The Kings Candlesticks - Family Trees
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Commander Thomas LIVEING R N [230]
Harriet HARROLD [231]
George DOWNING [96]
Mary ALSTON [91]
Dr Edward LIVEING M.R.C.S. [98]
(Abt 1795-1843)
Catherine Mary DOWNING [97]

Professor George Downing LIVEING [99]


Family Links

1. Catherine INGRAM [980]

Professor George Downing LIVEING [99]

  • Born: 21 Dec 1827, Nayland SFK
  • Baptised: 25 Jan 1828, Nayland SFK
  • Marriage (1): Catherine INGRAM [980] on 14 Aug 1860 in Lt Ellingham NFK
  • Died: 26 Dec 1924, Cambridge CAM. aged 97

bullet   Cause of his death was a road accident.


bullet  General Notes:

George was Professor of Chemistry St Johns College Cambridge, he was the first to teach science experimentally at Cambridge, he developed new laboratories, and promoted the subject of chemical physics. Fellow Royal Society 1879. Davy Medal 1901 for Spectroscopy. Prof Chemistry Royal Military College Sandhurst. At the age of 96 he was President of St Johns College and a Presiding Magistrate.

He was knocked down by a bicycle aged 97 and died of his injuries.

George Downing. Liveing
College:ST JOHN'S Entered:Michs. 1846 b: 21 Dec 1827 d: 26 Dec 1924
Adm. pens. at ST JOHN'S, Oct. 27, 1845. [Eldest] s. of Edward, surgeon, of Nayland, Suffolk [and Catherine Mary]. B. there [Dec. 21, 1827]. Bapt. Jan. 25, 1828. Matric. Michs. 1846; (11th Wrangler, 1850; Nat. Sci. Trip., 1st Class, 1851); B.A. 1850; M.A. 1853; Hon. Sc.D. 1908. Fellow, 1853-60 and 1880-1924; President, 1911-24. Professor of Chemistry at the Staff and Royal Military Colleges, Sandhurst, 1860. Started the first course of practical chemistry for medical students, in a primitive laboratory, fitted up in a cottage in Corn Exchange Street, 1852. Professor of Chemistry, 1861-1908. In 1853 the College founded for him a College Lectureship in Chemistry and built for his use a Chemical Laboratory behind the New Court. This assisted him in the important part he was playing in the expansion of University work, as one of the founders of modern scientific studies and the first teacher of experimental science in the University. F.R.S., 1879; Davy Medal, 1901. J.P. for Cambridge and Cambs. Married, Aug. 14, 1860, Catherine, 2nd dau. of the Rev. Rowland Ingram (Pembroke, 1821), R. of Little Ellingham, Norfolk. Author, many articles on spectroscopy, crystallisation, etc. The University Chemical Laboratory, finished in 1888, and then one of the finest in the Kingdom, owed much to his patient and skilful planning. As the Cambridge correspondent of two successive Chancellors, Dukes of Devonshire, he discharged a task of considerable responsibility with strict impartiality and great industry, and with characteristic scrupulousness destroyed all the records of this before his death. His disinterestedness, unfailing rectitude and distinguished presence made him one of the most esteemed figures in the University, and in his old age his tall bent figure as he made his daily journeys between his home and College was one of the most familiar in the town. On the 75th anniversary of his matriculation, in the Combination Room of St John's, the Vice-Chancellor presented him with an address from the University (printed in the Eagle, Jan.1922)-an occasion probably unique in the University's annals. He had a remarkable memory, talked freely of the men and events of the past, but would write no reminiscences; 'I never look back,' he said, 'I look always forward.' Resided first at The Pightle, Newnham, and latterly in Maid's Causeway. Died Dec. 26, 1924, aged 97, as the result of being knocked down by a cyclist while walking to his laboratory. Brother of the above and of Robert (1852). (D.N.B.; Who was Who, 1916-28; E. A. Benians.)
Ref: Cambridge University Alumni, 1261-1900

Mathematical Examination 1850
Approved For Mathematical Honours.
Liveing - Joh.
Ref: Ipswich Journal 19 Jan 1850.

The following gentleman have been elected Fellows of St Johns College: George Downing Liveing, 11th Wrangler, 1850.
Ref: Ipswich Journal 19 March 1853.

Commission is signed by the Lord Lieutenant of the County of Cambridgeshire.
8th R.V.C. - Lieut. G.D. Lieving to be Capt, vice Leapingwell deceased.
Ref: Verbatum from Ipswich Journal 27 February 1864.

The Charge of Poisoning.
George is reported to have carried out analysis of pudding vomit and viscera, samples from a poisoned husband. George testified that he had found no poison in the first samples, but later testified that he had found arsenic in a further sample of pudding. The report suggests the accused "will doubtless be discharged" due to conflicting evidence by others.
Ref: Ipswich Journal 25 July 1871.

