A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 4, the City of Oxford. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1979.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Cathedral, p. 369. Ancient Parish Churches, p. 370. Ancient Chapels, p. 406. Modern and Outlying Parish Churches, p. 406. For bells and plate see F. Sharpe, Ch. Bells of Oxon. iii (O.R.S. xxxii), and J. T. Evans, Ch. Plate of Oxon. (Oxf. 1928).
CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL
Christ Church, established on the site of St. Frideswide's priory in 1546, is unique in being both a cathedral and a college of the university; the former priory church of St. Frideswide served thereafter as both cathedral church and college chapel, and the dean and canons were part of the college's governing body. (fn. 1) For much of its history the church was used primarily as a college chapel, but its status as the cathedral was recognized, for example, in 16th-century wills and during royal visits. (fn. 2) During the 17th and 18th centuries communion services were held there more frequently than in other Oxford churches. Monthly communion was resumed in 1660, and a weekly celebration, established by c. 1680, continued into the 18th century; there were few communicants, even among the canons and ordained students. (fn. 3) In 1730 it was reported that the church was in good condition, with a fine organ and choir services 'befitting a cathedral'. (fn. 4)
In 1847, however, the cathedral was criticized for being primarily a college chapel from whose worship the laity was excluded; there were neither sermons nor communion services for the people of the diocese, and the few public services held were 'the most slovenly and irreverent' performed in any English cathedral. (fn. 5) H. G. Liddell (dean, 1855-92) revived the cathedral and its services, reintroducing weekly communion services in 1865, and supervising the restoration of the fabric. (fn. 6) Thereafter the cathedral was used increasingly for services for the diocese, (fn. 7) attended on Sundays by 'a great crowd of citizens' in the 1890s, (fn. 8) and attracting good congregations in the 20th century.
The Cathedral Church of Christ comprises an aisled nave, an aisled chancel or presbytery, an aisled north transept, a south transept with an eastern aisle, a tower and spire over the crossing, and a west porch; projecting eastward from the north transept are two chapels of three bays, the Latin and Lady chapels, and opening off the east aisle of the south transept is a small chapel of St. Lucy. (fn. 9)
The early minster church on the site (fn. 10) was presumably rebuilt by the Augustinian canons after their possession was confirmed in 1122 and before the translation of St. Frideswide in 1180. Slight traces of a 12th-century church, the tower of which had been built by 1172 (fn. 11) survive in the south transept and south wall of the nave. (fn. 12) In 1190, however, fire destroyed the church, leaving it 'horrible because of the ruins of its walls' and open to the elements; the extent of the fund-raising which followed confirms that the fire was a major disaster. (fn. 13) Rebuilding had begun before 1194, and the stylistic unity of the late-12th-century church indicates that, although there are minor constructional changes between the chancel and the crossing, the work was carried out quickly. (fn. 14) The new church comprised the aisled nave, possibly two bays longer than the surviving 12th-century structure, the presbytery and transepts with their aisles, including the room or passage across the lower part of the third bay of the south transept, the lower stages of the tower, and a chapel of one bay opening from the third bay of the east aisle of the north transept. Early in the 13th century the bell-chamber and spire were added to the tower, and the Lady chapel was built along the north side of the north presbytery aisle, linked by arches to that aisle and the north transept aisle. In the early 14th century the Latin or St. Catherine's chapel was built by extending the 12th-century north-east chapel eastwards to the line of the east wall of the Lady chapel, and rebuilding its north wall. About 1330 St. Lucy's chapel was formed by extending the second bay of the south transept slightly to the east. During the 14th century new windows were inserted at the east ends of the presbytery, its aisles, and the Lady chapel. In the 15th century the north aisle of the nave was largely rebuilt and new windows inserted in the west aisle of the north transept. About 1500 the clerestories of the presbytery and north bay of the north transept were remodelled, and in the presbytery a new vault was built; because of its similarity to that of the Divinity School it has been attributed to William Orchard (d. 1504), who was buried in the cathedral. (fn. 15) Corbels were placed in the angles of the crossing and preparations made in the north transept for new vaults, which were not built. Windows were inserted in the north wall of the north aisle about the same time.
During the building of Cardinal College (1524-9) the west end of the church was demolished, and either then or when the church became the cathedral in 1546 a wall was built four bays west of the crossing, and stone screens inserted in the east arcade of the north transept. (fn. 16) Brian Duppa (dean, 1629-38) was responsible for refitting the choir of the church, including new stalls, for wainscotting the church, altering the tracery of several windows, including the east window, and inserting painted glass by Abraham van Linge. (fn. 17) Probably in the 18th century St. Lucy's chapel and part of the south transept were blocked off to form a verger's house. (fn. 18) By 1847 the state of the cathedral was described as a scandal, the fittings of the choir 'wretched and irreverent'; the severely criticized east window was replaced in 1853 by another controversial design, (fn. 19) and almost all of Duppa's work was removed in 1856 under the supervision of the architect John Billings. (fn. 20) A thorough restoration was carried out in 1870 by Sir Gilbert Scott, including the removal of the mid-19th-century east window and a reconstruction of the 12th-century design of the east end of the presbytery, with two round-headed windows below the clerestory passage and a circular window above. Scott also rebuilt much of the south aisle of the presbytery, added a fifth bay, without aisles, to the nave, and made a new entrance porch to the cathedral from the great quadrangle of the college. (fn. 21)
The shrine of St. Frideswide, reconstructed in 1889 but including parts probably made for the translation of the saint in 1289, (fn. 22) stands between the north presbytery aisle and the Lady chapel; the site of the medieval shrine is marked by a floor plaque in the Lady chapel. Beneath the arcade dividing the Latin and Lady chapels are three altar tombs surmounted by effigies, one of Elizabeth Mountford (d. 1354), the others ascribed to Prior Alexander Sutton (d. 1316) and Sir George Nowers (fl. early 15th century). Further east is an elaborate late-15th-century tomb surmounted by a carved oak 'watching-loft' or chantry chapel; between St. Lucy's chapel and the south aisle of the presbytery is the plain altar-tomb and canopy of Bishop King (d. 1557). Among the numerous other monuments in the cathedral may be mentioned, in the north transept, plaques and busts of Dean William Goodwin (d. 1620) and the author Robert Burton (d. 1639), and the altar-tomb of James Zouch (d. 1503); in the south aisle of the nave monuments and busts of Edward Pocock (d. 1691) professor of Hebrew, and Bishop Wilberforce (d. 1873), and in the west bay of the nave, a monument to Bishop Fell (d. 1686). In St. Lucy's chapel and the south transept are monuments to several royalists who died in Oxford during the Civil War, including Sir Henry Gage, governor of Oxford (d. 1645) and Edward, Lord Littleton, keeper of the Great Seal (d. 1645). The earliest of the named brasses are those to Edward Courtenay (c. 1450) and John FitzAlan (d. 1452). (fn. 23)
There are panels of 14th-century stained glass in the east window of St. Lucy's chapel, and in three of the windows of the Latin chapel. In the third window of the presbytery south aisle is early-17th-century stained glass depicting Bishop King before the ruins of Oseney abbey, probably by Bernard van Linge. At the west end of the nave north aisle is a window by Abraham van Linge (c. 1630), and parts of several other windows are attributed to him. The east windows of the Latin chapel, the Lady chapel, and presbytery aisles, and the west window of the nave south aisle, are by Burne Jones. (fn. 24)
Traces of wall-painting, dating from the 12th to the 16th centuries, have been found, but the only visible remains in 1977 were fragments of 13th-century work in the Lady chapel depicting censing angels. (fn. 25) There are early-16th-century carved stalls in the Latin chapel. The early-17th-century oak pulpit and sounding board, the vice-chancellor's throne, and the panelling in the Latin chapel are presumably part of Dean Duppa's work. (fn. 26) The sandstone reredos was built by G. F. Bodley in 1881. (fn. 27) The organ contains much of the original case of an organ built in 1680 by Bernhardt Schmidt; the 17th-century organ replaced one first mentioned in 1545, which was removed during the Interregnum and replaced in 1660. (fn. 28)
ANCIENT PARISH CHURCHES
All Saints. (fn. 29)
The church was granted or confirmed to St. Frideswide's priory at its foundation in 1122. Roger, bishop of Salisbury, took both All Saints and St. Michael at the North Gate from the priory, but restored them in 1139. (fn. 30) The priory retained the advowson until 1326 when it granted it to the bishop of Lincoln. In 1427 the church was used for the endowment of Lincoln College, and no presentations were made thereafter. (fn. 31) The college retained the church until its closure in 1971.
In 1895 when St. Martin's church was knocked down the benefices of All Saints and St. Martin's were united to form the rectory of St. Martin's and All Saints, and All Saints became the city church. Lincoln College was patron of the united benefice, which from 1943 was held in plurality with St. Michael at the North Gate. In 1971 the benefices were united into the rectory of St. Michael's with St. Martin's and All Saints, Lincoln remaining patron. (fn. 32)
The rectory was valued at £2 13s. 4d. in 1254, one of the more valuable Oxford livings, (fn. 33) but a pension of £3 6s. 8d. c. 1180, £2 in the early 13th century, was paid to St. Frideswide's. (fn. 34) In 1427 Richard Fleming, bishop of Lincoln, united All Saints, St. Michael at the North Gate, and St. Mildred's as the collegiate church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and All Saints Lincoln, founded in All Saints church. (fn. 35) The rector and fellows were to attend All Saints on the greater festivals, and to preach there on Easter Day, All Saints Day, and the dedication day (18 November). (fn. 36) In 1434 the college agreed to pay the archdeacon 8s. 4d. yearly in compensation for the loss of his rights in the three churches. (fn. 37) Between 1539 and 1566 the college leased the rectory (fn. 38) to the churchwardens for £2 13s. 4d. a year, the lessees bearing all expenses of maintaining the church services and fabric, paying ecclesiastical dues, and finding and paying a priest. (fn. 39)
The church was normally served by chaplains appointed and removed by the rector of Lincoln. Their stipend, fixed at £2 13s. 4d. in 1427, had risen to £6 13s. 4d. by 1566, but was reduced to £4 13s. 4d. in 1580. (fn. 40) The payment was discontinued during the Interregnum, but was raised to £6, with a room in college, in the later 17th century. (fn. 41) Small sums were left in 1627, 1640, and 1699 to the chaplain for catechizing. (fn. 42) William Tipping by will proved 1648 left £2 a year for a sermon on Good Friday. Henry Southam (d. 1659) gave 18s. 4d. a year for prayers and a sermon on Trinity Monday, the election and feast day of the glovers' company. (fn. 43) In 1715 the chaplaincy was worth £10 10s. a year (fn. 44) and soon afterwards Nathaniel, Lord Crewe, bishop of Durham, a former rector of Lincoln College, augmented it by £10 a year. In 1808 the living was worth £54, and in 1831, £65; (fn. 45) it was endowed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners with £840 in 1864 and with £50 a year in 1883. (fn. 46) In 1898 the endowments of All Saints produced £230, and those of St. Martin's, £100. There was no vicarage-house. (fn. 47)
The chaplains, usually fellows of Lincoln, were, like other members of the college, subject to the bishop of Lincoln as visitor. The creation of the diocese of Oxford does not at first seem to have raised any problems of jurisdiction over All Saints, but from the 17th century onwards the status of the chaplains of All Saints and St. Michael's was in dispute between the bishop of Oxford and the college. The chaplains had attended episcopal visitation at times in the 16th and 17th centuries (fn. 48) but the college repudiated their submissions to Bishop Bancroft (1632-41). (fn. 49) Bishop Blandford (1665-71) visited All Saints but the rector of Lincoln protested and no further visitations were held. There was prolonged but indecisive correspondence in the periods 1679-84 and 1730-53 between the rector, the visitor, and the bishop of Oxford. (fn. 50) In 1847 the bishop of Oxford argued that the recent abolition of peculiar jurisdictions of the bishop of Lincoln had placed All Saints and St. Michael's within his jurisdiction, and in 1848 the college, under protest, agreed to nominate the chaplains for licences. (fn. 51)
Several medieval rectors held the living for long periods. (fn. 52) Alexander Sporeman (rector from 1363 to at least 1383) was chaplain to Richard Cary, mayor of Oxford and one of the founders of St. Anne's chantry.
A chantry and guild or fraternity of the Virgin Mary existed in 1349 when Roger the tabletter left a tenement in reversion to its wardens, and Geoffrey Mounserel left property to its proctors. (fn. 54) In 1351 the proctors obtained licence to alienate to the guild in mortmain ten properties in Oxford, some acquired from the executors of John Peggey, (fn. 55) and in 1361 John of Barford and Robert Mauncel (?Mounserel) devised a shop and rents to the chantry. (fn. 56) In 1389 the chantry property and goods, including vestments and plate for the chantry chapel, were administered by two elected wardens paid 6s. 8d. each. The fraternity, whose members included men and women, maintained a chaplain to celebrate at St. Mary's altar. Members made offerings of 1d. at mass on the feast of the Assumption, and at members' funerals. Weekly allowances or loans were made to destitute or needy brethren. The chantry was last recorded between 1403 and 1412, and the chapel in 1427. (fn. 57)
William of Bicester, by will dated 1341, left land to found a chantry at the altar of St. Anne for himself, his family, and friends, (fn. 58) but the chantry was not established until 1350, after the deaths of William's son Nicholas and his son-in-law Richard Cary, who made further provision for it. The chaplain was paid a stipend of £5, later £4 13s. 4d. (fn. 59) The first chaplain was presented by Cary's executors; in 1370 and 1372 the rector, Alexander Sporeman, presented; thereafter the mayor presented until in 1475 the patronage was granted to Lincoln College. (fn. 60) The chantry appears to have been wealthy in 1422 when its possessions included 5 pairs of vestments, 7 altar cloths with 4 frontals, a chalice and 2 chests; but in 1454 its expenses of c. £12 exceeded receipts of c. £10 4s. (fn. 61) The grant of the chantry to Lincoln College in 1475 provided that a fellow of the college should celebrate in All Saints for the mayor and community of Oxford and for the founders and benefactors of the college and chantry. (fn. 62) The college paid £2 a year to the 'chaplain of St. Anne' until 1855. (fn. 63)
John Studley, by will dated 1371, left rents totalling £5 6s. 8d. to maintain a chaplain to celebrate daily for him in the Trinity chapel. (fn. 64) The chantry was licensed in 1377, and confirmed by the bishop of Lincoln in 1379. (fn. 65) Presentation was vested in Studley's executors, one of whom was his relict Agnes. (fn. 66) In 1379 Agnes and her second husband Richard Preston granted the chantry properties to Sir Robert Tresilian, reserving £5 6s. 8d. to the chantry chaplain for ever. On Tresilian's attainder in 1388 the property was acquired by William of Wykeham and given to New College which appointed and paid the chaplain until the suppression of the chantry in 1547. By 1446 the chapel was called St. Catherine's. (fn. 67)
An altar and light of St. Thomas were recorded in 1393, and a chapel of St. Thomas with its own wardens in the 15th century; (fn. 68) Emmeline Carre in 1436, and probably Roger Spending c. 1475, left money to support an early mass there. (fn. 69) A chapel and altar of St. Nicholas was recorded in 1427 and 1496, and an altar of St. Catherine in 1496 and 1507. (fn. 70) The glovers' gild supported a light in Trinity chapel from 1461, and attended mass there each Trinity Monday. (fn. 71) The skinners' gild attended an annual mass in the church on the feast of Corpus Christi and the goldsmiths at Whitsun. (fn. 72)
In 1536 the chaplain, silenced on the complaint of 'some malicious persons', protested that he was prevented from 'preaching the Gospel of Christ', and that 'papistical superstition' was maintained; he claimed to have the support of the mayor of Oxford and of the whole parish. (fn. 73) In 1586 a fellow of Corpus Christi who had preached in favour of Presbyterianism was ordered to preach in All Saints in favour of the established church. (fn. 74) A few parishioners were presented in the 16th century for not coming to church, but the reasons for their absence are unknown. (fn. 75) The churchwardens' expenditure in the 17th century reveals the usual ready conformity to the established religion. (fn. 76) During the Interregnum a lectureship was established at All Saints, held by Dr. John Conant, rector of Exeter, who was silenced in 1662 for denouncing 'Arminianism' and disputing the efficacy of baptism. (fn. 77)
The church was served throughout the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries by chaplains, later styled perpetual curates, usually fellows of Lincoln. Although there were a few long incumbencies, such as that of the Evangelical William Yeadon, (at least 1802 until at least 1820), most chaplains stayed only one or two years. (fn. 78)
In 1814 and probably for most of the 18th century the usual services were prayers twice and sermon once on Sundays, and prayers twice a week and on holy days. (fn. 79) In 1854 there were two full Sunday services with communion once a month and at Easter and Whitsun. The average congregation was c. 150, compared with c. 200 in the morning and c. 190 in the afternoon in 1851, in a church with 350 seats, nevertheless the curate who served the church unaided considered it bore a fair proportion to the size of the parish. (fn. 80) W. W. Merry (vicar 1861-84), later rector of Lincoln College drew large congregations, and his successor, Andrew Clark (1884-5), increased the number of communion services to one a week. During their incumbencies the number of Easter communicants rose from c. 52 to 127. (fn. 81)
In 1908, during bicentenary celebrations for the new church, the rector described All Saints as 'in a most extra-ordinary way typical of the Church of England', having become neither Evangelical, Tractarian, nor Broad Church, although not untouched by any of those movements; its congregation 'had never been over-excited by any religious movement either wise or unwise'. (fn. 82) In 1922 the rector commented that the church had 'practically out-lived its spiritual usefulness', (fn. 83) but in the 1920s and 1930s it attracted a considerable congregation from outside its dwindling parish, (fn. 84) and it remained open until 1971.
The first church of ALL SAINTS seems to have been converted from a domestic building in the late 11th or early 12th century; (fn. 85) it then comprised nave, chancel, and probably west tower. During the 13th century a wide north aisle was built and extended eastwards to form a new nave and chancel, the original nave becoming the Lady chapel. St. Anne's chapel was added on the north side of the chancel c. 1333 by William of Bicester or one of his family, (fn. 86) and before 1371 John Studley extended the original chancel eastwards to form Trinity (later St. Catherine's) chapel. (fn. 87) The position of the tower, apparently at the end of the 12th-century nave, suggests that it was of 12th- or 13th-century date; it was surmounted by a spire of unknown date. (fn. 88) Clerestories were added to the chancel and nave, and probably also to the Lady and Trinity chapels, in the 15th century, perhaps between 1464 and 1473 when money was given for building and repairing the chancel. (fn. 89) The small glovers' chapel was added on the south side of the Lady chapel by John Berry, mayor in 1540. (fn. 90) The spire rocked in 1662, causing people in nearby houses to move out of the way, (fn. 91) and in 1700 it fell destroying a large part of the church. (fn. 92)
The new church, money for which was contributed by, among others, Queen Anne, Nathaniel, Lord Crewe, bishop of Durham, John, duke of Marl borough, the rector of Lincoln, and Sir Creswell Levins, (fn. 93) was reputedly designed by Dean Aldrich of Christ Church (d. 1710). It is a rectangular neoclassical building of local stone, with no separate chancel. The western tower and spire, completed in 1718, were based partly on designs by Nicholas Hawksmoor. (fn. 94) The poor quality of the stone made repairs necessary to the tower and spire in 1783, 1803, and 1804 (fn. 95) and in 1872 they were rebuilt to the old designs under the supervision of E. G. Bruton. (fn. 96)
Between 1887 and 1890 H. Wilkinson Moore supervised repairs to the exterior, notably the rebuilt tower, parts of which were already dangerous. (fn. 97) The union with St. Martin's in 1896 necessitated some alterations, including the provision of seats for the mayor and corporation: the architect was T. G. Jackson. (fn. 98) An altar-tomb and effigy of William Levins (d. 1616), mayor, was moved from the medieval to the 18th-century church. (fn. 99) The 18th-century font (fn. 100) was replaced by the font from St. Martin's in 1896.
In 1577 the city leased the parish lands to feoffees, (fn. 101) but the arrangement seems to have been short-lived. In 1613 the property held for church repair and the poor comprised: two properties in the Turl, one given before 1265, the other in 1365; (fn. 102) two houses in High Street, one devised by Joan Gill (d. by 1491), (fn. 103) the other acquired some time after 1490; (fn. 104) and two properties in St. Ebbe's Street, one given in 1369 and the other apparently acquired from the estate of Robert Atwood (d. c. 1461). (fn. 105) One of the High Street properties was sold in 1737, (fn. 106) and the St. Ebbe's property in the 1960s. By a Scheme of 1941 the charity was divided into two branches, for the church and poor; the church branch had a balance of c. £9,000 in 1966. (fn. 107)
The church was first recorded early in the 12th century, but its name, a corruption of 'old gate', suggests a much earlier foundation, (fn. 108) for the original invocation had been lost by that date. The parish was enlarged in the 14th century by the addition of St. Edward's parish, and in 1524 by St. Michael at the South Gate. In 1913 the parish of St. Matthew's Grandpont was formed out of the southern part of St. Aldate's parish. In 1956 the parish of Holy Trinity, originally taken from St. Ebbe's parish, was united with St. Aldate's. (fn. 109)
Half the advowson was given to Abingdon abbey before 1135; the other half was given to St. Frideswide's, c. 1122. (fn. 110) Abingdon claimed the whole advowson, but c. 1200 the two houses agreed to share it, and apart from a dispute in 1249 the arrangement worked well; they presented jointly until c. 1470, and thereafter alternately. (fn. 111) At the Dissolution the advowson passed to the Crown which retained it until Charles I granted it to Pembroke College in 1629. (fn. 112) The college presented regularly, (fn. 113) until 1859 when it sold the advowson to Samuel Hanson who in 1860 vested it in Simeon's Trust, an Evangelical body, the patron in 1973. (fn. 114)
The living, a rectory, was one of the poorer Oxford livings valued at £1 13s. 4d. in 1254. (fn. 115) Pensions of £1 each were paid to Abingdon and St. Frideswide's. (fn. 116) It was apparently worth c. £10 c. 1460, but in 1526 was assessed at £4. The union with St. Michael at the South Gate had increased its value in 1535 to c. £9 13s., less a pension of 13s. 4d. to the bishop of Lincoln. (fn. 117) Tithes, an important part of the rector's income, were a frequent matter for dispute in the 16th and 17th centuries, (fn. 118) but their value fell in the later 18th century, and in 1775 they were ordered to be taxed at £30 instead of £40 yearly. (fn. 119) In 1845 the tithes of 240 acres were commuted for a rent charge of £109 14s. (fn. 120) In the 16th century the rector received c. £2 16s. a year from 13 'offering houses' but by 1616 most such payments had ceased. (fn. 121) Other small payments included: £3 a year left by John West of Hampton Poyle (d. 1696) for three sermons and £1 2s. left by Catherine Robinson, by will dated 1700, for two sermons. (fn. 122) In 1664 and 1715 the rectory was worth between £50 and £60, (fn. 123) in 1808 £126; and an augmentation of £200 from Queen Anne's Bounty in 1808 (fn. 124) had increased its value to £137 in 1831. (fn. 125) In 1898 its gross value of £307 may have included an extra stipend raised by subscriptions. (fn. 126)
In 1640 the former parsonage-house was used as a workshop and timber store. (fn. 127) A new house, bought in 1711 with money left by a former rector, John Hall, bishop of Bristol, (fn. 128) was still called the rector's house in 1806, but in 1814 was inadequate for the curate and in 1859 'quite unfit'. It was replaced in 1877 by a new house on the same site, designed by J. T. Christopher, (fn. 129) which was in use as the rectory-house in 1973.
In 1282 the church was served by a chaplain as well as rector, and a chaplain to celebrate the early mass was recorded in 1448. (fn. 130) Many later medieval rectors were pluralists or had other interests: for instance, Thomas Browns, instituted in 1412, was legal adviser to Oseney abbey. (fn. 131)
In 1334 John of Ducklington gave £3 6s. 8d. rent to maintain a chaplain to celebrate in his newly-built chapel for himself, his family, and Richard de Hunsyngore. Presentation to the chantry, which was dedicated to St. Mary, was vested in Ducklington and his heirs; (fn. 132) in 1440 John FitzAlan acquired it from Michael Norton and Thomas Goldsmith alias Wylde. (fn. 133) The last recorded presentation in 1486 was by Margaret Goylyn, relict of FitzAlan's executor John Goylyn (fn. 134) but the chantry was still in existence in 1535. (fn. 135) John of St. Frideswide's, by will dated 1359, left property in reversion to maintain a chaplain to celebrate for himself and his wife; (fn. 136) the church obtained the property, (fn. 137) but no record of the chantry exists.
