Cecil Downton (1855-1932)

Rev Cecil Downton

Rev. Cecil Downton, 11th December 1908

Picture provided by Stephen Govier

Cecil Downton was born on the 23rd April 1855 at Chatham, Kent. He was the son of Henry Downton, chaplain of the English Church of Geneva and Elizabeth McKee and was the brother of Henry Murray Downton.

Cecil Downton attended school in Geneva and was admitted to Queens' College, Cambridge in September 1876 where he achieved a B.A. in 1880.

He was ordained a deacon in 1879 and a priest at Bath and Wells in 1881. He was curate of St. Cuthbert's, Wells from 1879 to 1882 and St. Peter's, Mancroft Norwich from 1882 to 1884. He became vicar of Brooke, following his brother, Henry, there from 1884 to 1887.

On the 2nd December 1887 he was instituted to the vicarage of Hoxne on the presentation of Agnes Burrell, Baroness Bateman, of Oakley Park on the death of his brother. In 1906 he was appointed Rural Dean of Hoxne Deanery and held this post for 3 years.

He left Hoxne in 1909 to become Rector of Bucklesham, near Ipswich, where he stayed until he was instituted to the living of Hengrave-cum-Flempton, by the Bishop of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich, on the 3rd December 1922 at St. Catherine's Church, Flempton. Cecil was also a member of the Thingoe Rural District Council and used to cycle to Bury St. Edmunds until his health prevented him.

He never married and lived with his sisters, Grace and Alice whilst at Hoxne. Grace taking the role of church organist. Alice died on the 26th October 1931, aged 78, and although she had been living in Norwich she was buried at Hoxne.

Cecil died at Flempton Rectory on the 13th June 1932, age 77. The first part of his funeral was held at Flempton and then his coffin was taken to Hoxne Churchyard for interment in the family burial ground.