Islip (St. Nicholas)

ISLIP (St. Nicholas), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the union of Bicester, hundred of Ploughley, county of Oxford, 7 miles (N. by E.) from Oxford; containing 674 inhabitants. This place, now an inconsiderable village, is remarkable as the birthplace of Edward the Confessor, whose father, Ethelred II., had a palace here: Dr. Plot mentions some traces of the palace as existing in the latter part of the seventeenth century; and a building supposed to have been the royal chapel, then entire, and used as a barn, has since been destroyed. The parish comprises 1967a. 13p., of which 1200 acres are arable, 680 pasture, and about 35 woodland. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £16. 13. 6½.; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Westminster: the tithes have been commuted for £484, and the glebe consists of 30 acres. The church is an ancient structure, the chancel of which was rebuilt in 1618, and contains some paintings of the Offering of the Magi, and other subjects; the old font, used at the baptism of Edward the Confessor, in 1010, was removed during the rebellion, but has been restored to the parish, and is now in the gardens of the rectory. Here is a school for boys, founded, and endowed with land, by Dr. South, in 1712. Another charity school has been established, with a small endowment, arising from a benefaction by William Auger, in the year 1668.

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

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