Civil Registration

1837 - 1896 Alderbury Registration District
1896 - Present Salisbury Registration District


Buildings and Land

Barford House to Let 1801             Summer Hailstorm of 1785 & Damage Caused 1853                 Cattle Plague Regulations 1867                  Owners of land 1873 

Public Houses

Kings Arms

Sale 1826                 Closure 2013


Crime and Legal Matters

Crimes at Downton Fair 1786 & 1791 Crime Reports 1800-1849 Convicts sent to Prison Hulks 1823-1842
Crime Reports 1850-1899 Alleged Torture of a Cat 1857 In the Courts - Henry Humby 1868
Manslaughter at Downton 1869 Labourer Shoots At Boy 1870  


Bastardy Examinations

The definition of a bastard for the period when examinations were carried out by  parish overseers and local justices is as follows:-  any child born out of wedlock including those where the mother and father later marry, children of a second marriage whilst the first wife is still living; the issue of divorced couples; children born where the husband is known to have been abroad for some year; A child born after the father has died.  The definition has evolved since the Act of 1732/33 where a “single mother” was by law obliged to declare her pregnancy and state the name of the reputed father.  Some parish registers may record the words base-born against a baptism record and some may even name the reputed father.  Below are some of the surviving bastardy examination reports transcribed from various sources such as court books and overseers accounts.  It is interesting to note that only the mother’s and witnesses’ oaths seem to be recorded even though the defendant would have been summoned to the hearing.  Perhaps their evidence was pre-delivered for the examiners to peruse before the mother was required to prove her case.  It is also interesting to read the language used to describe the situation the mother found herself in and the circumstances in which the child was conceived.  It would appear that the examination itself would not have been a pleasant experience for plaintiff or defendant no matter what the outcome.               Bastardy Examinations


Reward for Catching Geese Thieves 1828                  Sentenced for Theft 1845                   Theft of Publican's Fowl 1853     



Post Office 1855               Post Office 1875               Kellys 1889               Kellys 1915       




Emigration and Migration

7th April 1836 - 10% of the population left Downton due to hard times; they hoped that their lives would improve once they stepped onto Canadian shores from the King William.  More information at The Downton Story.

Published in tables from the Poor Law Commissioners Annual Reports for 1835, 1836 and 1847-1848 the following may be of use for tracing missing ancestors.  220 paupers emigrated to Quebec, Canada under an assisted emigration programme between July 1835 - July 1836.  (See the also the Downton Story above).          Strays Index


From Wiltshire to Wales by Ray Palmer 


Employment and Business


Gamekeepers Certificates 1807                Gamekeepers Certificates 1834          Agriculture Report 1847


Apprentice records published here may not necessarily mean that the apprentice was from the parish but was apprenticed to a master within the parish

John Adams 1750          Ambrose Bampton 1716                 Stephen Beves 1719


Banks 1800-1899


British Postal Services Appointments 1737-1969               

General Items

Sale of Chandlery Stock 1826                  

Lace Making

In 1698 there were 336 villagers making lace, this carried on for a number of years, but sadly by the end of 19th century this once very popular trade had died out.


George Whitmarsh Granted Apothecaries Certificate 1835                 General Medical Council Registrations 1859-1959


Miscellaneous Documents


Non Conformity and Other Places of Worship


People and Parish Notables

People Gallery

Associations, Clubs, Organisations, Societies & Sporting Events

Cricket Match Downton v Salisbury 1858


Bankruptcy Reports 1850-1899

Elections and Polls

Poll of Freeholders 1772          Poll Book 1818          Voters List 1832             Poll Book Analysis for Polling District July 1865          MP Nominations 2015          MP Nominations 2017 


Exhibition of Youthful Industry & Wild Flowers 1858

Family Notices

1750-1799          1800-1849          1850-1899

Funeral Reports

James Nickolas 1894

Inquest Reports

Inquest Reports 1700-1799                Inquest Reports 1800-1849              George Batchelor 1891                George Winter 1906

Parish Notables

Harold John Fleming - England International Footballer                                                                

Personal Research

Tuck Family

Marriage Extracts - These items were donated by Ken Tuck and contains entries that may or may not relate to the Tuck family however they have been published as such.  Many references to Quaker entries may be found from across the county.


Tax List 1332 (Borough)               Tax List 1332 (Hundred)          Falstone Day Book 1645 - 1653 


Poor Law, Charity and the Workhouse

Alderbury Union Elected Guardians 1835                 Workhouse Audit 1858 



Extract of the Will of King Eldred 995          Probate Index 1674-1874 (WSHC)               National Probate Index 1858-1966

Parishioners Wills        

Mary Chalk Proved 1708          John Budden Proved 1805


War, Conflict and Military Matters

War Memorials & Military Gallery

Why the Poppy                Military News 1800-1849               Autumn Manoeuvres 1872                 Letter from Zululand 1879          Servicemen & Families with the 1st Wilts. Regt. in South Africa 1911

Boer War

Reservists Leave for the Front 1899


WW1 Casualty - Reuben Francis Batchelor 1915


During WWII land mines were dropped in the Water Meadows and an aircraft crashed in Barford Lane.

Read 14433 times Last modified on Saturday, 07 July 2018 22:42

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