In 1458 John Wilmot devised a tenement to the chapel of St. Saviour, which had been built by Philip Polton, archdeacon of Gloucester, c. 1456. (fn. 138) Polton himself, by will dated 1461, assigned rents to maintain a priest to celebrate in the chapel for himself and his family. Later chaplains were to be appointed and removable by the rector and churchwardens of St. Aldate's, but by the early 16th century the presentation was held by John Edgecombe (d. 1515) who left a rent-charge of 26s. 8d. to the chantry priest. (fn. 139) The chantry survived until 1547, by which time it was known as Holy Trinity chantry and its income was £4 6s. 8d. a year. (fn. 140) Alderman John Clerk by will dated 1484, left property to support masses and a dirge and a requiem twice a year. (fn. 141)
In 1540 seven people were presented for not coming to church, (fn. 142) and in 1584 the clerk, accused of ringing the bells on Friday 28 August, protested that he had only done so to make sure they were in good order for the Queen's birthday (7 September), (fn. 143) but if these were signs of dissent, they were isolated instances. Changes made at the Reformation included the dismantling of an organ whose wooden pipes were still in the church in 1628. (fn. 144) The pluralist rector Nicholas Pullen was deprived in 1572, but not apparently on religious grounds. (fn. 145) The position of his successor was at first in doubt for in 1573 the Crown presented another clerk to the living, claiming it was vacant. (fn. 146) Communion was celebrated 10 or 12 times a year in the 1570s and 1580s, often on a weekday. Apart from Christmas and Easter the usual festivals observed were the Purification (2 Feb.), All Saints (1 Nov.), St. Hugh's Day or Queen Elizabeth's accession (17 Nov.), and Whit Sunday. In the 1590s the number of celebrations dropped to 4 or 5 a year. (fn. 147)
Thomas James, rector 1602-14 and Bodley's librarian 1598-1620, had studied under Calvin. (fn. 148) John Wall, rector 1617-37, became a canon of Christ Church in 1632 and remained one throughout the upsets of the mid 17th century. (fn. 149) The number of Communion services rose to about 12 a year between 1640 and 1644, (fn. 150) perhaps reflecting the views of the rector, John Bowles (1641-67). He was expelled from the university, and probably from St. Aldate's, in 1648, and from St. Giles's in 1651, but in 1652 was again at St. Aldate's. (fn. 151) After that there was no permanent minister until 1656 when the rector was Henry Hickman a defender of nonconformist ministries, (fn. 152) of whom an opponent later said that 'the pope would provide him with a mitre and the devil with a frying pan'. (fn. 153) Bowles returned in 1660 and before his death in 1667 made great efforts to recover lost tithes. (fn. 154) The Calvinist John Hall, rector 1667-1710, also master of Pembroke College (1664-1710) and bishop of Bristol (1691-1710), drew large congregations by his 'edifying way of preaching', but presumably employed curates for much of his incumbency. (fn. 155)
During the 18th and early 19th centuries St. Aldate's was served by members of Pembroke College. John Wilder (rector 1724-43) and William Hawkins (1796-1801) both published attacks on 'religious enthusiasm', or Methodism. (fn. 156) Most of the late-18thand early-19th-century rectors were non-resident. The living could not support them, and by the early 19th century the college would not allow them to increase their incomes by retaining their fellowships. (fn. 157) St. Aldate's was served by curates whose small salary of c. £30 did not increase significantly until the first decade of the 19th century. Many served other cures, particularly college chapels. (fn. 158) In 1834 the churchwardens, however, described their curate's work as exemplary. (fn. 159)
In 1738 there were prayers twice and sermon once each Sunday: Communion was administered 15 times a year to up to 30 communicants. (fn. 160) By 1768 there were additional prayers on three weekdays, and the church was generally well-filled on Sundays although many of the poor, particularly those working on the river, did not come. (fn. 161) In the early 19th century fewer absentees, more communicants, and a shortage of seating were reported, but there was a falling off in the 1820s, when communicants fell to c. 20. The curate's salary, reduced to £55 a year in that period, rose to £75 by 1838. (fn. 162)
The last non-resident rector resigned in 1849. In 1854 the rector, Henry Swabey (1850-6), was assisted by two curates and attracted Sunday congregations of 400-500 in the morning and c. 200 in the afternoon, compared with 320 at each service in 1851. (fn. 163) Swabey, however, encountered opposition from the churchwardens over free seats and from parishioners over his slightly high church tendencies, exemplified by his introduction of daily prayers and a weekly Communion service. (fn. 164) The poverty of the living remained a problem, as did the condition of the parish which in 1857 lacked adequate schools, and shared much of the most degraded population of the city. (fn. 165)
A. M. W. Christopher, rector 1859-1905, 'a good and mild and loving man', (fn. 166) made St. Aldate's a centre of evangelical influence in town and university. He was also responsible for reconstructing and enlarging the church, building new schools, and founding the mission church St. Matthew's, Grandpont. (fn. 167) The number of Communion services, which had fallen to one a month in 1866 rose to one a week in 1893, and Easter communicants rose from 104 in 1869 to 240 in 1884. Congregations began to fall at the end of the 19th century, and the decline accelerated in the early years of the 20th century. (fn. 168) The church revived under C. M. Chavasse, rector 1922-8, later bishop of Rochester, (fn. 169) and has continued to be well-attended both by townspeople and by members of the university.
The church of ST. ALDATE which was largely rebuilt in the 19th century comprises aisled nave and chancel, western tower and spire, and north vestry. (fn. 170) The 12th-century church, of which a restored Norman wall-arcade is preserved in the modern north chancel aisle, comprised an aisleless nave and chancel; a west tower was added in the 13th century. John of Ducklington c. 1334 built a chantry chapel of three bays (fn. 171) on the south side of the nave; two bays of its crypt survive. A chantry chapel of two bays was added by Philip Polton c. 1456 (fn. 172) to the two western bays on the north side of the nave. By 1534 a room above the south chapel was used as a library by Broadgates Hall (later by Pembroke College). In 1581 an arcade was built between the nave and the hitherto separate north chapel. (fn. 173) A south porch was added in the 17th century. In 1674 John West of Hampton Poyle, a former parishioner, built a mortuary chapel in the angle between the south chapel and the chancel. (fn. 174)
In 1827 the archdeacon threatened to proceed against the churchwardens unless repairs to the chancel, spire, and roof were started immediately, (fn. 175) but the main work was postponed until 1829. The interior of the church was remodelled in 1832, under H. J. Underwood. In 1843 the room over the south aisle was demolished, and the north aisle or chapel was extended eastwards to the end of the nave, a late medieval window being reset in the new work. After 1811, probably in 1832 or 1843, the 14th-century tracery of the east chancel window was replaced. (fn. 176)
In 1862, under J. T. Christopher, the rector's cousin, the old vestry, south porch, and West family mortuary chapel were demolished, both aisles were extended eastwards alongside the chancel, the south aisle was extended westwards to the end of the nave, the nave arcades were rebuilt, and a vestry was added on the north side of the tower. The upper part of the 14thcentury tracery of the east window of the south aisle was preserved above the arch into the new chancel aisle. (fn. 177) The spire was taken down in 1865; it and the tower were rebuilt to J. T. Christopher's designs in 1873. (fn. 178) Later alterations to the interior, including raising the Communion table by one step in 1905, furnishing the south chancel aisle as a chapel in 1918, and erecting an oak reredos with six figures of saints in the chancel in 1920, made the church less obviously Evangelical in appearance. (fn. 179)
Among the monuments in the church is an altar tomb and effigy of John Noble (d. 1522), principal of Broadgates Hall. (fn. 180) The font dates from the 15th century and its cover from the 17th century. (fn. 181)
In 1279 the church received 22 rents totalling 9s. 2d.; nine had been lost by 1411, another by 1537, and the remainder by 1571. (fn. 182) At the request of his wife Elizabeth, John Radford by deed of 1849 settled on trustees £100 to maintain his mother-in-law's tomb and to pay the rector £1 and the churchwardens 10s. each every other year. In 1886 it was included in a Scheme with other parochial charities. (fn. 183)
The following properties were held for church repair and the poor: (fn. 184) four tenements in Pembroke Street, one acquired before 1532, (fn. 185) the others (partly with money from Willis's charity) in 1694; (fn. 186) four tenements on the east side of the churchyard, acquired before 1532 and demolished by the Paving Commissioners in 1804; (fn. 187) a tenement devised by John Edgecombe by will proved 1515 (fn. 188) and demolished by the city in 1902; (fn. 189) a tenement devised by John Clerk by will of 1484 and exchanged with Christ Church in the early 20th century; (fn. 190) and five tenements which had belonged to St. Michael at the South Gate, two of which were sold in 1883. (fn. 191) By a Scheme of 1886 for the parochial charities the income from the church houses was to be used for church-repair. A Scheme of 1937 provided that £100 a year was to be used for repairs and the residue given to the poor. (fn. 192)
The church's dedication, first recorded in 1166, (fn. 193) to a Breton saint implies a post-Conquest foundation, and archaeological evidence suggests a 12th-century date. (fn. 194) The first church, in the modern Castle Street, was destroyed in 1215-16 when the barbican was built, but in 1222-3 a new church was built at the king's expense outside the west gate. (fn. 195) In 1265, when much of the parish was occupied by the Blackfriars and the Friars of the Sack, St. Budoc's was unable to support a chaplain, and was granted to the Friars of the Sack as their chapel; (fn. 196) its parish was divided among St. Ebbe's, St. Peter-le-Bailey, and St. Thomas's.
The Crown presented to the living in 1206, 1235, and 1242; (fn. 197) the rector presented in 1242, still served the church in 1264. (fn. 198) The living was described in 1242 as a rectory cum onere et pena vicariorum: (fn. 199) incumbents were treated as royal chaplains, receiving wages, £3 in 1243, from the sheriff. (fn. 200) In 1247 the church was worth £5 a year, perhaps including the rector's wages, but in 1254 it was said to be worth nothing. (fn. 201)
St. Cross, Holywell.
The chapel existed c. 1100 when the surviving chancel arch was built. (fn. 202) Its status was disputed in 1294 and 1555, but on both occasions it was found to be a chapel of St. Peter-in-the-East. In 1584 the inhabitants of Holywell were christened, churched, and buried in St. Cross, but paid their dues for those services to the vicar of St. Peter's. (fn. 203) St. Cross was last described as a chapel in 1738 (fn. 204) when it was already in most respects an independent church.
The chapel passed with St. Peter's to Merton College in 1266. (fn. 205) It was served by chaplains appointed by the vicars of St. Peter's or, from the late 17th century, by Merton. (fn. 206) After 1770 the living was an endowed perpetual curacy. (fn. 207) A chaplain was nominated to the bishop in 1772, but such nomination did not become the regular practice until 1799. (fn. 208) In 1957 the benefice and parish were united with St. Peter-in-the-East, and in 1966 the united benefice was united with that of St. Mary the Virgin. (fn. 209)
There are no separate medieval valuations of the living. In 1627 the lessee of the manor-house paid the curate £4 13s. 4d. a year. (fn. 210) The curacy, worth £16 in 1715, was augmented by Queen Anne's Bounty with £200 in 1770 and 1784. (fn. 211) In 1808 it was worth c. £47 a year, in 1831 £80. (fn. 212) Further augmentations in 1852 and 1890 raised the net income to £166 in 1898. (fn. 213)
No parsonage-house was recorded until one designed by C. Buckeridge was built in 1864 on a site next to the church. In 1959 a new parsonage-house, 12 Mansfield Road, was acquired, the old house having been sold to the university. (fn. 214)
A chantry in the Lady chapel, endowed before 1406 with property in the parish (fn. 215) had been lost by 1547. A light of the Holy Cross was recorded in 1307, (fn. 216) and seven 'church houses' recovered by Merton College in 1577 had apparently been given for a light and an obit. (fn. 217)
In the later 17th century Holy Communion was usually celebrated five or six times a year. (fn. 218) In 1738 there were two services with one sermon on Sundays, and prayers twice weekly and on Holy Days. (fn. 219) Throughout the 18th century there was a monthly communion service, but by 1802 there were only six a year; the number of communicants rose from between 20 and 30 in 1759 to 60 or 70 in the early 19th century as the population of the parish increased. (fn. 220)
The church was usually served by fellows or other members of Merton, although the earliest recorded curate, licensed in 1632, was from New College. (fn. 221) Henry Hurst, curate in 1657, had been elected fellow of Merton by order of the parliamentary visitors in 1649. (fn. 222) Samuel Thomas, curate 1662-82, had been deprived of a fellowship of St. John's by the royal commissioners in 1660, but later became a nonjuror. (fn. 223) Arrangements for serving the cure were often informal: in 1708 a curate was re-appointed on condition that whichever fellow did the duty for him should have the whole emoluments, (fn. 224) but Peter Vaughan, curate 1799-1811 and warden of Merton 1810-26, served St. Cross fairly regularly until 1807. (fn. 225) From 1807 to 1829 the church was served by an assistant curate, Joseph Bardgett, who also served two college chapels and the workhouse. (fn. 226) E. M. Goulburn, curate 1844-9, a noted Evangelical, attracted large congregations. A presentation made to him in 1845 'for the faithful discharge of his ministerial duties', perhaps reflected badly on his predecessor S. E. Bathurst (1843-4) who had become a Roman Catholic. (fn. 227)
From 1849 onwards St. Cross was served by high church curates. It was among the first Oxford churches to introduce a surpliced choir and by 1854 Communion was celebrated each Sunday. (fn. 228) In 1850 parishioners complained of the decoration of the chancel and the substitution of a stone altar for the Communion table, and in 1858, of lighted candles by day, strange vestments, the intoning of the service, and the use of the piscina and supercilla, but in 1860 the bishop's comments on the religious state of the parish were favourable. (fn. 229)
On census day in 1851 the church was about half full, with congregations of 266 in the morning and 181 in the afternoon. (fn. 230) In 1854 the curate, H. B. Walton (1851-71), reported disbelief in the ordinances of the Church, and a 'sectarian spirit' in the parish, and in 1866 he complained of the 'vicious system' of private pews which kept the church underfilled; the interference of the college servants' duties with church-going was a continuing problem. (fn. 231) The Guild of the Holy Cross, founded in 1876 to stimulate brotherhood among parishioners and raise the standard of church life, met regularly until 1907. (fn. 232) Walton and his successor, G. N. Freeling (1871-92), with the help of assistant curates, increased the number of Communion services to three a week by 1878 and the number of Easter communicants from 145 in 1866 to 278 in 1887. (fn. 233) Later incumbents introduced Eucharistic vestments and a daily Communion in 1915, and a choral Eucharist in 1916. From 1936 onwards the Sacrament was reserved. (fn. 234)
The church of ST. CROSS comprises a chancel, aisled nave, north vestry and organ chamber, south porch, and west tower. The late-11th or early-12thcentury church, of which the chancel arch and part of the chancel walls survive, probably consisted of a simple nave and chancel. In the 13th century north and south aisles flanking a western tower were added: the arches in the tower walls which led into the aisles survive. (fn. 235) In the later 15th century the aisles were destroyed, except for the western bay of the north aisle and the eastern bay of the south aisle, perhaps by the collapse of the upper part of the tower, which was rebuilt in 1464. The nave walls were rebuilt then, and the north wall again in 1685. A south porch was added in 1592, and the churchyard gate in the 17th century. (fn. 236) Thus the 18th-century church comprised nave, chancel, and west tower, with a south chapel or aisle of one bay at the eastern end of the nave, and a lean-to, used as a vestry room from 1786, opening off the north side of the tower. (fn. 237)
In 1837-8 a north aisle, extending from the east and of the nave to the lean-to against the tower, was built. (fn. 238) In 1843-4 under J. M. Derick, (fn. 239) the south aisle and the north vestry room were almost entirely demolished; a new south aisle was built flanking the tower, and the north aisle was extended westwards to match it; re-used 15th-century windows were inserted in the wall of the north aisle and its roof was altered to match that on the south; clerestory windows were inserted in the south wall of the nave. (fn. 240) In 1874 the tower was repaired and a new parapet added, and in 1876 a vestry was built on the north of the chancel. (fn. 241)
In 1892-4 the clerestory windows were enlarged, and in 1923 the east end of the south aisle was converted into a Lady chapel and a statue of the Virgin placed in an existing niche. (fn. 242) A window was given in 1901 in memory of Sir John Stainer, the composer, a former churchwarden. (fn. 243) Two 18thcentury chests in the church are from St. Peter-in-theEast. The font is 19th-century. A prominent 19thcentury painted sundial on the south wall of the tower may have replaced a sundial made in 1667. (fn. 244)
The most notable monument is a small brass to Eliza Franklin, died in childbed in 1622, showing her in bed with her four infants, three in shrouds and one in swaddling clothes. (fn. 245) The north wall of the churchyard contains a number of windows with geometrical tracery, the remains of a chapel built for the Clewer Sisterhood, occupants of the adjacent Holywell Manor from 1862. (fn. 246)
Rents and property said in the Middle Ages to belong to the rector of Holywell, (fn. 247) were glebe of St. Peter-in-the-East. One house belonging to the church was recorded in 1327 and two in 1416. (fn. 248)
Louisa Elvey by will of 1865 left £250, part to erect stained-glass windows and part to be invested for the upkeep of family tombs. The second part of the bequest was ruled to be not charitable, (fn. 249) and the money was used for the choir.
The dedication, recorded c. 1005, to a little-known 7th-century Northumbrian saint, Ebbe, abbess of Coldingham, suggests an early foundation; it may have been connected with the 10th-century translation of St. Oswald, Ebbe's brother, to Gloucester, and the growth of his cult there. (fn. 250)
The church was granted by Ealdorman Athelmer c. 1005 to Eynsham abbey which retained the advowson until the Dissolution. (fn. 251) The Crown presented until 1864 when the advowson was sold to Anthony Ashley-Cooper, earl of Shaftesbury, and settled on trustees, later known as the Oxford Trust, to ensure the continuance of an Evangelical ministry. (fn. 252)
The parish was a large one until in 1844 the southern part of it was formed into the separate ecclesiastical district of Holy Trinity. (fn. 253) The population of the remaining part declined during the later 19th century, and from 1913 to 1926 St. Ebbe's was held in plurality with St. Peter-le-Bailey. (fn. 254) In 1961 the benefices and parishes of St. Ebbe's and St. Peter-leBailey were united, the Oxford Trust remaining patron of the united benefice. (fn. 255)
The living, a rectory, was one of the poorer Oxford livings, assessed at only £1 in 1254. By 1197-8 a pension of 13s. 4d. a year was paid to Eynsham Abbey. (fn. 256) The living was valued at £3 in 1526 and at £3 6s. 7d. in 1535. (fn. 257) In 1644, however, the rector calculated that the rectory had produced over £45 that year, from rents, Easter-offerings, and two offeringhouses; he also claimed garden tithes. (fn. 258) The benefice, valued at only £7 in 1715, (fn. 259) was augmented from Queen Anne's Bounty by grants of £200 in 1733, 1769, and 1786, raising the annual value to c. £39 by 1808, and by parliamentary grants of £800 and £400 bringing the value to £111 a year in 1831. (fn. 260) The purchase money for the advowson in 1864 was used to augment the benefice, which with further grants in 1869 and 1877 was worth £275 a year net in 1898. (fn. 261)
The rectory-house recorded in 1324 and 1352 was ruinous c. 1520, was let in the mid 17th century, and was still used simply as a source of income in 1738. (fn. 262) In 1790 the 'ancient, mean, and ruinous' house which had been partially burnt in 1752 was demolished and the site added to the churchyard. A parishioner built a new house on the rector's glebe in return for a lease of it for three lives, (fn. 263) but it was never used as a rectoryhouse, and in 1854-5 a house designed by the diocesan architect, G. E. Street, was built. (fn. 264) It was enlarged in 1869 and remained a rectory-house until its compulsory purchase in 1971, when a new house was built in Pennyfarthing Place. (fn. 265)
Two tenements and two vacant plots opposite the church were held by the rector in 1279. The property was sold in 1893 for £1,000. (fn. 266) Most medieval rectors held the living for only short periods: between 1262 and 1297, for example, there were at least six rectors, and in the 14th and 15th centuries there were many exchanges. (fn. 267) In 1336 the rector was overseas on the king's service. (fn. 268) An altar of St. Nicholas was recorded in 1532. (fn. 269) William de Pubbesbury, by will proved 1357, and Agnes Holwey (d. 1396) endowed chantries. Both had been lost by 1548. (fn. 270)
The fraternity founded in 1370 in honour of God, the Virgin Mary, and all saints, and especially of the Assumption, maintained a chaplain to say mass at the altar of the Virgin Mary; all members attended the mass of the Assumption, requiem on St. Lucy's day, and the burial and requiem masses for members. The fraternity, which had no endowments and depended on members' contributions, was to remain in being as long as there were 32 members. A supervisor and two proctors, elected annually, were paid for their work. A brother or sister who had fallen into poverty was allowed 7d. a week. In 1389 the fraternity's goods were worth £4, excluding vestments and equipment for St. Mary's altar. (fn. 271) No further reference to the fraternity has been found, although St. Mary's chapel was recorded in 1403 and 1431, and her statue in 1532. (fn. 272)
Ralph Rudde, presented to the rectory in 1550, was also principal of St. Edmund Hall and vicar of Cropredy. He probably resigned St. Ebbe's in 1553, (fn. 273) and the living remained vacant until 1576, after which time rectors were presented regularly. Quarrels between parishioners, particularly over seats in church, seem to have been unusually frequent. (fn. 274) One dispute in 1617-18 arose when churchwardens converted a men's pew to a women's pew for a city bailiff's wife, then placed in it with her a woman whose rank did not justify so good a seat; the return of one of the former male occupants to the pew caused further scandal, and the matter came before the ecclesiastical court. (fn. 275) In 1631 four parishioners were presented in the archdeacon's court for holding a Whitsun ale without the churchwardens' agreement. (fn. 276)
Nearly all the 17th- and 18th-century rectors also held college posts or other livings, like Hugh Boham, presented in 1643 and ejected c. 1648, chaplain of All Souls College. (fn. 277) Some were very distinguished, such as Nathaniel Bliss (1736-42) later Astronomer Royal, (fn. 278) but it is doubtful how much of their time was given to St. Ebbe's. In 1759, 1768, and 1771, for example, visitation returns were made by curates. (fn. 279) In the later 17th century bread and wine for Communion were usually bought only at great festivals, (fn. 280) but by 1738 the sacrament was also administered monthly to c. 50 communicants. The usual services at that date were morning and evening prayers with one sermon on Sundays, and prayers three times weekly. (fn. 281) Services remained the same, but the number of communicants fell steadily to c. 14 in 1802. (fn. 282)
William Hanbury, rector 1808-68, left Oxford in 1815, and shortly afterwards became incurably insane. (fn. 283) He could not be deprived, and St. Ebbe's was served by a succession of curates, appointed on the vestry's or their predecessors' recommendation. (fn. 284) Although well paid (in 1818 £70 a year plus surplice fees of £10) (fn. 285) most of the early curates stayed only one or two years. Special efforts were made to ensure that the church was well served after the disastrous curacy of Henry Bulteel (1826-31) who in 1832 opened a dissenting chapel. (fn. 286) His successor, W. W. Champneys (curate 1831-7), later a leading Evangelical, founded National schools at St. Ebbe's and regularly visited his parishioners especially during the cholera epidemic of 1832. (fn. 287) His Evangelical views and his popularity were shared by his successors, H. B. Whitaker Churton (1837-42) and G. T. Cameron (1847-60), who made the church an Evangelical centre. By 1838 people were being turned away on Sundays for lack of room and a chapel-of-ease was urgently needed. In 1840 Churton was assisted by another curate, their joint salaries augmented by public subscription exceeding the gross income of the benefice. (fn. 288) The monthly Communion services, abandoned by Hanbury, had been restored by 1854 when there were 80 communicants at festivals and 50 at other times. (fn. 289) On Census Sunday in 1851 the congregation was 266 in the morning and 615 in the evening. (fn. 290) Even so in 1857 eight heads of households were 'professed infidels' and 89 were dissenters, Bulteel having left a large dissenting body. As in many other Oxford parishes, pews were 'a great practical evil'. (fn. 291)
The Evangelical tradition was interrupted by the appointment in 1860 of S. Y. N. Griffith, a moderate Tractarian, as curate. His innovations, including a surpliced choir who sang the psalms, caused some of the congregation to move to Holy Trinity. (fn. 292) In 1868 the church acquired a resident rector E. P. Hathaway, who enlarged the rectory-house and built new parish schools. (fn. 293) The Evangelical tradition of the church continued, and a close link was built up with mission work, particularly in India; several later-19th- and 20th-century rectors had worked in the mission field, (fn. 294) and T. V. French (rector 1875-7) resigned to become bishop of Lahore. (fn. 295) J. S. Stansfeld (rector 1912-26) was a physician who had worked for many years in Bermondsey and continued his medical work at St. Ebbe's. (fn. 296)
Both congregations and communicants increased from 1869 to 1890. (fn. 297) In 1893 'superior attractions elsewhere' had reduced the congregation, (fn. 298) but thereafter it remained fairly steady, although the street preaching and ardent temperance work of P. W. G. Filleul (rector 1901-9) were criticized by some parishioners. (fn. 299) With the mid-20th-century decline in population of the parish, work among undergraduates assumed greater importance, and in 1973 the church drew large congregations from both the town and the university.
