Downton, Henry


b Pulverbatch, SW of Shrewsbury, Shrops 1818, d Hopton, Suffolk 1885. Trinity Coll Cambridge (BA/MA); ordained (CofE) 1843. He was Curate of Bembridge, IoW, and Holy Trinity Cambridge, then from 1849 incumbent of St John’s Chatham, Kent. After 6 years as British Chaplain at Geneva, in 1873 he became Rector of Hopton on the northern edge of Suffolk, where he stayed for the remaining 12 years of his life. The parish ch at Hopton has a spectacular and colourful hammerbeam roof; when the building was refurbished in 1879 his 6 daughters redecorated the wooden ceiling, using bosun’s chairs to reach the top. Among his writings were Lectures on Modern Atheism (a translation, 1878) and Holy Scripture and the Temperance Question (1878). Most of his hymns first appeared in the Church of England Magazine, and in 1873, the year of his final move, he published Hymns and Verses, comprising his original texts and translations from the French. Among some notable but now largely forgotten texts drawing on the Psalms is Harp, awake! Tell out the story. No.239.

Hymns and songs by Downton, Henry

Number Hymn Name
239 For your mercy and your grace