The Charge of Poisoning
The woman Charlotte Day charged with poisoning her husband Henry Day . . . . . was taken before the Magistrates on Monday, on remand from Saturday, when Professor Liveing, who made the analysis of the pudding, went into detail in confirmation of his statement that he had detected arsenic. She was again remanded until Tuesday next. The Magistrates were of the opinion that after the evidence of Professor Liveing, who had distinctly stated that arsenic was discovered, they would not be justified in discharging the prisoner.
Ref: extracted from the Ipswich Journal 5 August 1871.

1876 & 1919 George is registered as a shareholder in the Gt Western Railway

MEMORIES OF CAMBRIDGE: WHEN FELLOWS OF COLLEGES WERE CELIBATES. One of the most interesting personalities at Cambridge is Dr. G. D. Liveing, late Professor of Chemistry, who has spent 75 years' continuous residence in the university. He is 94.
When Dr. Liveing was appointed University Professor of Chemistry in 1861 there was no university laboratory, and he had to conduct his experimental work in a Cottage which he hired and paid for. Before he retired in 1908, his own department of chemistry had been equipped with one of the finest laboratories in the world, largely through his own exertions.
Until 1881, Dr. Liveing told a Daily' mail reporter, fellows of colleges were as a rule, bound to celibacy, and usually resided in their colleges. "There the life," he said , " was that of an intellectual club, good for a student, but not to grow old in. It impoverished the general society of Cambridge, which was small and exclusive. Since fellows had been free to marry, life in college has lost some of its attractions, but society outside has gained."
It has also helped to create the "women's question" at Cambridge, and with regard to this. Dr. Liveing expressed himself unreservedly on the side of the women. Women at Cambridge he said have shown themselves well able to compete with men in the honours examinations.

Delegates to the Federation of General Workers' Conference at St. John's College, Cambridge, yesterday were welcomed by Dr. G. D. Liveing, the veteran president of the college and a former professor of chemistry. Though 95 and stated to be the oldest university doctor in the country, he delivered a long address on the founding of the university. He started a laboratory in Cambridge 61 years ago and has kept every term since. 17 August 1923.

The Times 22 December 1923 pg 5 col D.
Veteran Scientist.
Dr G. D. Liveing's 96th Birthday.
Dr G. D. Liveing, of Cambridge, who celebrated his 96th birthday yesterday, may fairly be regarded as the father of chemical studies in the University.
Soon after he had obtained the first place in the first class list of the Natural Sciences Tripos, which was instituted in 1851, he was elected to a Fellowship at St John's, and in the laboratory which his college established he was the first in Cambridge to teach science experimentally. In later years he continued to take a leading part in the development of scientific studies in the University, and in the provision of laboratory accommodation suitable for the purpose, rendering valuable service in connection with, for instance, the plans of the Cavendish Laboratory in the 70s and with those of the new University chemical laboratory which was brought into use in 1888. For 47 years he was Professor of Chemistry, only resignalling the chair in 1908, when he was 81 years of age. Recently he gave up his house, is in the garden of which he took a keen interest, and is now residing at an hotel in Cambridge.

JUNE 6th 1924; At the age of 96 Dr. D. G. Liveing, president of St. John's College, Cambridge, acted as presiding magistrate at Cambridge Police Court yesterday.

Dr. George Downing Liveing, the oldest member of Cambridge University, was knocked down in the street at Cambridge yesterday by a woman cyclist, and was taken home suffering (from an injury to his thigh?) and from shock.
Dr. Liveing who is in his ninety-seventh year, is President of St. John's, and has been a Fellow of that college for seventy-one years. He was the first Professor of Chemistry in the University and started the first laboratory for students in Cambridge.

Dr. George Downing Liveing, president and senior fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, died yesterday at his residence at Maid's-causeway, Cambridge. Dr. Liveing, who was 97 last Sunday, had been president of St. John's College since 1911. He had been confined to the house as the result of a street accident two months ago, when he was knocked down by a bicycle. The funeral will take place next Wednesday.
"The Grand Old Man of Cambridge," as Dr. Liveing was called, took daily walks in the streets until his accident and regularly attended college chapel services and hall. Last June he took his turn as presiding magistrate at the Cambridge Police Court. Before taking his M.A. degree Dr. Liveing was largely responsible for the foundation of Cambridge's great chemical laboratories. He was elected professor of chemistry in 1861 and occupied that chair for 47 years.

The Times 27 December 1924 pg 10 col F.
Death of Dr Liveing.
We regret to announce that Dr George Downing Liveing, President of St John's College, Cambridge, and for 47 years Professor of Chemistry in the University, died at Cambridge yesterday in his 98th year. Dr Liveing who was the oldest member of the University in residence, was knocked down by a bicycle two months since and never recovered from the effects of the accident will stop he became worse a view days ago, and for the last 48 hours was unconscious. The funeral will be on Wednesday next, the first part of the service be in the College Chapel at 2:30. A memoir appears on page 12.