The church of ST. EBBE comprises a chancel, aisled nave, and western tower; there is no structural division between the nave and chancel. The church was largely rebuilt between 1814 and 1816. The old church had a nave and north aisle under the same roof, chancel with north chapel, north and south porches, and western tower. (fn. 300) The nave dated from the 12th century or earlier. (fn. 301) A tower, probably not much later in date, stood at the north-west corner. The north aisle may have been contemporary with the tower, but its north wall was remodelled in the 15th century, when a north chapel was added. The plain north and south porches with square-headed doorways were probably 17thcentury. In the late 17th or the 18th century a square window was inserted above the south porch and a dormer window above the north porch, perhaps to light the gallery built in 1709. (fn. 302)
Part of the tower fell down in 1648. (fn. 303) Despite regular repairs in the 17th and 18th centuries (fn. 304) two architects reported in 1813 that the church was in a dangerous condition. (fn. 305) On their recommendation it was demolished, except for the lower part of the tower and 22 ft. of wall at the south-west corner. A new church was built on the same site, but extending further north to include the site of the rectory-house on the corner of St. Ebbe's Street and Church Street. Money was raised by public subscription, chiefly from the bishop and the colleges. (fn. 306)
The new church, designed by William Fisher in the Early English style, was completed in 1816 (fn. 307) but by 1826 it was too small for the parish. (fn. 308) Between 1862 and 1868 the church was enlarged and restored under the diocesan architect, G. E. Street. A south aisle was built, a north aisle created by inserting an arcade, and the top stage of the of the tower was rebuilt. (fn. 309) In 1904-5 the tower was heightened, and a 12th-century doorway, taken from the south wall in 1813 and since preserved inside the church, was inserted in the west wall; the architect was A. M. Mowbray. (fn. 310)
The interior in 1973 preserved its Evangelical style; the Holy Table was covered with a red velvet cloth, with two cushions for service books, and on the wall behind were the ten commandments and other scriptural texts. Windows in the south aisle contain armorial glass of the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, and fragments of figures of the 15th and 16th centuries. (fn. 311) The font is early-19th-century.
In 1279 the church received rents totalling 9s. 2d., (fn. 312) none of them recorded after that date. In 1438 the rector recovered a payment of 23d.; (fn. 313) that payment, too, had been lost by the Reformation. However, income from property held by feoffees for the poor and church repair made rates unnecessary until 1715. (fn. 314)
In 1822 (fn. 315) the church-house property, comprised a tenement in Beef Lane, yielding 2s. 2d. in 1279, with an adjoining garden devised in 1440 to support lights, (fn. 316) which escaped confiscation at the Reformation; (fn. 317) a tenement in Brewer Street, probably left to the church in 1478; (fn. 318) a tenement west of the church, held by 1671; (fn. 319) and a tenement and ½ acre in Botley, given in 1551. (fn. 320) By a Scheme of 1884 the church-house property and capital of £120 was to be used for the maintenance of the church. A further Scheme of 1973 created a separate ecclesiastical charity: the land was to be used for a church hall, the income for the upkeep of the church and its services. (fn. 321)
The church also held a small tenement, demolished in 1813, adjoining the church tower, (fn. 322) tenements leased from Balliol, Christ Church, and Magdalen, (fn. 323) and the church-house later the poor house, in Littlegate Street. (fn. 324) The rents were carried to the churchwardens' account, but the properties were not held by the feoffees of the church-houses. (fn. 325) All had been lost by 1822 except the Magdalen College lease, which had expired by 1884. (fn. 326)
The church, in Alfred Street, was said to have been given to St. Frideswide's in 1122, (fn. 327) but the priory's possession of it was disputed between 1148 and 1154. (fn. 328) In 1298 the parish was united with the neighbouring one of St. Frideswide's, St. Edward's becoming the church of the united parish. (fn. 329)
The living was described in 1236-7 as a rectory cum onere et pena vicariorum; (fn. 330) in 1254 it was not worth its service, and in 1298 it lacked a minister because it was worth barely 10s. a year. (fn. 331) On the union of the parishes the vicarage of St. Frideswide's as ordained in 1225 was transferred to St. Edward's; it was confirmed in 1309. In 1320 its value was increased by the addition of mortuaries and confessional offerings, a corrody for a servant, and a house (St. Michael's Hall) at a rent of 10s. (fn. 332) In 1341 the parish included the chapelry of Binsey worth 6s. 8d., and land at Cutteslowe worth 100s., (fn. 333) which had presumably been part of St. Frideswide's parish. Despite its increased income several 14th-century vicars exchanged the living after short periods. (fn. 334)
The last recorded presentation to the vicarage was in 1340; the church had certainly been closed by 1428 and probably by 1388, (fn. 335) perhaps because the foundation of Canterbury College in 1363 had deprived it of much of its small parish.
The parish was first recorded c. 1170-80 (fn. 336) and the church which was close beside the priory church (fn. 337) may have been built after the foundation of St. Frideswide's priory in 1122 to fulfil the parochial functions of the earlier minister. A vicarage ordained in 1225 comprised a canon's food and lodging, 24s. a year for clothes, and mortuary fees up to 6d., any additional fees being shared with the priory. The prior undertook to find the vicar a suitable clerk. (fn. 338) In 1254 the living was said to be not worth its service, in 1298, barely 10s. (fn. 339) Despite its poverty the living seems to have been served for most of the 13th century. (fn. 340)
In 1298 the parish was united with St. Edward's and the church closed. Apart from the poverty of the living, the disturbance caused to the canons' services by the parish services, and the difficulties experienced by the canons in serving a parish were urged as reasons for the closure. (fn. 341)
St. George's In The Castle.
The church was founded or refounded as a college of secular canons in 1074, granted to Oseney abbey in 1149, and passed to Christ Church after the Dissolution. (fn. 342) It was a parish church: in 1151 it had an area of jurisdiction (iure suo) within and without the walls called in 1224 and 1282 St. George's parish; (fn. 343) in 1192 the parishioners of Walton and Twentyacre and their tithes belonged to it, and as late as 1501 tithe from Stockwell Street property was paid to it. (fn. 344) A number of skeletons were found from its graveyard in 1794. (fn. 345) Its parochial status and its site, apparently by the Anglo-Saxon west gate in an area of the town settled by the late 10th century, (fn. 346) suggest that St. George's existed before the castle was built. (fn. 347)
The site in the castle bailey proved inconvenient and during the 13th century St. George's was superseded as the parish church by St. Thomas's. (fn. 348) It continued, however, to serve the inhabitants of the castle and the surrounding area. In 1149 Oseney abbey undertook to maintain two priests to serve the church; (fn. 349) in the later 13th century 13 ministers and two canons said daily service there, and an annual festival was held on St. George's day. (fn. 350) About the end of the 15th century Oseney founded in St. George's a small college whose members included five chaplains to minister to the parishioners within the castle, (fn. 351) but in 1526 and 1535 only one chaplain's stipend of 40s. was being paid. (fn. 352) In 1542 and 1570 the area around the castle was referred to as St. George's parish, and Easter communion was held in the church in 1570, but by 1611 (fn. 353) the church was disused.
The church of St. George seems to have comprised an aisleless nave, an apsidal chancel with a crypt beneath it, and a west tower, of which only the crypt and the tower survive. The crypt was of early Norman date, (fn. 354) but in 1794 it was largely destroyed and the surviving portions, notably four pillars, re-erected in a new cellar. (fn. 355) Then, or during a further reconstruction in 1848, the crypt was enlarged by the addition of two further pillars, presumably found elsewhere on the site. (fn. 356) St. George's tower, also of early Norman date, is of coursed rubble with a stair turret at the south-east angle. In the east wall is a wide, plain, round-headed arch, which presumably opened into the nave. The tower is not aligned with the crypt, nor was it before 1794. (fn. 357)
The church was probably built as a private church by Edwin son of Godegose, to whom Henry I confirmed it between 1123 and 1133, (fn. 358) but at its dedication Walter, archdeacon of Oxford, granted it the tithes of his villeins at Walton, (fn. 359) and it soon became parochial. The parish was divided in the 19th century by the creation of the new ecclesiastical parishes of Summertown (1834), St. Paul's (1837), and St. Philip and St. James (1863). (fn. 360)
In 1139 Edwin granted the church to Godstow nunnery which appropriated the rectory in 1221; (fn. 361) it passed at the Dissolution to the Crown. In 1542 Henry VIII granted the rectory for life to his physician George Owen, lord of Walton manor. (fn. 362) The reversion was granted in 1545 to John Doyley and John Scudamore, who in 1550 sold it to Owen. (fn. 363) In 1553 Edward VI sold the advowson of the vicarage to Owen, whose son Richard sold both rectory and advowson to St. John's College in 1573, although the college in fact presented twice during the previous year. (fn. 364) No presentations were made to the vicarage after 1644, and from 1749 to 1763 it was described as a curacy. (fn. 365) The Crown presented by lapse in 1763, (fn. 366) and thereafter the college exercised the advowson, although vicars were not presented regularly until the end of the 18th century. (fn. 367)
The vicarage ordained in 1221 comprised half the altar dues, all the garden tithes, and the chaplain's house at a rent of 6d. a year. (fn. 368) The vicarage was valued at £3 6s. 8d. in 1254. (fn. 369) In 1291 the church was said to be worth £6 13s. 4d., perhaps the value of the rectory, which had been worth £5 in 1254. (fn. 370) In 1526 the vicarage was assessed at only £3 but in 1535 was valued at c. £5 13s. (fn. 371) The vicar claimed personal or private tithes as late as 1573. (fn. 372)
Small payments made to the vicars in the 16th and 17th centuries included £2 a year from St. John's College from the tithe of the parish for six sermons, (fn. 373) and 15s. and £2 a year given in 1622 and c. 1678 for sermons. (fn. 374) Richard Brainthwaite, by will of 1643, endowed with £20 a year a Sunday afternoon lectureship in the gift of the university, which was almost always held by the vicar. (fn. 375) The living, worth £22 12s. in 1750, (fn. 376) was augmented by St. John's with £4 a year in 1763 (fn. 377) and from Queen Anne's Bounty with sums of £200 in 1764, 1765, and 1832, of £300 in 1810, and £500 in 1825. (fn. 378) In 1815 it was worth c. £102 and in 1831, £160; its value was unchanged in 1898. (fn. 379)
In 1805 the vicar's glebe comprised a meadow, 2 acres and 2 butts of arable, and the site of the former vicarage-house; at inclosure in 1832 the vicar was allotted c. 3½ acres of which c. 2½ acres was sold to the Oxford and Bletchley Junction Railway Company in 1847. (fn. 380) There was no vicarage-house until no. 1 Norham Gardens was bought in 1914 with money given by a private benefactor and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. (fn. 381)
At least one 13th-century vicar seems to have employed a chaplain. (fn. 382) In the 14th century the living was frequently exchanged and many later medieval vicars were academics, or non-resident. Short incumbencies were a feature of the living throughout the Middle Ages, and, indeed, until the later 19th century. In 1520 the vicar was non-resident. (fn. 383)
An altar of St. Michael was dedicated in 1291, and a chapel of St. Michael was recorded in 1337. (fn. 384) A mass and a light of the Virgin Mary had been endowed before 1279. (fn. 385) By 1379 the chantry was administered by its own proctors. (fn. 386) Joan Gylle, by will of 1486 devised the reversion of a garden to the chantrychapel, in default of direct heirs, and Richard Brown in 1525 gave a tenement and garden. (fn. 387) In 1535 the chaplaincy was worth c. £4 9s. a year gross derived from 6 tenements, 2 cottages, 7a. arable, and 2 quit-rents, the out-goings were 10s.; in 1548 the chantry's income was c. £3 11s., its expenses £1 7s. (fn. 388)
Early-17th-century vicars included two close followers of Archbishop Laud, William Juxon (1610-15), later archbishop of Canterbury, distinguished at St. Giles's for his 'edifying way of preaching', (fn. 389) and Thomas Turner (1624-29), a legatee under Laud's will. (fn. 390) Richard Brainthwaite's gift of a communion table with a purple velvet cloth and new communion plate in 1639 may indicate continuing Laudian influence. (fn. 391) John Goad, vicar 1644-6, 'an excellent, loving and tender man . . . with much primitive Christianity about him', apparently held services under fire from parliamentary cannon in 1645. (fn. 392)
Throughout the late 17th and 18th centuries the vicars, few of whom stayed more than a few years, were all senior fellows of St. John's and the living was probably usually served by more junior fellows acting as curates, as it was during the incumbency of Michael Marlow (1789-94). (fn. 393) In 1738 the usual services were prayers twice with one sermon (the afternoon lecture) on Sundays, and prayers on three weekdays and on holy days. Communion was administered once a month and at great festivals to c. 30-40 communicants. (fn. 394) By 1768 there were fewer prayers and only seven communion services a year. (fn. 395)
Edward Drax Free, vicar 1801-9, fell out irretrievably with the vestry over administrative matters and in the course of the dispute publicly refused Easter communion to the parish churchwarden; even after his resignation he kept vital papers and the key to the parish chest. He also retained the afternoon lecture ship, refusing, to the great inconvenience of the parish, to comply with the request of the new vicar, John Natt, to alter the time of the lecture. (fn. 396) Natt, 'sensible, modest, excellent, and amiable' though inclined to 'seriousness and rather low spirits', (fn. 397) served the cure for 19 years, and employed an assistant curate. An Evangelical, his two 'plain, sensible and rather long' sermons each Sunday attracted some undergraduates, (fn. 398) but he complained of considerable absenteeism among parishioners. (fn. 399)
In 1843 the parishioners complained to St. John's that there had been five vicars since 1835, and asked unsuccessfully for the living to be made financially viable. (fn. 400) In 1856 despite help from the parish in the form of contributions to the curate's salary, the vicar resigned for financial reasons. (fn. 401) On census day in 1851 the church was less than half full, with congregations of 300 in the morning and 220 in the afternoon. (fn. 402) In 1854 there were c. 87 communicants at the monthly communion, and c. 103 at festivals. (fn. 403) In 1857 in spite of daily services, introduced c. 1855, and district visiting by a community of nuns, the mass of shopkeepers were attached to the church only as 'a respectiable profession', the lower tradesmen were 'very loose as to church', and a great many of the poor attended no religious services. (fn. 404) In 1858, however, an evening service (at which all seats were free) was started, in addition to the afternoon one, because of the lack of accommodation in the church; and by 1860 the lower middle classes were being won back. (fn. 405) By 1866 Holy Communion was administered weekly, and the average congregation at other services was c. 600. (fn. 406) The accommodation problem was greatly eased by the opening of St. Philip and St. James in 1862. In the forefront of parish life at that period was a churchwarden, F. J. Morrell, described by Bishop Wilberforce in 1856 as 'the strength of all the good in the parish'. (fn. 407)
Although influenced by the Oxford Movement St. Giles's did not become High Church. The parish joined in anti-Catholic protests to Queen Victoria in 1852, and in 1862 'the cheerful simplicity and good taste' of the Christmas service at St. Giles's was contrasted with 'objectionable practices' of the High Church St. Philip and St. James. (fn. 408) The length of incumbencies increased after 1874, and vicars included the much loved and respected Henry Deane (1874-80 and 1884-8) earlier evening lecturer and curate, (fn. 409) H. J. Bidder (1887-1903), a firm advocate of comprehension within the Church of England, and of 'rational' or 'natural' religion, (fn. 410) and C. C. Inge (1913-37) who on his retirement spoke of the attachment of the congregation to 'the prayer-book services and the central type of churchmanship with which our church has been for so long identified'. (fn. 411)
The church of ST. GILES comprises chancel with south chapel, aisled nave, west tower, and south porch. The early-12th-century church presumably consisted of a nave and chancel, of which a portion of the nave walls survives above the 13th-century arcade. Later in the 12th century the existing west tower was built, and, later again, clerestory windows were inserted into at least the north wall of the nave, which must by that date have had aisles. Early in the 13th century the nave, aisles, and arcades were rebuilt, and a south porch added. The south chapel was added about the middle of the 13th century, and later in the century the chancel itself was rebuilt. In the later 15th or early 16th century the nave was heightened and new clerestory windows inserted. (fn. 412)
The church was damaged during the Civil War and was still in 'great decay' in 1659. (fn. 413) Only minor repairs were made during the 18th and early 19th centuries, (fn. 414) and by 1829 the south aisle was in a very poor state. (fn. 415) In 1838 the south aisle was reroofed, the chancel, south chapel windows, and south porch were restored, and the chancel adorned with 'appropriate gothic woodwork'. (fn. 416) In 1851 the south wall of the south chapel was rebuilt, and the chapel and the north aisle were reroofed. (fn. 417)
In 1877 the west end was made level with the nave, and the chancel floor repaved. (fn. 418) The 'extremely bad glass', and 'ornament of pseudo-gothic character' on the walls executed in 1860 were removed from the chancel in 1919, as was the ceiling, revealing the 13th-century roof. In 1941 an altar and furnishings were placed in the south chapel, and in 1967 pews from St. Peter-in-the-East were placed in the nave. (fn. 419)
On window ledges in the north aisle are the figures, from a lost tomb, of Henry Bosworth (d. 1634), his wife Alice, and their three children. (fn. 420) On the northwest respond of the tower is a 13th- or 14th-century consecration cross. A 14th-century pulpit was discovered and drastically restored in 1840. (fn. 421) The font is 13th-century. In the churchyard is a 15th-century tomb-chest. (fn. 422)
St. John The Baptist.
The church, which stood on the site of the north range of Mob Quadrangle in Merton College, existed by c. 1206. (fn. 423) The advowson belonged to the curia in which the church lay, and the first known patron was Peter son of Herbert its owner in 1217. (fn. 424) Before 1235 he granted the curia with the advowson to Reading abbey, (fn. 425) which granted it to Merton College in 1265 or 1266. (fn. 426) The college remained patron until the closure of the church in 1891.
Merton appropriated the church in 1292 (fn. 427) and it became the college chapel served by the college chaplains; (fn. 428) they were neither nominated to nor licensed by the bishop until 1847 (fn. 429) when, as a result of the abolition of peculiar jurisdictions in the diocese, the bishop claimed authority over the church. Friction between the bishops and the college over the dual nature of the church and the status of its minister continued until its closure in 1891. (fn. 430)
The rectory was a poor one, returned as not worth its service in 1254 and valued at £1 in 1257 when the rector was allowed to hold an additional benefice with cure of souls. (fn. 431) There was a vicarage in the early 13th century; the vicar paid the rector a pension, one gold piece in 1217, 2s. in 1223. (fn. 432) After 1292 the chaplains and curates were paid a stipend by Merton College. (fn. 433)
Throughout the period 1292-1891 the parochial function of St. John's was subsidiary to its function as a college chapel. In the 17th century the parish used the north transept and the area under the tower for burials. (fn. 434) No parish registers were kept until 1662, and the chaplains did not answer the bishops' visitation articles until 1854. (fn. 435)
The first curate nominated to the bishop, in 1847, was Edmund Hobhouse, also vicar of St. Peter-inthe-East. (fn. 436) H. W. Sargent, curate 1854-c. 1868 made St. John's for a time one of the centres of Tractarianism. He was particularly interested in church music and his choir attracted many undergraduates to the church. (fn. 437) His successor reduced the number of services, which ceased to be either as ritualistic or as fine musically as they had been, (fn. 438) and the congregation declined; in 1872 the number of communicants had fallen from c. 50, including undergraduates, to between 6 and 12. (fn. 439) E. A. Knox, curate 1874-80, a prominent Evangelical, introduced an evening service for college servants, (fn. 440) but the population of the parish was so small that the curates inevitably devoted most of their time to their college duties. In 1891 the church ceased to be parochial, and the parish was united with St. Peter-in-the-East. (fn. 441)
The church of St. John The Baptist, Merton College chapel, has been described elsewhere. (fn. 442)
The church with an adjacent small estate (praediolum) was granted to Abingdon abbey in 1032 by King Cnut, in confirmation of an earlier grant by Athelwin. It was probably then a private church, part of the haga in which Athelwin had lived, (fn. 443) but it soon became the town church, and in 1172 the portmoot met in the churchyard. (fn. 444) Later, seats were appropriated to the mayor and corporation, an arrangement which caused conflict with the parishioners at times, (fn. 445) and the city lectureships were established there. (fn. 446)
The advowson passed at the Dissolution from Abingdon abbey to the Crown, which retained it until 1886, when it was granted to Keble College which immediately exchanged it with the bishop of Oxford for that of St. Barnabas, Oxford. (fn. 447) The vestry protested at the failure of any of the parties to these exchanges to consult the rector or parishioners. (fn. 448) In 1890 the vestry reluctantly approved the demolition of the church and the union of the parish with that of All Saints' as part of the city's Carfax improvement scheme. (fn. 449) The benefices and parishes were united in 1896, the advowson being vested in Lincoln College, patrons of All Saints'. (fn. 450)
The living was a rectory, valued at £3 6s. 8d. in 1264, at £7 in 1526, and at c. £8 8s. in 1535. (fn. 451) About 1460, however, it was said to be worth c. £13 6s. 8d. (fn. 452) It paid a pension to Abingdon abbey of £1 5s. in the 12th century and £1 10s. in 1291 and c. 1460, but the payment had apparently ceased by 1535. (fn. 453) In the 17th century the rector was paid 1d. at Easter from every man who had killed a calf in his house, (fn. 454) probably a large sum in a parish which contained the butchers' shambles. Other payments included sums of £1 and 12s. a year left in 1708 and before 1721 for sermons. (fn. 455) In 1750 the rectory yielded only c. £16 9s. mainly from 'quarterly contributions', Easter offerings, surplice fees, and payments by the city for special prayers. (fn. 456) Augmentations of £200 from Queen Anne's Bounty in 1750, 1753, 1786, 1809, and 1827, (fn. 457) and of £200 left by Bond Spindler, rector, by will of 1783, (fn. 458) raised the value of the rectory to c. £51 in 1808 and £62 in 1831. (fn. 459) Further grants in 1870 raised its value to c. £100 in 1896. (fn. 460)
The £20 a year left by Bishop Fell (d. 1686) to Christ Church, to provide daily prayers in an Oxford church, was used to pay a reader at St. Martin's. (fn. 461) In 1838 the vestry asked Christ Church to appoint a lecturer instead of a reader, but the terms of the bequest did not allow it and the payment, which had lapsed, was not revived. (fn. 462)
The later-12th-century rectors Ralph the dean and his son Niel played a prominent part in town life and government. (fn. 463) A number of later rectors exchanged the living, and several were academics. (fn. 464)
St. Mary's mass was recorded in 1314, and St. Mary's chantry in 1353 and 1358; (fn. 465) it may have been absorbed into Cary's chantry after 1368. An altar to St. Thomas Becket was consecrated in 1324; a chantry of that saint existed in 1338 and 1349, and a chapel in 1535. (fn. 466) There was a Jesus chapel in 1540 and altars of Holy Cross and St. Catherine were recorded in 1440 and 1544. (fn. 467)
Nicholas of Bicester, by will dated 1349, provided for a chantry in St. Martin's as well as his father's chantry in All Saints' church, but his brother-in-law and executor Richard Cary found the endowment inadequate for a second chantry. (fn. 468) Cary's son John, by will dated 1352, devised property to support a chaplain to celebrate at St. Mary's altar for himself and his family (fn. 469) but the chantry does not seem to have been established until 1368 when Richard Foster, who had obtained most of John's property, endowed a chantry in St. Martin's for the souls of John, Richard, and Hugh Cary with two marks a year. (fn. 470) The advowson of the chantry was bequeathed by Nicholas Saundreson to his wife Maud in 1398, but the last recorded presentation was made by Richard Foster in 1463. (fn. 471)
In 1454 Thomas Wythig and Margaret his wife granted to feoffees property to be used by the tailors' guild to maintain a priest to the worship of God, the Virgin Mary, and St. John the Baptist, and to pray for their souls and for the members of the fraternity of St. John the Baptist. (fn. 472) The chantry survived until 1548, when it was said to have been founded by the tailors, and held property worth £3 16s. (fn. 473) The fraternity of St. John the Baptist, with the tailors' guild, probably met in St. Mary's chapel in the south aisle where there was a statute of the Baptist in the early 16th century and a stained glass window showing a pair of tailor's shears in 1662. (fn. 474) In 1314 the rector left wax for use at the mass of St. Blaise, (fn. 475) the patron saint of woolcombers.
