RepositoryCheshire Record Office
ReferenceDDS 21/12 (1) & (2).
TitleDrafts of a Letter to the Rev. Mr. Lysons from Edward Downes. (1) a rough draft (2) a second draft
Date18 Nov 1808
DescriptionShrigley [Pott Shrigley]

Transcript of draft (2).


Engagements from home have prevented Me replying sooner to your [Enquiries] 'letter of the 28th of October' but I shall be happy, if in my power to communicate any [useful] Information 'that may be of use' to You [thereon] 'on the subjects of your Enquiry'. I conceive Downes of Downes & Taxal to have been 'only' a collateral Branch springing out of the original Stock about the time of the second and third Edwards, for

I have my own descent traced regularly from Father to Son by Deeds now in my possession & other athentic Records up to Robert de Downis who lived in King John's Reign --- This Robert had a Son & heir Robert, who had a younger Son Edmund -- the said Edmund's younger Son Nicholas received by the Grant of his Father 9th. Edwd. 3rd. 1335 nine acres of West Land in Tackesall (now Taxal) on payment of a red Rose yearly - Edmund therefore himself a younger Son, seems to have been 'Lord of Taxal most likely' the Head [of the branch] of 'the' Downes' [established in] of Taxal & to have fixed his younger Son there - most probably Edmund had [acquired] 'other' property in Sutton '& if he did not reside himself, where his elder Son may have been established' thenceforward called Sutton Downes, & afterwards becoming a distinct Vill 'with' in the township of Sutton by the Name of Downes only, a Name long retained there, but now dropped & 'almost' forgotten. No people remain of the 'name of' Downes having property [there] 'in Sutton' now that I have ever heard of - & when they became extinct or whether they may have removed I am equally [ignorant] 'unable to trace' My own pedigree in very few instances noting the collateral branches' beyond the first generation'. In Taxal there is 'likewise' a place 'now' called Overton 'generally,' but formerly known by the Name of Overton Downes & sometimes 'also, as I am informed' Downes only, where Downes of Taxal probably resided - there are 'yet' some old monuments of the Name in Taxal Church, from which I believe little can be [made out] 'gathered' - None of the Name of Downes having property in Taxal remain now, that I ever heard of, - except, that I still receive myself, as my Ancestors have done from time immemorial, fee farm Rents from several different Estates in Taxal & the Neighbourhood 'that have repeatedly changed their proprietors', which were doubtless received 'as acknowledgements' to the elder branch of the main family, when my predecessors granted away the possession of the Lands to their junior branches, & the distant period of these Grants may be presumed from the very trifling 'considerations' [acknowledgements] reserved some as small as eightpence a year.
This is, I believe, all the information I can at present offer regarding Downes of Downes (whether Sutton Downes or Overton Downes) & Taxal. The Name of Downes is yet not unfrequent among the common people in this part of the World, a Family of Families 'certainly' no longer extant as 'of consequence in those places', though

As to Downes of Shrigley, I have a Deed confirming to William de Dounes eldest Son of the 2nd Robert '(in whose line my own family regularly descend)' Lands in Schriggeley purchased by him from Maud Daughter of Jordan de Schriggeley dated 1313 --- Willm. de Dounis 'second of the Name &' Son of the first Willm. had other lands granted to him by the Crown in Shrigley 19th Edw. 3rd. & William del Dounes 3rd of the Name, & son of the 2nd. is stiled in a Deed dated 36th Edwd 3rd - 1362, de Shrygglegh The Name of Shrigley as a distinct family having possession in this township '& either giving name to it or receiving theirs from it' seems to have been lost about that time (though a name yet common among the poor) & my branch of the Downes Family 'thenceforward begin to' bear the Arms of Shrigley, a Leg 'coup' quartered with those of Downes the Stag Couchant.

As to the Name of Worth, I find several old Deeds without Date mentioning de Worth's & de Tidrington's contemporaries, 'whence we know there were formerly' [these being then doubtless] Families of each Name resident at each of those Townships 'previous to' 2nd Richd. 2nd. 1384 the principal property in Worth had become the patrimony of the de Hulme's for in the year above the Manor thereof &c, &c, was conveyed to Agnes, Daughter & Heiress of William de Hulme, on her marriage with Robert Son of William de Dounes of Shrigley (the 3rd William & 6th in Descent from the 1st Robert) to hold to her & the Heirs of her Body. From this time my branch took the Arms of Worth '(the Cross engrail)' also in addition to those of Downes & Shrigley, & are stiled 'thenceforward' of Shrigley and Worth. The Worth Estate descended to Myself, who sold it 15 or 16 years ago to the late Sir George Warren whos property it bounded upon unpleasantly to Him, & it is now Ld. Bulkeley's in right of his Lady Sr. G's only child.

[The Surviving branch 'younger we may presume' of the Worth Family migrated to Titherington when the Worth Estate] The De Hulme's must either have purchased of the Worth's or inherited through an Heiress, which is most likely by the Arms 'of the Same' passing with the Property 'though indeed there appears no certain rule as to this matter in those days by the instance of the assumption of the Shrigley Arms above'. In the former Case the elder branch or in the latter the surviving younger branch of the House of Worth must have removed 'probably about this time' by marriage or purchase to Titherington 'for' I find no later mention of the Name of de Tidrington simply -- how long the Worths 'of Titherington' remained as a family of consequence there, & whether or when extinct or removed I have no means of tracing. [The Name of] Worths 'are' yet [remain] common........among the lower Orders, but I know None of the Name 'at present' having any property in Titherington or any considerable Estate elsewhere --- [all the further] 'the latest' information 'I believe' in my possession on this subject is a Deed 11th Edwd. 4th. (1471) mentioning Robert Worthe Keeper of the Fleet, of what Family is not mentioned --- 'but' previously to this period viz 21st. Richd. 2nd. (1398) the Steward of Macclesfd. grants to Robert Son of William de Dounes all those lands in Bollington (the adjoining Township to Titherington) which were Robert de Worth's of Tyderington & Thomas his Son's.

Allow me to add that I shall not mind a little trouble if I can be of service in assisting Your interesting researches, & that I remain

Gentleman, your obedt.

Edw Downes

Mark: None.
Physical DescriptionPaper (the letter transcribed runs to 6 pp.)
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