Wicked Victorian Boston

William W Downs

Charismatic Baptist Minister.

The Reverend William Downs was the pastor of the Bowdoin Square Baptist Church. In 1885, Fred Taber, a trusted advisor of Rev. Downs, caught Downs lying on a bed with Fred's wife Annie. Downs had his jacket and waistcoat off and neither was wearing shoes. This was enough, in Victorian Boston, to have the Reverend Downs and Annie Taber arrested for adultery. The arrest led to charges and countercharges, not just among the Tabors and Reverend Downs, but men and women throughout the congregation, generating legal proceedings that went on for years. The congregation of the Bowdoin Square Baptist Church became hopelessly divided and the church closed its doors, never to reopen.