Catherine CHAMBERS 
- Born: Cir 1732
- Marriage: Rev George DOWNING  on 17 Jul 1758 in St James Westminster London
- Died: 18 Dec 1802, Ovington ESS aged about 70
- Buried: Ovington ESS
Indenture of Lease 29 May 1758
This indenture made the twenty-ninth day of May in the thirty-first year of the reign of our sovereign Lord George II by the Grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King defender of the faith and so forth and in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and fifty eight between Eliza Maria Chambers and Catherine Chambers both of Hackney in the County of Middlesex spinsters only daughters and co-heirs of Catherine Chambers late of Hackney aforesaid widow deceased by Nathanial Chambers Esquire her late husband also deceased of the one part and Richard Jones of Old Southampton buildings in the parish of St Andrew Holborn and said County of Middlesex gentleman of the other part Witnesseth that the said Eliza Maria Chambers and Catherine Chambers party hereto In consideration of the sum of five shillings a piece of lawful money of Great Britain to them in (illegible) by the said Richard Jones at or before the sealing and delivery of these presents the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged Have and each of them Hath bargained and sold and by these do and each of them Doth bargain and sell unto the said Richard Jones his Executors and Administrators and Assigns all that Messuages or Tenement with the Appurtenances called or known by the name of Chapmans or by what other name or names the same is or hath been called or known wherein one George Withie and since Jonathan Renose did heretofore inhabit or dwell and wherein one Simon Renose did afterward situate in Crowfield in the County of Suffolk adjoining to the Way there leading from Crowfield Green to Horsehold Way with one little piece of land being on the East or North side of the Barn belonging to the said Messuage together with certain parcels of lands with the stable Hayhouse and Reathouse and other buildings thereupon built containing by estimation 10 acres lying on the South or West side of the said Way over against the said Messuage all which Messuages and premises do lye in Crowfield aforesaid and were heretofore in the occupation of the said Simon Renose his Assignee or Assigns Undertenant or Undertenants and some part thereof was antiently (sic) holden of the Manor of Crowfield Hall in Crowfield aforesaid and also all those several Parcels of Land and pasture with the Appurtences lying in Crowfield aforesaid or elsewhere called by the several names Overtofds Nothnway Cutsland Shortland Warrens or by what name or other names the same are or have been called or known containing by estimation fforty Three Acres Situate in Crowfields aforesaid heretofore in the occupation of the said Simon Renose his Assign or Assigns Undertenant or Undertenants abutting in part up on the said Highway and adjoining in part to certain Customary and Copyhold lands heretofore ........check the original document............and others all which last mentioned premises with some part of the aforesaid parcells containing Ten Acres were sometimes holden of the said manor of Crowfields Hall by copy of Court Roll and being heretofore in the Seizure of Harbottle Wingfield Esquire Lord of the said Manor of Crowfield by lawfull Surrender to the use of him and his Heirs He the said Harbottle Wingfield did convey the same with the said Messuage and Tenement called Chapmans and part of the said Ten Acres before mentioned by ffree deed to the said Robert Higerons (sic) and his Heirs for and under a yearly rent of sixpence payable to the same Manor and all that yearly Rent Seck of Ten Shillings and sixpence formerly payable to the said Manor of Crowfield Hall which Messuage and Tenements Lands and Premises in Crowfield aforesaid Thomas Woolley Gentleman late ffather of the said Catherine Chambers the elder deceased had and purchased to him and his Heirs of and from Stevens Cole Citizen and Haberdasher of London and Sarah his wife by Indentures of Lease and Release bearing date respectively the Thirteenth and fourteenth Days of January One Thousand Six Hundred and Ninety Two by fine and other good Assurance in the Law and all other the ffreehold Messuage Hereditaments Lands Meadows Pastures ffeedings and Hereditaments of the said Eliza Maria Chambers and Catherine Chambers party hereto or either of them situate Lying and being in Crowfield or elsewhere in the said County of Suffolk and all which said premises were late in the Tenure or occupation of Robert Browne and now or late of Elizabeth Browne widow her undertenants or assigns and all Houses Outhouses Edifices Buildings Barnes Stables Yards Gardens Orchards Backsides Cutlets Ways Waters Watercourses Trees Hedges Hedgerows Wood Underwoods and the Ground and Soil of the same Commons Easements profits Commodities Advantages Emoluments Hereditaments and Appurtenances whatsoever to the said Messauge in any wise appertaining or to or with the same or any part thereof now or at any time heretofore had held reoccupyed (?) or enjoyed or accepted reputed deemed taken or known to be part parcel or member thereof or belonging thereunto and the Reversion and Reversions Remainder and remainders Rents Issues and profits thereof TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said Messuage or Tenement Lands Heredatments Rent Seck and all and singular the Premises herein before mentioned and hereby Bargained and sold or intended so to be with their and every of their Appurtences unto the said Richard Jones his Executors Administrators and Assigns from the day next before the day of the date hereof for and during and unto the full End and Term of one whole year from the next ensuing and fully to be complete and ended YIELDING and paying therefore unto the said Eliza Maria Chambers and Katherine Chambers their heirs and assigns the rent of one peppercorn only upon the last day of the said Term if Demanded to the intent nevertheless that by virtue of these presents and of the statute made for transferring of Uses into possession the said Richard Jones may be in the actual possession of all and singular the said premises and be thereby enabled to accept and take a grant and release of the reversion and inheritance thereof to him and his heirs for ever in such manner as is mentioned in and by a certain Indenture of Release Tripartite intended to bear date the day next after the day of the date of these presents and to be made between the said Eliza Maria Chambers and Catherine Chambers party hereto of the first part The said Richard Jones of the second part and George Jones of Thavies Inn Holborn London gentleman of the third part
In witness whereof the said parties to these presents have hereunto interchangeably set their hands and seals this day and year first above written
Eliza Maria Chambers
Transcribed by E L Fenn from an Indenture supplied by Brian Jenkins - 2014
Parish Church Ovington
In the churchyard, a handsome stone monument, enclosed in iron palisades, contains, on the south side, the two following inscriptions, side-by-side:
"In memory of Mrs Catherine Downing, wife of the Rev George Downing, rector of this parish; the best of wives, the best of mothers, and the best of Christians, who departed this life, December 18, 1802, aged 70."