Many of the medieval church goods were sold c. 1548, but in 1552 the church still possessed two copes and a vestment as well as two communion books, a Bible, Erasmus's Paraphrases, and two English psalters. On Mary's accession a cross, candlesticks, and a vestment were 'brought in' by parishioners who had presumably kept them during Edward VI's reign; vestments, altar cloths, and mass books were given to the church, and other goods including a pair of censers, a grail and a pyx were bought. In 1554 the rood light and the paschal candle were restored, St. Thomas's altar and chapel 'made', and a chalice pledged to Richard Whittington recovered. Purchases included a paten, three candlesticks, two silk albs, a sepulchre, and a crucifix for the rood loft. (fn. 476) In 1559 masses were said for parishioners, a watch was kept at the sepulchre on Good Friday, and wax was bought for Candlemas and coals for Easter Eve, but a communion table was made and a communion book, psalter, and injunction book bought. In 1560 the church still possessed several altar frontals and hangings, five vestments, various painted cloths and banners, a pair of censers, a tabernacle, and part of a sepulchre; parishioners were keeping an alabaster altar and two silk curtains. In the following years most of these goods were sold, the last of them in 1577. The rood loft was pulled down in 1574 and in 1575 tables of the Commandments were bought. (fn. 477) The organ, which had 96 pipes, was sold in 1582. (fn. 478)
Robert Grave, the non-resident rector presented by Philip and Mary in 1558, seems to have been deprived c. 1559. (fn. 479) David Humphrey (rector 1594-9) was voted an extra 4s. a year by the city 'for his pains, readiness and diligence' in the performance of his duties. (fn. 480) Daniel Price (rector 1601-9) and his brother Sampson (rector 1609-18) were both distinguished preachers and royal chaplains. (fn. 481)
In 1628 daily public prayers, at 6.00 a.m. and 8.00 p.m., were started at the request of the parishioners; a rent-charge to support the prayers was left that year by Alderman Thomas Harris. (fn. 482) In the mid 17th century Sunday prayers began at 8.00 a.m. the parishioners then went home for breakfast, returning for the sermon at 10.00 a.m. (fn. 483) Altar rails probably erected in 1636 and the 'large crucifix set in a window' reflected the influence of the Laudian Giles Widdowes, rector 1619-46, (fn. 484) who, in the course of an acrimonious dispute with the Puritan William Prynne, defended bowing at the name of Jesus, signing with the cross in baptism, kneeling at communion, standing for the creed, praying for the dead, bowing towards the communion table, and reading the gospel on the perambulation of the parish bounds. (fn. 485) In 1637 and 1641 groups of puritanical undergraduates abused Widdowes as he read prayers. (fn. 486) He was described by Wood as 'a harmless and honest man, well-read in the schoolmen and zealous in the discipline of the Church of England', but 'odd and strange'. (fn. 487) At his death in 1646 the sale of his possessions barely covered the cost of his illness and funeral. (fn. 488)
The Civil War and Interregnum brought changes and disruptions. The churchwardens' accounts for the years 1641 and 1642 were not allowed by the vestry until 1645. (fn. 489) The Presbyterian Directory was bought in 1647 and in 1652 celebrations of Holy Communion, which seem to have been discontinued in 1649 and 1650, were resumed. (fn. 490) In 1661 two surplices, three service books, and forms of prayer for 22 January and for 30 January were bought. (fn. 491) Late17th-century rectors included a notable philologist, a campanologist, and the university reader in natural philosophy, the last, if not all of them, employing curates to serve the parish. (fn. 492)
In 1738 there were services 'more than twice' on Sundays, with two sermons preached by the city lecturers; the reader read prayers twice a week and on Holy Days. Communion was administered five times a year, as it had been since the Restoration, to between 40 and 50 communicants. (fn. 493) Most of the 18th- and early-19th-century rectors were non-resident or held other posts, and the parish was served by curates, usually college chaplains. (fn. 494) Bond Spindler (rector 1737-84), for instance, lived in Wadham College as chaplain in 1738, left Oxford before 1759, and in 1768 reported that the parishioners were very pleased with the curate 'who performs his duty to their mutual satisfaction'. (fn. 495) By 1808 the number of services had been reduced to two, and there were only c. 22 communicants. (fn. 496)
In 1851 the average congregation was c. 240 in the morning and c. 400 in the evening, in a church which could seat c. 730. (fn. 497) By 1854 congregations at the two full services on Sundays had risen to c. 400 in the morning and c. 650 in the evening; there was a monthly communion service and week-day lectures, special sermons, and additional lectures and prayers. Both the rector and the bishop expressed satisfaction, (fn. 498) and steady improvement continued for the next twenty years. (fn. 499)
In 1829 the vestry petitioned George IV not to sign the Catholic Emancipation Act. (fn. 500) W. H. Cox, rector 1834-52, published a pamphlet in support of Dr. Hampden in 1847, and, anonymously, an attack on the Romanizing tendencies of Tracts for the Times. (fn. 501) S. J. Hulme (1863-72) was a member of the Church Reform Union and encouraged his parishioners to form a church committee to express their views and wishes. (fn. 502) The last rector, C. J. H. Fletcher, was a broad churchman who in 1874 caused a considerable stir by inviting Bishop Colenso of Natal to preach, and castigating the clergy who had condemned him. (fn. 503) In 1886 Fletcher himself was delated to the vicechancellor of Oxford university for heresy and was cleared only by the vice-chancellor's casting vote. (fn. 504)
The medieval church of St. Martin, demolished in 1820, comprised an aisled nave, chancel with north and south chapels, and a west tower. The 12th-century church probably had aisles and a clerestory, a window of which survived until 1820. (fn. 505) The west tower was added in the 13th century. In the 14th century both aisles were remodelled, the chancel chapels added or remodelled, the east wall of the church rebuilt and the upper stages added to the tower. The work included the 'crenellation' of an aisle in 1321 and the building of St. Thomas's chapel in the north aisle in 1324. (fn. 506) A new east window was inserted in the chancel during the 15th century, and the nave clerestory was rebuilt. (fn. 507) In 1624 the south door was rebuilt in 'Doric' style, and the east wall parapet was remodelled in Jacobean style. (fn. 508) In 1727 the east end of the church, which had been weakened by alterations to Penniless Bench, was rebuilt, in the same style as before. (fn. 509) Inside, the church was richly painted, the decoration including pictures of Moses and Aaron flanking the Ten Commandments. (fn. 510)
In 1818 the church was declared unsafe by four different builders, and in 1820, despite several protests, all but the tower was pulled down and a new church, allegedly modelled on Gloucester cathedral, was built to the designs of Messrs. Harris and Plowman. (fn. 511) The new church was a rectangular building with nave and aisles under one roof; there was no separate chancel, and the building was so high as to hide much of the old west tower. (fn. 512) A critic described it as 'a stiff, aspiring pile'; inside, a gasometer was 'economically and judiciously' fixed under the communion table, which was in any case hidden from the congregation by a large and elaborate pulpit. (fn. 513)
The tower arch, which had been enlarged in 1820, was blocked up in 1830. (fn. 514) In 1896 the church was sold to the city corporation (fn. 515) and demolished except for the tower which was restored by T. G. Jackson who added a stair-turret and buttresses to enable the structure to stand alone. (fn. 516) The 14th-century font was removed to All Saints church in 1896, (fn. 517) and to St. Michael at the North Gate in 1971. The old church contained monuments to several mayors and other prominent townsmen. (fn. 518)
A clock was 'made' in 1554, (fn. 519) and replaced c. 1623. (fn. 520) By the beginning of the 18th century it was on the east wall of the church flanked by two quarter boys, figures of men holding clubs. (fn. 521) In 1896 the clock and quarter boys were fixed to the east side of the tower, and equipped with two newly-cast quarter jack bells. In 1938 a new electric master clock was installed. (fn. 522)
Charles Nourse, by will dated 1789 bequeathed to the city £1,000, the interest to be used to pay an organist at St. Martin's. (fn. 523)
From at least 1579 the city contributed to the upkeep of the church and its services. (fn. 524) In 1836 it was agreed that the city should contribute £35 a year, about a third of the church's expenses. (fn. 525) From 1838 the money was paid by the mayor but in 1859 the nonconformist mayor Isaac Grubb refused on the grounds that any contribution from city funds towards a church was contrary to the Municipal Reform Act; payment was resumed by later mayors, but by 1869 it had fallen to £20. (fn. 526)
Several rectors disputed their liability to repair the chancel. In 1598 the rector contracted with a slater for the maintenance and repair of the chancel roof, but in 1699 the archdeacon's court ordered the churchwardens to repair the chancel. (fn. 527) In 1728 the rector contributed towards its repair, but in 1807 the rector refused to admit any liability for such repairs. (fn. 528)
Rents of c. 8s. held by the church in 1279 had been lost by 1544. (fn. 529) The following properties were later held for church repair and the poor: a tenement in St. Mary Magdalen's parish, devised by Cecily Herberfield in 1448, sold to St. John's College in 1866, (fn. 530) two tenements and a garden devised by William Fleming (fn. 531) in 1540, and another house acquired soon afterwards. (fn. 532) Fleming's property was confiscated as chantry property in 1548 and recovered by the church in 1622; the garden was lost in the 17th century (fn. 533) and one tenement was sold to the paving commissioners in 1772. (fn. 534) The remaining property, in St. Ebbe's parish, passed to the United parish of St. Martin's and All Saints' in 1896. (fn. 535)
St. Mary Magdalen.
The church was confirmed to St. George's in the Castle c. 1127, having probably been acquired by Robert d'Oilly at the Conquest and given to St. George's at its foundation in 1074. (fn. 536) It passed, with the other endowments of St. George's, to Oseney abbey in 1149. (fn. 537) St. George's, and later Oseney's right to St. Mary Magdalen's was unsuccessfully challenged several times between 1147 and 1225 by St. Frideswide's priory to whom the church had apparently been restored in 1139 by Roger, bishop of Salisbury, and confirmed between 1140 and 1141 by Pope Innocent II. (fn. 538)
The rectory, which formed part of the endowment of a prebend in St. George's, (fn. 541) was presumably appropriated at an early date. The vicarage, ordained by 1224, comprised mortuary fees to the value of 6d. (anything above 6d. being shared with Oseney), oblations at the altar, 1d. mass fee, parishioners' offerings, £1 6s. 8d. a year for the vicar's clothing, and his food and maintenance as a canon; the abbey provided a clerk and servant. (fn. 542) In 1341, after a long dispute, the abbey granted the vicar all oblations and obventions in return for a pension of 2 marks a year; the pension was still paid in 1535. (fn. 543)
In 1254 the vicarage was assessed at only £1, c. 1460 at c. £10, and in 1526 at £6; (fn. 544) perhaps the abbey's earlier contributions in kind had been replaced by a cash payment. In 1535 its gross value was £8 3s. 4d., from which a pension of £1 6s. 8d. was paid to Oseney, and 16s. 8d. to the churchwardens. (fn. 545) In the 16th century the vicar's income included small tithe from the agricultural areas of the parish and £2 12s. from 12 offering-houses. (fn. 546) The vicarage, worth only £16 in 1715, (fn. 547) was augmented from Queen Anne's Bounty with grants of £200 in 1750, 1751, and 1764, (fn. 548) raising its value to c. £114 in 1808. (fn. 549) Further augmentations in 1824 and 1849 (fn. 550) increased its income to £145 in 1831, (fn. 551) and £289 in 1898. (fn. 552)
The medieval vicarage-house on the north side of the churchyard was used as a source of income after 1600, as the vicars lived in Christ Church. (fn. 553) It was demolished c. 1820 and part of the site added to the road and part to the churchyard. (fn. 554) In 1924 no. 53 Broad Street was acquired as a vicarage-house; in 1950 it was sold to Trinity College and no. 15 Beaumont Street bought in its stead. (fn. 555)
Most early medieval vicars held the living for short periods only, but 15th-century incumbencies were longer, perhaps because of the improved value of the living. John Felton or Haresfelde, vicar 1397-1434, was a distinguished and weekly preacher; his grave in St. Mary Magdalen's became a minor place of pilgrimage. William Tresham, vicar 1534-7, an eminent theologian, was later a commissioner for the examination of Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley. (fn. 556)
There was an endowed altar of the Virgin Mary c. 1235, perhaps in the Lady chapel ascribed to St. Hugh of Lincoln. (fn. 557) In 1279 St. Mary's mass held property, worth £1 4s. 6d., administered by wardens. (fn. 558) The chapel was rebuilt in the earlier 14th century, apparently by the wealthy parishioner William Bost. (fn. 559) The chantry's income rose from £9 in 1402 to £13 in 1457, and to over £20 in 1547. (fn. 560) In the mid 15th century the chantry chaplain was paid £4 and another chaplain c. £2 a year; by 1547 the second chaplain was paid £2 10s. (fn. 561) The chantry was suppressed in 1547 and its lands sold to George Owen of Godstow. (fn. 562)
In 1318 John of Bishopton endowed an early mass in the Lady chapel. (fn. 563) Robert of Chislehampton by will of 1415 left the reversion of 6 properties in the parish to support a priest celebrating in St. Mary's chapel for himself and his ancestors. (fn. 564) John Haville, by will of 1498, left a rent-charge for a priest to sing mass, presumably at Trinity altar before which he was buried, for himself and his wife; the rent was still paid in 1547. (fn. 565) George Haville, by will of 1512, left a rent-charge for a priest to pray at the altar of Our Lady of Pity for himself and his family, but by 1547 payment had lapsed. (fn. 566) An altar of St. Agnes was recorded in the mid 13th century, an altar of St. James in 1398 and a statute of that saint in 1403, an altar of the Trinity in 1498, a chapel of St. Margaret in 1503, and a chapel of St. Catherine, probably that in the north aisle earlier used by Balliol College, in 1514. (fn. 567)
John Baker, vicar 1559-84, who conformed to the Elizabethan settlement, had been a canon of Oseney from 1517 to 1539, then curate of five Oxford churches in succession. (fn. 568) In 1561 three altars were removed; in 1562 the rood loft was pulled down, the paintings in the church, except those in the chancel, were washed out, and 'an old saye coat of green which was made for Whitsuntide', presumably a vestment, was sold. Copes were apparently used in 1569 and money was received for the holy loaf until 1624. The tables of the Commandments were bought in 1561, communion cups in 1569 and 1571. (fn. 569)
From 1584 the vicars were all members of Christ Church. (fn. 570) John Dawson, vicar 1633-35, was a wellknown preacher and author of several theological works; (fn. 571) and John Gregory (1635-43), an oriental scholar, was 'the miracle of his age for curious and critical learning'. (fn. 572) In 1646 the vicar, John Castilion, resigned, presumably under compulsion, as he was deprived of a Lincolnshire living in 1647. (fn. 573) The church was a royalist centre during the Interregnum: John Busby was suspended from his studentship at Christ Church in 1653 for a sermon preached in St. Mary Magdalen 'containing matter of profanation and abuse of scripture', (fn. 574) and in 1660 it was the first Oxford church to restore the Book of Common Prayer, a month before Charles II's return. (fn. 575)
In 1685 the churchwardens presented 27 men, most of them tradesmen, for not coming to church; (fn. 576) in 1738, 1768, and 1817 excessive absenteeism was reported, (fn. 577) and even under able and diligent vicars in the mid 19th century a large number of people never attended any place of worship. (fn. 578) Many of the 18thand early-19th-century vicars employed curates to serve the church. In 1738 there were two services and a sermon on Sundays, and communion was administered monthly to c. 50 communicants. (fn. 579) The number of communicants at St. Mary Magdalen, in contrast to that at most other Oxford churches, rose to c. 100 by 1771. (fn. 580) The church was the only one in Oxford to be greatly affected by the Wesleyan revival. The Evangelical Joseph Jane, vicar 1748-63, employed as curate from 1757 to 1762 Thomas Haweis (fn. 581) of whom Charles Wesley wrote that he 'preaches . . . Christ crucified with amazing success, both townsmen and gownsmen flocking in crowds to hear him'. (fn. 582) Others, however, threw stones through the church windows and complaints were made to the bishop about his teaching, described by one listener as 'very stupid, low and bad stuff'. In 1762 the bishop removed him from the curacy. (fn. 583) The same year parishioners successfully opposed the vicar's choice as churchwarden of a man who had 'trampled on the authority of the church by encouraging lay preachers and lay preaching in his own house'. (fn. 584)
In the early 19th century the number of communicants dropped again, to c. 50 at great festivals and c. 20 at the monthly celebration. (fn. 585) C. L. Atterbury, vicar 1815-23, a stage-coach enthusiast, timed his Sunday morning sermons to enable him to watch the arrival of his favourite coach at the Angel Inn at 1.00 p.m. (fn. 586) R. A. Caffin resigned in 1844 after less than a year, following his conversion to Roman Catholicism. (fn. 587) His successor, Jacob Ley, was considered an exceptionally good and conscientious parish priest, a 'house-going parson', who was responsible for the building of St. George's chapel of ease to serve the poorer part of the parish. (fn. 588) On census day in 1851 the church was about half full, with congregations of 355 in the morning and 205 in the afternoon. (fn. 589) By 1854 Ley employed three assistant curates, two of them college chaplains, and had introduced daily prayers, and a weekly communion service. The congregation, however, averaged only c. 150 and was decreasing. In 1857 there were few dissenters but the church had no hold over the small artisans, and in 1860 the working men were 'not well got in hand'. (fn. 590) By 1869, however, the average congregation had increased to between 300 and 380 and the number of communicants, including those at the chapel of ease, had risen to c. 65 monthly and between 180 and 200 at great festivals. (fn. 591)
R. St. J. Tyrwhitt, vicar 1858-72, was sympathetic to some of the teachings of the Oxford Movement, but not to its ritual. (fn. 592) His more high church successor Cecil Deedes, vicar 1872-76, was popular among the poor, but came into serious conflict with his more influential parishioners early in 1876 over a sermon advocating the occasional practice of confession, and the out-door processions formed nightly at St. George's chapel during a mission that year. (fn. 593) Under subsequent vicars the number of services increased and in 1898 as many as a fifth of the adult population of the parish were said to be communicants. (fn. 594) During the incumbency of Bartle Starmer Hack (1922-47), formerly vicar of St. Thomas's, Oxford, the church moved towards the extreme high churchmanship for which it was known in 1973. He introduced baroque ornaments and vestments, and in 1923 a sung Eucharist on Sundays. (fn. 595) His successor, J. C. Stephenson (1948-59), made the church the centre of extreme Anglo-Catholicism in Oxford. (fn. 596)
The church of ST. MARY MAGDALEN comprises a nave and chancel with a west tower, all flanked by north and south aisles, a south chapel and a south porch; there is no structural division between the nave and chancel. Because of its restricted site its width (85 ft.) is greater than its length (80 ft.). (fn. 597) In 1872 the vicar complained of the inconvenience of such a shape, but in the 1950s the vicar found it very convenient for the changed requirements of time and churchmanship. (fn. 598)
The early-12th-century church consisted of a nave and chancel, the Norman arch of which survived until 1841. (fn. 599) Aisles were probably added later in the century, and a Lady chapel apparently on the site of the later south chapel was traditionally ascribed to Bishop Hugh of Lincoln (1186-1200). (fn. 600) In the late 13th century Devorguilla de Balliol repaired or extended the north aisle for her college's use. (fn. 601) The chancel and aisles were partly rebuilt in the late 13th century; the south aisle by then extended eastwards to form a chancel chapel. (fn. 602) The south chapel was rebuilt with a crypt under it and extended eastwards c. 1320. (fn. 603) The tower, probably originally of 13th-century date, was rebuilt soon after 1517; (fn. 604) about the same date the south porch, with a room above it, was added in the angle between the south aisle and the south chapel, blocking an earlier west door into the chapel. (fn. 605) By 1525 the church-house had been built in the angle between the north aisle and the chancel. Its ground floor served as a vestry. (fn. 606)
Between 1824 and 1826 extensive repairs and alterations were made: the altar was placed against the south wall of the south chapel, and the chancel was walled off to form a sacristy. (fn. 607) In 1841 the committee appointed to erect a memorial to bishops Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley, rebuilt and enlarged the chancel and north aisle as part of that memorial. (fn. 608) The north aisle, with the church-house at its east end, much of the chancel, and most of the east wall of the church, were demolished. A new north aisle, 'the Martyrs' aisle' was built in gothic style to the designs of Messrs. Scott and Moffat. The new chancel was not distinguished structurally from the nave; the piers and arches between it and the north and south aisles were made to match those of the nave arcades. Windows of late13th-century style were inserted in the east walls of the chancel and south aisle. The ground floor of the tower was converted into a vestry. (fn. 609)
In 1874 the tower and bells were restored, the tower windows opened into the church and a chancel created by raising the floor in front of the altar and enclosing it with a screen. (fn. 610) In 1886 the south chapel was furnished with an altar and separated from the south aisle by a screen. (fn. 611) In 1890 the parapet and top 20 feet of the tower were rebuilt. (fn. 612) In 1913 statues of the Virgin Mary, Elijah, Richard I, and St. Hugh of Lincoln were placed in the empty niches on the outside wall of the south chapel. In 1923, presumably under the influence of the new vicar, B. S. Hack, altars were placed at the east ends of the north and south aisles. (fn. 613)
There is a modern plaque to John Aubrey (d. 1697), who was buried in the church. (fn. 614) A window in the south chapel contains pictorial panels of 16th- or 17th-century stained glass and two early-19th-century shields of arms, all given in 1834. (fn. 615) The octagonal font dates from the late 14th century.
In 1279 the church received rents worth c. £1 10s. from 16 properties; (fn. 616) all were lost before the Reformation. In 1551 George Owen and William Martin conveyed to feoffees for church repair and the poor five tenements which had belonged to St. Mary's chantry: (fn. 617) the Lamb inn sold to St. John's College in 1617, the Smith's Forge sold to the Paving Commissioners in 1772, the church-house demolished in 1841, (fn. 618) the Horse and Hounds inn in St. Giles sold c. 1866, (fn. 619) and a tenement in Broad Street. (fn. 620) By the early 19th century the church had acquired several other tenements in Broad Street, later known as Bliss's Court, (fn. 621) which were sold to Trinity College in 1893. (fn. 622)
St. George's chapel of ease on the north side of George Street was consecrated in 1850 to serve the poorer part of the parish. On census day in 1851 there was a congregation of c. 125 in the morning and c. 275 in the evening; (fn. 623) by 1854 there was a congregation of 250, but in 1869 it was only 100-120, (fn. 624) and in 1873 the chapel did not attract the class for which it was built. Although congregations increased in the 1880s, (fn. 625) from 1887 successive vicars urged the closure of the chapel, as the parish church was quite large enough for the reduced parish, but it remained open until c. 1918. (fn. 626)
The chapel of St. George, described in 1851 as 'chaste and handsome in the Decorated Gothic style' comprised a chancel and nave, with a bell-turret at the south-west corner. (fn. 627) It was demolished in 1935. (fn. 628)
St. Mary the Virgin.
