no image
Privacy Level: Open (White)

Emanuel Downing (bef. 1585 - bef. 1660)

Emanuel Downing
Born before in Ipswich, Suffolk, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 7 Jun 1614 (to before 18 Oct 1621) in Dublin, Irelandmap
Husband of — married 10 Apr 1622 in Groton, Suffolk, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died before in Westminster, Middlesex, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 12 Oct 2011
This page has been accessed 5,309 times.
The Puritan Great Migration.
Emanuel Downing migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
Join: Puritan Great Migration Project
Discuss: pgm



Puritan Great Migration
Emanuel Downing } immigrated to New England between 1621 and 1640 and later departed for England.


Emanuel Downing was a son of George Downing and his wife, name unknown. (See Note #1 below.) They died within months of each other in 1610 and 1610/11 and were buried in the churchyard of St Lawrence, Ipswich, Suffolk, where Emanuel had been baptized on 12 August 1585.[1] "Tradition", according to Simmons,[2] informs us that George Downing named his son Emanuel after the new Puritan College founded the year before at Cambridge, but Emanuel went instead to Trinity Hall to study law rather than Divinity.

He matriculated Scholar at Trinity in 1602 and became a barrister of the Inner Temple.[3] For some time undetermined he practiced law in Ireland, perhaps before he married Anne Ware, daughter of Sir James Ware and Mary Brydon on June 1614.[4] In 1617, Sir James was appointed Secretary of Ireland by King James I, and Emanuel certainly practiced law in Dublin after this time.

The marriage with Anne Ware was a short one; she died in 16 or 17 October, 1621. [5] There were three children born in Dublin, who all lived to adulthood: [6] [7]

James – b about 1616
Mary – b about 1618, d 16 June 1647 in Boston, Mass; m about 1639 Anthony Stoddard
Susan – b about 1620

Of these three children of Emanuel Downing, Mary is known to have remained in New England, with a number of notable descendants. Little is known of the later lives of James and Susan; Anderson [8] speculates that she may have died there unmarried.

Shortly afterwards, on 10 April 1622, Emanuel Downing returned to Suffolk to marry again to Lucy Winthrop, daughter of Adam Winthrop and Ann Browne, at the Winthrop estate of Groton Manor. Her brother was John Winthrop, who became Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony. The surviving children of this marriage: [6] [7]

George – b about 1624 in Dublin Ireland, d July 1684 in England; m 1654 Frances Howard
Lucy – b about 1625, d Feb 1697/8 at Ipswich Mass; m 1649 William Norton
Joshua – bp 1627 St Brides, Fleet Street, London; m about 1657 [9]
Robert (Robin) – bp 24 March 1628/9 St Bride’s Fleet Street [10]
Anne – bp 12 April 1633 St Bride’s Fleet Street,[11] d 19 April 1713; m (1) 1656 Joseph Gardner, m (2) 6 June 1676 Simon Bradstreet
Martha – bp 31 March 1637 St Clement Danes[12]; m 1659 John? Peter
John – bp 1 March 1639/40 in Salem, Mass,[13] d 29 April 1694 at Boston, Mass

Of these seven children, sons George, Joshua, and Robert are known to have returned to England. John, born in Massachusetts, remained. Daughters Lucy and Anne married in Massachusetts and remained; Martha returned with her mother to Scotland.

Career in England

Emanuel Downing’s marriages were both highly influential in his life. First, the Ware marriage advanced his legal career. After several years in Dublin, in 1626 he won a lucrative and prestigious appointment in London to The Court of Wards and Liveries. He was also able to help his brother-in-law John Winthrop to an appointment there. [14]

Emanuel Downing and John Winthrop were as close as any brothers, and intimately concerned in each others' affairs throughout their lives. By 1629, Winthrop had determined to emigrate and establish a Puritan commonwealth in America. Downing was with him when he rode to Sempringham, Lincolnshire, where the Cambridge Agreement was signed, pledging the signatories, members of the Massachusetts Bay Company, to emigrate with their families the next year to Massachusetts, where Winthrop would become the Governor. [15][16] Downing, while a member of the Company, was apparently not one of the signatories. He did not leave England until almost a decade later, but he did send his least-favored son James on the Arbella with the Winthrop Fleet when it sailed in 1630, and his daughters Mary and Susan in 1633 on the Mary and Jane.[8] Lucy Downing may have wished to see these stepchildren removed while keeping herself and her own children with her in England.