"In memory of the Rev George Downing, A.M. 48 years rector of this parish, and the adjoining parish of Tilbury, and 30 years a Prebendary of the Cathedral Church of Ely, who departed this life 24 July, 1809, aged 81 years.
His truly Christian deportment proved his meetness for the eternal inheritance purchased for all believers by that Divine Saviour who was the supreme object of his love and adoration."
Image: Liveing Family Archive
1. Catherine Chambers: Letter to her son George, Undated.
Liveing Archive 159a-b LT13 religious exhortation to her son George, in a different quill.
2. Catherine Chambers: Letter to her son George, 21 Jan 1777, Ovington.
Liveing Archive 160a-b LT13 (Image 158a is an envelope from a later date which says "Mrs Downings letters, religious exhortation dated 21 Jan 1777")
3. Catherine Chambers: Letter to her son George, 22 Aug 1795, Ovington.
Liveing Archive 162a-b LT13 (Image 158a is an envelope from a later date which says "Mrs D to her son George 22 Aug 1795")
4. Catherine Chambers & Frances Elizabeth Downing (her daughter): Letter to her daughter (and sister) Catherine re baptism of Catherine Mary Downing, 13 May 1798, Hatton Garden London.
Liveing Archive 161a-b LT13 (Image 158a is an envelope from a later date which says "Mrs D & FED to Catherine describing christening of C M Downing Hatton Garden May 13 1798")
5. Catherine Chambers: Letter to her son George and daughter-in-law Mary Alston in London, 14 Aug 1799, Aldborough (Probably Norfolk).
Liveing Archive 158 b-c LT13 (Image 158a is an envelope from a later date which says "Mrs D to GD & wife dated Aldborough Aug 1799")
6. Catherine Chambers: Letter to a friend, Jan 1801.
Liveing Archive 149a-b LT13
A copy transcribed by her daughter Maria Knottesford nee Downing
Transcribed from a letter written by my excellent mother to a friend in January 1801 two or three months after the departure of her only son my brother George Downing.
. . . . . Sure I was that you would feel for us under the late trying dispensation of Providence „ sharp indeed it is, but blessed be our God who supported us under it and made us submissive to his holy will, giving us a deep sense that it was his hand who is only wise and merciful and to whom it becomes us to submit with silent resignation.
Our very tenderly beloved George was the joy of our eyes and the pride of our hearts but as his heavenly Father saw fit to remove him from this veil of sorrow and sin, our grief
is only selfish on his account as we have just reason to trust, he is now unspeakably happy What could my most tender maternal feelings wish for him more than what he is now enjoying He is not lost but shall be raised in a more perfect and glorified Body. Why then should I murmur under the anguish my heart sometimes feels for the loss of such a Son?
No, I will bless my God for all his goodness to such an unworthy creature as I am and more truly desire to praise him more in love him better . . . . .
7. Gentleman's Magazine: Transcription of an article on death of Catherine, 18 Dec 1802.
Liveing Archive 150a-b LT13
At the College at Ely, died, the wife of the Rev George Downing, Prebendary of that Cathedral.
This most excellent woman was, both in life and death, a bright example of the blessed effects of true Christianity, and will be long and deeply lamented by her affectionate and afflicted family and friends.
Catherine the deeply lamented wife of the Rev George Downing, Prebendary of Ely, and the tender and pious mother of five children, two of whom only have the misfortune to survive her, died at his prebendal home.
Her constitution habitually frail, sunk under the pressure of severe domestic trials; but to adopt the language of a late able writer, Mrs Downing "with the weakness of a woman had all the fortitude of a man, I mean a Christian".
After having mourned the dissolution of some of the nearest ties which can bind the human heart to earth, Mrs Downing's maternal tenderness was powerfully awakened by the almost sudden death of her beloved and only son, who fell a sacrifice to his active exertions, towards quelling the scandalous riots of September 1800; and this heavy affliction was followed by another equally so, the loss of an amiable and beloved daughter, whom grief for the death of her brother, brought to an early grave in July 1802, at Clifton near Bristol, where she had been sent for the recovery of her health.
Catherine married Rev George DOWNING  [MRIN: 78], son of Dickson DOWNING  and Bridget BALDWIN , on 17 Jul 1758 in St James Westminster London. (Rev George DOWNING  was born about 1727, died on 24 Jul 1809 and was buried in Ovington ESS.)