Pigot's Commercial Directory, 1842


Although in appearance, but a small village, is an ancient corporate town, once possessing a market and enjoying the elective franchise; it is in the parish and hundred of its name, 88 miles s.w. from London, and nearly 7 s.s.e. from Salisbury; situated in a pleasant vale on the east side of the Avon and is boarded about half a mile distant on the south by a ditch called "Landshire ditch."

The manufacturers here at one time consisted of paper, bed-ticking, straw plat and lace; the last-name two branches are maintained mainly by females to a limited extent, but the other two cease to exist.

Downton is an ancient borough by prescription; the privilege of returning two members to parliament was granted in the 23rd of Edward I, from which period (with some interruptions) it continued to be represented until the Reform Bill deprived it of the franchise. The Earl of Radnor is lord of the manor, and holds court leet twice a year; at one of these an officer, styled mayor and two constables are appointed.

The parish church of St. Lawrence is a neat and tolerably spacious structure, with a central tower, improved by Lord Radnor. The living is a vicarage, in the patronage of the warden and fellows of Winchester College; the present incumbent is the Rev. Richard Payne. There are places of worship for Baptists and Wesleyan Methodists. The principal charities are those for instructing the children of the poor gratuitously.

The market has long been discontinued, but two fairs are still attended viz April 23rd for cattle and Oct 2nd for sheep and horses. The borough and parish of Downton numbers nearly 4,000 inhabitants.

Post Office:
Sidney Hopwood Post Master -
Letters from all parts arrive (by mail cart from Salisbury) every morning at six and are despatched to that city every night at eight.

Nobility Gentry & Clergy:
Disney Edgar, Esq.
Folkeston the Honble Lord, Longford castle
Payne Rev. Richard
Shuckburgh William, Esq.

Professional Persons:
Flimington James, Master of the Free School
Hooper Richard Henry, Surgeon
Hooper William, Surgeon
Read Thomas, Master of the British School
Welch E.A.K., Surgeon

Inns & Public Houses:
Bull, William Todd
George & Dragon, John Goulding
King's Arms, James Blake
New Inn, Thomas Goffe
Three Horse Shoes, Henry Tanswill
White Horse, James Blake

Shopkeepers & Traders:
Andrews John, Shopkeeper
Antram Aaron, Shopkeeper
Barry John, Glover and Tawer
Bridge Charles, Beer Retailer
Chalk John, Boot and Shoe Maker
Cooper George, Blacksmith
Eastman John, Wheelwright
Evans Mortimer, Shopkeeper
Everly Jacob, Boot & Shoe Maker
Gauntlet George, Boot & Shoe Maker
Groves Humphy, Basket & chair Maker
Hayter William, Tailor
Hobbs James, Coach Builder
Humby Henry, Tailor
Humby John, Blacksmith
Jellyman Joseph, Paper Manufacturer
Kendall Samuel, Tailor
Lawrence Elizabeth, Glover & Breeches Maker
Manning George, Miller & Shopkeeper
Miles Elizabeth, Straw Hat Maker
Muscle Benjamin, Wheelwright
Olding James, Blacksmith
Parsons Samuel, Shopkeeper
Poor John, Tailor
Reeves John, Maltster & Timber Merchant
Rogers Elizabeth, Druggist
Spare Ezekiel, Plumber
Street John Jnr., Builder & Timber Merchant, Redlinch
Thornton Thomas, Plumber, Glazier & Painter
Westcombe John, Beer Retailer
Westcombe John, Butcher
Wilkins George, Beer Retailer

To Pool - a coach (from Salisbury) passes through every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning, goes through Fordingbridge, Ringwood & Wimborne.

To Salisbury - a coach (from Pool) passes through every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening.

To Salisbury - Weeks, from the Bull every Tuesday and Saturday