Isleworth (All Saints)

ISLEWORTH (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Brentford, hundred of Isleworth, county of Middlesex, 9 miles (W. S. W.) from London; containing, with part of the town of Hounslow, 6614 inhabitants, of whom 4903 are in the village of Isleworth. This place was principally distinguished for a splendid monastery, founded originally at Twickenham, in 1414, by Henry V., and dedicated to Our Holy Saviour, the Blessed Virgin, and St. Bridget, for sixty sisters, thirteen priests, four deacons, and eight lay brethren, of the order of St. Augustine, as reformed by St. Bridget. In 1432, the community removed to Isleworth, where a spacious edifice was erected, called the monastery of Sion; and the revenue, at the Dissolution, was £1944. 11. 8. The site was granted, in the 1st of Edward VI., to Edward, Duke of Somerset, Lord Protector, who erected the superb mansion of Sion House, which, in the seventh year of the same reign, was bestowed upon John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. In the reign of Mary, the convent was refounded for an abbess and nuns; but it was finally suppressed in that of Elizabeth, and continued vested in the Crown till the time of James I., when it was given to Henry Percy, the ninth earl of Northumberland. The Dukes of York and Gloucester, sons of Charles I.; and their sister, the Princess Elizabeth, were placed here by the parliament, under the care of the countess, in 1646. The mansion, about the middle of the seventeenth century, underwent several alterations and repairs, and received considerable additions, from the designs of Inigo Jones; it is a spacious quadrangular and embattled structure, with towers at the angles, beautifully situated in an extensive park on the western bank of the Thames.

The village occupies a pleasant situation on the same side of the river, and has one principal street, well lighted with gas; the houses are in general respectable and well built, and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water. The environs are adorned with elegant mansions and villas, with their appendant pleasure-grounds and shrubberies. A considerable portion of land in the neighbourhood is occupied by market-gardeners, who supply the London markets, and the soil is peculiarly favourable for the cultivation of raspberries and strawberries. There are two extensive corn-mills, one of which belonged to the monastery; also a large brewery. A branch of the Paddington canal joins the Thames at the eastern extremity of the parish, near Brentford. A pleasure-fair is held on the first Monday in July. The Duke of Northumberland holds courts leet and baron in April and October, and the Dean and Canons of Windsor have an annual court leet. The Living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £18; patrons, the Dean and Canons; impropriators, various proprietors of land. The great tithes have been commuted for £275. 10., and the vicarial for £800. 10.; the impropriate glebe comprises 65 acres, and the vicarial about half an acre of garden, attached to the glebehouse. The church is partly in the early English style; the body was taken down and rebuilt of brick in 1704, and repaired and beautified in 1829: it contains many handsome monuments. There are places of worship for the Society of Friends, Independents, and Wesleyans, and a Roman Catholic chapel. The charity, or Blue, school, lately united with a national school, was established in 1715, and is endowed with land bequeathed by Lady Elizabeth Hill, in 1630; also with lands at Orpington, in the county of Kent, purchased with property left by Mrs. Ann Oliver, in 1672: William Chelcott, in 1658, bequeathed a rent-charge of £20 for apprenticing boys. The total amount of these several benefactions is upwards of £280 per annum. Almshouses were founded in 1671, by Sir Thomas Ingram, Knt., for six aged widows. There are houses for six aged unmarried men and six aged women, founded and endowed by Mrs. Ann Tolson (who died in 1750) in consequence of having unexpectedly succeeded to property of the value of £40,000; the income is £171 per annum. A house for six women was built in 1764, by Mrs. Mary Bell, who endowed it with land producing £60 per annum; and there are numerous other bequests, for distribution among the poor.

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