privy council, probably on his departure to France in 1513, as Islip's name first appears attached to a letter in September of that year (Brewer, Calendar of State Papers, i. 5762). Islip was further one of the triers of petitions to parliament, and was on the commission of the peace for Middlesex. Still Islip's dignified position did not protect him from Wolsey's authority, who showed his determination to use his legatine power by a severe visitation of Westminster in 1518 (Polydore Vergil, Hist. Angl. ed. 1570, p. 657); and again in 1525, when the monastery had to pay a hundred marks for the expenses of the visitation. In the same year we find Islip acting as Wolsey's commissioner in the affairs of the monastery of Glastonbury (Brewer, Calendar, iv. 1244). In 1527 Islip, as president of the English Benedictines, issued a commission to the Abbot of Gloucester for the visitation of the abbey of Malmesbury, where there had been a rebellion of the monks against their abbot (ib. 3678).
This peaceful discharge of ordinary duties was disturbed for Islip, as for most other Englishmen of high position, by the proceedings for the king's divorce. In July 1529 Islip was joined with Burbank and others for the purpose of searching among the royal papers for documents to present to the legatine court of Wolsey and Campeggio (ib. 5783, 5791). In 1530 Islip was one of those who signed a letter to the pope in favour of the king's divorce (Rymer, Fœdera, xiv. 405), and in July 1531 Henry VIII suggested to the pope that Islip, whom he calls ‘a good old father,’ should be joined as an assessor to Archbishop Warham for the purpose of trying the cause in England (State Papers of Henry VIII, vii. 312). But though Henry was bent upon his divorce, he could attend to minor matters; for in September 1531 he negotiated an exchange with the abbey of Westminster of sundry tenements reaching as far as Charing Cross, for which he gave them the site of the convent of Poghley, Berkshire, one of the lesser monasteries, dissolved by Wolsey, which had become forfeited to the crown (Brewer, Calendar, v. 404). Islip died peaceably on 12 May 1532, and was buried in the abbey with extraordinary splendour. An account of his funeral is in the British Museum Addit. MS. 5829, f. 61; extracts are given in Dugdale's ‘Monasticon,’ i. 278.
Islip's career was entirely representative of the life of a great churchman of the time in other points than those already mentioned. In 1526 he was one of those commissioned by Wolsey to search for heretics among the Hanseatic merchants in London (ib. iv. 1962), and often sat in the consistory court of London to judge English heretics (Foxe, Acts and Monuments, ed. Townsend, iv. 689, v. 417). But the chief reason why Islip's name is remembered is his buildings at Westminster Abbey. He raised the western tower as far as the level of the roof, repaired much of the church, especially the buttresses, filled the niches with statues, and designed a central tower, which he did not proceed with because he found the pillars too weak to bear the weight. He built many apartments in the abbot's house, and a gallery overlooking the nave on the south side. Moreover, he built for himself the little mortuary chapel which still bears his name, and is adorned by his rebus, a boy falling from a tree, with the legend ‘I slip.’ The paintings in the chapel have disappeared, and only the table of his tomb remains. The original work is described by Weever in ‘Funerall Monuments,’ p. 488. Islip's fame as a custodian of the fabric of the abbey long remained, and his example was held as a model by Williams when he was dean of Westminster (Hacket, Life of Williams, p. 45).
[Dugdale's Monasticon, i. 277–8; Widmore's Hist. of Westminster Abbey, pp. 119–26; Stevens's Additions to Dugdale, i. 285–6; Dart's Westmonasterium, i. 40, ii. 34; Newcourt's Repertorium Ecclesiasticum, i. 717; Neale and Brayley's History and Antiquities of Westminster Abbey, i. 11–16, ii. 188–92; Historical Manuscripts Commission, i. 95; Stanley's Memorials of Westminster Abbey, ed. 1882, p. 335.]
ISLIP, SIMON (d. 1366), archbishop of Canterbury, derived his name from the village of Islip on the Cherwell, about six miles north of Oxford, where he was probably born. Of his namesakes or kinsfolk, Walter Islip was a baron of the Irish exchequer between 1307 and 1338, and in 1314 treasurer (Cal. Rot. Pat. 68 b, 77, 121 b, 128). John Islip was until 1332 archdeacon of Stow, in the diocese of Lincoln. William Islip, Simon's nephew, held the manor of Woodford in south Northamptonshire, and William Whittlesey, subsequently archbishop, was another kinsman.
In 1307 Simon was a fellow of Merton College (Wood, Colleges and Halls, p. 15; Brodrick, Memorials of Merton, p. 199, Oxford Hist. Soc.). He proceeded doctor in canon and civil law at Oxford. He soon made his way as an ecclesiastical lawyer, and apparently enjoyed the patronage, first of Bishop Burghersh of Lincoln, and afterwards of Archbishop Stratford of Canterbury. His early preferments include the rectories of Easton, near Stamford, and Horncastle, the first of which he exchanged in