Emanuel Downing did the Massachusetts colony good service as its agent and advocate in London. A wealthy, influential investor named Sir Ferdinando Gorges believed that the Massachusetts Bay Company encroached on his own interests in New England and wished its charter to be revoked. Downing wrote to his good acquaintance Sir John Coke, the Secretary of State, in the colony's defense.[17] He also alerted the government to the encroachment of the Dutch on the territory of the English colonies.

But his main activities were in the promotion of opportunities for business there, in which he was very interested in profiting for himself. He formed an export firm, shipping staple goods such as textiles and clothing to the colonists not able to manufacture such items themselves,[18] while considering the import of the raw materials in which New England abounded.

Migration to New England

Emanuel Downing might have emigrated earlier had it not been for the objections of his wife Lucy, who strongly preferred to remain amongst the comforts of England. Her strongest argument was for the educational opportunities of her favorite son, George, lacking in the wilderness of Massachusetts. In 1637 she wrote to her brother:

I fear the journie would not be so prosperous for (George) as I could wish, in respect you haue noe societies nor means in that kinde for the education of youths in learnnge; and I bless God for it he is yet reasonable hopeful in that way; and I would think as wee saye greue me in my grave to know that his mynde had been withdrawne from his booke by other sports or inployments, for that weer butt the way to make him good att nothinge.

Yet earlier she had written: ". . . they doe much fear the country cannot afford subsistance for many people, and that if you wear not supplyed of incomes from hence, your liues would be very misserable;", which may have been the larger part of her "loathnes" to emigrate.[19]

The death in 1635 of Robert Naunton, Master of the Court of Wards and Liveries, Emanuel Downing's patron, threatened his income of £700/year from that place, and probably played a significant role in his decision finally to depart,[20] as did the resolution in Massachusetts to found the college to be named Harvard. In March 1638 the Downing family embarked on the Thomas and Frances. [6]

The Downings settled near Salem, where the influence of John Winthrop quickly eased their way into the upper ranks of the town. On 4 November 1638 he was admitted as a member of the church, and a freeman in March of the next year.[21] He was active from the first in local government, serving in the magistracy as early as 1639 through 1649. He became Recorder of Deeds for Salem in 1640.[6] [22]

Emanuel Downing purchased extensive parcels of land in the vicinity of Salem and built a substantial house there, named "Groton" after the Winthrop manor in Suffolk. The favored son George entered the first class of Harvard College in 1640, ranked second (by the standing of his family).

It might have seemed that the Downings had embarked on a life of success and prosperity in New England, but events would soon validate Lucy Downing's misgivings as Britain flung itself into a ruinous fratricidal conflict between King and Parliament. Throughout the 1640s, Emanuel Downing would travel three times to England, both on the colony's business, the business of the Winthrops, and his own.[22] These were extended trips, lasting up to a year, and increasingly unsuccessful. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Emanuel Downing, while a good lawyer, was not a competent businessman.

In 1642-3, he was promoting the new Saugus Iron Works[23] (see Note #2), on behalf of John Winthrop, Jr, and seeking investors. In 1645, he was again in England on the same business, where he engaged the services of Richard Leader to manage the operation at £100 per annum.[22] [24] The Iron Works was a technical success but not a financial one; Downing did not make a fortune from his shares, which he had purchased on credit and could not pay for. He lost them in 1645.[25]

On the same trip, he entered into a scheme (it can only be called this) with Hugh Peter and Thomas Weld to ship poor children to New England as servants. But he and the others were accused of pocketing some of the charitable money advanced for the care of the children, an incident that marred his reputation in both England and New England.[22] This is one sign of the depths his affairs had fallen to.

