Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,103 pages of information and 233,633 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

James Downs (1831-1904)

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c.1831 Born in Bothwell, Lanark

1851 James Downs 20, a millwright, living in Low Blantyre, Lanarkshire, with Lillian Downs 21, Isabella Downs 7 months and Helen Downs 10[1]

1859 Employed as manager of the Old Foundry, Hull, by Christiana Rose

By 1861 he was living in Sculcoates, Hull, a mechanical engineer, with Lillias Downs 31, Isabella Downs 10, William Downs 9, James Downs 4, Christina Downs 3, Thomas Downs 1[2]

1871 Iron founder and merchant, living in Sculcoates with Lillis Downs 42, Isabella Downs 20, William Downs 19, Christina Downs 12, Thomas Downs 10, Mary Downs 9, Henry Downs 7, Charles Downs 5, Alexander H Downs 4, Alfred Downs 2[3]

1871 Became a partner in the business, Rose and Downs

1870s James Downs visited America, returning with the plans for new machinery in the form of Anglo-American presses; these could press larger numbers of oil cakes than before and the firm soon became the principal British firm for oil mill machinery. Most of their customers were the seed-crushing firms.

By 1878 was partner in Rose, Downs and Thompson, Engineers, Millwrights, Boiler Makers, and Iron and Brass Founders[4]

1881 Engineer and iron founder employing 70 men[5]

1891 Mechanical engineer and iron founder, living in Sculcoates with Lilias Downs 62, James Downs 34, cashier, engineers, Alex Hall Downs 24, Alfred George Downs 22[6]

1904 Died; executors were James Downs, secretary, and Charles Downs, engineer[7]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1851 census
  2. 1861 census
  3. 1871 census
  4. The London Gazette 3 December 1878
  5. 1881 census
  6. 1891 census
  7. National Probate Calendar
  • Archives of Rose, Downs and Thompson Ltd. Makers of Oil and Mill machinery, Hull. Hull History Centre.