1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Olney (England)

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OLNEY, a market town in the Buckingham parliamentary division of Buckinghamshire, England, 59 m. N.W. by N. of London, on a branch of the Midland railway. Pop. of urban district (1901) 2634. It lies in the open valley of the Ouse on the north (left) bank of the river. The church of St Peter and St Paul is Decorated. It has a fine tower and spire; and the chancel has a northerly inclination from the alignment of the nave. The town is chiefly noted for its connexion with William Cowper, who came to live here in 1767 and remained until 1786, when he removed to the neighbouring village of Weston Underwood. His house and garden at Olney retain relics of the poet, and the house at Weston also remains. In the garden at Olney are his favourite seat and the house in which he kept his tame hares. John Newton, curate of Olney, had the assistance of Cowper in the production of the collection of Olney Hymns. The trade of Olney is principally agricultural; the town also shares in the manufacture of boots and shoes common to many places in the neighbouring county of Northampton.