The Times 27 December 1924 pg 12 col B.
Dr. G. D. Liveing, Sc.D., F.R.S., whose death at. the age of 97 is announced on another page, was the " Father " of scientific and especially chemical studies, at Cambridge. For 47 years he held the chair of chemistry. George Downing Liveing was born on December 21, 1827, the eldest son of Edward Liveing, of Nayland, in Suffolk. He entered St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1847 and, reading mathematics, was eleventh Wrangler in 1850, Besant's year. He then read for the newly instituted Natural Sciences Tripos and was thus thrown into the society of Sedgwick, Henslow, Whewell and Miller of whose stimulating influence he spoke with appreciation in later life. The first examination for the Natural Sciences Tripos was held in 1851. The class list contained six names in order of merit, and of these that of Liveing, distinguished in chemistry and mineralogy, was first. He then went to Germany, and for a short time studied with Rammelsberg in Berlin. In 1853 he was elected Fellow of his college, and a college lectureship in natural sciences was founded for him, to be paid for out of the revenues of the college, an arrangement then without precedent in the University. The St. John's College Laboratory was also built, and Liveing was the first man to teach science experimentally in Cambridge.
In 1860 he was appointed Professor of Chemistry at the Staff College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. In the same year he married Catherine, daughter of the Rev. Rowland Ingram, rector of Little Ellingharn, Norfolk, and, in accordance with the old statutes, vacated his Fellowship. He, however, continued to hold his college lectureship and to direct the college laboratory. Twenty years later he was elected Professorial Fellow of St. John's. After retiring from his professorship in 1908 he was re-elected Fellow, and in 1911 was elected President of the college. On the death in 1861 of James Cumming, who had been Professor of Chemistry for 46 years, Liveing, who had been deputy-professor during Cumming's last illness was elected to succeed him. In spite of the importance which the science of chemistry had at this time attained, and of the intensity with which it was being pursued outside Cambridge all the accommodation at the disposal of the new professor consisted of the lecture room in the building in the Old Botanic Garden which he had to share with the Jacksonian Professor and the Professor of Botany, and two small empty rooms ; facilities for teaching practical chemistry there were none. Yet this was the nucleus from which Liveing by his energy and organizing ability developed a flourishing and productive school. In 1863 the University began that policy of building which resulted in the gradual formation of a great group of science laboratories and museums, and when the first block was opened in 1865 Liveing at last had the satisfaction of being able to announce a course of practical chemistry in the laboratory of the University. He now resigned his lectureship at St. John's, where he had continued to give instruction in chemical manipulations in the college laboratory. At this time a good deal of teaching of physics fell to the share of the Professor of Chemistry, for under the regulations of his chair he was enjoined to treat of the tramformations of substances immaterial as well as material and Liveing was lecturing for one term in the year on Chemistry and one term on Heat. He was relieved of the latter subject by the establishment in 1871 of the Cavendish Professorship of Experimental Physics.
Another event which had a still greater influence upon Liveing's work occurred a few years later. This was the decision of the University that the Jacksonian Professorship, which had become vacant, should be occupied by a chemist. The election of James Dewar in 1875 greatly strengthened the chemical department ; he undertook most of the teaching of physical and organic chemistry, and shortly afterwards Liveing began that admirable series of spectroscopic investigations, for the most part in conjunction with Professor Dewar, on which his scientific reputation mainly rests.
All this time the chemical school had been growing, and the necessity for new building became urgent. Liveing had made himself all expert in laboratory design, and to the plans of the new building he devoted infinite care and labour. When it was finished in 1888, it was one of the finest laboratories in the country, and though it has since been greatly enlarged, it is with this building that the memory of Liveing in the University will be chiefly associated. The growth of the school of chemistry now became very rapid, and he watched it develop under his direction to such an extent that when he resigned his chair in 1908, at the age of 81, the University was compelled to sanction very large extension of the laboratory.
For a long period Professor Liveing was a very powerful influence in the University, partly because of his position and partly because of the many fine qualities of his character. He took a prominent part in the preliminary work within the University which culminated in the new statutes of the early eighties, and has to do with the creation of the Department of Agriculture.
When William Carvendish, seventh Duke Devonshire, became Chancellor of the University, Professor Liveing acted as his local secretary. This put him in position of considerable power and responsibility, as the Duke took a much more active interest in the affairs of the University than did some of his predecessors.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal society in 1879, and in 1901 the Society awarded him its Davy Medal for his spectroscopic papers, which mainly published during the last quarter of a century in conjunction with Professor Dewar, make up a record of patient, accurate, conscientious labour, and taken together constitute one of the most valuable contributions to the department of chemical physics yet made by British workers.
In 1896 Liveing was appointed by the Treasury to inspect, with Sir Herbert Warren, the University colleges of Great Britain. In addition to his academic and scientific activities, he served many years as a county magistrate. The last years of his life were spent peacefully in collecting and editing the memoirs of his joint scientific work with Sir James Dewar, and in gardening, of which he was very fond.
His venerable figure as he made his way every night to preside at the St John's high table, must have been familiar to recent generations of undergraduates.
His portrait, painted by Sir George Reid, was presented by his friends to the college in 1901

