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The Proprietary Church in the Medieval West$
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Susan Wood

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206972

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206972.001.0001

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Priests as proprietors

Priests as proprietors

(p.659) 18 Priests as proprietors
The Proprietary Church in the Medieval West

Susan Wood

Oxford University Press

The priest, who was lord or proprietor of the church he served, or might serve if he chose, is a familiar figure in most of early medieval Europe. Typically he has built and endowed it in his own property, or has inherited it from its founder; sometimes he has been designated or ‘ordained’ by his predecessor, usually a kinsman; sometimes, probably, he has simply taken his father's or uncle's place; or he may have acquired the church by gift or purchase. By the 11th century, a tenant priest in France might be able to give away his church if he had his lord's consent, while his own consent might be needed for his lord to give it away; the balance of rights between them is ruled by variable and shifting norms. Another consideration is whether a lord has put the priest into his church to serve it or has rather accepted a tenant priest's almost proprietary right.

Keywords:   priests, proprietors, proprietary church, property, gifts, inheritance

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