Visitation of Bishop Thomas Secker
In 1737 Thomas Secker was appointed as Bishop of Oxford and in the following year he carried out a Visitation of his parishes. In advance of this, each Rector was required to submit answers to a series of questions.
The Rector of Oddington was Rev. Thomas Dickinson and his report to the Bishop was as follows:-
- The extent or Circumference of the Parish I guess to be about three Miles only one little Village five and twenty Houses the Parsonage House ten Farm Houses fourteen Cottages Houses for labourers and other poor People. We have no Family of Note in it.
- There is no Papist in it.
- There is no Presbyterian Independent or Anabaptist in it.
- There is no Quaker in it.
- There are not in my Parish who profess to disregard Religion tho’ there are some few who commonly absent themselves from Church on the Lord’s Day in one or two I understand it to proceed from pure sloth and indolence in two others tis pretended to be young children they are but few in number and of the poorest sort.
- I do not constantly reside upon my Cure. I have a tenant in part of the Parsonage House who rents the Tithe and Glebe the other part of ye Parsonage House I keep to my own use where I frequently come as there is occasion. I live at Islip a mile distant upon an Estate one moiety whereof is mine in right of my late Wife the other moiety is her Brother’s a Lunatic the care of whom is committed to me by the Court of Chancery and it has been judg’d not safe to have him remov’d from Islip.
- Public Service is duly perform’d twice every Lords Day in the Church and one Sermon preach’d Prayers are read on most Holy Days in the year. There’s no Chapel in the Parish. The children are constantly catechis’d in Lent and there are scarce any backward in sending their Children to be instructed in the Church Catechism wch I expound to them There are none but what are baptiz’d The Sacrament of the Lords Supper is administer’d four times every year and a pretty many receive it each time.
- There is no Free School Hospital or Alms-House in the Parish.
- There is no voluntary Charity School in the Parish.
10. There have been no Lands or Tenements or Tithes or Pensions or sums of money to be placed out at Interest being given at any time to the Church or Poor so far as I know.
11.There is no money given at the Offertory.
12.There is no other matter that I know of proper to give Your Lordship in formation of
Witness my hand this 22nd day of July 1738
Thomas Dickinson was the son of William Dickinson of Berkshire. He was the nephew of Edmund Dickinson, Lord of the Manor of Oddington. He was a Fellow of Pembroke College, having graduated on 28 November 1690 at the age of 15. He was ordained Deacon on 30 May 1697 and priest on 24 September 1698. He was appointed Rector of Oddington on 7 January 1699.
In 1702 Thomas Dickinson married Mary Smith of Islip. She appears to have been wealthy in her own right and the couple lived at Islip. Mary died in 1727 and Thomas remarried. His second wife was Jane Wright, daughter of William Wright, a goldsmith of Oxford, who was Mayor of that city. Their first child, William died as an infant and was buried at Oddington on 6 October 1730. A daughter, Catherine, was baptised at Islip on 21 October 1731 and a second daughter, Lydia, was baptised at Islip on 12 September 1732. The following year Jane died and was buried at Oddington on 11 May 1733.
Thomas continued as Rector of Oddington until his death in 1746. He was buried at Oddington on 31 October 1746.
Thomas Secker was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury on 21 April 1758.