LIVEING, George Downing (1827-1924)
Details: LIVEING, George Downing, JP; MA, ScD; FRS 1879; President of St John's College, Cambridge, since 1911; born Nayland, Suffolk, 21 December 1827; eldest son of Edward Liveing and Catherine, only daughter of George Downing, Lincoln's Inn; married 1860, Catherine (died 1888), 2nd daughter of Rowland Ingram, Rector of Little Ellingham, Norfolk.
Education: St John's College, Cambridge (MA, Hon. ScD 1908); Fellow, 1853-1860, and from 1880; 11th Wrangler 1850; 1st in Natural Sciences Tripos, 1851.
Work: Lecturer on Natural Science, St John's Coll., Camb. 1853; Professor of Chemistry, Staff and Royal Military Colleges, 1860; Professor of Chemistry, Cambridge, 1861-1908; started the first laboratory for students in Cambridge, 1852; active in organizing.
Publications: many papers on Spectroscopy, Crystallisation, etc; On the Transmutation of Matter, Camb. Essays, 1st ser. 1855; Chemical Equilibrium the Result of Dissipation of Energy, 1885; (jtly with Mr Warren) Report on University Colleges, 1897; (jtly with Sir J. Dewar) Collected Papers on Spectroscopy, 1915.
Recreations: field geology, gardening.
Address: St John's College, Cambridge.
Died: 26 December 1924
LIVEING, George Downing
Dates: 1827-1924
Occupation: chemist
Details: BA, St John's College, Cambridge; eleventh wrangler, 1850; senior in new natural sciences tripos, 1851; fellow of St John's, 1853-60 and 1880-1924; professor of chemistry, Staff College and Royal Military College, Sandhurst, 1860; professor of chemistry, Cambridge, 1861-1908; carried out in collaboration with (Sir) James Dewar spectroscopic investigations, 1878-1900; subjects investigated include the reversal of the lines of metallic vapours, the spectrum of carbon, ultraviolet spectra, and sun-spots; seventy-eight joint papers republished in a single volume, 1915; superintended erection of new university chemical laboratory from 1888; FRS, 1879; published Chemical Equilibrium the Result of the Dissipation of Energy (1885)
Ref: Know UK CD - Colin Fenn

DR. GEORGE DOWNING LIVEING Sc.D. F.R.S. of 10 Maids Causeway, Cambridge, President and Senior Fellow of St. John's College who died on December 26 1924 aged 97, left estate of the gross value of L20,910 14s 8d resworn at L19,908 12s 2d, with net personally L20,569. His will was proved 30 Apr 1925 by the Rev Henry George Dowing Liveing Clerk. He left 100pds a year to his maidservant, Ellen Ada Waters; 30/- a week his former servant, Caroline Benstead.

Portrait by Geo Reid at St Johns College. Obituary book 1 E L Fenn 1998 Fenn archive.

