Downham (St. Leonard)

DOWNHAM (St. Leonard), a parish, in the union, hundred, and Isle of Ely, county of Cambridge, 2½ miles (N. N. W.) from Ely; containing 2140 inhabitants. This was one of the principal residences of the bishops of the diocese, who had a palace here of considerable magnificence; but since the arrest of Bishop Wren by order of the parliament, in 1642, it has been deserted, and suffered to fall into decay. There are still considerable remains of the building, and the offices have been converted into a farmhouse. The parish is situated on the road to Wisbech, and comprises 10,145 acres. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £17. 2. 1., and in the gift of the Bishop of Ely: the tithes have been com muted for £1280, and the glebe comprises 134 acres, with a glebe-house. There are places of worship for Baptists and Methodists.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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