In April 1645, while Emanuel Downing was away, his family suffered another financial setback when their house, "Groton" in Salem VIllage burned down while the family was a church, to the loss of £200.[26] [6] He then removed to Salem proper, where he purchased a large dwelling on Essex Street, owned by former minister Hugh Peter, which Perley calls "the finest house then built in the Colony."[27] This purchase undoubtedly contributed to Downing's increasing financial woes, along with the marriage portions of his daughters.


By 1648, Emanuel Downing was over sixty years old and deeply in debt. He had made a third visit to England from 1647 - 1648,[22] perhaps to investigate opportunities there, now that the pro-Puritan Parliament had won the civil war. Back in New England, he made one more attempt to regain solvency as a distiller, but this enterprise, also, failed of success.[28] Three years earlier, son George Downing, having taken his degree at Harvard[29] but finding "little expectation" in the Colony, had returned to England.[22]

In 1654, Emanuel Downing returned permanently to England where his son had obtained for him a post in the Cromwell government, as clerk to the Council of State in Scotland, at a salary of £300 per annum. [30] By 1657, Lucy Downing and daughter Martha had joined him there in Edinburgh.[31]

The post would be a short-lived one, with the death of Cromwell in 1658 , followed by the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660. But by that time, Emanuel Downing himself had died some time in 1659.

His wife Lucy survived him and lived twenty years more in England on a small income from her property in Massachusetts.[22]

Note #1 on Mother's Name

The wife of George Downing and mother of Emanuel Downing has been variously reported as either Dorcas Bellamy or Dorcas Blois. According to researcher Myrtle Stevens Hyde, the name of Mrs Downing is unknown. While there are Bellamys in the family record of the George Downings, and at least one Dorcas, neither was the name of this George Downing's wife, whose personal name did not appear on her burial record; no marriage record has been discovered. [7]

Note #2 on Scottish POWs at Saugus Iron Works

After the Battle of Worcester in 1651, hundreds of Scottish prisoners of war were shipped as indentured labor to the British colonies, where some of them ended up in New England, including the Saugus Iron Works. [13] This was past the time of Emanuel Downing's direct involvement in the company, but it brings to mind the disturbing letter he wrote in 1645 to John Winthrop, when war threatened with the Narragansett Indians.

If vpon a Just warre the Lord shall deliuer them into our hands, wee might easily haue men women and children enough to exhange for Moores, which wilbe more gaynefull pilladge for vs than wee conceive, for I doe not see how wee can thrive, vntill wee get into a stock of slaves sufficient to doe all our buisines . . .


  1. Ipswich Record Office. [Fiche 1 0f 17 Ref: F.B. 106. Microfilm J426/48. Vol. 5849]
  2. Simmons, Frederick Johnson. Emanuel Downing. N J: 1958. p 14. [1]
  3. Alumni cantabrigienses, pt 1, vol II. Cambridge University Press. [2]
  4. Simmons, pp 4-5. [3]
  5. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847-. (Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2018.) "Notes, Heraldic Intelligence. Committee on Heraldry" Frederick J. Simmons. Vol. 115 (1961) p. 151 [4]
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Jacobus, Donald Lines and Edgar Francis Waterman. Hale, House and Related Families. [5]
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 The American Genealogist. New Haven, CT: D. L. Jacobus, 1937-. (Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009 - .) "A Study of the Downing Family in England, with Connections In Early New England" by Myrtle Stevens Hyde. Vol. 74 (1999) pp. 161-174. [6]
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III. (Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2010), (Originally Published as: New England Historic Genealogical Society. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III, 3 vols., 1995). pp 578-581. [7]
  9. "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," database, FamilySearch ( : 11 February 2018, Joshua Downinge, 03 Feb 1627)
  10. "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," database, FamilySearch ( : 11 February 2018, Robert Downinge, 24 Mar 1628)
  11. "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," database, FamilySearch ( : 11 February 2018, Ann Downinge, 12 Apr 1633)
  12. "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," database, FamilySearch ( : 11 February 2018, Martha Downing, 31 Mar 1637)
  13. "Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915," database, FamilySearch ( : 10 February 2018), John Downing, ;
  14. Simmons, p 14
  15. Simmons, p. 18
  17. Simmons, p 28
  18. Simmons, pp. 24-27,
  19. Simmons, pp 41-44.
  20. Simmons p 45.
  21. "Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England 1628 - 1686" Nathaniel B. Shurtleff. Boston (1853-1854) Vol. 1. p. 375.[8]
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 Susan Hardman Moore. Abandoning America. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2016. pp 91-92.
  23. Woodbury, C J H. The Saugus Iron Works at Lynn, Massachusetts. Lynn, Mass: 1892. [9]
  24. Simmons, p.65-66.
  25. Simmons, p. 77.
  26. Sidney Perley. The History of Salem Massachusetts, vol 2. Salem: 1924-28. p. 19.[10]
  27. Perley, p. 27.
  28. Simmons, p. 78
  29. Sibley's Harvard Graduates vol I, p. 23 & 30.[11]
  30. State Papers, 1656: February (3 of 6)', in A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 4, Sept 1655 - May 1656, ed. Thomas Birch (London, 1742), pp. 518-534. British History Online. [12]
  31. Simmons, p. 86.
  32. Simmons, p. 86.
  • Mary Walton Ferris. Dawes-Gates Ancestral Lines, vol 1. pp 315-317. Milwaukee: 1943. [14]
  • J J Muskett. Suffolk Manorial Families. 1896, pp 96-99. [15]

