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chiefly for argument on a presumed affinity of names. It is justly observed by Gough “ that the frequent use of the name of Ald. chester, for Roman stations in England, is a full confutation of the notion that this peculiarly belonged to Allectus."
Kennet, with more judgment, supposes Alchester to have been one of the garrisoned places constructed by Plautius, as securities to the newly conquered country, after his early triumphs over the Britons. This station probably acted as the frontier of the Dobuni and Cattieuchlani; and thence the army of Plautius might readily pursue the Britons to Buckingham, or the adjacent banks of the Ouse.
The area has, for many ages, been subject to the inroads of the plough ; and numerous coins and curious relics have been found at various times. The author of the manuscript before quoted * notices the following, among other discoveries : “ In the year 1616, an earthen pot, full of brass money, bearing the stamp, vame, and picture, some of Carausius, some of Alleetus, was found under the root of a tree in Steeple Claydon parish, by the great pond there. In the midst of that ploughed field, Al. chester, a husbandman, ploughing very deep, lighted on a rough round stone, which was found to be hollow within, and seemed ceinented together. On being opened nothing was found but a greco glass, some three quarters full of ashes, close stopped up with lead over the month." These the author supposes to : be " the ashes of Carausius, slain hard by!” This writer creates more interest when he proceeds to observe that “ Alchester appears to have been a walled town. In the front was built a sconce, or” watch-tower, the ruins wbercof still appear (1622) in a plat of meadow, where, in our days, have been dog up much Roman money, brick, and tile; and a paveinent of curious wronght tile."
Many coins, and fragments of building, have been discovered at Alchester, in more recent periods. Twoneighbouring villages maintain a connection in their names
This MS, bears the date of 1622.
with the desolated garrison. Great CHESTERTON, which lies contiguous to the ancient city, probably sprang from its ruins ; and, perhaps, we may safely admit that WENDLEBURY derives its name from the Vandals, who were certainly employed as auxiliaries by the Romans in the decay of the empire, and who might have their station in this place * The Akeman Street passed Alchester on the north. The church of the present village of Chesterton stands immediately contiguous to its track.
Pursuing the traces of this antient road, we arrive, when five miles distant from Bicester, at KIRKLINGTON, formerly a place of much political consequence, from its situation as a frontier town between the kingdoms of Mercia and the West Saxons. In the year 977 was held a great council, or synod, at which were present King Edward the Martyr, and St. Duustan, Archbishop of Canterbury. Some writers place this synod at Kirtling, or, as it is often termed, Catledge, in Cambridgeshire; but others contend that it was held in this village, and they observe, in support of their opinion, that Sideman, bishop of Devonshire, dying at this synod, willed to be buried in his own church at Crediton, but King Edward and Archbishop Dunstan ordered that he should be buried in the church of Abingdon, and he was accordingly laid on the north side, in the porch of St. Paul. It was, likewise, as a mark of kindness, allowed by the council to be lawful for the country people to go in pilgrimage to St. Mary of Abingdon. It is contended that Bishop Sideman was buried at St. Mary's on account of the comparative contiguity of that church; and it is remarked that the people of Cambridgeshire would receive no peculiar favour in being permitted to seek religious benefit from a pilgrimage to so distant a spot.
The manor of Kirklington, according to Plot, was formerly part of the possessions of the Kings of England; from whom it
• It is remarked by Gough, as a curious circumstance, that there is a Roman station, and a “Vandlebury," in the neighbourhood of both Univer. sities.
came to Henry, son of Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster, and father to Henry, the first Duke of Lancaster; by whose daughter Blanch it proceeded to Johu of Gaunt. This intelligeuce Plot professes to derive from an old charter, then in the possession of Sir Thomas Chamberleyne, “ Lord of the Town;" but Dugdale, who traces the desceut of the property from Joha de Humotz, Coustable of Normandy in the reign of King John. through the line of the Bassets, observes that Thomas of Woodstock, sixth son of Edward III, died possessed of the manor in the 20th of Richard II.
The property is now vested in Sir Henry W. Dashwood, Bart. who was here a fine seat, encompassed by an extensive park. This mauor was valued, in the year 1420, at 131, 6s. 8d. and seven Beeves.
In the contiguous parish of BLFTCHINGDON, Richard de Prestcote held one hide of land, by the petty serjeantry of carrying a shield of brawu to the King, as often as he hunted in the forest of Cornbury. The manor was long vested in the family of D'Amorie. The advowson of Bletchingdon church escheated to the crown in the reign of Henry III. by way of forfeiture, incurred by two brothers, Richard and William Gravill; and was given to Queen's College, by Edward III. at the request of the founder. In the year 1665 the shock of an earthquake was felt in this village. Bletchingdon was the birth-place of Dr. Daniel Fairclough, better known by his paterual name of leatly. He was the son of John Featly, Cook of Corpus Christi College, and was a writer of some eminence in opposition to the Roman Catholics. Dr. Fairclough suffered much in the civil contests of the 17th century, and died of a dropsy, supposed to be the consequence of long imprisonment, in 1644.
Arthur Annesley, Esq. has a desirable residence on the northern side of the village.
Islip, distant five miles from Oxford, claims little considera. tion from its modern aspect, but is memorable as the place which
afforded birth to King Edward the Confessor. The palace of his father, King Ethelred, is supposed to have stood to the north east of the village. Plot says that some footsteps of the edifice may still be discovered; but no traces are now to be seen. In this direction, however, is a close termed the Court-Close; from which, in the early part of the last century, several loads of lead were dug, which lay in irregular masses, as if melted. Still, allowing that a large building probably once occupied this site, it will be seen that the term Court-Close is no safe authority for concluding that this building was the palace of Ethelred; as such a term might be bestowed on the appurtenance to a mere ordinary manorial mansion.
The Charter of Restoration of the Abbey of Westminster, in which Edward gives to his new church the town of Islip, proves the fact of his birth at this place. Edward styles Islip " a small village," and spells the name Githslepe. The chapel in which it has been supposed he was christened, stood at a small distance from the church, This building was maintained in decent preservation by the monks of Westminster till their dissolation in 1640; and was not desecrated till the usurpation of Cromwell. In the 18th century it was converted to a barn. Every lingering fragment was destroyed before the year 1783. When last inspected by Warton, the roof was of thatch, but the stone walls still retained traces of an oblong window at the east end.
The occurrences connected with the presumed font of Edward's baptism, we have noticed in our mention of Kiddington.
Every rational enquirer must remain in doubt, as to whether Islip has cause to take pride from its regal native. Edward apo pears to have possessed great legislative wisdom, and to have studied invariably the solid welfare of his subjects. We discover little of weakness, till the priests meddle with bis character. His ungallant propensities are offensive to recollection. It is obvi, ous that even fanciful piety had nothing to do with his abstinence from the arms of his fair Queen, Editha, the daughter of