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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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Some proprietary elements in a bishop's authority

Some proprietary elements in a bishop's authority

Chapter:
(p.696) 20 Some proprietary elements in a bishop's authority
Source:
The Proprietary Church in the Medieval West
Author(s):

Susan Wood

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206972.003.0021

The importance to bishops of their own lordship over churches does not mean that bishops generally became no more than lords of as many churches as they could get or keep, with no vestige of pastoral authority in the diocese as a whole, and no sense of a difference between this and proprietary lordship. The difference was sharply felt when a bishop had churches in another bishop's diocese; and it was not so much blurred as overridden when such extra-diocesan churches were treated as an enclave, an outlying patch of authority. There was indeed a tendency for authority to follow property-right, so that one bishop's secular lordship might rebut another's authority; occasionally by agreement for particular churches, otherwise sanctioned by custom. Particular applications of diocesan authority tended to be submerged in the bishop's lordly rights when applied to his own churches, and treated in other people's churches (if assertable at all) as discrete items of property, widely known as the bishop's ‘customs’.

Keywords:   proprietary church, bishops, authority, property, lordship, altar, customs

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