Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Nicholas Downing

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Nicholas Downing (1805-1872) of Phoenix Foundry, Shildon and Hackworth and Downing

1831 Married at Ryton to Ann Foster (1811-1847) and they had seven children

1831 Partnership changed. Nicholas and George Downing, ironfounders of Chester-le-Street amicably dissolved and carried on by George Downing.[1]

1833 Timothy Hackworth opened new workshops, foundry and built houses for workers[2] at New Shildon, where locomotive, marine, and industrial engines and boilers were built. He placed his brother Thomas in charge along with Nicholas Downing and the business was initially called Hackworth and Downing. This was known as the Phoenix Iron Works. Downing dropped out later.

1841 Living at the Square, Shildon: Nicholas Downing (age c.35), Ironfounder. With Ann (age c.30), Mary (age c.10), Hannah (age c.8), John (age c.6), Ann (age c.4) and Thomas (age c.2).[3]

1843 Mention of Nicholas Downing, Ironfounder, of Chester-le-Street in connection with the effects of the Iron and Brass foundry recently owned by George Downing, deceased.[4]

1845. Mentioned. Nicholas Downing is the owner of an extensive foundry and timber yard at Shildon, near Durham.[5]

1848 Married at Stockton to Mary Kirkwood nee Thew and they had five children

1850 Mentioned. N. Downing, The Phoenix Foundry, Shildon, cast iron railway carriage wheel.[6]

1851 Living at Stockton Street, Middlesbrough: Nicholas Downing (age 45 born Ryton), Iron Moulder. With his wife Mary Downing (age 30 born Spittle) and their six children; John Downing (age 16 born Ryton), Iron Moulder; Ann Downing (age 13 born Ryton); Nicholas Downing (age 11 born Ryton); Robert Downing (age 8 born Ryton); William Downing (age 6 born Shildon); and Sarah Downing (age 1 born Middlesbrough). One other.[7]

1854 Fire at the premises of Nicholas Downing, Iron Foundry, Shildon.[8]

1858 Executor of an estate. '...that Nicholas Downing, of Shildon, in the county of Durham, Ironfounder, by indenture, dated the 17th day of November instant, conveyed and assigned all his real and personal estate and effects unto Alfred Hollis, of Darlington, in the said county of Durham, Iron Manufacturer, and Thomas Dunford, of the town and county of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Agent, in trust, for the equal benefit of all the creditors of the said Nicholas Downing, who should execute the said indenture; and that the same indenture was duly executed by the said Nicholas Downing, Alfred Hollis, and Thomas Dunford, on the day of the date thereof...'[9][10]

1872 December 9th. Died. Probate of Nicholas Downing, late of Middlesbrough, Cab Proprieor, to Isaac Fidler of M'Bro, Builder, Wright Derwent of M'Bro, Schoolmaster and John Downing and Nicholas Downing, Moulders, his sons.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Newcastle Courant - Saturday 09 July 1831
  2. Biography of Timothy Hackworth [1]
  3. 1841 Census
  4. Newcastle Courant - Friday 29 September 1843
  5. Newcastle Courant - Friday 11 April 1845
  6. Birmingham Journal - Saturday 04 May 1850
  7. 1851 census
  8. Durham Chronicle - Friday 18 August 1854
  9. [2] Gazette Issue 22203 published on the 23 November 1858. Page 70 of 88
  10. Newcastle Courant - Friday 22 July 1859