The church, recorded in 1086, had belonged to an estate held by Aubrey, earl of Northumbria, probably Iffley. (fn. 629) The parish included part of the township of Littlemore 2½ miles east of Oxford. In 1341 the tenants of 16 yardlands there were 'attached' to the church, and the rector held c. 1 a. there as early as the 13th century. (fn. 630) The connexion between Littlemore and St. Mary's was almost certainly made even earlier, presumably by a grant of tithes. (fn. 631) By the early 16th century, when the rectory of Littlemore was being farmed out by Oriel College, it comprised mostly tithes. (fn. 632) Littlemore remained part of St. Mary's parish until 1847 when it became a separate ecclesiastical parish. (fn. 633) A proposal of 1932 to unite the benefice of St. Mary's with the joint benefice of St. Peter-in-the-East and St. Cross was effected only in 1966. (fn. 634)
The church has been the university church from an early date. Congregation met there from at least 1252 until the building of the new convocation house in 1637. The books bequeathed by Thomas Cobham, bishop of Worcester (d. 1327), to form the first university library were housed in the room above the congregation house until the building of Duke Humphrey's library in 1480. (fn. 635) The chancellor's court sat in the church until 1646, and the Act and degree ceremonies took place there until the building of the Sheldonian Theatre in 1669. (fn. 636) From at least the 15th century university sermons have been preached weekly at St. Mary's. (fn. 637) The use of the church by the university at times created friction with the parish. (fn. 638)
The advowson presumably passed to the Crown on the fall of Earl Aubrey. In 1326 Edward II granted it to Oriel College which appropriated the rectory, including small tithes, oblations, and burial dues. (fn. 639) Thereafter Oriel regularly presented vicars except between 1589 and 1622 when the church was served by curates. (fn. 640) The church remained very closely connected with Oriel College. Early provosts of Oriel were inducted into their stall in the choir of St. Mary's, and until 1642 fellows were required to attend services in the church on Sundays and holy days. (fn. 641)
The rectory was one of the more valuable Oxford livings, valued at £6 13s. 4d. in 1254 and at £15 6s. 8d. in 1291. (fn. 642) The vicar's stipend, set by the bishop at £5 4s. a year in 1326, was raised in 1331 to £6 13s. 4d. and in 1480 to £8, at which it remained until 1806. (fn. 643) In 1715 the vicar's income was £35, (fn. 644) mostly from fees and offerings. The benefice was augmented from Queen Anne's Bounty in 1742 with £200 to meet a benefaction. (fn. 645) In 1779 Oriel College began to augment the vicar's stipend with c. £7-£10 a year from the profits of the church, and in 1806 raised the stipend itself to £20. (fn. 646) In 1808 the vicar's income was c. £75, (fn. 647) but his net income in 1831 was said to be only £38, the lowest in Oxford. (fn. 648) Oriel College raised the stipend to £40 in 1834, and £100 in 1856; in 1898 the gross income of the living was £170. (fn. 649) The medieval rectory-house presumably passed to Oriel College in 1326; (fn. 650) there was no vicarage-house until 1960 when No. 194 Woodstock Road was bought with money raised by public subscription. (fn. 651)
John, son of Henry of Oxford, was rector c. 1160, probably holding the church in plurality with St. Peter-in-the East; (fn. 652) he was a prominent supporter of Henry II against Becket, and later bishop of Norwich. (fn. 653) The last rector, instituted in 1320, was Adam de Brome, founder of Oriel College. (fn. 654) Many rectors were eminent, (fn. 655) but the service of the church was probably largely left to other priests or chaplains, like those recorded c. 1180, in 1240, and between c. 1260 and 1270. (fn. 656) The later medieval vicars, mostly members of Oriel, included John Roper (1498-1534), professor of divinity, and John of Aswardby (instituted 1384), a follower of Wycliffe and opponent of the friars. (fn. 657)
In 1261 Reynold of the Ley gave a rent for St. Mary's mass to which in 1275 Henry de Swapham granted his houses in Catte Street. (fn. 658) St. Mary's chantry was recorded in 1361, but by 1460 its income was used for ordinary church expenses. (fn. 659) It may have been replaced by the daily mass in the Lady chapel, endowed in 1362 by William of Daventry for the founders and benefactors of Oriel College. (fn. 660) A chantry founded by the university c. 1274 (fn. 661) may have replaced the masses said earlier in some Oxford churches for the pope, the Roman church, the royal family, and the university benefactors. (fn. 662) There are no further references to an official university chantry, but the chantry and fraternity of St. Thomas may have developed from it or taken its place.
Alan of Killingworth, by will dated 1349, left rents and tenements in reversion for St. Thomas's chantry, and Adam the bookbinder, by will of the same date, left his tenement to St. Thomas's altar. (fn. 663) In 1350, Nicholas Gerland obtained licence to alienate property for two chaplains to celebrate daily at St. Thomas's altar for himself and Henry of Malmesbury, Alan and Denise Killingworth, Master John de Hegham, and Adam the bookbinder. (fn. 664) Before 1389 the income had fallen too low to support even one chaplain, and the chantry had been revived by a fraternity to provide a dawn mass for members of the university and strangers. (fn. 665) The fraternity of 'brothers and sisters of the university' attended mass on St. Thomas's day and members' funerals. Its goods were administered by proctors paid 10s. a year. (fn. 666) In 1392 the fraternity granted the chantry property to Oriel on condition that the college should maintain the chantry. (fn. 667) In 1484 the proctors' expenditure of c. £7 10s., including the chaplain's salary of £2 13s. 4d., exceeded their income of c. £6 15s. derived mainly from annual dues of 3s. 4d. paid by 35 members; 73 others owed sums of up to 6s. 4d. Members included scholars, privileged persons, townspeople, and men from Littlemore, Abingdon, Winchester, and Norwich. (fn. 668) The activities of the fraternity continued unchanged in the 1530s when the endowment was increased by the gift of a tenement. (fn. 669) By 1547, when the chantry was called St. Nicholas's, its income had fallen to c. £6 12s. a year and expenses had increased with the rising cost of repairs. (fn. 670)
Bishop Burghersh's licence for the appropriation of the church provided that a fellow of Oriel say mass daily in St. Anne's chapel, for himself, his family, Adam de Brome, and the college benefactors. The chapel was recorded in 1438 and 1443. (fn. 671) Two chantries in the Lady chapel, those of Thomas Wylcot (founded 1471) and William Smith, bishop of Lincoln (founded 1507), were also served by fellows of Oriel, as was the obit of John Carpenter, bishop of Worcester (d. 1476). (fn. 672) In the 15th century the chaplain who looked after Cobham's library said mass daily in St. Catherine's chapel for the founder and benefactors of the library. (fn. 673) There was an altar of Corpus Christi in 1326 and a chapel of Holy Trinity in 1481; a mass of Jesus on Fridays was recorded in 1465. (fn. 674) An annual mass for the benefactors of the church was held in the later 15th and early 16th century. (fn. 675) In the 15th century the guild of cooks maintained a light in the church. (fn. 676)
Plate and vestments were sold in 1549, but in 1553 altars and a sepulchre were restored, a defaced statue of St. Thomas was repaired, and three copes, two candle-sticks, a cross, a pair of censers, the paschal candle, and a mass book were bought. (fn. 677) In 1558 the vicar, William Powell, conformed to the Elizabethan settlement, (fn. 678) and in 1559 the altars were taken down although some of the fittings in St. Thomas's chapel remained until 1566 and the chalice was not turned into a communion cup until 1569. (fn. 679) Unlike other Oxford churches St. Mary's retained its organ throughout the changes of the 16th century; an organ left to the church in 1427 was replaced c. 1521 and again in 1624; only between 1652 and 1675 was the church without an organ. (fn. 680)
Stephen Rousham, vicar in 1576, became a Roman Catholic, fled to the Continent, and was executed in 1587 on his second mission to England. (fn. 681) John Day, the curate who served the church from 1608 to c. 1622, was a noted preacher, and had travelled in Europe where he become strongly attached to Calvinist doctrines. (fn. 682) The vicar presented by James I in 1622 was in trouble with the college in 1625 and 1626 for celebrating a marriage in St. Bartholomew's chapel, and resigned his fellowship in 1627 to avoid expulsion. (fn. 683)
In 1637 the curate was accused of failing to perambulate the parish, of neglecting to denounce excommunicate parishioners, and of failing to read the book of canons. (fn. 684) The vicar was expelled in 1648, and his successor, who submitted to the parliamentary visitors, was removed in 1649, but vicars were regularly appointed throughout the Interregnum, and William Washbourne, appointed in 1656, held the living until 1673. (fn. 685) In 1660 the church was re-equipped with a surplice, a bible, and two Common Prayer books and by 1668 the number of Communion services had increased from two a year to three in addition to university services which were revived in 1660. (fn. 686) Nine parishioners were presented in 1685 for absenting themselves from church. (fn. 687)
Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries the church continued to be served by fellows of Oriel. Peter Randall, vicar 1700-20, was blamed by Hearne for silencing the non-jurors when they met in the parish, and praised in an obituary for opposing faction, schism, and 'everything which had the least tendency to innovation. (fn. 688) In 1738 the parishioners were 'welldisposed to religion.' There were then two services each Sunday and at least one sermon, the university sermon or else one by the vicar; prayers were read on three week-days and Holy Days. Holy Communion was administered five times a year to c. 70 communicants, (fn. 689) a number which declined to c. 35 by 1811. (fn. 690) In 1759 there were usually two sermons on Sundays, but some absenteeism was reported then and later; in 1802 the cause was thought to be lack of church accommodation. (fn. 691) William Bishop (1810-19), a conscientious and popular vicar, deplored the lack of congregational participation and the widespread habit of sitting during prayers, and arriving late for services. (fn. 692)
Edward Hawkins (vicar 1823-8) increased the number of services, providing a Sunday afternoon sermon for the parish, as distinct from the university. (fn. 693) J. H. Newman (vicar 1828-43), the leading member of the Oxford Movement in its early years, introduced daily services and weekly Communion services. (fn. 694) He did much parochial work in Littlemore, 'having little or nothing to do at Oxford parochially', but complained of his failure with parishioners in contrast with his success amongst university men. (fn. 695)
Charles Marriott (vicar 1850-5) to a large extent took Newman's place in Oxford; (fn. 696) he was much involved in parish work, and visited cholera and smallpox victims during the epidemics of 1854 until he contracted smallpox himself. (fn. 697) By 1854 there were two full services on Sundays, and daily morning and evening prayer; Communion was celebrated every Sunday and Thursday, and on Holy Days. The average congregation of c. 250 was 'fair' but 'not wholly satisfactory'. Marriott's chief difficulty was contact with the middle class (there were hardly any poor in the parish) who were busy and 'little acquainted with Holy Scripture'. (fn. 698) In 1863 the new vicar, J. W. Burgon, 'a high churchman of the old school . . . as opposed to ritualism as he was to rationalism', was warned against expecting a congregation. He added an afternoon service to the popular evening service, revived saints'day and week-day services, urged his congregation to join more heartily in responses and psalms, and deplored the small attendance of parishioners at Holy Communion; (fn. 699) during his incumbency Easter communicants increased from 120 in 1866 to 237 in 1875. (fn. 700)
The long line of fellows of Oriel who had served the church since 1583 was broken in 1878. Cosmo Gordon Lang, the future archbishop of Canterbury, then dean of divinity of Magdalen, held the living from 1894 to 1896. He found St. Mary's once again at a low ebb with a very small congregation. (fn. 701) Despite the revival he effected (fn. 702) church life in the parish declined once more in the early 20th century; when he became vicar in 1923, G. C. Richards noted that 'from old habit a handful of people still attended the parochial services, each having an habitual and generally remote corner'. (fn. 703) He and his successors made the church once again a centre of religious life in the university and built up a congregation, most of which inevitably came from outside the parish.
The church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN comprises chancel, aisled and clerestoried nave, north tower flanked on the west by a north chapel of two bays and on the east by the two-storey 'old congregation house', south porch, and north-east vestry (formerly a chapel). A reference to the dedication of the church c. 1189 (fn. 704) suggests that the church was rebuilt then, but most surviving fragments of the early medieval church are of the later 13th century. (fn. 705) In 1275 Richard the mason of Abingdon was in charge of works at the church. (fn. 706) The 13th-century church was probably cruciform, consisting of chancel, aisled nave, and transepts. The tower was added at the north end of the north transept between c. 1270 and c. 1310; it was planned to open on the east into a single-storeyed building, perhaps a chantry-chapel, which was not built. A small chapel, apparently St. Catherine's, was built at the end of the 13th century, opening east from the north transept. (fn. 707)
Early in the 14th century the spire was added to the tower, and in 1320 the old congregation house with a room for a library above was begun. The congregation house was finished in 1327, but the library was not completed until 1411. (fn. 708) The north nave chapel was built in 1328 by the rector Adam de Brome. (fn. 709) A south chapel, St. Thomas's, existed by 1349. (fn. 710) Between 1320 and 1340 the bishop of Lincoln gave licence for the dedication of the high altar of the church and in 1346 for the dedication of four altars in the 'church of St. Mary's Hall'. (fn. 711)
The chancel was completely rebuilt c. 1462 by Walter Lyhert, bishop of Norwich and a former provost of Oriel; (fn. 712) the university rebuilt and enlarged the nave and aisles c. 1490, demolishing transepts and the south chapel, and c. 1510 remodelled the north wall of Adam de Brome's chapel and the old congregation house, inserting new windows to match those in the nave and chancel. (fn. 713) At about that time the eastern end of the courtyard between the chancel and the congregation house was enclosed, probably to form St. Thomas's chantry-chapel; it was later used as a vestry. (fn. 714) Dr. Morgan Owen, Laud's chaplain, rebuilt the south porch in 1637, apparently to the designs of Nicholas Stone; the statue of the Virgin and Child above it, cited as evidence of Laud's 'popery', was mutilated in 1642. (fn. 715)
The church was regularly repaired and decorated by the university, Oriel College, the parish, or a combination of those bodies, and the university in addition contributed to the ordinary expenses of the church. (fn. 716) The university restored the church in 1676. (fn. 717) In 1733 the arcade to the Brome chapel was blocked; (fn. 718) in 1790-1 the west window was rebuilt to its original design. (fn. 719) In 1827 the nave was re-arranged by Thomas Plowman; (fn. 720) galleries and pews faced the pulpit, and a solid stone screen cut off the nave from the chancel. (fn. 721)
The tower, damaged by wind in 1791, and reported as dangerous in 1808, was completely repaired between 1849 and 1851 under J. C. and C. Buckler, (fn. 722) but by 1856 was considered so unsafe that university services moved to Christ Church. (fn. 723) Repairs were made under G. G. Scott (fn. 724) who in 1861-2 refaced much of the exterior of the church, renewed the windowtracery, and added parapets to the walls of nave and aisles. (fn. 725) The old congregation house, which had housed the university fire engine, was restored in 1871 as a chapel for unattached students. (fn. 726) The stone used on the tower in 1851 had started to decay by 1880, (fn. 727) and between 1892 and 1896 under T. G. Jackson the top 48 ft. of the spire were rebuilt, the statues around it replaced or repaired, and new pinnacles built. (fn. 728)
In 1926 the screen between nave and chancel was pierced by three wide arches. (fn. 729) In 1933 statues were placed in the seven empty niches of the 15th-century reredos in the chancel. In 1930 the nave was rearranged so that the pews faced east, despite considerable opposition from those who felt that the arrangement familiar to Newman, Keble, and Pusey should be preserved; at the same time the arcade to the Brome chapel was opened. (fn. 730) The chancel was badly damaged by fire in 1946, and repaired the following year. In 1953 an altar was erected in the Brome chapel. (fn. 731)
The medieval font, apparently removed during the Civil War, may be the 13th-century one in the 19thcentury church at Littlemore. It was replaced at St. Mary's by an oak font, itself replaced in 1828 by a stone one designed by Thomas Plowman. (fn. 732) The choir stalls are 15th-century; the wainscot and altar rails were given by the vice-chancellor Ralph Bathurst in 1676. (fn. 733) The wrought-iron gates at the south entrance are of the early 18th century. There is a consecration cross on the south wall of the chancel. A 14th-century altar tomb, of which only the lid is original, is ascribed to Adam de Brome (d. 1324). (fn. 734) The east window contains a few fragments of 15th- and 16th-century glass; two windows in the south aisle were designed by A. W. N. Pugin. (fn. 735) The church had a clock by 1469. (fn. 736)
In 1460 the church wardens were receiving rent from nine properties, in 1553 from only five. (fn. 737) In 1577, 1583, and 1610 the city corporation leased the properties to the church but in 1615 the city was found to have no right to them and in 1622-3 they were vested in parish feoffees in trust for church repairs and the poor. (fn. 738) Three tenements in Catte Street given in 1275 were exchanged in 1633 for two others in the same street. (fn. 739) One of the new tenements was demolished for the Clarendon building, the other was sold in 1736 to the Radcliffe trustees. (fn. 740) Properties on the east side of Catte Street were sold in 1443 and 1714 to All Souls College. (fn. 741) A tenement in Magpie Lane given before 1279 was sold in 1905, and one in Catte Street given by John Goore in 1574, in 1720. (fn. 742)
St. Michael at the North Gate.
The west tower dates from the later 11th century and the church was well established by 1086, when its two priests held property in Oxford. (fn. 743) Like All Saints, St. Michael's was apparently granted to St. Frideswide's priory in 1122, seized by Roger, bishop of Salisbury, and returned to the priory in 1139. (fn. 744) St. Frideswide's retained the advowson until 1335 when it was granted to the bishop of Lincoln. (fn. 745) In 1427 St. Michael's was annexed to All Saints and St. Mildred's and with them erected into a collegiate church for the foundation of Lincoln College. (fn. 746) Thereafter St. Michael's like All Saints was usually served by chaplains or curates appointed by the college. In 1538 and c. 1552 the college leased the rectory to the parishioners who were to find a priest. (fn. 747) The lease probably expired in 1580 when the college raised the rent of the rectory and resumed responsibility for the chaplain's stipend of £4 8s., which it continued to pay until 1649. (fn. 748)
The position of the chaplain of St. Michael's, as of All Saints, was in dispute in the 18th and 19th centuries. (fn. 749) From 1848 St. Michael's was an endowed perpetual curacy, called a vicarage by 1869, in the gift of Lincoln College. (fn. 750) From 1943 onwards, St. Michael's and All Saints were held in plurality and in 1971 they were united into the rectory of St. Michael's with St. Martin's and All Saints, Lincoln College remaining the patron of the united benefice. (fn. 751)
The living, a rectory, was valued at £2 in 1254. (fn. 752) A pension of £3 6s. 8d. was granted to St. Frideswide's between 1203 and 1206; in 1291 it was said to be £2; it was discontinued when the bishops of Lincoln acquired the living in 1335. (fn. 753) The payment of such a large pension may account for the church's being called a vicarage in 1222.
No vicarage was endowed when the rectory was used for the foundation of Lincoln College, and from 1427 until 1649 the chaplain's stipend was paid by Lincoln College or its lessees: in 1526 it was only £1 6s. 8d., but it rose to £4 in 1551 and £6 in 1558 falling to £4 8s. in 1580. (fn. 754) In 1631 Christopher Sherland of Northampton gave £10 a year to the chaplain, (fn. 755) and in 1715 the chaplaincy was said to be worth £16. Nathaniel, Lord Crewe, bishop of Durham, by his will of 1721, left a further £10 a year to the curate. (fn. 756) Between 1755 and 1779 the curate's income averaged c. £57, including Easter offerings, and surplice fees. (fn. 757)
By 1808 the income of £72 a year included £1 12s. 8d. from seven offering houses, a payment which earlier had been made to Lincoln College as rector. (fn. 758) In 1831 the living was worth £100. (fn. 759) Augmentations in 1864 and 1883 raised its value in 1898 to £220. (fn. 760) There was no parsonage house until 1922 when a site was bought on the Botley Road, and a house built. Because of its distance from the church it was used merely as a source of income after 1927, the vicars living at no. 24 St. Michael's Street. (fn. 761)
In 1263 Denise, relict of Gilbert Borewald, granted a rent to the mass of the Virgin Mary, and a house was left to the mass before 1279. (fn. 762) Further rents and properties were acquired before 1317, c. 1400, and in 1435, but all but one had been lost by the Reformation. (fn. 763) The Lady chapel, on the north side of the church, (fn. 764) contained a statue and lights of the Virgin, and was equipped with three vestments, and two chalices. (fn. 765) The chantry had come to an end before 1547, but the chapel was refurnished in 1556-7. (fn. 766)
The late 13th- and 14th-century chapels, which, by the 15th century, were dedicated to St. Thomas and St. Catherine, contained statues and lights of those saints, and had their own plate and vestments. (fn. 767) St. Catherine's chapel was repaired, and perhaps refurnished, in 1556-7. St. Mildred's chapel existed in 1485, and a statue of that saint in 1516. (fn. 768) Lights of St. Clement and St. George had their own proctors to administer their offerings and rents; St. Clement's proctors were often responsible for a light of St. Thomas. (fn. 769) A statue and shrine of St. George were recorded in 1505-6. (fn. 770)
John Archer, by will proved 1525, left property in Oxford, Rousham, and Lower Heyford, in reversion, to pay two priests £2 each to sing mass for himself and his family, and to support his obit and an annual dole. (fn. 771) In 1546 Archer's relict, Anne, was still living and was paying one priest from the greatly reduced rent of the property. (fn. 772)
Of the curates or chaplains found and paid by the churchwardens for much of the 16th century, (fn. 773) some seem to have remained for a year or more, but others were apparently employed on a much more casual basis. (fn. 774) In 1538-9 (fn. 775) the rood loft was pulled down, although an image of the Trinity had been bought for it only that year. Money continued to be collected for the rood-light. In 1544 a sword from St. George's shrine was sold. In 1547 the statues were taken down and a desk made for the bible; considerably fewer candles were used than in earlier years, and there was no paschal candle. In 1549 the first prayer book of Edward VI was bought but vestments continued in use and charcoal was bought for hallowing the font at Easter. The second prayer book of Edward VI was bought in 1552. On the accession of Mary two altars were made, presumably the high altar and the altar in the Lady chapel which were painted in 1556-7. In 1557-8 the church wardens bought a rood with statues of St. Mary and St. John. The two stone altars were sold again in 1561-2, and in the same year the ten commandments were set up and the pulpit moved. A homily book was bought in 1563-4. (fn. 776)
Throughout the earlier 17th century the church was served by a rapid succession of members of Lincoln College, including in 1624 the puritan Christopher Rogers, later rector of St. Peter-le-Bailey. (fn. 777) In 1633 the chaplain was removed for failing to read 'the King's Declaration', probably the notorious 'Book of Sports'. (fn. 778) The following year the churchwardens paid for 'a certificate for reading the king's book'; (fn. 779) the rearrangement of the chancel and building of altar rails in 1634-5 may suggest Laudian influence, particularly as the changes were reversed in 1641. (fn. 780)
Holy Communion was celebrated eight times in 1643, and 11 times in 1645, but the number of celebrations seems to have dropped thereafter. In 1646 the Presbyterian Directory was introduced, but two surplices were still used in 1649, and with two Common Prayer Books remained in the churchwardens' charge throughout the Interregnum. (fn. 781) The altar rails were re-erected at the Restoration and the 1662 Prayer Book purchased. The chancel was repaved in 1666, perhaps undoing the work of levelling carried out in 1641. (fn. 782)
Most 18th-century chaplains were fellows of Lincoln College. Although some held the post for long periods, one for as long as 30 years, they did not always serve the church themselves; from 1749 to 1753 and in 1755 the rector of St. Peter-le-Bailey acted as chaplain. In the early 19th century the serving of the church was put on a slightly more regular basis, but the chaplains continued to be resident fellows of Lincoln. (fn. 783) The number of Communion services fell from 9 or 10 a year in 1727 to 5 or 6 in 1782; (fn. 784) in 1814 there were morning and evening prayers with one sermon on Sundays and prayers twice a week and on holy days. (fn. 785) In 1850 the parishioners joined in an anti-Catholic protest to Queen Victoria. (fn. 786) Church life declined during the long incumbency of the first vicar, Frederick Metcalfe (1850-85) an ultra conservative and 'an irascible egotist', (fn. 787) firmly opposed to all change. St. Michael's was consequently the last Oxford church to be affected by the religious revival of the mid 19th century; (fn. 788) to the end of his incumbency services remained as they had been in 1850 and indeed, except for an increase in Communion services, as they had been in 1814. (fn. 789) In 1851 the average congregation was 240 in the morning and 120 in the evening; (fn. 790) in 1866 it was only 130, but Metcalfe considered it a fair proportion of the parishioners, most of whom he dismissed as 'pushing tradesmen' and Dissenters. (fn. 791) In 1872 he offered the same explanation for there being only c. 30 regular communicants. (fn. 792) He discontinued the weekday services in 1856 on the 'unsatisfactory' excuse of poor attendance. (fn. 793) His unpopularity added to the difficulty of collecting church rates, which he blamed on the 'immigration of dissenters'. (fn. 794)
The church revived under Andrew Clark (vicar 1885-93) and his successors. In the 1890s a branch of the Church Defence Association, St. Michael's Guild for Church Defence, Instruction, and Fellowship, became the focus of parish life, with a wide-ranging programme of excursions and lectures. In 1897 its committee gave a brass cross for the altar, the first one used since the Reformation; a stole was first used the same year. (fn. 795) However, the high church views of Charles Gardner, vicar 1925-27, aroused deep suspicion in the minds of some of his congregation and forced his resignation. (fn. 796) In 1930 the 'central' churchmanship of St. Michael's attracted a large congregation from parishes where services were more 'extreme'. (fn. 797) R. R. Martin, vicar 1927-61, described himself as a Broad Churchman with 'an intense veneration for the law in church and state': he attempted to conform to every rubric in the Prayer Book, and all the changes made during his incumbency were based on his knowledge of the church in England in the 16th century. (fn. 798)
The church of ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL comprises a nave with north aisle, north transept and south aisle or chapel, a chancel with north chapel and north-east vestry, a west tower, and a south porch. The 11th-century church presumably consisted of a simple nave and chancel and the surviving west tower. In the 13th century the chancel was rebuilt and extended eastwards, and a south porch and the eastern bay of the south chapel were built. The north transept may have been added about the same date. (fn. 799) The north chancel chapel, and the north transept, if it was not already in existence, were added during the earlier 14th century, and another south chapel, between the earlier one and the porch, was built about the middle of the century. The north aisle and arcade were built early in the 15th century, and at the same period the south arcade was rebuilt and a larger tower arch inserted. Later in the century the south porch was rebuilt, retaining its 13th-century outer door, and a new chancel arch inserted. (fn. 800)
The churchyard was surrounded by a high wall with a heavy early-17th-century gateway. In 1678-9 a cupola was added to the tower, but in 1701 it was declared dangerous and removed. (fn. 801) In 1785 the vestry doubted whether the tower, which was full of cracks and 'the most inelegant part of the whole building' was worth repair. (fn. 802) In 1833 the local builder and architect John Plowman rebuilt the wall at the end of the 'north chapel' (probably the north transept into which a new window was inserted, rather than the Lady chapel). (fn. 803)
A major restoration was carried out in 1853-4 by G. E. Street, in the face of strong opposition from the vicar, Metcalfe. (fn. 804) Street almost completely rebuilt the chancel, raising its floor level and placing the altar on a step, repaired the walls, replaced the low 15th-century chancel arch by a much higher and more pointed one, and substituted a low screen for the rood screen. (fn. 805) The elaborate reredos, given by Street, was removed in 1932. (fn. 806) In 1873 the early-16th-century parapet of the tower was replaced by a plain one. In 1875 the three lower belfry windows were opened up, (fn. 807) and in 1896 the upper one in the north face of the tower. (fn. 808) Two short buttresses were built against the north and south walls of the tower in 1908. The churchyard wall was removed in 1878. (fn. 809)
In 1941 the Lady chapel was furnished with an altar, and statues of the Virgin and Child, St. Frideswide, and St. Mildred placed in the empty niches of the 15th-century reredos. (fn. 810) The niches on either side of the chancel arch were filled in 1936 with statues of St. Michael and St. George which were gilded and painted in 1960. A figure of St. Catherine was placed in the niche in the east wall of the south aisle in 1946. (fn. 811) In 1953 a fire, apparently started near the organ, completely destroyed the roof of the church, ruined the north transept, and damaged the furnishings. The roof was rebuilt and the interior of the church restored by G. R. S. Flavel and J. M. Surman. (fn. 812)
The medieval font was replaced in 1710, (fn. 813) and the 18th-century one in the 19th century. (fn. 814) When the parish was united with St. Martin's and All Saints, the late-14th-century font originally in St. Martin's was brought to St. Michael's. The monuments include a brass to Ralph Flexney, alderman (d. 1578). (fn. 815) In the east window of the chancel are four 13th-century panels of stained glass representing the Virgin and Child, St. Michael, St. Nicholas, and St. Edmund of Abingdon. In a window in the north aisle are three early-16th-century fragments: two seraphim and a crucifix on a lily, originally part of an Annunciation. (fn. 816)
The church held four properties for church repair and the poor: (fn. 817) a tenement in Ship Street, part of it given by Denise Borewald in 1263, (fn. 818) and part by John Archer in 1524, (fn. 819) which was sold to Jesus College before 1858; (fn. 820) two tenements in Cornmarket, one given in 1527, (fn. 821) the other acquired in the early 16th century; (fn. 822) and a tenement in Market Street given in 1516. (fn. 823) The charity was governed by Schemes of 1885, 1905, and 1961. (fn. 824)
St. Michael At The South Gate.
