Thoresby of York to end the long strife between the rival archbishops as to the right of the northern primate to carry his cross erect in the southern province. They submitted their respective claims to the arbitration of Edward III, whose decision, uttered on 20 April at Westminster, was confirmed by Pope Clement VI. The chief feature in the agreement was that the archbishops of York were allowed to bear their cross erect within the province of Canterbury on condition that every archbishop of York, within two months of his confirmation, presented to the shrine of St. Thomas a golden image of an archbishop or jewels to the value of 40l. (Anglia Sacra, i. 43, 75; T. Stubbs in Raine, Historians of York, ii. 419, Rolls Ser.; Raine, Fasti Eboracenses, pp. 456–7; Wilkins, Concilia, iii. 31–2).
Islip was involved in several grave disputes with Bishop Gynwell of Lincoln, who had procured a bull from Clement VI absolving him from his obedience to Canterbury. Islip obtained another bull from Innocent VI which practically revoked the preceding grant. When, in 1350, Gynwell refused to confirm the election of William of Palmorva to the chancellorship of Oxford University, Islip, in answer to the university's appeal, summoned Gynwell to appear before him, and appointed a commission to admit William to his office. The Bishop of Lincoln then appealed to Pope Clement VI, who finally decided in Islip's favour (Wilkins, Concilia, iii. 3–8; Mun. Acad. pp. 168–172; Lyte, Hist. Univ. Oxf. pp. 169–70; Wood, Annals of Oxford, i. 452–3, ed. Gutch). A third triumph over his unruly diocesan was obtained by Islip in 1354, when he removed the interdict under which Gynwell had placed Oxford, after a great riot between town and gown. Gynwell, however, had previously suspended the interdict. The final arrangement between the university and the townsmen was made by the king on the mediation of Islip.
Islip was generally on good terms with his old master, Edward III. It was during his primacy that the first Statutes of Provisors and Præmunire were passed. In 1359, however, when Islip refused to confirm the election of Robert Stretton to the bishopric of Lichfield, on the ground of his age, blindness, and incompetency, Edward, prince of Wales, and his father the king obtained his appointment by appealing to Avignon against the primate's action (Anglia Sacra, i. 44, 449). He had another difference with the Prince of Wales in 1357, when the prince demanded certain crown dues on the death of Bishop Trevor of St. Asaph, and Islip successfully maintained against him that these dues belonged in the north Welsh dioceses and in Rochester to the Archbishop of Canterbury (Archæological Journal, xi. 275). Yet in 1358, when Bishop de Lisle of Ely was found guilty by a secular court of burning a farmhouse belonging to Lady Wake, and instigating the murder of one of her servants, Islip declined to shelter the guilty prelate by the authority of the ecclesiastical courts.
Islip latterly resented the extravagance of Edward III. In 1356 he presided over a synod which rejected the king's demand for a clerical tenth for six years, and only allowed him a tenth for one year (Avesbury, p. 459, Rolls Ser.) Disgusted at the exactions of the king's servants and courtiers, he addressed to Edward a long and spirited remonstrance on the evils of purveyance, and the scandal and odium produced by the king's greedy insistence on his prerogative. The action of the archbishop combined with the strong petitions of the commons to procure the statute of 1362, which seems to have removed the worst abuses of purveyance. Copies of Islip's remonstrance, which is entitled ‘Speculum regis Edwardi,’ are in Bodleian MS. 624, Harleian MS. 2399, Cotton. MSS. Cleopatra D. ix., and Faustina, B. i. Extracts are given in Stubbs's ‘Constitutional History,’ ii. 375, 404, 536, and a summary is in ‘Archæologia,’ viii. 841-4.
In January 1363 a stroke of paralysis deprived Islip of the power of articulate speech. He partially recovered, but died at Mayfield on 26 April 1366. On 2 May he was buried in his cathedral. At his own request all expense and pomp were avoided, and only six wax candles were lighted round his corpse (Eulogium Hist. iii. 239). Over his grave in Canterbury Cathedral was erected a ‘fine tomb of marble inlaid with brass in the middle,’ in the nave of the church (Somner, Canterbury, ed. Battely, i. 134). His epitaph is preserved by Weever (Ancient Funerall Monuments, pp. 223–4). Parts of his will, dated in 1361, are printed in ‘Anglia Sacra,’ i. 60–1 (cf. Hist. MSS. Comm. 5th Rep. p. 436). He left a large amount of plate and vestments to the monks of Canterbury, together with a thousand of his best ewes to improve the breed of their sheep. According to Bale (Script. Brit. Cat. cent. vi. xx. ed. Basel), Islip wrote sermons on Lent, on the saints, and on time.
Despite his poverty Islip increased the endowments of the Canterbury hospitals (Hist. MSS. Comm. 5th Rep. p. 443); gave Buckland parsonage to Dover priory, and Bilsington parsonage to the monks of that place; restored his palace at Canterbury, and pulled down Wrotham manor to complete the building of the manor-house at Maidstone, which had been begun by Archbishop Ufford (Som-