Advowson. The perpetual right of presentation to an ecclesiastical benefice or cure, corresponding to the right of patronage in the canon law. All advowsons formerly belonged to some manor, whose lord, having endowed the church with a house and glebe, obtained the right to present a parson thereto; but in process of time the manor and advowson became separated; and now [1838] comparatively few advowsons remain annexed to the manors, which are generally co-extensive with the parish. Thus the distinction of an advowson appendant and advowson in gross was created; the former being the advowson as originally annexed to the manor, and the latter in its separated and disunited state. The first disunion of the advowson from the manor was in favour of ecclesiastical corporations, and subsequently of colleges, the annexation to which is styled an appropriation, as the acquisition of an advowson by a lay person, i.e. not in holy orders, is termed an impropriation. The right of presentation may be, and very often is, parted with for one turn only; but such an assignment must be made during the life of the present incumbent, and before a vacancy in the church, else the presentation would be void, as an encouragement of simony. ...

Source: Tomlins, Thomas Edlyne. A Popular Law-Dictionary. London: Longman, Orme, Brown, Green, & Longmans, 1838.

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"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."—Lesley Poles Hartley (1895–1972), The Go-Between (1953).

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