History of Downham
St Maragret's Church, Downham.
© Copyright Glyn Baker contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
History of Downham >> White's Directory 1848
White's Directory of Essex 1848
DOWNHAM, a parish of scattered houses on the north side of this hundred, 4½ miles East by West of Billericay, has 254 souls, and 2152 acres of land, rising in bold undulations, and mostly belonging to R.B. Berens and E.R. Benyon, Esqrs.
It is not named in Domesday Book, and is now in three manors, viz., Downham Hall, which was long held by the Ramsden, Vere, Andrew, and de Beauvoir families; Berne Hall, formerly held by the Baynings; and Tremnales, now belonging to W. Manbey, Esq.
Major-General John Disbrow was seated at Tremnales, but having married one of the four sisters of Oliver Cromwell, he exchanged the spade for the sword, and rose to eminence in the parliamentary army. He became one of Cromwell's council, and during the commonwealth, he received in salaries for his various civil and military offices £3236.3s.4d. per annum. He earnestly opposed Cromwell's taking the title of King, and persuaded his son, Richard, to dissolve the parliament.
The Church (St. Margaret,) is a small ancient building, with a handsome square tower, and contains many memorials of the Tyrell, Alslow, Disbrow, and other families, who formerly flourished here.
The rectory, valued in K.B. at £12.2s.8d., and in 1831 at £409, is in the patronage of R.B. Berens, M.A., and incumbency of the Rev. E.R. Berens, M.A., who has a good residence.
In 1635, Lady Caeser left a yearly rent charge of £9, out of land at Crow's Heath, for the poor of the four parishes of Downham, Ramsden-Bellhouse, and East and West Hannigfield. A house, built upon this land, is called Disbrow's, Folly.
Back to History of Downham
Are your ancestors from Downham Why not tell us their story: My Downham Ancestors.
Find your Ancestors in the Newspapers
Newspaper archives are now a very important source of information for researching your family tree.
Try our example search to help you discover if your ancestors are in the British Newspaper Archive.
Downham - Cary's New and Correct English Atlas, 1798
Downham - First Series Ordnance Survey Map 1805
This work is based on data provided through www.VisionofBritain.org.uk and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence BY-SA-4.0
New options from Findmypast
Findmypast have announced a change to their offerings to UK family historians.
There are now three options: Starter, Plus and Pro. The big change is that Plus and Pro now allow access to the 1939 Register even on a monthly package.
Their website contains more information and sets out the difference between the options.
Looking for pictures to add to your family tree album?
Ebay is a good source of old images of Essex towns and villages. If you're looking for pictures to add to your family tree album, then try one of the auctions, or there are several 'Buy It Now' shops offering postcards which have been touched up and improved - so if you're unsure about bidding, try these.
Link below already formatted for Essex and Postcards.