Fanny Downing

Frances Susan Downing was the older sister of Thomas Lee Downing, and eldest daughter of William Downing by his second wife Susan Lee. She was baptised on 17 Apr 1865 and was known by the name Fanny.

She had three children – two sons by Thomas Kendrick and one daughter by George Sowter a clergyman.

She married Thomas Henry Kendrick, a bedstead manufacturer, in 1894 but he died in 1902. She then remarried the Rev George Sowter, a clergyman in 1905.

Her eldest son was Sir Thomas Downing Kendrick, later Director of the British Museum. Tom, born in 1895 was therefore a first cousin to Noel Downing, the only grandson of William Downing to bear the Downing name.

It fell to these two cousins to be the residual legatees of the wills of Thomas Lee Downing and his wife Ida Downing. The estate papers from 1946 have survived with a large number of artefacts concerned with the Downing property in Llandudno called Tan-Yr-Allt.

Fanny herself died in the Old Rectory, Madresfield, Malvern on 30 Jan 1926 a couple of months before her second husband, George Sowter.

There are three more photos which are believed to be studio portraits of a younger Fanny Downing:

Sources and Notes

  • Photos from Sally Mellersh, daughter of Tom Kendrick.
  • George Sowter was Vicar of Quirindi, NSW, Australia, 1883-1895 (Crockfords, 1908) before returning to the UK.
Last updated on 25 November 2020 by JJ Morgan