Osney Abbeydetails

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Osney Abbey

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This woodcut is taken from a sketch that Thomas Hearne made of Osney Abbey and published in the Rextus Roffensis in 1720; it is reproduced in this book from 1772, along with the accompanying text which presumably is also from around 1772, and starts on page 135 of Volume I:

Osney Abbey, near Oxford.

This Abbey was founded by Robert Doyley or D’oilli, Nephew of that Robert who built the Castle, at the intreaty, it is said, of his wife Edith, a Woman of great Piety. The Account usually given of the Cause of this her Religious Act is in the Fabulous Stile of antient Times. But we are certain, that as its Endowments were from its first Institution very large and ample, so also its Buildings and exterior Ornaments were truly grand and magnificent. It was dedicated “to the Honour and Praise of Christ, and the blessed Virgin St. mary of Osney,” its first Possessors being Canons Regular of St. Austin. The Munificence of several Benefactors soon augmented it’s [sic] Original Grandeur. A particular Detail of its Buildings may be seen in Steven’s* Additions to Dugdale’s Monasticon. Within the Precincts of the Abbey stood a most magnificent Church; b Mr. Woods says more than ordinarily excelling all others, not only in England, but also beyond the Seas.

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