Dictionary of National Biography 1922-30 Pgs 510-512
Chemist, the eldest son of Edward Liveing, surgeon, of Nayland, Suffolk, by his wife Catherine, the only daughter of George Downing, of Lincoln's Inn, barrister-at-law, was born at Nayland 21 December 1827. He was admitted to St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1847, and was eleventh wrangler in the mathmatics tripos of 1850. He then read for the newly established natural sciences tripos, and was placed at the head of six successful candidates in the first year of that tripos, 1851, with distinction in chemistry and mineralogy. Next he studied for a while with Karl Rammelsberg at Berlin, but soon returned to course of practical chemistry for medical students in a primitive laboratory fitted up in a cottage in Corn Exchange Street. In 1853 Liveing was elected a fellow of St. John's College, and the college founded for him a lecturership in chemistry, and built a laboratory for his use. That he was an active and courageous junior fellow is clear from a pamphlet which he printed in 1857, attacking the existing system of government of the college and advocating measures of reform which almost exactly foreshadow those put into force many years later. In 1860 Liveing became professor of chemistry at the Staff College and at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, though he continued to teach in Cambridge also. In the same year he married Catherine, second daughter of the Rev. Rowland Ingrain, rector of Little Effingham, Norfolk. He thereby vacated his fellowship at St. John's, though he retained his lecturership. On the death in 1861 of the Rev. James Cumming [q.v.), professor of chemistry at Cambridge, Liveing was elected to succeed him. The salary was about 100 a year, and the material provision made by the university for the subject was meagre consisting of one lecture room which the professor of chemistry had to share with the professor of botany and the Jacksonian professor of experimental philosophy, and two small empty rooms which might be used for other purposes. But in 1863, after much controversy, the university began building laboratories, thus initiating the great development in experimental science which has transformed modern Cambridge. The first buildings were raised on land which, acquired in 1762, had been used as a botanic garden; and in the course of the years 1864 and 1865 accommodation was provided successively for zoology, anatomy, chemistry, mineralogy, and botany. In 1865 Liveing began to announce regular experimental courses in chemistry and, until physics were otherwise provided for, in heat. In 1875 (Sir) James Dewar [q.v.), was elected Jacksonian professor of experimental philosophy and directed the work of that chair to chemistry. He was thus brought into close association with Liveing. Collaboration cannot have been easy. As a colleague wrote in 1925: "Liveing and Dewar were men of widely different temperaments and widely different ideals; and they were both quick-tempered. Nevertheless, a lifelong friendship was formed between them" In . . . . . microscopic investigations which continued till 1900. Their joint papers were republished as a single volume by the Cambridge University Press in 1915. This is chief record of Liveing's scientific labours. When Liveing and Dewar began their spectroscopic researches the subject was comparatively new. In ignorance of a previous experiment of J R Fourault , von Bunsen and G R Kirehoff in 1859, in the course of the work which first put spectrum analysis on a sound footing, passed the continuous light from incandescent lime through an alcohol flame in which common salt was vaporized, and found that a dark line appeared in the spectrum coinciding with the sodium line and with the corresponding dark line Frauenhofer's D, in the solar spectrum. The dynamical explanation of this phenomenon was given by Sir George Gabriel Stokes lq.v.j, who pointed out that a vibrating system absorbs energy of the same period of oscillation that it can itself emit. By these several investigations, the examination of the chemical composition of the sun and stars was made possible, for dark lines in the spectra of light from , their interiors which passes through their cooler envelopes coincide with the bright lines of terrestrial elements. Most of the earlier work of Liveing and Dewar was concerned with this important point, eight papers 'On the Reversal of the Lines of Metallic Vapours' appearing in the Proceedings of the Royal Society between the years 1878 and 1881. After publishing in 1882 some work on the spectrum of carbon, they turned to ultra-violet spectra, on which a paper appeared in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1883. Two papers on sun spots followed, while Dewar's tastes may be traced in 'Spectroscopic Studies of Gaseous Explosions', in The Influence of Pressure on the Spectra of Flames', and in a series of papers on the spectra of the constituents of liquefied gases at very low temperatures. papers appeared between 1899 and 1904 on the absorption spectra of solutions, and on the spectra at the anode and cathode when an electric discharge is passed through gases. If these seventy eight joint papers cannot be said to disclose any epoch-making discovery, they certainly chronicle careful, exact, and useful contributions to knowledge.
The only book published by Liveing was a thin volume on Chemical Equilibrium the result of the Dissipation of Energy, which . . . . . of the importance of thermodynamics to chemistry clearly showed Liveing's insight into the fundamental principles of his science. It is worthy of note that he returned to the subject in later years, his last paper, read to the Cambridge Philosophical Society on 7 May 1923 (when he was 96), being entitled "The Recuperation of Energy in the Universe".
In the 80s and early 90s Liveing was in the middle period of his career. Year by year he delivered lectures both to elementary and advanced students. To the formal, he taught general chemistry, and to the latter, principles of chemistry and spectroscopy. The result of the teaching was shared among an increasing staff, both in the University laboratory and in several college laboratories. Liveing's elementary lectures were attended by men conspicuous more for lightheartedness then love of learning. The lectures were illustrated with experiments, and his impatience with the laboratory attendants when the experiments went wrong was eagerly watched for by his youthful class. His advanced students found him somewhat difficult of approach; but when the approach was made he took great trouble and gave them individual attention; many distinguished chemists owe much to his teaching. By 1885 the number of students and staff had made the original university chemical laboratory, on the east side of the old botanic garden site, quite inadequate, and in 1888 the present laboratory was begun. Liveing took endless trouble over the plans, and the success of the building was largely due to his examination of other laboratories and careful studies of the whole problem. In 1888 also he arranged a course of lectures on agricultural chemistry, thus inaugurating activities which ultimately developed into the successful Cambridge school of agriculture. For many years that school owed much to Liveing's help and support.
In 1889 Liveing was elected a professorial fellow of St John's College, and this brought him into close association with his college. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1879, served on the council in 1891-1902 and again in 1903-1904, and was awarded the Davy medal in 1901. For many years he acted as the Cambridge correspondent of the Chancellor of the University. He also took part in local affairs, and did good work as a county and borough magistrate.
In the year 1908, at the age of 81, Liveing resigned the professorship of chemistry, though he remained to the end of his life in touch with the laboratory and with research. Throughout his tenure in the chair he took full financial responsibilities for the maintenance of the laboratory, which in its early days must have carried a heavy drain on his private income. On retiring he was at once re-elected a fellow of St John's, and in 1911 became president an office corresponding to that of vice-master. In this final phase of his career he found in some ways his truest expression. He still lived a busy life between his house and garden at the Pightle (Pytell), Newnham, the laboratory, and St John's College. His character seemed to mellow with age, his asperities softened, and the patriarch of ninety seemed easier of access than the Prof of fifty or sixty. His memories of days long past were of historic interest, both to chemists and to other members of the University in 1923 he gave up his house at Newnham, and after a short sojourn at the University . . . . . hotel moved to Maids Causeway. It seemed almost certain that he would complete his hundredth year, but, one October day, while walking to the laboratory, he was knocked down by a bicyclist, and some two months later 26 December 1924 he died of his injuries. His wife died in 1888. They had no children.
There is a portrait of Liveing by Sir George Reid at St John's College.

bullet  Research Notes:

Liveing (George Downing). Professor of Chemistry at Cambridge. Letter to the Duke of Devonshire 1872.
Liveing (George Downing). Professor of Chemistry at Cambridge University. Letter to S. C. Cockerell 1923
Ref British Library 2007

George Liveing pondered a connection with the family of Sir George Downing Bt., of East Hartley, whose bequest foundered Downing College Cambridge in 1801, but none was found. Letter on file from a Mr Greenfield on the matter.

