Downing, Calybute

, an English divine, the eldest son of Calybute Downing of Shennington, in Gloucestershire, gent, was born in 1606, and in 1623 became a commoner of Oriel college, Oxford, where he took one degree in arts. His master’s degree, according to Wood, he took at Cambridge, or abroad; after which, entering into orders, he held the vicarage of Hackney, near London, with the parsonage of Hickford, in Buckinghamshire. But these not | being sufficient for his ambition, he stood in competition with Dr. Gilbert Sheldon for the wardenship of All -soul’s; and losing that, was a suitor to be chaplain to the earl of Strafford, lord lieutenant of Ireland, thinking that road might lead to a bishopric. But failing there also, he joined the parliament party, and became a great promoter of their designs; and in a sermon preached before the artillery-company, Sept. 1, 1640, delivered this doctrine: “That for the defence of religion, and reformation of the church, it was lawful to take up arms against the king” but fearing to be called in question for this assertion, he retired to the house of Robert earl of Warwick, at Little Lees, in Essex. After this he became chaplain to the lord Robert’s regiment, and in 1643 was one of the assembly of divines; but died in the midst of his career, in 1644. He has some political discourses and sermons in print, enumerated by Wood. He was father of sir George Downing, made by king Charles II. secretary to the treasury, and one of the commissioners for the customs. 1


Ath. Ox. vol. II.