Parish Priests and Their People in the Middle Ages in England

By Edward L. Cutts | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII.
THE FOUNDATION OF VICARAGES.

THE Norman founders of monasteries not only gave to them lands and moneys, but also the parish churches, of which they had the advowson. It can hardly be said that in so doing they gave what was not theirs to give, for the idea was still prominent in men's minds that the church which a landlord or his antecessor had built for himself and his people was, in a sense, his church, and that he was at liberty (as he is to this day) to give his rights in it to some one else; moreover, the ancient custom of assigning the tithe of his lands to various religious uses, at the owner's discretion, was still not obsolete,* so that the assignment of part of the tithe away from the parish in which it was raised to a religious community at a distance shocked no one's conscience. Already before the Conquest, in France, the admirers of the new monastic orders had

____________________
*
It was stopped by Innocent III. in a decretal letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, c. 1200.

-95-

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