Dr Trevor Hoskins advises in 2005 a new book on Chemistry at Cambridge was published with a chapter on George Liveing.
Titled "The 1702 Chair of Chemistry at Cambridge" Edited by Archer & Haley. Cambridge University Press
ISBN 10 0521828732. ISBN 13 97805218734


bullet  Other Records

1. George Downing Liveing: Letter to his mother, 21 Aug 1835.
Mrs Liveing
near Colchester
August 21, 1835
My dear Mamma
We saw both the Panoramas, Jeruselem and Thebes. Mr Beaumont has bought me a nice kite, which is almost as tall as Sarah Anne's shoulder. We are both very happy and very comfortable here. Papa was very sorry that he could not get a companion to go with him as he is going into Wales and Cornwall, and several other places. We both wish you to write to Grandmamma and tell her that we are very happy and very comfortable as she particularly whiched (sic) to hear, also send our love to her and Edward and Anna. we are going to sleep one night in London next week weare then going to the top of St Paul's and other places in the city. Uncle talks of taking us to Cheshunt some day next week Auntie joins with me in kind love to you, give my love Tom and Bob I also beg you will excuse the bad writing and mistakes and be- me to be your affectionate Son
G. D. Liveing
Continuation of a letter started by his sister Sarah Anne.
Origional in Fenn archive 2007

2. Census: England, 7 Jun 1841, St Clement Ipswich SFK. George is described as aged 14 born Suffolk in the house of Richard Mosley aged 39 a clergyman his wife, 2 infants, and 4 other boys including his brother Edward, they were probably being schooled?
(Richard Mosley a graduate of Holy Trinity Cambridge obtained his MA in 1833, married in 1837, became curate of Holy Trinity Ipswich until 1841 when he became vicar of Rotherham in Yorkshire.)

3. George Downing Liveing: Letter to his brother Edward, 20 May 1843, Bergholt ESS.
Liveing Archive 31a LT3

Bergholt May 20 . . . . (c 1843)
My dear Ned
I have not heard anything from you for an age, but I suppose you are going on all right or I should, or also you have nothing to tell me, which is the case with me now. Yesterday being the Queens Birthday we had a holiday and went on the boat to the place where we went fishing in the Easter holidays and caught the pike, I fished for a short time but could not catch anything. Mr Mason has built a place for the boat at Boxted Mill, Which seems to do very well, and I think of walking home this afternoon, as Betty is staying there, which I suppose you know. Have you made any more chemical experiments? I know a very good conjuring trick when I have the box made, at Midsummer. There is a shop selling . . . . . In London where . . . . . Chemical apparatus, retorts, . . . . . crucibles, glasses of all sorts, . . . . . To be sold very cheap, and chemicals to, as nitrate of silver at 4d & 3d an oz usually 8d. I should very much like to be there to buy a few things would not you?
With love to you . . . . . Bob
. . . . . ever your aff brother
G D Liveing
Written on both sides of two damaged pages

4. Census: England, 8 Apr 1861, 12 Hills Rd Cambridge CAM. George is described as head of house married aged 33 M A Lecturer in Chemistry born Nayland SFK

5. Census: England, 3 Apr 1881, Cambridge CAM. George was living at Newnham Walk House Cambridge, head of the household aged 53, born Nayland SFK, occupation Professor of Chemistry Camb.
Also living in the house:
Catherine Liveing wife aged 48 born Leicester.
Ellen Ingram sister in law, married, aged 36, born Tonbridge KEN, Clergyman's wife.
Katie F Ingram niece aged 7 born Tiverton Devon, Clergyman's daughter.
Selina Moore single aged 33 servant.
Mary J Law single aged 22 servant.

