These are the notes made by Nicholas Butler who interviewed Mrs Ann Dowden in the mid-1980s as part of his research for his book The Story of Wivenhoe. These notes have been re-typed by Ann Jones from his original notes.
An interview with Mrs Ann Dowden who was living in Colchester at that time.
Mrs Dowden showed me several brass rubbings she had made, including a magnificent full-length one of the Countess of Oxford, in which the proper heraldic colours on the dress had been put on with poster paint. It would be a splendid illustration in my book if I could afford it. She also showed me a book she was making, something which perhaps would be far too expensive to have printed. She recommended me to contact Nancy Briggs at the Essex Record Office with regard to the indents. She told me that the Letters and Papers of Henry VIII were at the University of Essex.
Mr John Dowden was the first pupil at the University. He was billeted in the Porter’s Lodge on the Wivenhoe Road. He studied Mathematics under Professor Proudsman. He now lectures in Mathematics at the University. He became a lecturer a year after going to the University.
The relic of the true cross on Viscountess Beaumont’s dress has been defaced. So has Thomas Westeley’s stole, chalice and wafer.
Later Mrs Dowden gave me photostatted copies of two articles on brass rubbing which I needed.