The living was described as a vicarage in 1190, but it comprised the church and all its appurtenances, (fn. 827) and was later regularly described as a rectory. A pension of £1 6s 8d. was paid to St. Frideswide's, (fn. 828) and, in the early 13th century, another of unknown value to the bishop of Lincoln. (fn. 829) The rectory was valued at £1 13s. 4d. in 1254. (fn. 830) In 1247 the rector agreed to pay Littlemore priory 6s. 8d. a year for tithes of hay from meadows in the parish. (fn. 831)
William Shirwood (rector 1458-71 and 1477-81), a courtier and later a papal chamberlain, held another living in plurality from 1462 onwards. (fn. 832) A clerk presented in 1222-3 was ordered to be ordained, (fn. 833) but in 1454 the rector was given a papal dispensation not to proceed beyond sub-deacon for seven years while he studied in Italy. (fn. 834) About 1520 the rector was non-resident and the curate did not preach or visit the sick. (fn. 835)
A tenement was given before 1332 to maintain the chapel and light of St. Mary; the chantry had its own chaplain or warden by 1340. (fn. 836) In 1340 Thomas de Legh, town clerk, and his wife Joan endowed a chantry to the honour of God, the Virgin, St. Michael, and All Saints. The chaplain was to celebrate daily at St. Mary's altar for the royal family, the bishop of Lincoln, the founders and their children, Simon With and all the burgesses of Oxford, and to celebrate the mass of St. Thomas the Martyr on Tuesdays and a mass for the parishioners on Sundays. He was to live outside the south gate to enable him to attend anyone taken ill there after the gate was shut at night. (fn. 837) By his will, proved 1345, Legh made further provision for the chantry and required all his children to maintain it under pain of God's curse and his own. (fn. 838) However, his son Thomas in 1357 assigned the vacant chantry and its property to Oriel College, which agreed to include the founders and benefactors of the chantry among the college benefactors, for whom mass was said daily in St. Mary's. (fn. 839)
At its closure the church held five tenements: two given in 1485 and 1501 to support obits, (fn. 840) and three others acquired between 1501 and 1523. (fn. 841) By 1501 the church-house was let for at least part of the year. (fn. 842) In 1445 the church leased from the city a tower between it and the south gate, presumably as a store room. (fn. 843)
The church was closed and demolished in 1525 by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey to make way for the great quadrangle of Cardinal College, and the parish united with St. Aldate's. (fn. 844)
The church, which stood on a site later occupied by the front quadrangle of Lincoln College, was granted to St. Frideswide's priory in 1122. (fn. 845) In 1142 Eynsham abbey claimed the church, described as a chapel, but St. Mildred's was confirmed to St. Frideswide's. (fn. 846) The priory remained patron until 1326 when the church, with the rector's house to which the advowson of the church may have belonged, was given to the bishop of Lincoln. (fn. 847) The bishops were patrons until the church was suppressed in 1427 for the foundation of Lincoln College. (fn. 848)
The living, a rectory, was valued at £1 6s. 8d. in 1254, (fn. 849) but in 1326 the rector paid a pension of £1 6s. 8d. to St. Frideswide's priory. (fn. 850) There were frequent resignations from and exchanges of the living; in 1382, for instance, there were three different rectors. (fn. 851) The congregations of regents in the faculty of arts sometimes met in the church. (fn. 852)
St. Peter-In-The-East. (fn. 853)
The church was first recorded in 1086 when it was held by Robert d'Oilly, (fn. 854) but archaeological evidence (fn. 855) and the fact that St. Peter's was the mother church of both Holywell and Wolvercote (fn. 856) suggest that it was an early, probably 10th-century, foundation. In 1891 the benefice and parish were united with St. John the Baptist and in 1957 with St. Cross. (fn. 857) From 1963 the united benefice was held in plurality with St. Mary the Virgin, (fn. 858) with which it was united in 1966. (fn. 859) St. Peter's was closed in 1965 and converted into a library for St. Edmund Hall.
The advowson descended in the d'Oilly family to Henry d'Oilly, who between 1154 and 1156 granted it to Oseney abbey. (fn. 860) The grant did not take effect, perhaps because the church had already been acquired by Henry of Oxford from whom it seems to have passed to his son John, bishop of Norwich, escheating to the Crown on his death in 1200. (fn. 861) In 1266 Henry III granted the church to Merton College, which appropriated the rectory in 1294. (fn. 862) The college presented to an endowed vicarage until 1666, (fn. 863) after which no presentations were made until 1837, although after 1759 perpetual curates were nominated to the living. (fn. 864) In 1837 the Crown presented on the elevation of the previous incumbent to a bishopric, investigation having shown that the living was a vicarage. (fn. 865) Merton presented from 1841 until the closure of the church. (fn. 866)
The medieval rectory was the wealthiest living in Oxford, having the tithes of Wolvercote and Holywell. In 1231 it was said to be worth at least £40, in 1254, £13 6s. 8d., in 1280, £20, and in 1291, £40. (fn. 867) The rectorial glebe was in Holywell, where in 1086 the church held two hides (fn. 868) and in 1279 Bevis de Clare, the rector, held the manor in right of his church. (fn. 869) The manor passed with the rectory to Merton College. (fn. 870)
Before 1236 a vicarage was endowed with the oblations and obventions of St. Peter-in-the-East and Wolvercote, the mortuary fees of Wolvercote, the tithes of gardens and crofts, and the hay tithes from Wolvercote, St. John's hospital, and a meadow next to St. Frideswide's granary. The vicar served St. Peter's and found chaplains for the two chapels, which he maintained; other major burdens were shared between the vicar and the rector. The vicar paid the rector a pension of £6 13s. 4d. (fn. 871) The vicars reached agreements over small tithes with Godstow abbey in 1239 and with St. John's hospital in 1238, 1253, and 1320. (fn. 872) In 1261 the vicarage was worth c. £8; the pension of £6 13s. 4d. paid by the first vicar to the rector had been remitted. (fn. 873)
In 1291 and c. 1460 the vicarage was valued at £5, and in 1535 at £13 13s. 8d. out of which the vicar paid £3 to the priest who served Wolvercote chapel. (fn. 874) In 1591 it consisted of small tithes, all dues for christenings and burials, and all Easter offerings from the parish of St. Peter-in-the-East and from Holywell. (fn. 875) By 1715 the value of the living had fallen to c. £12, (fn. 876) probably because Holywell and Wolvercote were no longer contributing to the mother church. A benefaction of £1 for a sermon at Christmas was paid by 1769. (fn. 877)
The benefice was augmented from Queen Anne's Bounty with grants of £200 in 1759 and 1784, and £600 in 1812, (fn. 878) raising its value to c. £66 in 1808 and £147 in 1831. (fn. 879) In 1851 a modus of £1 6s. 8d. was confirmed to the vicar in lieu of tithes from 15 acres in the parish. (fn. 880) Grants by Merton College of £50 a year in 1861 and 1867, the latter reduced to £32 a year by 1869, (fn. 881) and of £50 from the stipend formerly paid to the curate of St. John's after 1891, raised the vicar's income to c. £250 a year. (fn. 882)
A vicarage-house opposite the churchyard was recorded in 1378, (fn. 883) and one to the east of the church in 1558. In 1582, 1625, and 1660 it was let to tenants; (fn. 884) from 1727 to 1771 it was used as a workhouse (fn. 885) and in 1804 it was sold to the parish to enlarge the churchyard. (fn. 886) A new parsonage-house, built in 1869 on a site given by Merton College, in South Parks Road, was sold to the university in 1960 after the union of the benefice with St. Cross. (fn. 887)
Because of its value, the rectory was held in the 12th and 13th centuries by a succession of high-ranking pluralists. John of Oxford, later bishop of Norwich, the first known rector, was also rector of St. Mary the Virgin. (fn. 888) Pontius de Ponte, rector 1231-57, in 1233 was receiving £26 13s. 4d. a year from the Exchequer to keep himself at the schools, presumably of Oxford. (fn. 889) Bevis de Clare, rector 1259-94, was by the 1280s the greatest pluralist in the country, holding 20 benefices and living as a great baron, with a retinue of knights, officers, and musicians. (fn. 890) After the appropriation of the rectory in 1294 the vicars were almost all fellows of Merton. (fn. 891) Robert Serles (presented in 1524) was one of the six preachers appointed by Cranmer to expose the errors of Rome, but later gave evidence against the archbishop at his trial. (fn. 892)
The founding of a lady chapel has been attributed to Edmund of Abingdon (d. 1240), later archbishop of Canterbury. (fn. 893) Before c. 1284 a tenement was given to support a mass of the Virgin, which may have become the chantry in hospicio Sancti Petri in Oriente for which licence was given in 1301. The wardens of the chantry held a property by 1370, (fn. 894) and retained it until at least 1508. By 1537, however, it had passed to the churchwardens who may have administered the chantry in the 1540s. (fn. 895) St. Thomas's chapel was recorded in 1533, St. Catherine's altar in 1495 and 1506, and St. Andrew's altar in 1506. (fn. 896) Statues or paintings of St. Catherine and St. Christopher were made or repaired in 1505, and one of St. Mary in 1508. (fn. 897) Throughout the early 16th century a mass and dirge were celebrated each year for the church's founders and benefactors. (fn. 898)
In 1558 the newly-appointed vicar, John Cumner, conformed to the Elizabethan settlement. (fn. 899) The vicar presented in 1580 refused to resign his fellowship; it was perhaps to prevent similar problems that the next two vicars had to agree not to retain St. Peter's after obtaining another living. (fn. 900) The church retained an organ until at least 1621, although the remainder of the pre-Reformation church furnishings had been sold by 1581 and the usual new ones bought. (fn. 901) In 1636 communion rails were made, long kneeling mats bought for use at the communion, and an hour glass was set up. (fn. 902)
In 1630 the vicar, cited for not reading prayers in St. Peter's and not preaching for a whole year, replied that he performed his duties at Wolvercote and paid for monthly sermons at St. Peter's; in 1633 he was again cited for neglect of the cure. (fn. 903) His successor, a puritan of some ability though 'a weak and timorous spirit', was removed from the vicarage for a short time by Archbishop Laud. (fn. 904) John Lee, presented in 1646, was apparently ejected in 1648 having been the last Oxford incumbent to use the Book of Common Prayer. (fn. 905) During the Interregnum the church was served by at least five men, only one of whom seems to have been appointed by Merton. (fn. 906) In 1649 an Independent, Nicholas Darton, preached in the church, but he was locked out by the Presbyterian authorities and the church closed for a time. (fn. 907) At the Restoration Common Prayer Books and a surplice were bought. (fn. 908)
Thereafter the church was served by a fairly rapid succession of junior fellows of Merton College. (fn. 909) In 1738 the curate resided on his country living for six months of the year and paid another Merton fellow half a guinea a Sunday to serve the cure. (fn. 910) The stipend was so small that in 1832 no fellow would accept the living, and in 1843 it was insufficient to meet the out-goings. (fn. 911) Under such circumstances most vicars and curates did not stay long enough to have much effect on the life of the parish but Josiah Pullen, who was not appointed by Merton, served the church from 1668 to 1715. He insisted on reading Divine Service until his death, aged over 80, although failing eyesight caused him to make great blunders. (fn. 912) In 1725 the university offered St. Peter's the old organ from the Sheldonian Theatre, and it was accepted, although fears were expressed that it was 'a relic of popery' or 'an old cupboard' which would disgrace the church. (fn. 913) A dispute over the churchwardens' expenditure which reached the archdeacon's court in 1732, seems to have been part of a long-standing grievance over church finances. (fn. 914) In 1738 the church was well attended, particularly on Sundays, when there were two services and a sermon; there were prayers on two weekdays and on holy days, and Communion was administered monthly to c. 30-40 communicants, and on great festivals to over 60. (fn. 915) In 1759 the curate attributed absenteeism among the poor to lack of suitable clothes. (fn. 916) Services remained much the same until the 1830s; by 1808 the number of monthly communicants had fallen to c. 20, but the numbers at great festivals rose from 50 in 1808 to 80-100 in 1823, (fn. 917) perhaps a reflection of the improved arrangements for serving the cure.
From 1817 onwards the incumbents employed licensed assistant curates at a regular stipend. (fn. 918) Walter Ker Hamilton (vicar 1837-41) was at first 'a model Evangelical preacher' who attracted large congregations; he was later influenced by the Oxford Movement and was the first to introduce daily afternoon services in Oxford. Despite the change in his attitude he retained the confidence of his parishioners. (fn. 919) Edmund Hobhouse (vicar 1843-58) was anxious that the church should have a long incumbency, and wealthey enough to refuse offers of better livings until in 1858 he became the first bishop of Nelson (New Zealand). He was responsible for the restoration of the church in 1844, and continued the daily services. (fn. 920) In 1854 there was a weekly communion for c. 30 communicants and an additional monthly one at midday for over 100. The average congregation of c. 550 was about half the population of the parish and had risen since 1851 when 400-500 had attended the morning and evening services and 80-100 the afternoon. (fn. 921) But in 1857 'the effect of papal aggression' was still seen in disaffection in the parish, particularly the artisans' indifference to public worship. (fn. 922)
The tradition of longer incumbencies begun by Hobhouse was maintained, and indeed J. D. King was vicar for 40 years (1867-1907). In 1890 the number of midday celebrations of Holy Communion was increased to two a month. (fn. 923) The services remained much the same until 1947 when Sung Eucharist became the main Sunday service. (fn. 924) Congregations remained good until the First World War, but by 1928 were very small. (fn. 925)
The church of ST. PETER comprised a chancel with a north chapel and north vestry, a nave with a north aisle and chapel, a north-west tower, and a crypt beneath the chancel. Traces of the footings and floors of an Anglo-Saxon church or churches have been found. (fn. 926) The crypt and chancel were built in the mid 12th century; portions of the contemporary nave of three bays also survive. The crypt of five bays has at its west end a confessio or relic chamber flanked on either side by stairs leading up to the nave. Other flights of stairs originally led through the thickness of the north and south walls to passages at window level within the chancel wall which led to stairs to roof level in the eastern corners. The chancel itself is of two bays, with rib vaulting, the ribs of the eastern bay decorated with chain motif. There may have been a triple chancel arch, the central piers standing on the solid masonry of the west wall of the crypt, between the confessio and the stairs to the nave. The plan and scale of both crypt and chancel, and the elaborate arrangements for viewing a relic, are remarkable, and suggest that the 12th-century church was, or was intended to become, a place of pilgrimage. A north aisle and a north or Lady chapel were added in the early 13th century. About the same time a single large chancel arch was inserted. In the 14th century, perhaps c. 1321, the nave was extended westward by one bay, the tower added and the north aisle rebuilt. (fn. 927) The south porch, of two storeys, was added in the 15th century, and at the end of that century, probably c. 1498, (fn. 928) a lean-to north vestry was built against the eastern bay of the chancel, to the east of the Lady chapel. Early in the 16th century, probably in 1524, (fn. 929) a small chapel, St. Thomas's, was built on the north side of the north aisle, west of the Lady chapel. (fn. 930)
A new door was made into the chancel in 1629 for the doctors going to the Lent sermons. (fn. 931) In 1723 statues of St. Peter and St. Paul on the south porch were renewed and a door made into the tower from Queen's Lane. (fn. 932) The interior of the church was restored in 1836, (fn. 933) the exterior in 1844 and 1845. (fn. 934) In 1852 the interior was burnt and many furnishings destroyed. (fn. 935) In 1875 the north chancel chapel was converted into an organ chamber and choir vestry. (fn. 936) The chancel was refurnished and re-paved in 1882 and a low screen of Caen stone built between it and the nave. (fn. 937) Although repairs to the crypt were first recorded in 1826 it was not until 1930 that it was properly restored and an altar built. (fn. 938)
The 12th-century font, carved with figures of the 12 apostles under canopies, (fn. 939) was replaced before 1807 by a carved wooden one, attributed to Grinling Gibbons, representing the forbidden tree with Adam and Eve at its base. (fn. 940) That font was replaced by a plain stone one before 1843. Part of the 12th-century font was found in 1894 and returned to the church. (fn. 941) In the north window of the Lady chapel are fragments of glass, the coronation of the Virgin and figures of St. Peter and St. Paul, given in 1433 by the the vicar Vincent Wyking, and in the east window of the chancel are early-16th-century figures of the four Evangelists. (fn. 942) A full-length portrait of Queen Elizabeth I (fn. 943) on the north wall of the nave, first recorded in 1621, (fn. 944) was repainted regularly in the 17th and 18th centuries; it was last recorded in 1807. (fn. 945) The monuments include a marble tomb-chest, with brass figures of Richard Atkinson, mayor (d. 1574), one of his wives, and 11 children, (fn. 946) and a memorial to James Sadler (d. 1828) of Oxford, 'the first English aeronaut'. (fn. 947)
In 1279 the church held one house and received rents from four other properties. (fn. 948) The house was sold to William of Wykeham's agents in 1370; (fn. 949) another property was held by St. Mary's chantry in 1370 and by the churchwardens in 1578, but had passed to Queen's College by 1588. (fn. 950) The church acquired properties in High Street in 1451, (fn. 951) and c. 1541. (fn. 952) At the Reformation both passed to the city, (fn. 953) which from 1589 until 1867 leased them to the parish at a nominal rent, on trust for church-repair and the poor. (fn. 954) In 1867 the city declined to renew the lease on the old terms and in 1875 recovered the freehold. (fn. 955)
The church of St. Peter at the castle, later known as St. Peter in the west or le Bailey, was granted to St. Fridewide's priory in 1122. (fn. 956) The living was held in plurality with St. Ebbe's from 1913 to 1926 and with St. Aldate's 1927-8. In 1928 the church and its property were used for the foundation of St. Peter's Hall, later St. Peter's College, and from then until the closure of the church in 1961 the rector of St. Peter-le-Bailey was ex officio master of St. Peter's Hall. (fn. 957) In 1961 the benefice and parish was united with St. Ebbe's, and the church ceased to be parochial, being used solely as the college chapel. (fn. 958)
In 1203 the bishop of Exeter unsuccessfully claimed the advowson as an appurtenance of his manor of Bampton. (fn. 959) St. Frideswide's retained the advowson until its dissolution in 1524. (fn. 960) The Crown presented in 1532, Christ Church in 1541, and thereafter the Crown (fn. 961) presented until 1864 when the advowson was sold to the rector, Henry Linton, who vested it in a body of trustees known as the Oxford Trust. (fn. 962) In 1935 it was conveyed to the trustees of St. Peter's Hall, who presented until the union with St. Ebbe's in 1961. (fn. 963)
The rectory was valued at £2 in 1254, presumably after deducting a pension of £2 a year to St. Frideswide's. (fn. 964) In 1526 it was valued at £4, and in 1535 at c. £4 gross, £3 14s. net. (fn. 965) The churchwardens as sequestrators of the vacant rectory received c. £5 14s. in 1561 and c. £4 10s. in 1564 from sources which included the Easter offering and the tithe of pigs, but apparently excluded the 12 offering-houses, which ought to have yielded £2 12s. a year. (fn. 966) In 1738 the living was valued at £15 a year. (fn. 967) Despite augmentations from Queen Anne's Bounty of £200 in 1750, 1756, 1787, and 1791, (fn. 968) the living was worth only £36 in 1808. (fn. 969) Further augmentations of £1,400 and £200 in 1813 and 1820, raised its value to £104 in 1831. (fn. 970) The £1,000 paid for the advowson was used in 1864 and 1878 to augment the living, which by 1898 was worth £287; (fn. 971) in 1914 £110 a year was transferred from St. Peter's to St. Matthew's, Grandpont, leaving St. Peter's only £175 a year. (fn. 972) There was no rectoryhouse until 1877, when the rector, Henry Linton, bought for the living a house adjoining the church. (fn. 973) It became part of St. Peter's Hall in 1928.
