Louisa Jane Downing

Louisa Jane Downing was born in April 1847 the middle child of William Downing and his wife Emma. Her mother died when she was only four.

Louisa Jane Downing in about 1895

Her father remarried in August 1856 and her new stepmother was Susan Lee (1827-1920) from Welton in Northamptonshire. Louisa attended a school in Dallington Hall in Northamptonshire (1861 census)

Shortly after, the new family moved in to a large new house called Holly Lodge in Smethwick.

She was known in the family as Louie Downing – or Aunt Louie. She was the Godmother to her niece Daisy Downing but never herself married.

In the 1891 census she is recorded as staying in Oxford with Professor Morfill, who was her stepmother’s widowed brother in law.

After the death of her father in 1901 she continued to live on in Holly Lodge with her stepmother who actually outlived her.

She died at Holly Lodge on 22 Mar 1917 leaving an estate of nearly £8000. Her brother William Edmund Downing and half brother Thomas Lee Downing were the executors.

She was buried on 26 Mar 1917 in Llanrhos Cemetery close to the family holiday home in Llandudno, where her brother, George, had died in 1894.

The following year a Lady chapel was consecrated in the south transept of  St Paul’s Smethwick in her memory. It was destroyed by fire in 1963. The church had been built in 1858 and she had been a longtime supporter and benefactor of the church.

The stained glass in the chapel window was designed by Florence Camm. The Smethwick firm of T.W.Camm (Florence’s father) was also probably responsible for the stained glass in St Pauls, Llandudno dedicated to her brother, George.

Last updated on 16 December 2020 by JJ Morgan