6. George Downing Liveing: Letter to his sister, 12 Apr 1896, Cambridge.
Liveing Archive: Images IMG 3908 - 3911

The Pightle
12 Apr 1896
My dear Charlotte
I am off tomorrow to Manchester, where I shall stay at the Grand Hotel, Aytoun St, until Thursday. On Thursday evening my plan is to go on to Leeds, where I am to stay at the Great Northern Hotel until Monday the 20th. Whether I go on on that day to Liverpool, or on the Tuesday, will be decided by circumstances. At Liverpool I shall probably stay at the Adelphi Hotel in Armelagh Street, and return
home on Friday the 24th. So much for my plans. If they have to be ordered I will let you know. I was interested in Miss Bridges pedigree, because I have long wished to know how the Prowett' s Rylands & Wolseleys were related to us. I used to hear of them from Aunt Knottesford, but I do not remember that she ever explained to me the relationship. The Prowetts knew all about it, and in 1874
Ld Wolseley (then Sir Garnet) was here, Miss Prowett and her brother who was a fellow of Caius, came up and entertained him. Miss P introduced me to him as a cousin, which I knew but not how the relationship came. I never saw her or her brother again. The latter is dead but she may be alive. It is rather curious that Miss Bridges should have the pedigree as her connection with us is through Mrs Bowles
who had no Chambers blood. Her grandfather and our great-grandfather were intimates and very likely he may have had to do with the Chambers. I hope you have a copy of the pedigree, or will procure one. I was casting in mind how to get Charley introduced to Ld Wolseley, perhaps Robert mentioned it to you.
We are having the days which March has repaid April for those lent a little while ago and I don't like them.
My love to you all
Ever your affect brother
G. D. Liveing

7. George Downing Liveing: Some images of George over the years, 1901, Reid portrait centre courtesy St Johns College Cambridge.
Cambridge 14 November 1901
My dear Susie1
My portrait by Sir George Reid is to be presented by the Vice-Chancellor, on behalf of the subscribers, to St John's College, on Saturday, December 7 at 3:30 p.m. I should be very pleased if you and Edward would come and be present when this takes place. Perhaps you could come on Friday the 6th and stay till the Monday following? I am to be the recipient of another honour, as the Council of the Royal Society have awarded me the Davy medal. This is to be presented to me at the anniversary meeting of the Society on St Andrews day. It is a gratifying recognition of my work in the advancement of science by a very good authority.
My love to you both
ever yours affectionately
G. D. Liveing
1. Harriet Susan Liveing nee Brown.

8. George Downing Liveing: Letter to Susan Liveing nee Brown his sister-in-law, 14 Nov 1901, Cambridge.
Liveing Archive. Red Book Pg 92.

Cambridge 14 Nov 1901
My dear Susie
My portrait by Sir George Reid is to be presented by the Vice Chancellor, on behalf of the subscribers to St John's College, on Saturday, December 7 at 3:30 PM I should be very pleased if you and Edward would come and be present when this takes place. Perhaps you could come on Friday the sixth and stay till the Monday following?
I am to be the recipient of another honour, as the Council of the Royal Society have awarded me the Davy medal. This is to be presented to me at the anniversary meeting of the Society on St Andrew's Day.
It is a gratifying recognition of my work in the advancement of science by a very good authority.
My love to you both
ever yours affectionately
G.D. Liveing

9. George Downing Liveing: Letter Edward Henry T Liveing his nephew, 31 Dec 1901, Cambridge.
Letter was found in Edward Henry T Liveing's Cash Book purchased in 2020 by E L Fenn

Cambridge 31 Dec 1901

My dear Eddy
The sulphur lime and water must be all boiled together for an hour, or rather kept at about 100C for that time. Then allowed to stand, covered up, till cold. The excess of lime and sulphur will settle and leave a clear yellow liquid, which I put on my vine stalks with a sash brush. If the bark of the vines is too rough and ragged I just tear off the ragged part so far as it strips of easily. This leaves the stem comparatively smooth so that it is more easily painted. I always treat my vines with a solution every year even if they have shown no mildew \endash It destroys all sorts of fungoid germs. If the solution is a very deep orange colour I let it down a bit with water.
I kept some vine stalks of my Frontignon vine for you when I pruned my vines and
Page 2
am sending them by post. To grow them cut the stalk through about three quarters of an inch on each side of a bud and placed the piece in the ground, or in a pot of mould, so that it is all covered except the bud which should just shew and keep moist. (Sketch showing stalk and bud in ground).
This should be done in the spring about the time when your vines are beginning to push, meanwhile keep the sticks in an outhouse where they will not get hot or too dry but not where they will get mouldy.
You must come over and see the portrait, I expect to have some photo-gravure prints of it before long and will send you one if you care to have it. For the last month I have been sitting for a portrait bust which is to be in bronze for the chemical laboratory. I must have given nearly 20 settings, but it is done now and I am not sorry
Wishing you a happy New Year I am your affectionate uncle.
G.D. Liveing

10. George Downing Liveing: Letter to Nayland Parish Council, 19 Oct 1906, Cambridge.
The Clerk of the Parish Council
The Pightle Cambridge
19 October 1906
Dear Sir
I understand that the water I have supplied to the inhabitants of Nayland has shown no sign of failing in consequence of the recent very dry weather, and hope there will be no failure in future, so I should like to make over to the Parish the spring, settling tank and pipes while I am still alive.
I am told that the Parish Council has power under the Local Government Acts to hold real property for the benefit of the parish, so that if the Council be willing to accept it I would convey to them the property in the wellhead settling tank and pipes and also a right of way over my land at reasonable times and with the least possible injury to growing crops for the purpose of cleaning and repairing wellhead, tank and pipes.
And I should be obliged if you would ascertain whether the Council will accept the trust and if so whom they desire should (be) employed to draft the conveyance.
I am
faithfully yours
G. D. Liveing
Copy of this letter in the Fenn archive 2007 Origional with J W Redman
This water also fed a horse trough in the High St Nayland erected by the Parish Council to commemorate the coronation of George V.

