Parish Priests and Their People in the Middle Ages in England

By Edward L. Cutts | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVIII.
VISITATION ARTICLES AND RETURNS.

THE visitation of the parishes by the Ordinary--the ecclesiastical person who exercised spiritual jurisdiction over them* --was an important feature of ecclesiastical administration. We have seen that a canon of the famous Council of Clovesho, in 747, directed bishops to make an annual visitation of their dioceses. As time went on the duty, burdensome alike to the bishops and clergy, fell into disuse, and seems to have been resumed again in the twelfth century.

The Lateran Council of 1179made a canon to check the costs of visitations: it decreed that an archbishop visiting churches should be content with forty or fifty horses; a bishop with twenty or thirty; an archdeacon with five or seven; and a dean

____________________
Usually the bishop, but there were many exceptions.
page 63.

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