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Islington in 1839

Islington, one mile north of Hicks’s Hall, on the great north road, is in the Finsbury division of Ossulston hundred, and included in the metropolitan parliamentary borough of Finsbury. The parish has an area of 3050 acres, with a population, in 1831, of 37,316. The principal street, under the designations of High Street, Upper Street and Holloway, runs for several miles along the north read to the foot of Highgate Hill. Lower Street branches off from High Street, and runs towards Newington Green and Stoke Newington. The Liverpool Road forms a back road to Holloway : the new north road, and the new road from King’s Cross to Holloway, have been laid out within the last twenty years.

Highbury, Cannonbury, Ball’s Pond, and Holloway, are portions of the village, which comprehends a number of ranges of good houses. The New River passes through the parish, and the Regent’s Canal is carried by a tunnel under the High Street, which is now on an eminence, and under the New River. A considerable part of the parish is occupied as pasture-land by cow-keepers, who supply the metropolis with milk.

There are some nursery grounds, and one or two manufactories, together with lime and coal wharf’s, in the part adjacent to the Regent’s Canal. The church is situated between Upper and Lower streets, and is of brick, with a tower of the same materials, surmounted by a stone spire of good design. There is a chapel-of-ease at Lower Hollow, a plain and rather heavy brick building, built A.D. 1814 ; and there are district churches at Upper Holloway (St. John’s, a neat building, with a square embattled tower, crowned with pinnacles), Ball’s Pond (St. Paul's, a similar structure in character to St. John’s), in Cloudesley Square, near the back road (Trinity Church), and St. Peter’s, the last erected. There are also several dissenting places of worship.

At Islington is a college, belonging to the Church Missionary Society, for the education of young men designed for foreign missions ; and at Highbury is an academy for the education of young men for the ministry among the Independents. The Caledonian Asylum is a handsome building on the road leading from King’s Cross, St. Pancras, to Holloway. Cannonbury Tower, a heavy square brick building, is a relic of Canonbury House, the former mansion of the priors of St. Bartholomew’s Monastery in Smithfield, and has been the residence of Dr. Goldsmith, Chambers, author of the Cyclopedia, and other persons of literary note.

The living of Islington is a vicarage, of the clear yearly value of £1155, the perpetual curacies are of the following clear yearly value :- Lower Holloway Chapel, £351 ; St. John’s, Upper Holloway, £250 ; St. Paul’s, Ball’s Pond, £335 ; and Trinity, Cloudesley Square, £485. Of the chapelry of St. Peter’s, there is no return. There were, in 1833, four infant-schools, with 578 children ; thirty-eight boarding-schools, and sixty-one day-schools, among which were included three national schools, with 204 children ; three other schools, connected with the Established Church, with 582 children ; a Lancasterian school, with 160 girls ; a school of industry for 35 girls, and three other charity schools, with 260 children. There are a proprietary school for 160 boys, and nine Sunday-schools with 1648 children. In the British Orphan Asylum 43 children are maintained and educated, and in the Caledonian Asylum about 100. There is a Literary and Scientific Institution.