By 1285 a house was held by the wardens of the light of the Virgin Mary, (fn. 974) which had been in existence as early as 1270 and continued until at least 1536. (fn. 975) John of Coleshill by will of 1274 left property to support St. Mary's mass. (fn. 976) A chantry chapel of the Virgin was built and endowed c. 1340 by Frideswide Pennard, but much of the endowment was lost at her death in 1351. (fn. 977) Durand de Bugwell, by will of 1353 left two tenements to the chantry. (fn. 978) The chapel was mentioned in 1478-9, and a statue of the Virgin was remade in 1499-1500. (fn. 979)
A chapel and light of St. Clement existed in 1456 and a brotherhood associated with them by 1499; the Trinity altar was recorded in 1459. (fn. 980) A dirge and mass for benefactors seems to have been celebrated annually, probably in St. Clement's chapel, in the early 16th century. (fn. 981)
In 1318 Robert Worminghall acquired a licence to grant a house to support a chaplain praying daily in the church for himself and his ancestors. (fn. 982) The chan try, in honour of God, the Virgin Mary and all saints, apparently was not founded until 1323 (fn. 983) when Robert provided that the chaplain should receive 70s. a year to celebrate at St. Andrew's altar as often as possible. (fn. 984) The right of presentation was bequeathed by Robert in 1324 to his son Andrew. (fn. 985) In 1390 John Okele bequeathed 12d. to St. Andrew's chantry; the last recorded institution was made in 1412 by Robert Cranford of South Newington and the chantry seems to have come to an end before 1458. (fn. 986)
The rectory was vacant during the first years of Elizabeth I's reign and the churchwardens found and paid a priest. (fn. 987) The church retained some vestments until the beginning of the 17th century, by which time some were clearly unfamiliar to the parish, an alb being described as 'a kind of surplice'. There seem to have been five communion services a year at the end of the 16th century; wafer bread was used as late as 1593. (fn. 988) In 1584 a parishioner was accused of encouraging his boy to break the windows and slates of the church, (fn. 989) perhaps an early instance of the puritanism which was later widespread in the parish. By 1593 the parishioners had adopted the puritan practice of sitting for communion. (fn. 990) Christopher Rogers, a noted puritan, became rector in 1626, (fn. 991) and was suspended in 1633, probably for refusing to read the 'Book of Sports'. (fn. 992) In 1634 proceedings were instituted against two parishioners, for failing to stand for the Gloria and Creed or bow at the name of Jesus, for creating a disturbance when the May Day garland was brought into church, and for opposing the holding of the Whitsun sports and ale. (fn. 993) William Sandbrooke, rector from 1633, was unable to return to royalist occupied Oxford in 1642 after an absence abroad, and took service in the parliamentary fleet. (fn. 994) During his incumbency the floor of the nave was raised, perhaps to make it level with the chancel. (fn. 995)
Henry Bignell, the rector appointed in 1645, was later ejected for 'scandal and drunkenness', apparently a genuine charge. (fn. 996) At the Restoration a Communion cloth, a surplice, the 1622 Prayer Book, and special forms of prayer for Queen Catherine and for 30 January were bought, and the maypole and its garland were re-introduced. (fn. 997) Puritanism continued in the parish, however, and in 1672 a nonconformist preacher attempted to procure the church 'to exercise in'. (fn. 998) Communion seems to have been celebrated only at Christmas, Easter, Low Sunday, and Whitsun in the later 17th and early 18th century. (fn. 999) A library of 31 books, in the church in 1731, appears from its contents to have been established in the late 17th century. (fn. 1000)
No presentations to the rectory were made between 1661 and 1719, and the church was served by a succession of curates who apparently received none of its revenues. Most stayed only two or three years, but Thomas Hinton served from 1683 to 1713. (fn. 1001) The 18th-century rectors were college fellows or chaplains, or held other livings; some employed curates. In 1738, however, John Swinton (rector 1729-79) resided in Wadham College and could not afford a curate. As the church was being rebuilt a Sunday evening service was held in St. Ebbe's for such of the parishioners as could be accommodated there; there were five communion services a year for 30 or 40 communicants. (fn. 1002) By 1759 Swinton resided in St. Aldate's parish and held two services with one sermon on Sundays and prayers on three week-days and on holy days. Many of the poorer inhabitants of the parish did not come to church regularly at any time. (fn. 1003) After Swinton's death in 1779, the living remained vacant until 1800 because it was so poor that no one would go to the expense of obtaining a presentation under the great seal. The church was served by curates. In 1781 it was not well attended, and the number of communicants had fallen to 20. (fn. 1004)
John Penson, already curate, was presented in 1800 to the rectory, which he held until 1856. He served the cure himself in the periods 1800-c. 1808 and 1817-33, and for the rest of his incumbency resided on his country living. (fn. 1005) In 1802 the church was open for services three times a week, there were only c. 13 communicants. Occasionally an active curate increased the number of services, but week-day services introduced in 1814 were 'little attended' in 1817. (fn. 1006) In 1827 Penson quarrelled with the parishioners' choice of a church-warden and refused to pay for repairs to the chancel. (fn. 1007) W. B. Heathcote (curate 1843-6) introduced daily services which were apparently attended by c. 20 people, as many as had attended on Sundays before his arrival. In 1845 he was responsible for redecorating the church in extreme Tractarian fashion, with a large gold cross and candlesticks on the altar, and the text 'Except ye eat my flesh and drink my blood. . .' above it. (fn. 1008) His successor was rebuked in 1846 by Bishop Wilberforce for his teaching about the Virgin Mary. (fn. 1009) The next curate was an Evangelical whose short and troubled stay included an attempt, opposed by a group of parishioners and the bishop, to abandon week-day services. (fn. 1010) In 1850, however, the anti-Catholic protest to Queen Victoria was carried by the vestry with only one dissenting vote. (fn. 1011) In 1854 a quarrel between the curate and his assistant was referred to the bishop, who sent the assistant away, thus offending the parishioners, who refused to vote a church rate. (fn. 1012) The curate reported pessimistically in 1854 that the Sunday congregations of c. 200 in the morning and c. 350 in the evening were decreasing (they had been c. 160 and c. 500 in 1851), although they were much better than in the late 1840s. (fn. 1013)
On Penson's resignation in 1856, perhaps as a result of pressure from Bishop Wilberforce, Henry Linton was presented at the request of the Evangelical committee of the Oxford Fund. (fn. 1014) After initial opposition from parishioners who had petitioned for the appointment of a former curate, (fn. 1015) the situation improved and in 1866 there were over 100 communicants at great festivals and 80-90 at the monthly celebration, and a congregation of c. 500 in the morning and evening and 300 in the afternoon. (fn. 1016) The acquisition of the advowson by the Oxford Trust in 1864 ensured a continuing succession of Evangelical rectors. In 1884 Linton's successor, F. J. Chavasse, was able to report a full church, over 300 communicants, and a growing network of Bible classes. (fn. 1017)
Congregations declined in the 20th century, and in 1919 the closure of part of the church was suggested. (fn. 1018) In 1927 the rector of St. Aldate's, C. M. Chavasse, son of F. J. Chavasse, was presented to the living (fn. 1019) to facilitate the foundation in the church and its property of an academic hall in memory of F. J. Chavasse. St. Peter's Hall was founded in 1928; C. M. Chavasse and his successors in the mastership remained rectors of St. Peter-le-Bailey until the church was closed in 1961. (fn. 1020)
The medieval church of ST. PETER-LE-BAILEY, which stood at the corner of Queen Street and New Inn Hall Street, comprised an aisled nave and chancel, a central tower, and a south porch. It was described in the late 17th century as 'of a most ancient standing', and in 1724 as 'a very old little church and odd'. (fn. 1021) Its plan is characteristic of the 12th century, and the tower which fell in 1726 was probably of that date. The north aisle seems to have been added in the 13th century, and new windows inserted in chancel and aisles in the 14th century. There was apparently no clerestory. (fn. 1022) About 1661 the south wall, which had come to lean almost 2 ft. out of the perpendicular, was repaired, (fn. 1023) and the eastern end of the chancel was rebuilt c. 1700. In 1726 the tower fell, destroying the church. (fn. 1024)
The new church, begun in 1728, was not opened until 1740, and the tower was still unfinished in 1765. (fn. 1025) It was rectangular with a south-west tower. The interior was divided into a nave with north and south aisles, and an area railed off round the altar. (fn. 1026) There seems to have been no architect, but a local mason, William Chipps, was 'one of the chief undertakers' for the building. (fn. 1027) In the early 19th century a small polygonal extension was built against the west end of the church, perhaps to house a heating apparatus. (fn. 1028) The church was demolished for roadwidening in 1874. (fn. 1029) A new one, designed by Basil Champneys, and built on a site further north in New Inn Hall Street, is described elsewhere. (fn. 1030)
Some monuments survive from the earlier churches including a brass to John Sprunt (d. 1419), mayor, and a plaque in memory of William Northern (d. 1383), mayor, erected by the city in 1667, presumably replacing a lost brass to William and his wife Margaret. (fn. 1031)
In 1279 the church received c. £1 7s. from 13 properties and by 1297 held a house in St. John's parish. (fn. 1032) A house to the west of the church, which paid rent in 1279, was acquired c. 1329. (fn. 1033) Part of it was taken into the new church in 1727, and the remainder sold to the Botley Turnpike Trust in 1770. (fn. 1034) A piece of ground in St. Ebbe's held by the church in 1376 (fn. 1035) was sold in the 19th century, apparently to Hanley's Brewery. (fn. 1036)
The later Oseney tradition that the church was built during Stephen's siege of Oxford in 1142 is almost certainly incorrect. Its site was not given to the abbey until between 1182 and 1189, and the grant made no mention of a chapel. Between 1189 and 1191 Bishop Hugh of Lincoln authorized the canons to build a chapel in front of their gates for their servants, guests and parishioners. That chapel was probably St. Thomas's, possession of which was confirmed to Oseney by Pope Honorius between 1216 and 1227. (fn. 1037) Although the western suburb of Oxford was referred to c. 1230 (fn. 1038) as St. Thomas's parish, St. Thomas's remained a chapel of Oseney abbey throughout the Middle Ages. (fn. 1039) At the Dissolution it passed from Oseney to Christ Church, which treated it as a parish church served by a curate; and in 1700 it was so described. (fn. 1040) As late as 1872 the district was described as a 'parish or parochial chapelry', but in 1948 it was stated to be an ancient parish. (fn. 1041) Incumbents were styled vicars from the mid 19th century. (fn. 1042) The parish was reduced by the creation of the parishes of St. Paul's in 1837, St Barnabas's in 1869, and St. Frideswide's in 1873. (fn. 1043)
The chapel was valued throughout the Middle Ages at £2, evidently the curate's salary. (fn. 1044) In 1569 Christ Church authorized the curate to collect small tithes, but the authorization does not seem to have been renewed. (fn. 1045) From 1679, Christ Church paid the curate £10 a year. (fn. 1046) Ann Kendal by will of 1714 left £4 for a Christmas sermon. (fn. 1047) The living was augmented from Queen Anne's Bounty with grants of £200 in 1742, 1751, and 1758. (fn. 1048) In 1808 it was worth c. £50. (fn. 1049) Further augmentations in 1812, 1821, 1824, and 1833 totalled £1,400. (fn. 1050) In 1831 the living was valued at £105. (fn. 1051) From 1833 Christ Church paid the curate £20 a year. (fn. 1052) A further augmentation raised the value of the living to £250 by 1898. Tithe rent-charges of £82 a year were annexed to the living in 1927. (fn. 1053)
A vicarage-house on the east side of the churchyard was leased by Christ Church in the 17th century to tenants who agreed to provide the vicar or curate with a chamber and a study in time of plague. (fn. 1054) There is no further record of a vicarage-house until in 1893 one was built to the north of the churchyard. (fn. 1055)
Throughout the Middle Ages the church was served by chaplains from Oseney. In 1271 there was a clerk as well as the chaplain. (fn. 1056) The provision of books, plate, vestments, and ornaments of the altar and chancel was normally the responsibility of the parishioners. (fn. 1057) A Lady altar, and statues of St. Catherine and St. John were recorded in 1488, St. Mary's light in 1409. (fn. 1058) In 1552 the church was equipped with four vestments, three copes, and a carpet for the communion table; another chalice, two pyxes, copes, vestments, and ornaments had been sold. (fn. 1059)
A fraternity of St. Catherine existed in 1430. (fn. 1060) In 1488 Alderman Richard Hewes left his corner house in the parish to its warden and proctors to maintain a lamp in the parish church and to augment the priest of St. Catherine's stipend. (fn. 1061) The house was known in the 16th and 17th centuries as St. Catherine's house. (fn. 1062) There is no further record of the fraternity, but the chantry of St. Catherine was recorded in 1521. (fn. 1063)
At the Reformation the invocation of the church was changed temporarily from St. Thomas of Canterbury to St. Nicholas. The new invocation was presumably taken from the disused St. Nicholas's chapel in Oseney abbey, which had apparently had some parochial functions. (fn. 1064) A tradition that St. Thomas's was reconsecrated by John Longland, bishop of Lincoln (1521-47), linked the consecration with the completion of the tower c. 1521, (fn. 1065) but in 1570 a man who had lived in the parish since c. 1534 claimed that he had been churchwarden at the time of the church's 'sanctification', (fn. 1066) and the more likely date of c. 1540 for the consecration would connect it with the dissolution of Oseney and the consequent change in St. Thomas's status.
The curate in the mid 1560s, Hugh Shepley, 'an honest, quiet man', well liked by his parishioners, (fn. 1067) was appointed by Archbishop Parker in 1564 to serve on a commission ad vendicandos clericos convictos. (fn. 1068) His successors were all resident students or members of Christ Church. In 1570, the curate's attempt to collect small tithes and houseling pence in the parish led to a lawsuit with the parishioners. (fn. 1069) Robert Burton, author of The Anatomy of Melancholy, was curate from 1616 to 1640. He was apparently one of the last priests in the Church of England in the 17th century to use wafer bread for communion, but if he was a Laudian his views had little effect on the church, for in 1643 an observer commented that there had never been any rails round the communion table there. (fn. 1070) In 1648 the curate, Thomas Terrent, was ejected from Christ Church, and presumably from St. Thomas's; (fn. 1071) in 1649 the church was without a preacher. (fn. 1072)
From the Restoration to the early 19th century, the church was served by a rapid succession of curates, appointed to hold the office during the pleasure of the dean and chapter. Nearly all were students or chaplains of Christ Church, and most held the cure only two or three years, although three men stayed for 12-14 years. (fn. 1073) One curate, John Penson (1793-4), was the son of John Penson, a parishioner and churchwarden. (fn. 1074) In 1738 there were two services with one sermon each Sunday, and monthly communion services for c. 40-50 communicants; the curate was assisted by an 'expounder', a teacher of the catechism. (fn. 1075) The number of communicants fell to fewer than 10 by 1802 and curates repeatedly reported poor attendance from the 'lower rank', especially those who worked barges on the canal. (fn. 1076) In 1814 nine-tenths of the population were said to be non church-goers from ignorance and vice. (fn. 1077) Week-day services were held in 1759, but by 1808 the curate had discontinued them because of poor attendance, and substituted a second sermon on alternate Sundays. (fn. 1078)
John Jones, curate 1823-42, was responsible for a distinct improvement in the church life. In 1826 there were two sermons every Sunday; the first restoration of the church was carried out that year, and in 1839 the chancel was re-furnished. (fn. 1079) In 1839 a floating chapel and schoolroom was consecrated for the bargemen, and in 1840 a curate was licensed to serve it. (fn. 1080) The barge sank c. 1868, and a new chapel, dedicated to St. Nicholas, was built on the north side of Hythe Bridge Street; it was used as a school and chapel until c. 1892. (fn. 1081)
Thomas Chamberlain, curate 1842-92, a staunch Tractarian, introduced daily services, candles on the altar, the eastward position in celebrating Holy Communion, and, in 1854, Eucharistic vestments. (fn. 1082) The second restoration of the church in 1846, led to a serious conflict with parishioners who feared disturbance of their pew rights, and further alterations proposed in 1852 were rejected by the vestry. (fn. 1083) There was opposition, too, to Chamberlain's teaching and conduct of services; (fn. 1084) in 1855 Bishop Wilberforce asked him to discourage the 'very extreme postures and prostrations' at Communion services, and abandon all 'unusual vestures'. (fn. 1085) In 1857, however, the bishop approved the method of preparing candidates for the annual confirmation, and recorded a 'considerable improvement in the mechanic class'. (fn. 1086) By that date a second chapel of ease had been opened, to serve New Oseney; by 1860 it was dedicated to St. Frideswide (fn. 1087) and it presumably continued in use until the building of St. Frideswide's church in 1871-3.
In 1851 the average congregation at St. Thomas's was 500 in the morning and 750 in the evening, with 55 at the boatmen's chapel. (fn. 1088) By 1866 it was c. 550 at the church, and c. 120 at each of the two chapels. By then there were at least three communion services each week for c. 50 communicants on ordinary Sundays and c. 200 at great festivals. (fn. 1089) In 1869 a critic referred to the church's 'long-established celebrity as the most consistent development of the ritual of Oxford popery'. (fn. 1090)
Chamberlain's successors, who included B. S. Hack (1908-22), later vicar of St. Mary Magdalen, Oxford, (fn. 1091) maintained the high church tradition of St. Thomas's, with the full approval of the large congregation. (fn. 1092) However, the redevelopment of the area later in the 20th century depopulated the parish, and the growth of other centres of Anglo-Catholicism, including St. Thomas's daughter-churches St. Paul's and St. Barnabas's, took from St. Thomas's the pre-eminence it had once enjoyed.
The community of St. Thomas the Martyr was started by Chamberlain in 1847 and the first sister was professed in 1852. The sisters remained in the parish until 1958, helping with parish visiting and running schools, an industrial training home for girls, and an orphanage for young children. (fn. 1093)
The church of ST. THOMAS THE MARTYR comprises a nave with north aisle and north-west vestry, a chancel, west tower, and south porch. The chancel contains three heavily restored late-12th-century windows, and a Norman chancel arch was destroyed in 1825. (fn. 1094) In the 13th century a priest's doorway was inserted in the chancel, and a north aisle or chapel of two bays was added to the nave. A new east window and a window on the south side of the chancel were inserted in the 14th century. In the late 15th or early 16th century the nave was almost completely rebuilt and extended westwards, perhaps to meet a freestanding tower: the west tower is said to have been completed c. 1521, but its lower stages are earlier, and it appears to have had a buttress at its south-east angle. The south porch was built or rebuilt in 1621 by the curate, Robert Burton, whose arms survive on the gable, and about the same date a vestry was added on the north wall of the chancel. (fn. 1095)
In 1825 the floor-level was raised 3 ft. to bring it above flood-level, the south wall was rebuilt with the original materials, the roof renewed, and at least the main features of the 12th-century chancel arch removed. (fn. 1096) In 1846, under H. J. Underwood, the north aisle and vestry were demolished and a new aisle of five bays with a vestry at its west end built, two blocked windows in the chancel and the blocked tower arch were opened, and a new chancel arch inserted. (fn. 1097) In 1897 the church was reroofed and a vestry built against the north wall of the tower. (fn. 1098) By c. 1875 the interior of the church had been elaborately painted to the designs of C. E. Kempe. (fn. 1099) In 1914 the chancel ceiling was decorated with a pattern of gold stars on a blue background, designed by M. S. Hack; it was restored in 1962. In 1916 an altar was erected at the east end of the north aisle, and an aumbry placed in the north wall of the chancel. (fn. 1100) A candelabrum given by Ann Kendall in 1705 hangs in the chancel. (fn. 1101) In the tower are the royal arms of William IV. (fn. 1102)
A house in High Street, St. Thomas, was leased by Christ Church to parish trustees as early as 1628; from at least 1713 the profits were used for church repair. (fn. 1103) In 1923 the property was sold and the money invested for the church. The charity was governed by a Scheme of 1923. (fn. 1104)
The chapel of Holy Trinity at the East Gate was granted to St. Frideswide's priory in 1122 and claimed, unsuccessfully, by Eynsham abbey c. 1142. (fn. 1105) It was given by St. Frideswide's to the Trinitarian friars c. 1310, when its income did not suffice for its maintenance. (fn. 1106) The chapel was included in a list of Oxford parishes paying smoke-farthings in the early Middle Ages, perhaps because properties near the East Gate belonging to it made payments; (fn. 1107) there is no other evidence that it was parochial. A chaplain was recorded in the mid 13th century and, according to a late source, the precentor of St. Frideswide's used to say mass there. (fn. 1108) After the closure of the Oxford house of the Trinitarian friars c. 1352, the chapel was served by members of the order from Hounslow (Mdx.), (fn. 1109) but during the 15th century it was leased to the city, which sub-let it to a chaplain. (fn. 1110)
The chapel of St. Mary at Smith Gate, later known as the Octagon chapel, existed by the later 14th century when the vicar of St. Peter-in-the-East paid the city a quit-rent of 4d. for it, (fn. 1111) apparently as an encroachment on the waste. Although it seems to have been outside the wall, the chapel was probably connected with the defences of the gate, and in 1366 was described as the little tower of Smith Gate with the statue of the Virgin on it. (fn. 1112) The chapel was rebuilt c. 1520, reputedly by William de Hyberdine of Canterbury College, (fn. 1113) but was disused in 1537 when a reredos and other statues were taken from it to the church of St. Peter-in-the-East. (fn. 1114) Elizabeth I granted it in 1575 to John Herbert and Andrew Palmer, (fn. 1115) but the grant did not take effect, for in 1583 the city leased the chapel to Henry Toldervey as a dwelling-house. (fn. 1116) In 1898 the city exchanged the property with George Fisher for a house in St. Aldate's, (fn. 1117) and the chapel was later incorporated in Hertford College. (fn. 1118)
The chapel of St. Nicholas on the west side of Grandpont was first recorded in 1365. (fn. 1119) It belonged to Abingdon abbey and perhaps served the abbey's tenants at East and West Wyke. (fn. 1120) It may also have been associated with St. Nicholas's yard or the 'Hermitage', across the causeway, which was occupied by the bridge-hermit. (fn. 1121) At the Dissolution St. Nicholas's passed with the rest of Abingdon abbey's land in Grandpont to Michael Dormer of London in 1543 and to Brasenose College in 1566. (fn. 1122) A grant by the Crown to John Herbert and Andrew Palmer in 1575 seems not to have taken effect. (fn. 1123) In the late 16th century the Berkshire archdeaconry court apparently met in the chapel, but in 1598 the college let it as a house. (fn. 1124) The chapel is shown as a small rectangular building on a map of the later 16th century, (fn. 1125) but it disappeared during the 17th century. (fn. 1126)
MODERN AND OUTLYING PARISH CHURCHES
All Saints, Highfield. (fn. 1127)
The church has maintained a moderate Evangelical churchmanship. (fn. 1128) A mission room opened in 1912 was sold in 1949. the site acquired in 1911 for a parish hall was used, in 1959, for a curate's house. (fn. 1129) The church building in Lime Walk was enlarged in 1937 when a chancel was built to the designs of N. W. Harrison. In 1947 a side chapel was equipped. (fn. 1130)
Holy Family, Blackbird Leys.
The church, at the centre of the modern housing development, was opened in 1965 to serve a conventional district taken from Littlemore parish. From the first the church served both Anglicans and Nonconformists and in 1973 the district was designated an area of oecumenical experiment. Two ministers, one Church of England and one Free Church, are appointed by the area's sponsoring body composed of representatives of the different denominations. (fn. 1131) The building, designed by Colin Shewring, is a radical construction of concrete, engineering brick, and white brick, roughly heartshaped, with a paraboloid roof. (fn. 1132)
Holy Trinity, Blackfriars Road.
The church was opened in 1845 to serve a district taken from the southern part of St. Ebbe's parish; it replaced a school-room licensed for services in 1842. (fn. 1133) The patronage belonged alternately to the Crown and the bishop until in 1881 E. P. Hathaway bought the advowson (fn. 1134) and vested it in the Oxford Trust. In 1914 the trust exchanged the advowson with Simeon's Trustees for that of St. Matthew's, Grandpont. Simeon's Trustees remained patrons until the union of the benefice with St. Aldate's in 1956. (fn. 1135) In 1844 the incumbent's stipend was £150; (fn. 1136) the £1,000 paid for the advowson in 1881 was used to increase it, and a further augmentation was made in 1890 to meet the gift of a house to the living. (fn. 1137) In 1898 the net income of the benefice was £228. (fn. 1138)
In 1854 there were two services each Sunday and a monthly Communion service. The congregation was c. 400 compared with 400 in the morning and 350 in the afternoon on Census Sunday 1851. Great poverty, many beer shops, Sunday work in the colleges, 'unbelieving masters', and people tainted with 'Calvinism and infidelity' were blamed for its small size. (fn. 1139) By 1869 prayers were said twice daily, there were four Sunday services, and Communion every Sunday and on holy days. At the request of the churchwardens and 'principal parishioners' a surpliced choir had been introduced. (fn. 1140) Daily morning prayer was abandoned in 1872 but the number of Easter communicants rose steadily from 135 in 1872 to 199 in 1884. (fn. 1141) Although it fell thereafter congregations remained steady, or increased, until the First World War when most of the adult parishioners were either in the army or employed in war work. (fn. 1142) Open-air services had been introduced by 1922, and mission services in the parish hall by 1930. (fn. 1143)
The church was built in 1844-5 in the Early English style to the designs of H. J. Underwood. (fn. 1144) By 1951 the fabric was in poor condition; that, coupled with the fact that the whole area was due for slum clearance and that the population had much declined, led to the closure of the church in 1954, and its demolition in 1957. (fn. 1145)
Holy Trinity, Headington Quarry. (fn. 1146)
William, Lord Nuffield, gave £7,500 in 1939 as an endowment for an assistant curate, and the living was augmented by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1938 with capital of c. £1,429. In 1968 a new vestry was added to the church against the north choir aisle. (fn. 1147)
St. Andrew's, Headington. (fn. 1148)
Mrs. Martha Rawlinson, who had acquired the advowson from the Whorwood family in 1879, (fn. 1149) held it until 1927 when she gave it to Keble College. (fn. 1150) There was considerable opposition to the extreme High Church practices of R. W. Townson, vicar 1899-1916, (fn. 1151) but the High Church tradition continued in a less extreme form; in 1932 permission was obtained for the reservation of the sacrament. (fn. 1152) The parish was reduced in size in 1956 when the parish of St. Mary's, Bayswater was formed. A curate's house on the Northway estate was acquired in 1960. (fn. 1153)
St. Andrew's, North Oxford.
