Trading Livings

Advowson and presentation was the right to nominate a person to a vacancy in a parish in England, subject to the approval of the bishop. Appointment as a vicar, deacon, or curate, could be for life and could be a valuable position. The resources available to such livings varied enormously, but many clergy could live quite comfortably off their parish lands. The right of advowson was tradable and was often bought by someone with a son who needed a living.

In the Ipswich Journal of June 15 1850 appeared the following announcement.

The incumbent was William Kirby, and he died on July 4 1850.

I do not know how much the advowson went for, but the next rector was John Schreiber, son of William F. Schreiber of Ipswich, on presentation by his father in September 1850.

4 thoughts on “Trading Livings

  1. smelville5

    Advowson is an interesting term. I’d not heard it before. Is it Anglo-Saxon? And when did this practice go out?

    1. dmelville2012 Post author

      Ultimately from Latin, advocare via medieval French. The most common similar words still in use are “advocate” and “avow”.

      The right still exists, but there are more restrictions on the sale now, and the church bought up a lot of them.

    1. dmelville2012 Post author

      Thank you for your comment. The term came from Latin via French.
      The right if advowson still exists, but is not so valuable as it once was, few rich people seek to place their relatives in the clergy, and since 1898 there have been restrictions on trading them.


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