Parochial patronage and the cure of souls in the diocese of Lincoln, 1209-1299

Weale, Colin Alexander (1987). Parochial patronage and the cure of souls in the diocese of Lincoln, 1209-1299. MPhil thesis The Open University.



This thesis is a study of the patrons, parishes and parochial clergy, including those appointed to parochial and private chapels, in the diocese of Lincoln from 1209 to 1299.

Beginning with a definition of a parish and the exercise of the cure of souls, it goes on to examine what was required of the parochial clergy having such a responsibility. It continues with a study of the patrons and the exercise of their patronage, together with the limitations imposed by the bishops. It includes the appointments made by the religious houses in the diocese, both English and foreign, together with those of the laity, (including the crown), and the bishops.

This is followed by a chapter on the rights of patronage and the many disputes involved in the exercise of those rights. The next chapter deals with the types of parish in the diocese, including the fragmentation of churches, their consolidation, the evils of holding churches in plurality, and the dispensations granted to that end.

The appropriation of churches by the monasteries and the ordination of vicarages by the bishops is discussed. The payment of pensions by the clergy to their predecessors in a parish and to their monastic patrons in unappropriated benefices is also studied.

A study is made of the clergy who served the parishes. The use of papal provisions to parishes and the problems involved is considered, followed by an account of clerical education and the efforts of the bishops to provide a better-trained and celibate clergy.

I have also taken note of those clergy who left the parochial ministry for the religious life. This is followed by a special study of those who exercised the cure of souls in the parochial chapels of the diocese and the comparatively few who served the private chapels.

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