Agitation for an Evangelical church in north Oxford began as early as 1881. (fn. 1154) In 1905 an ecclesiastical district was taken from the parishes of St. Philip and St. James, and St. John's, Summertown. The living was endowed with £210, (fn. 1155) and the patronage, after prolonged dispute, vested in members of the council of the Evangelical theological college, Wycliffe Hall. (fn. 1156) Early disagreement between parishioners who wanted 'central' churchmanship and those who wanted a more strongly Evangelical ministry (fn. 1157) was resolved in favour of a moderately Evangelical form of service.
The church, in Linton Road, was built in 1906-7. (fn. 1158) It is in Norman style, by A. R. G. Fenning, and comprises an aisled and clerestoried nave, apsidal chancel, and apsidal south-east vestry; in addition to north and south porches at the west end of the nave there is a two-storey south-west porch and a matching north-west block of offices and meeting rooms, the latter added in 1959. In 1964 a chapel was furnished at the east end of the north aisle. A parsonage-house, no. 13 Northmoor Road, was acquired in 1921. (fn. 1159)
St. Barnabas's Jericho.
In 1869 an ecclesiastical district was formed out of the western part of St. Paul's parish and a church built in Cardigan Street at the expense of Thomas Coombe, superintendent of the Clarendon Press. (fn. 1160) The advowson was held by Coombe for his life, then by the bishop until it was exchanged with Keble College for that of St. Martin's in 1886. (fn. 1161) An endowment of £2,000 raised by public subscription, including £1,000 from the Clarendon Press (fn. 1162) was met by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners with a stipend of £66 13s. 4d. Further augmentations in 1871, 1873, and 1886, the last to meet the gift by Mrs. Thomas Coombe of a parsonage-house, (fn. 1163) raised the value of the living to £359 in 1898. (fn. 1164)
The church was one of the most ritualistic in Oxford. (fn. 1165) In 1876 a visitor described an Ascension Day service, with a procession of acolytes carrying incense, cross, and banners, the priest in a biretta and a chasuble 'stiff with gold', and concluded that the nearby Roman Catholic church was plain in comparison. (fn. 1166) In 1872 Communion was celebrated daily, and three times on Sunday, Easter communicants numbered 326 and most parishioners came to church at times. (fn. 1167) By 1875 the number of Easter communicants had risen to c. 400, by 1890 to 598. (fn. 1168) At the turn of the century 'improved' services at other churches drew some of the congregation away, but it increased in the early years of the 20th century, and in 1918 attendance was 'above average'. (fn. 1169) The High Church tradition has been maintained by successive vicars, and the ritual of the services has continued to attract people from outside the parish. (fn. 1170)
The church, at the end of Cardigan Street, is modelled on an early Christian basilica, and comprises a nave with north and south aisles and clerestory, an apsidal chancel, a north chapel, a north-east campanile, and a south-west porch. It is of rubble, concrete, and brick and was designed by A. W. Blomfield to be large and soundly built but as cheap as possible. (fn. 1171) The campanile was added in 1872, (fn. 1172) and the north chapel in 1888 by Blomfield, (fn. 1173) who decorated the eastern apse with mosaic tiles in 1893. The north wall of the nave was decorated by Messrs. Powell in 1905, but the south wall remained undecorated in 1973. In 1919 an apsidal chapel was built at the east end of the south aisle. (fn. 1174)
St. Clement's. (fn. 1175)
The Crown sold the advowson in 1864 to an Evangelical group which transferred it the same year to the Oxford Trust. (fn. 1176) The rectory was augmented in 1843 with £30 a year, bringing its value to £120. (fn. 1177) At tithe commutation in 1849 the rector was awarded a rent-charge of c. £94 a year. (fn. 1178) The £800 paid for the advowson was used to augment the living in 1864 and 1878, and further augmentations in 1881 and 1894 raised its value to £294 in 1898. (fn. 1179) A house, on the corner of High Street, St. Clement's, and Rectory Road (formerly Pembroke Street) was given to the living in 1881 by Henry Linton and E. P. Hathaway, two prominent Oxford Evangelicals. (fn. 1180) In 1883 glebe land in High Street, St. Clement's, was let on a 99-year building lease. A piece of land adjoining the rectory-house, given to the living in 1908, was resold in 1957. (fn. 1181)
For most of the 19th century St. Clement's was served by Evangelicals, and the acquisition of the advowson for the Oxford Trust in 1864 ensured that that tradition of churchmanship continued. In 1851 the church was only a quarter full, with congregations of 260 in the morning and 160 in the afternoon, but in 1854 the average congregation was apparently 400-500. (fn. 1182) Numbers remained fairly steady in the later 19th century apart from some increase c. 1880; (fn. 1183) the number of Easter communicants rose from c. 70 in 1854 to 324 in 1890, although the opening of a new church in Cowley drew some of the congregation away. (fn. 1184) There were two mission rooms in the parish by 1902, one of which survived until after the Second World War. (fn. 1185) Despite the difficulties common to all the city parishes, church life in St. Clement's seems to have improved in the 1920s and 1930s, and open-air services in particular were well attended. (fn. 1186) In 1973 the church maintained the Evangelical tradition, for instance using a hoarding at the church gate for exhortatory posters.
The church, rebuilt on a new site in 1826, has been described elsewhere. (fn. 1187) In 1876 tracery was inserted in the windows by E. G. Bruton; a new vestibule and clergy vestry were built in 1962. (fn. 1188)
St. Frideswide's, New Oseney.
The church, which replaced an earlier chapel of ease of the same name, (fn. 1189) was built in 1871-2; in 1873 a district, comprising New Oseney and the part of St. Thomas's parish west of the Thames, was assigned to it. (fn. 1190) The patronage was transferred in 1872 from the vicar of St. Thomas's to Christ Church. (fn. 1191) The living was augmented by Christ Church in 1874 with tithe rent-charges. Further augmentations in 1875, 1877, 1880, and 1884 made St. Frideswide's, the richest Oxford living, with a gross income of £385 in 1898. (fn. 1192) A parsonage-house, designed by E. G. Bruton, was built in 1875 on a site to the south of the church. (fn. 1193)
Like St. Thomas's St. Frideswide's was High Church. In 1875 Holy Communion was celebrated daily, and two or three times on Sundays. (fn. 1194) By 1881, however, the number of communion services had been reduced to two on Sundays and only one during the week, and although the number of Easter communic ants had risen the congregation as a whole had decreased since 1878. (fn. 1195) Both congregation and communicants remained fairly steady until 1893 when difficulties in the incumbent's household disrupted church work. (fn. 1196) The vicar's 'sloth and ill health' had further reduced the congregation by 1896, but matters improved under a new incumbent and congregations increased steadily until the First World War. (fn. 1197) In 1914 the vicar resigned and was received into the Roman Catholic church after a dispute with the bishop over his introduction of a tabernacle for the reserved sacrament. (fn. 1198) The war was blamed for producing great religious indifference, and the situation did not really improve until the mid 1930s. (fn. 1199)
The church, on the Botley Road, was designed by S. S. Teulon in Norman style; it comprises an aisleless nave with an apsidal chancel, small north and south transepts, and an octagonal central tower. It is of local stone with freestone dressings. The transepts were added in 1888 to the designs of H. G. W. Drinkwater. (fn. 1200)
St. Jame's, Cowley. (fn. 1201)
St. James's and its chapels of ease, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Luke's, have continued the tradition of high churchmanship established in the 19th century. Since 1960 one of the curates has been a worker priest at the Cowley works. (fn. 1202) In 1959 the vicarage-house was sold and St. Luke's House, built that year as a residence for the curate of St. Luke's, became the vicarage-house: as a result of the change the vicar came to serve St. Luke's while a curate served the parish church. (fn. 1203)
A hall, designed by T. Lawrence Dale as a temporary church was built in 1930-1 in Hollow Way, Cowley, on a site given by Morris Motors. In 1962 it was converted into a permanent church, dedicated to St. Francis. It is a rectangular building without aisles or tower; the altar stands at the east end of the nave, in front of the small chancel, and behind it is a striking modern hanging cross designed by A. Hawkesley; the roof beams are painted with scenes from the life of St. Francis. (fn. 1204)
The church of St. Luke in Oxford Road, Cowley, given by William, Lord Nuffield, and designed by H. S. Rogers, was built in 1937-8; (fn. 1205) the expenditure of so much money on the church at a time when wages were low caused considerable discontent at the Cowley works. (fn. 1206) The church is a large 'vaguely Gothic' building of yellow brick, (fn. 1207) comprising chancel, aisled nave, north-east and south-east chapels, north-west tower, and south-west porch.
St. John the Baptist (later St. Michael and All Angels), Summertown.
The church was built in 1832 to serve the new population in the northern part of St. Giles's parish, (fn. 1208) and became the church of a new ecclesiastical parish in 1834. St. John's College was patron and provided an endowment. (fn. 1209) The living was augmented from Queen Anne's Bounty in 1836 with £200 and in 1855 was worth c. £61, including £20 pew rents. (fn. 1210) Further augmentations in 1862, 1865, 1880, and 1881 raised its value to £200 in 1898. (fn. 1211) A vicarage-house was built in 1879 on the corner of Banbury Road and South Parade. It was sold in 1924, and a new one built on a site adjoining the new church of St. Michael. (fn. 1212)
In 1854 there were two services each Sunday and a monthly Communion service. The congregation averaged 300, an improvement over the 200 in the morning and 150 in the afternoon reported in 1851, and there were 50 or 60 communicants at festivals. (fn. 1213) The poverty of the living caused difficulties; in 1875 the vicar was still largely dependent on pew rents. (fn. 1214) By 1866 there were daily prayers and weekly communion services; the number of Easter communicants had increased to 132, but the congregation was only c. 240, a fact which the vicar attributed to the depraved condition of the poor. (fn. 1215) The congregation was increasing again by 1869, although in 1872 half the adults in the parish never came to church. (fn. 1216) By 1878 a week-day Communion service had been introduced, and by the end of the century the form of the services was more High Church, although a daily Eucharist was not introduced until c. 1918 and the sacramament was not reserved until c. 1928. (fn. 1217) By 1904 the existing church was too small, and a new one dedicated to St. Michael and All Angels was built in 1908-9. (fn. 1218) Congregations continued to increase until the First World War, after which they remained fairly steady; the congregation in 1928 was said to be very good, but the high turnover of population in the parish had a bad effect on church life. (fn. 1219)
Miss A. W. Philpot (d. 1930) left a house in Lonsdale Road as a curate's house for the parish; as it was not required for that purpose it was sold and the money invested. A mission hall built in Cutteslow in 1935 on land leased from the corporation was sold back to the city in 1953. (fn. 1220)
The church of St. John the Baptist, in Rogers Street (formerly Church Street), designed by H. J. Underwood in the Early English style comprised an aisleless nave, a shallow chancel, north and south transepts, and an octagonal bell-turret on the western gable. (fn. 1221) In 1857 under G. E. Street, the chancel was extended eastwards and a north-eastern vestry added. (fn. 1222) In 1875 the church was extended westwards and a north aisle added with a vestry and organ chamber on the north side of the chancel. (fn. 1223) The church was closed in 1909 and demolished in 1924; the site was sold in 1970. (fn. 1224)
The new church of St. Michael and All Angels in Lonsdale Road was designed by A. M. Mowbray in Early English style. Only the first stage, of chancel, vestry, and one bay of the nave, was completed, so that in 1973 the church comprised a chancel with narrow north and south aisles and south chapel, north and south transepts, a nave of one bay, and a north-east vestry. The north, south, and east walls are of stone, the west of brick. A gilded statue of the Madonna and Child was erected in the Lady Chapel in 1931, and a rood over the chancel arch in 1947. (fn. 1225)
St. John the Evangelist, New Hinksey. (fn. 1226)
A chapel of ease for South Hinksey, designed by E. G. Bruton, was built in 1870 to serve the suburb of New Hinksey. It was replaced by a larger building with the same invocation in 1900 and was demolished in 1905. (fn. 1227) A vicarage was built in 1887-8. (fn. 1228)
The second church of St. John the Evangelist, on the corner of Wytham Street and Vicarage Road, was designed by W. Bucknall and J. N. Comper; it is of brick and comprises a nave of five bays with north and south aisles, each of four bays. The fifth bay of the nave, designed by Comper, was added in 1937 to form a chancel. In 1930 the eastern bay of the north aisle was furnished as a chapel. (fn. 1229)
St. Margaret's, North Oxford.
The church was built as a chapel of ease to St. Philip and St. James between 1883 and 1888, replacing a mission room in Hayfield Road. (fn. 1230) In 1896 a district taken from the north of St. Philip and St. James' parish was assigned to it. (fn. 1231) The patronage, after the first presentation, was conveyed by the vicar of St. Philip and St. James to St. John's College. The college endowed the living with £60 a year in 1896; further grants yielding £24 a year were made in 1911. A parsonage-house was bought in 1909. (fn. 1232)
St. Margaret's, like St. Philip and St. James, was High Church; it had a weekly communion service in 1884 and, by 1914, a daily one. (fn. 1233) The sacrament was reserved by 1920. (fn. 1234) The congregation which, like the population of the parish, had increased up to the time of the First World War, declined thereafter. By the 1930s it was made up largely of elderly people. (fn. 1235) Mary Jane Frances Farebrother (d. 1953), by will of 1949, left £500 for the upkeep of the church and its services, but only part of the legacy was received. Another trust for the church, the Ethel Attlee Trust, was founded in 1955 with a capital of £100. (fn. 1236)
The church, on the corner of St. Margaret's Road and Kingston Road, comprises a small chancel, an aisled and clerestoried nave, and a south chapel; it was designed by H. G. W. Drinkwater. The eastern part was completed in 1884 and the western end of the nave added in 1888. (fn. 1237) The south-west porch, designed by G. F. Bodley, was added in 1898-9. The elaborate reredos at the high altar, and the aumbry and reredos at the altar in the north aisle were designed by Cecil Hare in 1908 and 1925. (fn. 1238)
St. Mary's, Bayswater.
In 1956 the new parochial district of Bayswater was created to serve an area of modern housing development formerly in the parishes of Headington and Forest Hill. The church on Bayswater Road, was consecrated in 1958, replacing mission churches of St. Mary's, Sandhills, and King Charles the Martyr, Headington. (fn. 1239) It was designed by N. F. C. Day, (fn. 1240) and is of brick, comprising a clerestoried and aisled nave, and an eastern chapel. There is no structural distinction between nave and chancel, but the east end of the church is tapered like the bows of 2 boat, giving the impression of an apsidal chancel.
St. Mary's, Iffley. (fn. 1241)
There was a mission room in New Iffley in 1914, but it did not develop into a new church. Part of a site on the Rose Hill estate bought in 1953 for a church was resold in 1967, the remainder used for a curate's house. (fn. 1242) The moderate high churchmanship of the late-19th-century was continued by O. S. E. Clarendon, vicar 1910-46, who introduced communion wafers and a processional cross, but his successor's introduction of a Sung Eucharist and vestments caused resentment in the parish: matters came to a head in 1956 over the placing of a crucifix above the pulpit, the faculty being refused. (fn. 1243) In 1966 the advowson, held since 1279 by the archdeacons of Oxford, was transferred to the dean and chapter of Christ Church. (fn. 1244)
St. Mary and St. John, Cowley. (fn. 1245)
The church of St. Alban, opened as a chapel of ease in 1889, was replaced in 1933 by a new building on the same site which was still in use in 1973. (fn. 1246) A mission room in Percy Street, first recorded in 1914, was used in 1932 as a site for a parish hall and curate's house for St. Alban's. (fn. 1247) The conventual church of St. John the Evangelist, described elsewhere, (fn. 1248) lies within the parish and has attracted a parochial congregation. All three churches have continued the tradition of high churchmanship established in the 19th century.
The church of St. Alban the Martyr, Charles Street, designed by T. Lawrence Dale, (fn. 1249) is a cruciform building of brick, the west end surmounted by a small bell-turret.
St. Matthew's, Grandpont.
St. Matthew's, Grandpont, was built in 1891 as a chapel of ease of St. Aldate's. (fn. 1250) In 1913 it became the centre of a district chapelry taken from St. Aldate's parish, the patronage being first vested in Simeon's Trustees, the patrons of St. Aldate's, but passing in 1914 to the Oxford Trust in exchange for the patronage of Holy Trinity. (fn. 1251) The church was endowed with £110 a year from the endowment of St. Peter-le-Bailey. Land in the Abingdon Road was given in 1928 to augment the living and a parsonage-house, no. 166 Abingdon Road, was bought in 1929. (fn. 1252)
The First World War brought the usual decline in church life but the situation improved slightly in the early 1930s, particularly after the opening in 1934 of St. Luke's, a small wooden mission church in Canning Crescent, to serve the new district of Weir's Lane. (fn. 1253)
The church of St. Matthew, in Marlborough Road, was designed by Messrs. Christopher and White of London in 15th-century Gothic style. (fn. 1254) It comprises an aisled nave of six bays and a chancel of one bay separated from the nave by a wooden screen (a 1914-18 war memorial), and a south porch. The Evangelical arrangement of the chancel led to some difficulties with the diocesan architect, but Canon Christopher's wishes prevailed. (fn. 1255) The pulpit from St. Peter-le-Bailey was set up in St. Matthew's in 1932, and a new holy table was given the following year; the old pulpit and table were removed to St. Luke's church. A house, no. 107 Marlborough Road, held by the parish as the Ockenden Trust for the upkeep of St. Luke's church, was sold in 1959. The following year no. 52 Western Road, Grandpont was purchased as a curate's house. (fn. 1256)
St. Michael and All Angles, New Marston.
The church of St. Michael and All Angels, Marston Road, was consecrated in 1955, as a chapel of ease to St. Andrew's, Headington. (fn. 1257) It replaced a mission church in Ferry Road, established c. 1919 to serve outlying parts of Marston parish. (fn. 1258) In 1963 St. Michael's became the centre of a new parish, taken from the old parishes of Marston, Headington, and St. Clement's. The patronage was, with the consent of the vicar of Headington, vested in the bishop of Oxford. A vicarage-house in Jack Straw's Lane was built in 1967. (fn. 1259)
The church, designed by T. Lawrence Dale in a 'vaguely Italian Renaissance' style, (fn. 1260) is built of brick, and comprises a clerestoried nave with narrow north and south aisles, a short chancel, a north chapel, a south-east vestry and a small west porch. In 1956 a large statue of St. Michael was placed at the east end of the south aisle, in memory of Bishop Kirk. (fn. 1261)
St. Paul's, Walton Street.
The church was built in 1835-6, and in 1837 a district chapelry, taken from St. Giles's and St. Thomas's parishes, was assigned to it. (fn. 1262) The patronage was, with the consent of St. John's College and Christ Church, vested in the bishop of Oxford. (fn. 1263) The parish was reduced in size by the creation of St. Barnabas's parish in 1869. The benefice and parish were united with those of St. Barnabas in 1963, the church was closed in 1969. (fn. 1264)
In 1837 the incumbent derived £60 10s. a year, a substantial part of his income, from pew rents, although there was also an endowment fund to which the University Press contributed £1,000. (fn. 1265) The living was augmented in 1839 from Queen Anne's Bounty with £200, and in 1841 by £75 a year from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners; (fn. 1266) in 1898 it was worth £180. (fn. 1267) A vicarage-house, later no. 1A Observatory Street, was built in 1905; it was sold in 1965. (fn. 1268)
Under Alfred Hackman, vicar 1844-71, St. Paul's became a centre of Tractarianism. (fn. 1269) By 1854 morning and evening prayer were said daily, and Holy Communion was administered weekly to c. 63 communicants. The congregation of 400 in the morning and 600 in the evening, however, was unsatisfactory, especially as some people came from outside the parish; it had fallen since 1851 when 760 had attended the morning service on census Sunday. The bishop commented in 1857 on the great preponderance of women among both congregation and communicants. (fn. 1270) By 1866, however, the number of weekly communicants had risen to 110 and the congregation of 600 could not increase for want of room. (fn. 1271)
Hackman's successor, W. B. Duggan, 1871-1904, introduced a surpliced choir, altar frontals in liturgical colours, and Eucharistic vestments. The changes, and the secession to Rome of three curates during Duggan's incumbency, provoked adverse comment, but with most of his parishioners Duggan and his churchmanship were popular. (fn. 1272) The congregation, which fell on the opening of St. Barnabas's church, increased again in the 1880s and 1890s, and the number of Easter communicants rose from 210 in 1872 to 320 in 1890. (fn. 1273) In the 1930s, despite the declining population of the parish and a long vacancy in the living, (fn. 1274) the church attracted large numbers of people by its combination of 'Roman Catholicism with Moody and Sankey Protestantism'. (fn. 1275) Thereafter congregations decreased and the church's decline was hastened in the 1950s by the rise of the neighbouring church of St. Mary Magdalen as the centre of Anglo-Catholicism in Oxford. (fn. 1276)
The church is a rectangular stone building, derelict in 1973. It was designed by H. J. Underwood in the 'Greek Classic style' with a west portico of the Ionic order and a bell turret. (fn. 1277) An apsidal chancel, designed by E. G. Bruton was added in 1853. (fn. 1278) The vestry was enlarged in 1892-3, and a new doorway made at the south-west corner of the church in 1908. (fn. 1279)
St. Peter's, Wolvercote.
The church is reserved for treatment in a later volume.
St. Philip and St. James, Woodstock Road.
The bishop of Oxford asked St. John's College for a site for a new church in north Oxford in 1853, but difficulties over its location delayed the building of the church until 1860-1. In 1863 a consolidated chapelry was assigned to it. (fn. 1280) The patronage was vested in St. John's College, and the college endowed the living which was worth £150 in 1898. (fn. 1281) A vicarage-house was built in 1886-7 to the south of the church; it was sold to St. Antony's College in 1957, and a new house built in the north-east corner of the site. (fn. 1282)
The services were from the start more ritualistic than those of St. Giles's, a fact which deterred some parishioners from attending, but attracted some nonparishioners. In 1867 it was the most popular ritualistic church; the elaborately carved reredos and other altar decoration gave the impression of a Roman Catholic church, although the clergy wore no vestments except the stole. (fn. 1283) In 1866 the church had a congregation of c. 500 and succeeding vicars reported an increase until 1896. (fn. 1284) A daily Eucharist had been introduced by 1875, and the number of Easter communicants rose from 248 to 1,116 in 1890. (fn. 1285) A change of vicars in 1900 led to difficulties, some members of the congregation being attached 'less to God and his church than to details of ministry and ritual'. Some changes were made to conform to the ornaments rubric of the Prayer Book, but in 1906 St. Philip and St. James was one of only two churches in Oxford in which incense was used, and one of the few in which all feasts of the Virgin Mary were observed as well as Corpus Christi and All Souls' Day. (fn. 1286) In 1909 the church was almost full on Sundays, but it later suffered from the effects of two world wars and a constantly changing population. The influence of the 'Oxford Group' in the early 1930s apparently had a good effect on church attendance. (fn. 1287) The High Church tradition of the church has been maintained.
The church, opposite Leckford Road, was designed by G. E. Street, and comprises a nave with north and south aisles, an apsidal chancel, north and south transepts, a central tower, and a south porch. In 1919 an apse was added at the east end of the south aisle, to the plans of Sir Charles Nicholson, to form a sanctuary for the Lady Chapel. In 1963 the organ was moved from the north transept to a western gallery. (fn. 1288) In 1973 pews from All Saints' church were erected. (fn. 1289)