Article: "The High Street Trough" courtesy of Wendy Sparrow, Nayland with Wissington Conservation Society.

11. Census: England, 2 Apr 1911, The Pightle Newnham Cambridge. George was recorded as head of a house of 11 rooms aged 83 a widower a retired Prof of Chemistry, Pres St Johns College born Nayland SFK

12. George Downing Liveing: Sale of property in Nayland, 21 Jul 1914, Nayland Suffolk.
Conveyance (pictured)
This deed relates to about 2 acres of land on the north side of the Stoke Road at Nayland which came to me from John Brown, and on which he built a malting and small steam mill, and on which also stood a house which his son built and also the house in which he himself lived, formally Miss Crisps.
In this deed are the signatures of my great grandfather Samuel Alston and his wife's brother John Vanderzee, as witnesses, as well as that of one of William Smythies, perhaps one of the Colchester Smythies and an ancestor of Charles A Smythies Bishop of Zanzibar.
One of the parties of the deed is described as a saymaker, which shows that the cloth making industry of Suffolk was not extinct in 1761.

These properties may relate to the above.
Mary George, Historian and Author of Nayland.
I don't know how much you know about all the various properties that the Liveings and the Fenns owned in Nayland apart from the Bear Street and Alston Court houses, but going through some of our own old papers, I realised that one of the houses we used to live in during 1970's and 80's belonged to your family.

I have in front of me a copy of a conveyance dated 21st July 1914, relating to 4 properties in Stoke Road, formerly Birch Street (owned by G D Liveing). They were beside a separate property owned by him called Hillside (now No. 14, a mid 1800's house also a large garden, which was also owned by him at some time).
"Conveyance by Professor G.D. Liveing to Mr. George Towns, Conveyance of 4 Freehold Messuages or Tenements and premises situate at Nayland Suffolk." Three of these were large redbrick houses built in late 1800's on what were formerly single storey Maltings buildings, then converted to 4 bedroom houses, each with about half an acre of garden and outbuildings. The 4th was a larger 18th century redbrick house which had formerly owned the walled gardens, buildings which were at one time used as maltings, and a large orchard behind all which was divided into 4 when the conversion took place between 1876 and 1881" If you can remember the street where the Chapel is, there is a pair of
semi detached houses with no front garden or paved path immediately opposite the Chapel and Chapel Garden. Beside that is a similar, but now much extended, house which is sideways on to the road, the front entrance being at the side. The next house going towards Stoke, the oldest one, has a large front garden and has a barn like wooden building beside it. This house was the home of the Headmaster of Nayland School, who features in my book.

The document mentions the following indentures.
12th March 1881 Mortgage between GDL (the Vendor) and John and William Brown.
16th September 1881 Conveyance between the 2 Browns above and GDL (the Vendor)
7th March 1889 Reconveyance (endorsed on an Indenture of Mortgage dated 19th April 1876) between
Edward Liveing Fenn and GDL (The Vendor)
26th April 1898 Reconveyance made between the said Edward Liveing Fenn of the one part and the
Vendor of the other part.
It is signed sealed and delivered by George Downing Liveing, who signed himself G.D. Liveing.
The 4 properties were sold together for L1085 pounds.

On the first page he is described as "George Downing Liveing a Fellow of St. John's College,
Cambridge, and formerly Professor of Chemistry"

The owner of Hillside tells me that his deeds state in 1888, that the properties next door had been recently converted from a Maltings, but there is no indication of what "recently" means. His deeds mention the other properties because the whole lot was subject to a redemption of Land Tax.
Hope the above is of interest.
Mary George (Nayland)
14 Nov 2003

13. George Downing Liveing: Sale of property in Nayland, 17 Aug 1914, Nayland Suffolk.
George on the 17 Aug 1914 sold No 20 Fen St Nayland to Kathleen Mary Deeves spinster of Nayland for 70 as "all those two cottages with outbuildings and yard garden and appertenances now or late in occupation of P Hughes and D O'Leary".
The Title shows Edward Liveing Fenn held mortgages over the property dated 7 Mar 1889 & 26 Apr 1898.
Ref: Somerset House


George married Catherine INGRAM [980] [MRIN: 315], daughter of Rev Rowland INGRAM M.A. [953] and Maria ALSTON [952], on 14 Aug 1860 in Lt Ellingham NFK. (Catherine INGRAM [980] was born on 26 Nov 1832 in Leicester, died on 8 Nov 1888 in Newnhan Cambridge CAM. and was buried in Cambridge CAM..)

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