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Is Emanuel your ancestor? Please don't go away!
 star icon Login to collaborate or comment, or
 star icon contact private message private message a profile manager, or
 star icon ask our community of genealogists a question.
Sponsored Search by

No known carriers of Emanuel's DNA have taken a DNA test.

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Sponsored by Ancestry ®

Family History Search.


Enter a grandparent's name. Just one grandparent can lead you to many discoveries.

Comments: 36

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
Added PGM category, and what bio and sources I could find to daughter Martha

She removed to Scotland and later England, should be be PGM and PGM Beyond or just one of those? Also needs PGM or Beyond Manager

posted by Chris Hoyt
Thanks added PGM Beyond sticker.
Added PGM category, and what bio and sources I could find to son Joshua

He went to Scotland, should be be PGM and PGM Beyond or just one of those?

posted by Chris Hoyt
Added PGM, bio/ sources to daughter Lucy She should probable have PGM Manager.
posted by Chris Hoyt
Janine, do you know from what child?
posted by Lois (Hacker) Tilton
Hello Lois,

John Downing and Mehitable

Now THERE is a tangle! I've seen a lot of articles on that relationship
posted by Lois (Hacker) Tilton
This is my 11th grandfather


I am detaching Richard Downing as a son of Emanuel and Lucy.
posted by Lois (Hacker) Tilton
I have a merge proposed between D-170 and D-605, who has the same inactive PM
posted by Lois (Hacker) Tilton
I tried to adopt Bellamy-561, but oddly it won't let me. I can adopt George.
posted by Anne B
I see PM of Bellamy-561 hasn't been active since October 2018.

Unless there are objections, will a LEADER please change the LNAB of Bellamy-561 to Unknown? Thanks.

I have replaced Bellamy-561 as Emanuel's mother.

Evidence says that Bellamy wasn't her surname, and it should be changed to UNKNOWN, which will effect all her children, including Mary, who should be detached from them, as no evidence shows her as their daughter.

I don't have response from B-561's PM to make this change to her LNAB.

posted by Lois (Hacker) Tilton
Sources have Emanuel arriving on ship "Thomas and Frances"

GMD has no listing for this ship

posted by Lois (Hacker) Tilton
By detaching Bellamy-561 as mother from Emanuel Downing instead of changing her LNAB to Unknown, someone has created a problem whereby his siblings are now listed as half siblings.

I propose to re-attach Bellamy-561 and then change her LNAB to Unknown.

posted by Lois (Hacker) Tilton
The siblings of Emanuel Downing are listed here as half siblings because this profile correctly gives his father's wife as unknown, but the profiles of the siblings all list their mother with the discredited name of Bellamy.

This should be changed to make the profile creditable in the eyes of the world.

posted by Lois (Hacker) Tilton

D  >  Downing  >  Emanuel Downing

Categories: PGM Beyond New England | Puritan Great Migration