Mary ALSTON 
- Born: 6 Jun 1761
- Baptised: 22 Jun 1761, Nayland SFK
- Marriage (1): George DOWNING  on 27 Jan 1795 in Nayland SFK
- Died: 5 Mar 1842 aged 80
- Buried: 12 Mar 1842, St Paul Covent Garden
Baptism entry in Parish records illegible. Mary's birth day was 9am on the day of the Transit of Venus.
Their marriage was by licence, and reported in the Ipswich Review, 28 Jan 1795.
St Paul Covent Garden
*Mary Downing, Counties of Suffolk and Essex, March 12. 1842 Aged 80. by C. Wesley.
* " C. V." is written in the margin beside this entry.
1. Mary Alston: Letter to her Brother George Alston, 20 Jul 1800, Ovington.
My dear Brother we returned Last evening Mr (Rev) Downing bore his journey much better than we expected having been confined to the House all the time we were at Ely and we do not perceive he has taken cold he still has a little of the Gout in one foott - in about a fortnight's time when it is more most convenient Mama and little Girl will be very happy to accept of your kind invitation and I shall be greatly obliged to you if you will have the goodness to allow Sally Leggitt to be at your House with us if you can make it convenient - at the same time I should be sorry if you do not approve of it for I would not do it upon my own account if you do not like of it as we have been absent so long from home I want her to repair our linen - perhaps Mr Blair has not left you as I had rather come to see you when alone - I conclude my sisters are returned from Bocking I have not heard from Leicester a very long time Mrs Knottesford mentioned in a letter they were going to dine with you - they appeared pleased with your kind invitation - Catherine sends her Duty and love to her uncle and kind love to her cousin George she longs to see him begs to know if he has a little Garden and a Bench and wishes to know if he received the little Books she sent him Mifs Bridges Mifs Newman and Mifs Hutchinson have been at bognor (?) rocks - they are now in London returns to Hedingham the 24th of this month Mr and Mifs Downing desire to be kindly Remembered to you & your little boy - mine and Catherine's kind love to all her aunties is accept my sincere Love and good wishes dear Brother from your affectionate Sister
Copy of a letter the original in the possession of Julia Redman 1999. No year date but between 1800 and 1809. Small notes by George Alston? "20 July Downing" and Alston Fenn "Mary Downing to her brother George Alston (A2)"
2. Mary Alston: Notes on Mary's life by George Downing Liveing her grandson, Cir 1899.
Memorandum re wool trade in Suffolk
1841 \endash 42
Uncertain what this calculation represents \endash perhaps the date related to Mary Alston's birth at Transit of Venus.
When Mrs Downing was young*\endash she remembers a pageant got up by the Wool \endash Combers who still remained in the place \endash a little boy used to be dressed up and ride on a pony through the place every year on St Blaise's day \endash he was dressed up in wool all dyed of different colours \endash My mother her daughter at whose dictation I write, is not sure that there was not a sheep or lamb also in the procession. The day was kept as a sort of holiday amongst ye trade.
Mrs Downing was born in the year of ye transit of Venus about 1762.
No doubt St Blasices's (sic) name is retained in our calendar on that account February 3 Blasices Armenian B & M
Other unintelligable (to me) notes at bottom of sheet.
Mary married George DOWNING  [MRIN: 64], son of Rev George DOWNING  and Catherine CHAMBERS , on 27 Jan 1795 in Nayland SFK. (George DOWNING  was born on 25 Dec 1762 in London, baptised on 2 Feb 1763 in St Andrew Holborn London, died on 9 Oct 1800 and was buried on 16 Oct 1800 in Vault under Chancel St Paul Covent Garden LND.)